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Eagles ‘Hotel California’ Lyrics Meaning Line By Line


Eagles – Hotel California Lyrics Meaning

The meaning of the lyrics of the song ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles is within its mystery hidden line by line and wild speculations. There are two sides to the song. One side reveals the flashy lifestyle of the wealthy Los Angeles people. While the other side reveals the horror of the song involving illegal substance abuse and homicide.

There are no covers of the song ‘Hotel California’ on YouTube, as they have been banned. Eagles had to settle multiple disputes between the record label and the YouTube stars.

Introduction: Hotel California Lyrics

Due to the wild speculation of the actual meaning of the song ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles, the band members have given their explanations multiple times. People often relate the song to the price of becoming successful. A nobody becomes somebody and you’re expected to be this and that. The song highlights the highs and lows of life as you are expected to behave a certain way.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted,
She got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends

Lyrics of ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles

Hotel California Lyrics Meaning Line By Line

Let’s analyze the meaning of the lyrics behind the song ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles line by line in detail.

[Verse 1]

The setting talks about the highway which goes through the desert. They are smoking Mexican green substance which they call the ‘Colitas’. The smoke rises through the air as they drive on the highway. As they drive, they see a shimmering light, a mirage is a common phenomenon in the desert.

However, the shimmering light is explained as the symbolism of the flashy Los Angeles lifestyle. Their lifestyle consists of illegal substances and a lot of alcohol. Or it could as well be that they are high off of whatever they had been smoking during their trip. Then, they had to stop and take a rest for a while.

colitas meaning

The term “colitas” translates into “little tails” in Spanish. Eagles explained ‘Colitas’ as a plant with a bitter smell that matures at night in the desert.

[Verse 2]

As they tried to rest, a girl stands in the doorway of their hotel. Here, she is described as a bad omen which could mean their bad decisions in the past, or present, or future. It is justified by the next line where Eagles hear mission bells, also known as the church bells. But the bottom line is, that she is a very pretty mistake to make.

Then, she lights up the candle to show them a path. This path could lead to substance abuse and carnality. In this way, Eagles talk about the hedonism of Los Angeles. She is presented as a savior who led them out of the darkness. Then, they heard the voices, which are explained in the chorus of the song.


The voices Eagles heard were welcoming them to the ‘Hotel California’. This is how they got the title of the song. Then, they proceed to praise LA by calling the city lovely. This is followed by the line which highlights plenty of unbooked rooms in the ‘Hotel California’. Eagles are happy with the vacancy as they can live their hedonistic lifestyle as they please.

“Bring your alibis” means to invite the friends of their romantic partners to a hedonistic party. Eagles have accentuated it by calling it a ‘surprise’ but are very happy with the setting.

[Verse 3]

There is a mention of a luxury car brand ‘Mercedes’ and its car ‘Mercedes-Benz’. We can see a good wordplay where they say “Bends” instead of “Benz”. The term ‘Bends’ is used to explain ‘Decompression Sickness’. It is a common sickness that happens when we ascend too fast to dive in. If you see through the lines, it’s a sensual action.

“Tiffany Twisted” has a meaning linked to Tiffany’s jewelry shop. They are mostly famous for their Diamonds and other precious stones.

Then, the “pretty boys” come over. Usually, the word ‘pretty’ is used in a derogatory way to represent homosexual people. The partners of the bandmates had pretty boys as their friends. They were all there to forget the pain of their lives and enjoy the night.

[Verse 4]

Everyone at the party wanted to taste the highly distilled liquor. Remind you, Eagles released the song ‘Hotel California’ in 1976. But this specific liquor company closed its distribution in 1969. Then, they proceed to hear voices from far away. This means that everyone wanted to be indulged in hedonism with them. It’s a blessing and curse for the singers.

[Verse 5]

Fancy hotels around the world have mirrors on the ceiling. It gives a sense of importance to the visitors as their actions below the ceiling are reflected in them. The song continues to explain how they have become prisoners of their own choices in life. They cannot live a normal lifestyle like normal people as they are followed around by paparazzi and fans everywhere.

Everyone in the hotel is stuck inside for the same reason. The only way they can come out of the loneliness in such a situation is by indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle filled with alcohol and illegal substances. Then, the song takes a swift turn to highlight many incidents that took place in the ‘Cecil Hotel‘ of California, Los Angeles.

[Verse 6]

The mysterious death of people in the Cecil Hotel might be exactly what Eagles are trying to depict in this verse. As they run for their lives from a potential homicide, the overnight guard comes in to tell them to “relax”. The final two lines are very spooky as they say that the visitors can check out from the hotel. But they cannot leave cause they are going to get stabbed regardless.

Conclusion: Hotel California Meaning

The song itself is very chilling in some instances. There are many hidden meanings and it’s related to the horrors of the ‘Cecil Hotel’ as well. People live a life of the party before their tragic death at the hands of serial killers resulting from their hedonism and alcoholism. It is a good depiction of the lifestyle of the wealthy and famous people in California.

When you play ‘Hotel California’ backward, you can hear “Satan he hears this. He had me believe.” It is rumored to be the moment when Eagles sold their souls.

What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter @laviasco.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Hotel California’ by Eagles line by line on Genius in detail.


Laviasco is an entertainment website run by a single person, the Admin himself, Mr. Suraj Marahatta, from research to blogging to website maintenance. Here, I have been providing the meaning of the lyrics of the songs little by little since 2019. My goal is to provide authentic sources for the facts and stay up-to-date.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jake

    When I first Hotel California I thought the Eagles were reinventing themselves and trying to be Black Sabbath.The whole song seems to have an eerie,supernatural feel to it.
    For the life of me I really couldn’t fathom the deeper hidden meaning of this song.To me a traveller stoned on ma…,pulls over a hotel run by vampires and witnesses vampires feasting on humans.A movie was based around this premise.

    1. Laviasco

      hotel california has many hidden meanings

  2. Bill

    Very creepy lyrics.When I first heard it thought it was about a haunted hotel run by a satanic cult who performed human sacrifice.I still stand by what i think.

  3. Randall

    Thank you for the excellent review.Someone told me that hotel california was a reference to the church of satan founded by anton levay.The lyrics alluding to that was “we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969” refers to year it was founded and also when spirit of christ was expelled from the church.

    1. Laviasco

      you are kind. thank you for your input

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