Insane Things That (Really) Happened at the Chateau Marmont

Anyone who lives in Los Angeles can tell you that despite the city’s reputation as the promised land of the entertainment industry, there’s a darkness that looms over the town like a dense fog. For every new restaurant that pops up, there’s a bar or hotel that seems to radiate a sad evil from its insides. One of those places is the Chateau Marmont, a hotel that caters to those members of the celebrity elite who either want to block out the outside world, or get up to no good without being surrounded by cameras. There’s such a wealth of Chateau Marmont stories that you could almost build a secret history of Hollywood with them, and we’ll tell you some of the best tales on this list of the insane things that really happened at Hotel Marmont.

The famous people at Chateau Marmont at any given time range from actors to musicians and even photographers. While you’re probably aware of at least one of the Chateau Marmont deaths, there are definitely more than coked out comedians hanging out in the hotel. Modern Chateau Marmont celebrities are a special brand of star, they long for the golden age of Hollywood when you could have a drink (or a speedball) in private, and when you could still drive a motorcycle through a hotel without anyone batting an eye. The stories of famous people at the Chateau Marmont are anything but your normal Hollywood gossip, and the craziest stories in all of Chateau Marmont history are all here for your reading pleasure.

  • John Belushi Died of a Drug Overdose in Bungalow 3

    Perhaps the most famous, and unfortunate, tale that ever took place in the Chateau Marmont is that of John Belushi's death. According to a court report, Belushi was mixing heroin and cocaine (a combo known as a speedball) on the night of death and died in his sleep.
  • Britney Spears Smeared Food on Her Face

    We all remember the strange days of 2007, when Britney Spears was smack dab in the middle of a psychotic breakdown. Even though her head shaving gets most of the attention, one episode that deserves discussion is a meal at the Chateau Marmont where the "Toxic" singer reportedly began to smear food on her face until she was ejected from the restaurant.
  • John Bonham Drove a Motorcycle Through the Lobby

    John Bonham Drove a Motorcycle Through the Lobby
    Photo: JimmyGuano / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
    Much like every Led Zeppelin story, this tale has been repeated so many times that it's impossible to separate fact from fiction. Allegedly, Zep's drummer, John Bonham, drove a Harley (his 25th birthday present) through the hallway of the hotel.
  • Lindsay Lohan Charged $46,000 to Her Room

    Lindsay Lohan Charged $46,000 to Her Room
    Photo: Toglenn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
    If the stories on this list tell you anything, it's that it's really hard to get banned from the Chateau Marmont - unless you're Lindsay Lohan. In 2012, the troubled actress ran up a $46,000 bill at the hotel for everything from her standard room fee to cigarettes and even Architectural Digest.
  • Howard Hughes Spied on Women Sitting Poolside

    Howard Hughes Spied on Women Sitting Poolside
    Photo: Acme Newspictures / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    Out of all the stories about celebrities in the Chateau, this is one of the strangest and more than likely embellished. Allegedly, whenever he stayed in Los Angeles, Howard Hughes would rent Room 64, a two bedroom penthouse, with the perfect view for spying on starlets lounging at the pool.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald Had a Heart Attack in Front of the Hotel

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Had a Heart Attack in Front of the Hotel
    Photo: The World's Work / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    There are varying reports on where exactly this story took place - some say the lobby, while others say in front of the hotel. But in the late '30s, after suffering a myriad of losses in Hollywood, F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack somewhere on the grounds of the hotel after suffering yet another blow to his career.