Fictional Hotels: The Good, the Bad, and the Daddy

When you think fictional hotels, what comes to mind? Horror? Comedy? Music? All of the above?

In song

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave the Eagles’ Hotel California, a song that’s been covered more times than we’ll ever know by bands like Alabama 3, Gipsy Kings, The Cat Empire and Nancy Sinatra.

Another thing we don’t know is the name of any other song by the Eagles.

Then again, some dance to remember, some dance to forget Heartbreak Hotel, made famous by Elvis “The King” Presley in 1956. Written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, this was Presley’s first number-one pop record and the first of his songs to sell more than a million copies. 

Elvis Presley: He gets so lonely he could die. Photo courtesy <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/2868838005/'>cliff1066</a> Elvis Presley: He gets so lonely he could die. Photo courtesy cliff1066

On paper

Fans of the great American novelist John Irving will know that his characters put the fun back into dysfunctional, and The Hotel New Hampshire is no exception. In this 1981 novel, which was adapted for the big screen in ’84, the Berry patriarch, Win, decides to convert an abandoned girls’ school into a hotel and the whole family moves in.

The ensuing drama takes roughly 400 pages to transpire, but take it from us: Twists and turns, unbelievable bad luck, tragedy, comedy, incest, taxonomy and communism are just some of the plot highlights. If you like the bizarre with a deceptively “normal” feel, you’ll love The Hotel New Hampshire.

(We had a good laugh at Irving’s recurring themes, as summarised by Wikipedia.)

Rob Lowe and Jodie Foster play brother and sister in <em>The Hotel New Hampshire</em>: Dodgy! Photo courtesy <a href='http://s213.photobucket.com/albums/cc230/Lowe-Impact-Photoshoot/Movies/?action=view&current=A_HotelNewHampshire_C.jpg&currenttag=hotel+new+hampshire'>Lowe-Impact-Photoshoot</a> Rob Lowe and Jodie Foster play brother and sister in The Hotel New Hampshire: Dodgy! Photo courtesy Lowe-Impact-Photoshoot

On TV  

Basil and Sibyl Fawlty, Manuel and Polly must be our all-time favourite hoteliers. Even though Fawlty Towers enjoyed only two seasons, this ’70s British comedy of errors is firmly entrenched in hearts and minds the world over. This is John Cleese in a definitive role – fumbling, faux pas-ing and fiercely frustrating. 

What happened in Vegas came to the small screen via Las Vegas from 2003 to 2008. Starring James Caan, Josh “Mr Fergalicious” Duhamel and Molly Sims, the high-action, cleavage-laden hit series was set in the fictional Montecito Casino and ran for five high-rolling seasons.

Just an average day at Fawlty Towers. Photo courtesy <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/2082703694/in/photostream/'>twm1340</a> Just an average day at Fawlty Towers. Photo courtesy twm1340

On celluloid

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy … And we all know what happens when Jack’s feeling dull! Terrible, terrible things, as they took place at Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s unforgettable 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining: Suspense, blood, ghosts, and a terrifying chase filmed on a Steadicam, one of the first breakthrough uses of this kind of camera that would change the face of filmmaking forever. 

King’s 1408 is another particularly petrifying tale of a haunted hotel room, which was adapted for the screen in 2008 in a film starring John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson. Look closely: The numbers 1-4-0-8 add up to unlucky 13 … 

The Shining (1980)

On a roof

There’s nothing fictional about our Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park! It’s all there, in real life. But our themes are fantastical: There’s music in the Ballad of John & Yoko, terror in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, sensual seduction in Love of Lace and fantasy in Pleasantville. 

You can make up your own narrative while you’re here … 

Rose-tint your world in the Ballad of John & Yoko Airstream trailer Rose-tint your world in the Ballad of John & Yoko Airstream trailer

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