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The Sunset Marquis, West Hollywood’s Lush Oasis To The Stars, Celebrates 50 Years With Stunning Renovations

Some things get better with time. Mid-century architecture, certain wines, and vintage leather jackets worn just so are arguably better year after year. Some places get better with time, too, but that’s often more rare to find. The Sunset Marquis, the 3.5 lust garden hotel tucked on a residential street in West Hollywood is one such rare place you’ll miss unless you’re in the know. The hotel’s 38 villas were just renovated and are ever more reason to stay at this cabochon of a property, a beloved retreat for nearly every celebrity of Hollywood and many in the non-famous set such as myself. 

Part of why I can’t stop staying at the Sunset Marquis is its rich, uncanny history. The Sunset Marquis has created such a history since its opening in 1963 that it requires a thick coffee table book just to hold some of its stories. If These Walls Could Rock – 50 Years at the Legendary Sunset Marquis Hotel was written and composed by author Craig Allen Williams and Mark Alan Rosenthal, the owner of the hotel. The

book is in limited edition, but if you can get ahold of the 192 page anthology, you’ll have the treat of flipping through the intimate unfolding of the antics of rock rollers, models, actors, and agents through pictures, first hand stories, and observations made by hotel staff. To be clear, Rosenthal remembers, “Rock and rollers were tearing the hell out of hotels, but they weren’t tearing the hell out of ours.” Yet, as the book also mentions, the phrase, “party like a rock star” was birthed at the Sunset Marquis, long before it was in song lyrics and on the sides of energy drink cans. 

Today, the Sunset Marquis is far tamer. There are signs posted to inform guests that the hotel is in a neighborhood and partying is shunned. Still, I love this hotel for its subtle nobs to its wild past, incredible gardens, and now, chic renovations that all seem to convey, “come, be a rock star.” 

First, if you are an actual rock star, you’ll be right at home at the Sunset Marquis. Many suites have top of the line musical instruments in room. Takamine guitars are in the Retreat suite, and my suite, the Grand Deluxe Villa, showed off a shimmering baby grand piano by Yamaha. A recording studio is on site at the hotel, and for those desiring privacy, a handful of villas have private elevators directly from the underground parking garage. There are even ash trays and matches on the outdoor patios which would otherwise be considered a relic at any other California hotel unless, of course, rock and rollers are the clientele. 

Privacy is another feature of the Sunset Marquis, accomplished beautifully by the 200 trees and more than 1000 plants that fill the grounds with green little nooks for small meetings and quiet moments. Though the hotel is less than 100 yards from Sunset Strip, the famed street bursting with enlarged billboards, comedy clubs, and designer stores, the Sunset Marquis is a lust haven for all the things that make LA hectic. Flowering Pear, Eugenia Hedge, Citrus Eureka Lemon, Navel Orange, California Grapefruit and Hass Avocados Trees naturally give the property’s air a crisp, only-in-California scent. A little waterfall and lagoon, home to 25 majestic koi fish, add to the scent with the sound of moving water. Perhaps the best spot within the property is at a table at the hotel’s main restaurant, Cavatina, a carved out, mainly outdoor space that sits within the remarkable, urban shangri-la. 

Now with villa renovations complete, the second best spot in the Sunset Marquis is plausibly within any of the villas themselves. The collection of suites opened 12 years ago to offer guests more spacious options beyond the property’s 150 plus suites. Each of the 38 villas received about $200,000 worth of upgrades which Rosenthal personally oversaw with help from architect Eric Rosen, a long-standing local architect known for his sleek residential homes that dot the Hollywood hills. Many villas showcase rich hues of dark blues, golds, and metallic surfaces to compliment the fauna that surrounds each villa. Spacious at more than 1,000 square feet and in such a setting, it’s a little hard to leave a villa, let alone the Sunset Marquis itself.

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