Jordan Strauss / WireImage 1 / 15
Jordan Strauss / WireImage 1 / 15

Lindsay Lohan is loving her new life at Chateau Marmont Hotel.

Last week, Lohan moved from her Venice Beach, Calif., home into the hipster West Hollywood hotel that she had also called home several years earlier. And on Friday night, she looked thrilled during her first weekend in her new -- yet very recognizable -- digs.

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Arriving just after 9 p.m. to the Chateau's outdoor patio restaurant from her nearby room, Lohan settled into her favorite corner banquette with pal Courtenay Semel, a source told Wonderwall. The two were constantly chatting, smoking cigarettes, checking their phones and joking with male servers and bartenders. Lohan later joined a group of friends in the center of the tented patio to sing "Happy Birthday" to one of the guests.

"She looked really happy to be there," relayed a source, who added that LiLo was decked out in a flowy backless dress with platform sandals. "She was being social and said hi to several people who passed by her table. She was definitely in a great mood."

It seemed the only hitch in her evening came when Lohan saw a flash come from a nearby table. She quickly sent Semel to the table where the flash had originated to ask the hotel guest to delete the pic. Turns out the snap-happy reveler in question was taking a picture of an empty chair to send to their friend who was late, our source confirmed.

"She's just being very careful about who sees her and what she's doing," continued our source, who said it appeared Lohan was drinking water, though a male server stopped by her table many times throughout the night, even sitting at the banquette for several minutes. She also chatted with a CAA agent, Janice Dickinson and celebrity blogger Jared Eng of Just Jared. Also dining nearby was actor Topher Grace.

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According to sources, Lohan is telling pals that an "artist" friend of hers booked and paid for a room at Chateau for an entire year and that the pal is letting Lohan crash there as long as she wants. No word on who the mystery pal is, but one thing is certain: That's one very generous friend.

Staying at Chateau isn't cheap. And while Lohan pocketed her biggest payday in years for posing nude in the December pages of Playboy -- a reported $1 million -- that money wouldn't go far staying in the hotel's expensive suites or bungalows. Rooms start at $435 per night, but it's likely that Lohan is currently living in a suite (like she did before) or one of the hotel's sought-after bungalows. Suites start at $760 per night, and bungalows can run north of $2,200 a night.

Add on a daily tab for food, drinks and miscellaneous services and that can be a very expensive living situation. And while Lohan said she loved living in Venice, the run-in she had with an unwanted guest at her front door reportedly proved to be her breaking point. On Jan. 1, a trespasser knocked on the door of her $2.25 million, 3,000-square-foot home in Venice and wouldn't leave. Cops were called and the man was arrested.

"She was really scared after that and knew immediately that she wanted to move," a source told Wonderwall. "She wanted to feel safe again, and anyone who knows Lindsay knows that she hates to be alone. And the Chateau is perfect for her in that way, because living in a hotel, you don't have to feel like you're really alone. There's constantly staff around and she knows a ton of people who hang out there. It's really comfortable for her and always has been. She loves it there, and it makes her feel safe."

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But not all her memories of Chateau are so cozy. "She needs to be careful," sniffed another source. "Lindsay has done a ton of partying at the Chateau and has gotten into some trouble there. If she's really turning her life around like she said she is, then she should stay there for a bit and then find someplace stable. Hotels are notorious party dens, and that isn't what Lindsay needs right now."