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The Daily Dish The Valley

Everything to Know About Chateau Marmont, a Historic Hotel at the Center of The Valley Drama

Michelle Saniei Lally’s frequent treks to the historic hotel to hang out with an unnamed “super famous” director may have raised some eyebrows, but it isn’t the first time the hotel has been at the center of controversy.

By Jill Sederstrom

The Chateau Marmont — a nearly 100-old hotel once described as being “quintessential Hollywood” — has taken center stage in Michelle and Jesse Lally’s struggling marriage drama on The Valley, but it’s far from the first controversy to surround the historic hotel. 

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Since it first opened its doors in 1929, Chateau Marmont has served as a place for Hollywood elite to carry on secret affairs, indulge in drug-fueled parties, and rub elbows with some of the biggest names in television and movies.

Famed Saturday Night Live comedian John Belushi died of a drug overdose while staying in one of the hotel’s bungalows, Doors frontman Jim Morrison once leapt from a balcony, and Hollywood film star Jean Harlow allegedly used the hot spot for a steamy affair with Clark Gable in the 1930s, according to The New York Post.

Chateau Marmont surrounded by trees.

As the hotel promises on its website the hotel is  “always a safe haven” and “always open.”

To find out everything you need to know about the iconic hotel and  its roaring “comeback” in 2023, read on below: 

What is Jesse and Michelle Lally’s connection to Chateau Marmont on The Valley?

The Valley’s favorite luxury real estate team Jesse and Michelle Lally were thrilled to score a home just blocks from the famed hot spot.

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“Chateau Marmont is right at the end of my street. I love going down there,” Jesse told the guys on The Valley in Episode 5. 

But the hotel’s close proximity may have created some challenges in Jesse and Michelle’s marriage after Michelle began spending time with an unnamed director.

Michelle Lally and Jesse Lally sitting on a grass lawn together

“Michelle always claims that she doesn’t know who famous people are but like she was going out with what’s that director [name redacted]? She was going out with him for like a couple days straight,” Jax Taylor revealed in his confessional. “You know, she goes to Chateau every day, she walks down from her house and she just so happened to have met him at the pool and they got along and they were talking.”

Jesse himself admitted to the guys while spending an afternoon at Jax’s pool that Michelle had even spent an “entire night,”  “got wrecked,” and had dinner with “a famous actor” while in the director’s company. 

When Luke Broderick asked Jesse if he was comfortable with his wife spending time with someone “super famous” and “wealthy,” Jesse seemed to shake off any concerns.

“I think when you are secure enough in a relationship or in yourself, you trust Michelle’s not going to do anything. If she does something, then it’s on her, you know what I mean,” he replied. 

Yet the couple’s marriage has been clearly imploding throughout the season and Michelle has admitted she isn’t sure she wants to work it out with her husband. 

The name of the big-name director she’s been spending time with remains a mystery, but the hotel is no stranger to the rich and famous. 

Where is Chateau Marmont? 

Located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the boutique hotel is conveniently positioned in West Hollywood. 

What is Chateau Marmont?

The iconic seven-story castle was designed by architect William Douglas and modeled after the Chateau D’ Amboise, a real castle in France that is rumored to have once been the home of  Mary, Queen of Scots, according to Discover Los Angeles.

Chateau Marmont first opened its doors in 1929 and although initially created to be an apartment building, it slowly transitioned into a hotel during the Great Depression.

According to the hotel’s Instagram account, the property is now home to 63 bedrooms in addition to suites, cottages and bungalows, a courtyard restaurant, and a lobby bar.

The hotel often uses the four bungalows that frame the pool as temporary housing for celebrities. 

What celebrities have been linked to Chateau Marmont?

From the beginning, Chateau Marmont has been a magnet for actors, musicians, artists and Hollywood elite. 

Former head of Columbia Pictures Harry Cohn was rumored to keep a suite at the hotel in the 1930s to carry out his affairs. 

As A.M. Homes wrote in her book Los Angeles, the studio boss even advised other young stars to seek out the hotel.

“If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont,” he famously told them. 

That was only the beginning of the secret rendezvous and wild parties that took place at Chateau Marmont over the years. Led Zeppelin once famously rode their motorcycles through the lobby and Morrison reportedly leapt from a third floor balcony and survived. 

John Belushi was not so lucky. The Animal House star died of a drug overdose in 1982 while staying in one of the bungalows. Fashion photographer Helmut Newton also died at the hotel in 2004 after he lost control of his car in the driveway, The Post reports. 

Actress Lindsay Lohan was kicked out of  the popular haunt in 2012 after failing to pay a $46,000 tab —a n outstanding debt that current owner André Balazs told The Hollywood Reporter in 2023 has since been resolved. 

Late TV host and chef Anthony Bourdain once declared to Travel + Leisure that he would be happy if he spent the rest of his life in the hotel, according to Thrillist

“I love that hotel above all others,” he said at the time.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the hotel has seen a “comeback” in 2023, drawing stars like Demi Moore, Oprah Winfrey, Quinta Brunson, Sofia Coppola, Kylie Jenner, and Kathryn Hahn.

“For talent, nothing feels more private than Chateau Marmont,” one top event planner told the outlet.  “Sure, there’s San Vicente Bungalows, [but] when you want quintessential Hollywood, you go to Chateau.”

To keep up on all the latest drama on The Valley, watch Tuesday nights on Bravo or available to stream the next day on Peacock.

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