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Hollywood's hotel hideaways.

Where you can sleep with the stars (or, at least, under the same sheets)

AROUND ACADEMY Awards time, it's easy to fantasize about clutching dear Oscar and thanking everyone from your Kansas piano teacher to your Malibu shaman for love and guidance.

That night you live the life of a "player," whisked away after the ceremony to Swifty Lazar's party at Spago, then on to a series of excruciatingly exclusive soirees. Finally, it's back to the hotel for a quick post-schmooze snooze. You wake up to a series of network interviews ("What I really want to do is direct"), and by lunch your new pal Oscar watches from the coffee table as you negotiate a multipicture deal.


All this can be yours, except the Oscar, the parties, the talk show appearances, and the multipicture deal which leaves the hotel. The following if-these-walls-could-talk classics provide retreats into both modern Hollywood and the era of legends.

Chateau Marmont. Long known as the kind of place where you go when you don't want to be seen, the 1929 Chateau has the coot calm of a trusted confidant. It's not at all glitzy, but when John Wayne said, "I just want to see how it feels to live like a star," he was getting ready to stay at the Chateau.

Generations of Hollywood luminaries have come here: penthouse recluses from Howard Hughes to Robert De Niro, couples from Bogie and Bacall to Madonna and Sean, and hell-raisers from Errol Flynn to John Belushi, who checked out forever from Bungalow 3.

The Chateau, which is now undergoing a loving renovation, is at 8221 Sunset Boulevard. Prices run from $150 to $650 for the two-bedroom penthouse; weekend packages are available. For reservations, call (213) 656-1010.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. This Spanish colonial revival hotel, built in 1927 to meet the luxury demands of the growing film industry, is now the only grand hotel left in the heart of Hollywood. It was the site of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, and no wonder: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Sid Grauman (who owned the Chinese Theatre across the street) were among the original investors.

With its central Hollywood location, the Roosevelt is a great base from which to immerse yourself in cinema past and present (there are 10 screens within a block). Even if you don't stay, you can visit the Hollywood display on the second floor, or enjoy jazz at the Cinegrill (once a restaurant hangout of F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Holden), one of the best jazz rooms in Los Angeles.

The Roosevelt is at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. Prices range from $95 to $1,500. For reservations, call (800) 950-7667.

St. James's Club and Hotel. Not that this art deco landmark commanding the Sunset Strip needed any validation, but along with such stars as Julia Roberts and Cher, the building itself had a cameo role in Robert Altman's film The Player, the consummate look at Hollywood insiders.

While the St. James's has been a public hotel only since September 1992 (the 1931 structure underwent a $40-million face-lift in 1988), it actually has a long history. It was known as the Sunset Tower Apartments in the '30s, when its residents included Clark Gable and the peripatetic Flynn. In the '40s, the building became a private club catering especially to the British expatriate community. Today, guests can work out in the club's gym or take a dip in the pool, and then reward themselves with dinner at the hotel's fine restaurant.

The St. James's Club is at 8358 W. Sunset Boulevard. Prices run from $150 to $650. For reservations, call (213) 654-7100.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Jaffe, Matthew
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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