When Hollywood is your home, it’s easy to drive past buildings and film studios on your morning commute and ignore the fact that this place ignited the Golden Age—bringing with it lavish architecture that would satisfy the high-falutin taste of oil tycoons, bon vivants and movie starlets. In 1926, on an inconspicuous corner nestled in charming Franklin Village, Villa Carlotta was built as one of the first apartment buildings in Hollywood.
Churrigueresque-style building belonged to Elinor Ince, the widow of early
studio head Thomas Ince, and legend has it, after he was mysteriously shot and
killed on William Randolph Hearst’s yacht from a bullet meant for Charlie
Chaplin, Hearst helped finance the project. Over the decades, it has been
inhabited by some of the city’s most intriguing characters such as gossip
columnist Louella Parsons, actress Marion Davies (Hearts’ mistress), and rock
bohemians like Jim Morrison.
after a $5.5 million restoration, it lives on as an extended stay for the
artistically adventurous craving a sophisticated home-away-from-home in a
relaxed, communal atmosphere. Owner, Gidi Cohen, founder of CGI Strategies,
fell in love with the building many years ago and embarked on the restoration
as a labor of love. He wanted to acknowledge the soul and history of the
Hollywood treasure, restoring features to their original beauty and bringing
the Villa back to its original glory.
I Love: The storied history combined with modern
decor by Studio Preveza gives Villa Carlotta a contemporary feel with old world
charm. Almost all of the original moldings, cabinetry, sinks, doors, and
windows have been preserved. Though Villa Carlotta is not open to the public,
you can book the rooftop for private events for up to 40 people—it’s the
closest rooftop to the Hollywood sign.
to Know: While this extended stay feels like a
boutique hotel, Villa Carlotta only welcomes stays of 30 days or longer, making
it the perfect option for touring musicians, actors in town for a film shoot,
and free spirits drawn to a nomadic lifestyle.
Dreams: The 50 units range from studios to two
bedrooms, many with Juliet balconies, wrought-iron window grilles, and views of
the Hollywood sign—all with kitchens. Luxury amenities include La Bottega
slippers and robes, toiletries by Byredo, Nespresso Machines, French bedding
from Malouf and a technology-based concierge system—Keypr.
Factor: Aside from its history and fascinating
guests, it was recently the backdrop for Vogue’s 73 Questions feature, which is one of my favorite video