Living in…Hotel California…for a week

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

hotel california

hotel california (with thanks to leo uehara – flickr)

January is traditionally the time for summer holiday planning, when brochures are strewn across the living rooms of Britain while we dream of summer beaches and sun in the midst of our long grey January.

So this week I’m celebrating a classic favourite, the Eagles’s Hotel California by looking at what a holiday at a Hotel California could be like this summer.  I’m working on the basis that we’re talking a real hotel here and not a psychiatric institution as is often assumed about the title song.

Firstly, let me rule out a couple of the options available – I haven’t included the infamous Hotel California at Baghdad International Airport started bu the US Army – I suspect it doesn’t exist anymore, and anyway I couldn’t find an online booking form.  Likewise no joy in tracking down a Hotel California in Kabul.

Which leaves me costing up eight Hotel Californias across the world to look at for a holiday for all three of us for a week in August this summer.  Here they are in ascending price order…

Hotel California Newquay Cornwall

Basic cost (room and travel (car)): £963hotel california newquay

Pros: Hey, we can take the dog!  Cornwall is a cool place to hang out.  There’s a beach which is good for anyone Midlands-based as somewhere to eat our fish and chips.  Also cornish pasties and the usual array of UK stuff – National Trust, aquariums etc.

Cons:  If we’re pushing the boat out and going for that Hotel California experience is the Costa del Newquay where we want to head?  Also, August means one long traffic jam heading south west!  Tripadvisor comments indicate that expectations should not be too high…

Hotel California St Pancras London

Basic cost (room and travel (train, including first class travel!)): £1043hotel california st pancras

Pros: Far and away the shortest jaunt – just over an hour to get there, London, London attractions.  You get a red kettle in the bedroom (almost sold it on that alone)

Cons:  London, London attraction queues; London prices.  Those rooms do look a little cramped (“tiny but spotlessly clean”) – do all three of us want to be in a room that size for a week?  We could go camping or caravanning for that experience!

Hotel California Rome

Basic cost (room and travel (flight)): £1278hotel california rome

Pros:  Now we’re talking – a bit of travelling and somewhere new to visit.  Rome – the Colisseum, the Vatican.  Eating extortionately priced pasta in street cafes.  Watching Italian drivers while not driving yourself.  Prosecco. Italian coffee.  Wow, good reviews and customer service on tripadvisor.

Cons: Extortionately priced pasta

Hotel California Paris

Basic cost (room and travel (flight): £2289hotel california paris

Pros:  Paris, Paris, Paris.  Croque Monsieurs and walking around wonderful parks and streets.  Also this is the top of the range as far as Hotel Californias go.  We’re on the Champs Elysees.  This would be a real break at admittedly an elevated price.

Cons: Elevated prices for those croque monsieurs

Hotel California Bangkok

Basic cost (room and travel (flight)): £2461hotel california bangkok

Pros:  Well, I guess the accommodation is cheap.  Food  – the curries, the stir fries – and not too extortionate, please note Paris, Rome and London!

Cons:  Only get a white kettle in the room.  That and the 11 hours flight time.  And will have to confess that Bangkok isn’t top of my bucket list for destinations, nice as it is I’m sure.

Hotel California Palo Alto

Basic cost (room and travel (flight): £3514hotel california palo alto

Pros:  Let’s cut to the quick here, this is probably closer to the real Hotel California in terms of location, so probably the genuine Californian experience.  It’s also close to Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels.  But…

Cons: Aside from the long travel time, this is very expensive and frankly the reviews on tripadvisor that speak of rooms crawling with bed bugs don’t sound promising.  Methinks my three and a half grand might be better spent elsewhere.  And I’m not sure this is quite what the Eagles meant…

So what should la famille no81bob do as their Hotel California experience? Forgetting the Eagles album I think we’d be going for Paris or Rome as favourites and if budgets no issue than it’s Paris for Champs Elysees magic.  As it is, we’ll be lucky to get as far as Newport this year, but you can but dream.


the music begins to play hopeless romantics, here we go again

Hotel California is almost faultless as adult rock from the opening flamenco-like title track to the epic strains of The Last Resort.  Coupled with a few other favourites bolted on it’s been a perfect companion for the week and a reminder of times past.  Surprisingly enough, even for me my standout re-discovery was the more rocky number sitting in the middle of the album Victim of Love and so therefore my video of the week a bit of live Eagles