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Year Round Hotel Living
12/14/2007 3:58:58 PM
By David Wilkening


It's been done in novels: the protagonist of Saul Bellow’s “Seize the Day” lived in a hotel. Perhaps the most famous example is New York’s Chelsea Hotel which over the years has been home to many celebrities, including Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. (who also wrote many of their songs here)

Hotel Chelsea, New York City

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Of course, the idea is generally seen as expensive, which may be why movie stars are among the most common occupants. Various movie stars have lived in Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont for extended periods, however. Actors Robert DeNiro and Keenu Reeves, and Hollywood writer Dominic Dunne have lived there.

Desert Inn - Las Vegas

Other famous people outside the acting field have been known for their hotel lifestyle. Perhaps no one more famous than the than late American billionaire Howard Hughes. He moved his entourage from hotel to hotel in Beverly Hills and Boston before moving to Las Vegas, where the 8th floor of the Desert Inn became the nerve center of his empire. He lived on the 9th floor.

Designer Coco Channel made the Hotel Ritz in Paris her home for more than 30 years until the day of her death at 87. Her suite is now known as the “Coco Channel Suite.” Novelist Vladimir Nabokov lived the last 17 years of his life at the Montreux Palace Hotel in Montreux Switzerland.
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As for the Chelsea…many modern-day celebrities have also stayed there, including Patti Smith, Madonna, Ethan Hawke and Robert Mapplethorpe. In the past, the hotel was home to famous writers and thinkers such as include Mark Twain, O. Henry, Dylan Thomas, Arthur C. Clarke, William S. Burroughs, Arthur Miller, Jack Kerouac, Jean-Paul Sartre and Thomas Wolfe. Another form of notoriety came about when Charles R. Jackson, author of “The Lost Weekend,” committed suicide in his room at the Chelsea on Sept. 21, 1968.

The hotel’s long-time managing partner, Stanley Bard and the rest of the Bard family earlier this year were forced our by their board of directors. So its location in a once depressed neighborhood that has turned into one of the most desirable areas of the city makes its future uncertain.
David Wilkening is a writer specializing in travel and business-real estate writing. His work has appeared in dozens of publications and dot coms. He never met a trip he didn't like. He is a former newspaperman who worked in Chicago, Detroit, Orlando and Washington, DC, where he was a writer and editor covering a wide variety of subjects ranging from politics to feature stories.


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