Our Hollywood Hotel story, so far.
The Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood opened its doors in 1963 with the staggering opening daily rate of eight bucks per night (amazing how much further your dollar went back then). It was the brainchild of George I. Rosenthal, the founder of Raleigh Enterprises. Having just completed a deal with Playboy Enterprises to establish its West Coast Headquarters and a new Playboy Club at the corner of Alta Loma Drive and Sunset Boulevard, George realized that the entertainers and guests of the club would need somewhere nearby to stay. This was the hotel's raison d'etre.
In searching for a name, proud young father George decided to dub the hotel after his first born, Mark, then three years old and known as “Markey.” The nickname morphed nicely into a title of nobility, Marquis, just off Sunset Boulevard, at that. From its earliest days, our Sunset Strip hotel was a retreat for all kinds of Hollywood royalty: writers, actors, directors, producers and, of course, rockers.
The famed comedian Jackie Gayle used to joke in the 60's that the best writers in Hollywood could be found around the pool at the Sunset Marquis looking up at the homes in the Hollywood Hills that they’d lost to their wives in the divorce. Lenny Bruce was a frequent guest and rumor has it that Bette Midler sometimes sang around the pool in exchange for room nights at the hotel.
From the earliest days of rock, legions of bands have made our West Hollywood hotel their home away from home. The Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, to name just a few, have been guests, and the tradition continues to today with performers such as U2, John Mayer, Eminem, Green Day and more. The connection between the hotel and the movie industry is equally strong, in the 70's, Director Elaine May edited the movie Mikey & Nicky in two of the hotel’s suites, and the film's stars, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, were both regulars at the property.
Many major movie stars of today, from Billy Bob Thornton, Brad and Angelina, Kevin Costner, George Clooney and more, have been registered under pseudonyms at the Marquis. In the 1970's, our luxury Hollywood hotel underwent its first expansion with the addition of 14 Villas, former single-family homes and small apartment buildings, and the Villas Gardens. This concept was dramatically expanded through the addition of the spectacular new Villas, Gardens, Spa and Restaurant, all completed under the guidance of Mark Rosenthal (yep, the same fellow that the place was named for).