The Castle on Sunset

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Chateau Marmont has sat atop the Sunset Strip for nearly a century, like the Rock of Gibraltar. It is a place filled with deep secrets but is hidden in plain sight, and its evolution parallels the growth of Hollywood itself.
Since the dawn of talking pictures, the Chateau Marmont has promised privacy, mystery and a whiff of old glamour. It’s where John Belushi overdosed after a three-day binge, it’s the place where Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate lived while their infamous house on Cielo Drive was being completed. Billy Wilder, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gore Vidal and Howard Hughes all spent time as long-term residents in the Chateau. Rebel without a Cause, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, was largely conceived, cast, rehearsed and, in some way, lived, in one of its suites. Led Zeppelin may or may not have driven motorcycles through the hotel’s lobby. Beyoncé and Jay-Z recently threw an Oscars bash in the hotel parking garage.

With wit and prowess, Shawn Levy recounts the wild parties and scandalous liaisons, creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, births and untimely deaths that the Chateau Marmont has given rise to. Vivid, salacious and richly informed, the book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from the suites and bungalows of its most hallowed hotel.

(p) Penguin Random House Audio 2019

Critics Review

  • Fascinating, dishy, and glimmering with insight, THE CASTLE ON SUNSET is a must-read for anyone interested in the rich and racy history of Tinseltown. Shawn Levy’s entertaining and deeply researched biography of a building chronicles experiences both glamorous and sordid, historical and contemporary. This is the definitive book about Hollywood’s most storied hotel

    Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD: A JOURNEY FROM LOST TO FOUND
  • Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood is unquestionably one of the most dauntingly glamorous hotels in the world [and this book is] an exuberant record of its life and times . . . Levy’s pages teem with extraordinary and extreme personalities

    THE SUNDAY TIMES
  • I felt like I was sneaking around the hallways of the Chateau after midnight and peering through keyholes in history . . . Lovingly researched and wonderfully dishy

    Joe Hagan, author of STICKY FINGERS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JANN WENNER AND ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE
  • I want to live inside this book!

    Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of DAISY JONES & THE SIX
  • As elegant and naughty as the hotel’s guests . . . tells a secret history of American film, fame and decadence. It’s a spellbinding read

    Peter Ames Carlin, author of HOMEWARD BOUND: THE LIFE OF PAUL SIMON
  • A fabulously fizzy account

    VANITY FAIR

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.