The Sunset Marquis Hotel–now with Villas–has a posh new look. By Glenn Belverio

Above: Joan Jett at the Sunset Marquis, circa 1978. Photo by Bob Gruen

Dear Shaded Viewers,

When Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution called to invite me to check out the new villas at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in LA (designed by Oliva Villaluz and built by Nadel Architects) and attend a party there organized by the Sunset Marquis for Gibson Guitars ("Gibson Through the Lens"), it was difficult to resist.

"The place is oozing with rock ‘n’ roll history! The Sunset Marquis is where the Red Hot Chili Peppers jumped off the roof naked!" she told me over the phone. And while I was dubious that I would witness anything of this nature during my brief stay, I was curious to check out the hotel’s new facelift. It turned out to be a lot easier on the eyes than Madonna’s recent nippy-nippy, tucky-tucky. The place has gone from dumpy-glorified motel charming to idyllic Xanadu luxe. Designer Villaluz is calling it "a New Era of Modern Tranquility." No wonder the SM Hotel’s new motto is, "Rooms so nice, even a rock star wouldn’t have the heart to trash them." (Yeah, maybe an EMO rock star…)

I will post a complete report of my LA trip and the Sunset Marquis bash for Gibson here soon, but I wanted to give everyone a sneak peak at the spanking-new Presidential Villa at the Sunset Marquis. (No, I didn’t get to stay in the P-Villa, but I had a beautiful suite that was right by the center pool and patio–with the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. A change of pace from the bed of nails I sleep on in the East Village).

Above: The path to the 40 new villas winds through beautiful gardens. The expansion of this sprawling, Mediterranean-style hotel cost $20 million. That’s not chump change!

Above: The Master Bedroom in the Presidential Villa. Save your pennies, dolls.

The bathtub in the Master Bathroom is big enough to fit Kirstie Alley, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna’s ego all at the same time.

After recording in the hotel’s basement state-of-the-art studio, NightBird, musicians retire to Bar 1200 in the hotel lobby. There they drink to forget that everyone is downloading their music for free. Bottoms up!

I did not know that Courtney Love recorded a song named after the Sunset Marquis, but here it is. (She famously wrote a letter to Kurt on SM stationary).

More later.

Glenn Belverio