You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.“Hotel California,” the 1977 hit single by the Eagles, started out as a demo tape number. No one knew it would one day rank as one of the greatest songs in rock ‘n’ roll history according to Rolling Stone and other publications.
You can hear the song, which is about a traveler who gets trapped in tacky luxury at a hotel-an allegory for the greed and excess of the record industry-any time of year from Indonesia to Iran and beyond. (see hilarious video below) And it has also inspired entrepreneurs the world over to name their hotels after the insidiously catchy tune.
You can live it up at Hotel Californias in Panama, Portugal, England, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Uruguay, Turkey, Albania, Russia, Japan, Romania, Venezuela, East Timor, Bolivia, Paraguay, Croatia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, The Dominican Republic, near the end of a dark desert highway in Morocco and probably dozens of other places. And there’s plenty of room at Italy’s 18 Hotel Californias, where you’re free to call up the captain and say, “please bring me my wine.”
You can even stay in a Hotel California on the Champs Elysees in Paris- the perfect place to get the Mercedes bends. You would think that the Hotel California in Las Vegas would have mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice, but according to their site, you’d probably have to settle for stabbing their thick steaks with steely knives. (But you still might not be able to kill the beast)
Reporters covering the war in Afghanistan, most of them prisoners of their own device, stay in a “plywood building” dubbed the Hotel California, and according to those who have stayed there, the place could be heaven or it could be hell.
And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are some Hotel Californias that are actually in California, including one near the pier in Santa Monica, where you can definitely smell warm colitas (marijuana) rising up through the air. In fairness to all the Hotel Californias, I should also mention that there are at least ten other hotel names which are probably just as common.
Which Hotel California would you like to dance in the courtyard at?