By Hayden Wright
For Eagles fans, “Hotel California” is an idea more than a specific place on a map — though innkeepers in Todos Santos, Mexico operate a hotel that shares the song’s name. The proprietors now face a lawsuit from the Eagles that claims the property rips off “arguably the band’s most popular song, and in many ways embodies the very essence of the band itself.”
According to the suit and reviews of the hotel, management plays Eagles music in the library and merchandise describes the property as “legendary.” The Eagles’ claim visitors are misled to believe the hotel has anything to do with their music. They seek an injunction to squash the name and remove traces of marketing that misrepresent the spurious Eagles connection.
However, the case is not as clear-cut as it may sound. When the Mexican hotel was opened in 1950, it was called Hotel California. Changes in ownership prompted name changes through the years until current owners restored the original title in 2001.
TripAdvisor reviewers seem misguided about the facts, though. One said the Eagles have “put this otherwise sleepy little Baja town on the map” and another states plainly that the hotel is “the place where the Eagles wrote the song.”
Nevertheless, another reviewer claims that official brochures state there is no direct connection between the writing of the song and the hotel. The courts will examine much of this evidence to determine whether to grant an injunction.