There are some hotels you just know, whether you’ve ever stayed there or not. These iconic hotels are famous for a variety of reasons—historically or in movies; but all inspired favorite songs.
Rio’s Copacabana Palace, which dates back to 1923, is a historic Art Deco hotel just off the beach. Perhaps Barry Manilow’s most famous song, Copacabana was first thought up by Manilow and fellow songwriter Bruce Sussman when they were both staying at the hotel, which has a striking, all-white palatial facade. The song was released in 1978. And this hotel has also been featured in numerous movies.
Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel
This song was actually based on a newspaper article reporting a man’s suicide by jumping from a hotel window. He left behind a note that simply read “I walk a lonely street” the first line in this famous tune.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Hotel California is one of the most famous songs in the world, and The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in the world, so it all makes sense. Though the Eagles never mention it by name, the Beverly Hills Hotel was likely the inspiration.
Although Chateau Marmont may also have inspired Hotel California, it has unarguably inspired many other songs. Popular songs that mention the hotel include Scott Weiland’s Chateau Marmont and Off to the Races by Lana Del Rey.
GoldenEye Hotel & Resort
It’s hard to determine the chicken and the egg in this circumstance. GoldenEye didn’t officially open as a hotel until Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records and Island Outpost, purchased the property. Still, many say it was called GoldenEye as far back as 1946, when James Bond creator Ian Fleming purchased the land and built his home here so he could focus on his novels. The hotel shares its name not only with the 1995 James Bond film (the first to star Pierce Brosnan), but also the film’s theme song performed by Tina Turner.
A list about hotels in songs of course must mention the Holiday Inn chain, which has likely appeared in more lyrics than any other property. Two of the most famous songs are Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, and Holidae In performed by Chingy,Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. Both songs reference partying at the hotel, and we’d recommend one of the chain’s properties in Paris, the Holiday Inn Paris – Notre Dame.
One of the largest hotels in New York City, Hotel Pennsylvania sits (not surprisingly) right by Penn Station. Which is also probably why it has seen plenty of famous faces come through. Glenn Miller, whose orchestra was known for its swing compositions, refers to the historic hotel in Pennsylvania 6-5000.
The Ritz-Carlton brand has long been synonymous with top-notch luxury, even inspiring the slang phrase “putting on the Ritz.” This phrase, in turn, was the inspiration behind songwriter Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ on the Ritz, which was the lead song in the same-named film, released in 1930. Though the phrase likely came about thanks to the London and Paris locations of the chain, we have a particular fondness for The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown.