Garden of Allah Hotel


The Garden of Allah Hotel was once Hollywood's most famous – or perhaps infamous – hotel during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1918, Nazimov, an actress in silent films, bought an eight room Spanish-style mansion on the Southwest corner of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Boulevards. The property was surrounded by three and a half acres of lush tropical plants and fruit trees. She been a popular actress who had the privilege of playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in "Camille". After several years in Hollywood, her manager suggest turning her estate into a hotel. After months of construction to build twenty-five villas, Miss Nazimova's Garden of Allah Hotel opened on January 9, 1927, with an eighteen hour party. Some of Nazimova's early guests included Hollywood's royal couple at the time, Douglas Fairbanks and Mark Pickford, as well as stars Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, and Tom Mix. The furnishings were rather plain. The walls were thin enough for everyone to hear the goings on everywhere. And the food at the Garden of Allah hotel's restaurant was, allegedly, awful (it was probably common practice for guests to grab a bite at Schwab's, which appeared across the street 14 years after the Garden of Allah was built). But apparently, everyone was having so much fun that no one cared. Two years after she opened the hotel, the depression hit hard. She lost the hotel, but managed to hold on to an apartment there for herself - where she lived until her death in 1945. For the next several years, the hotel had several owners. Some of the celebrities who visited The Garden of Allah Hotel were in town for films they were working on, some lived there long-term. Some were between marriages or homes; some were there for the parties going on from sunset until dawn. But whatever the reason for the visit, the Garden of Allah Hotel was an escape from reality for those whose job it was to provide that escape for everyone else. Because of its popularity, hundreds of Garden of Allah hotel photos were taken. It is said that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall began their romance there while making "To Have and Have Not" in 1944. Charles Laughton and wife Elsa Lanchaster stayed there when they moved to California in the early 30s before settling in Santa Monica. Frank Sinatra stayed there while he was performing at the Ambassador Hotel's legendary Cocoanut Grove club in 1941. Tallulah Bankhead reportedly swam – nude – in the pool. John Barrymore, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, and the Marx Brothers all visited at one time or another. It was also a sanctuary for many literary celebrities who gravitated to Hollywood in the '30s, including Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and George S. Kaufman. Unfortunately, the hotel never made any real profit over the years under its several owners. By the late 1950s, it was run down and populated by transients and prostitutes. It closed in August of 1959 – but not before one last huge party. Over a thousand people showed up, many dressed as the hotel's previous guests - including Valentino, Chaplin, Clara Bow… and even Nazimova. Her 1923 silent film "Salome" was screened at the party. In 1959, the property was sold to Lytton Savings and Loan who tore the old building down and built its home office. Today, a strip mall occupies the former site of the Garden of Allah. On this site are scores of Garden of Allah photos, Garden of Allah images and Garden of Allah pictures.  Othe Hollywood hotels include the Hollywood Hotel and Roosevelt Hotel.

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Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel
Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel
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Click to Enlarge
Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
Click to Enlarge
Garden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood
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Garden of Allah HotelGarden of Allah Hotel in West Hollywood
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