It appears as if the proprietors of one Mexican hotel are about to experience a legal case for trademark infringement.

It’s not located on a dark desert highway, and guests are presumably allowed to leave, but the Eagles still feel that a real-life Hotel California is ripping off their biggest hit.

The band filed a lawsuit against the Mexican hotel this week, accusing the owners of encouraging guests to believe that it’s associated with the band, Reuters reports.

According to the lawsuit, the hotel pumps “Hotel California” and other hits through its sound system, as well as sells merchandise describing itself as “legendary.”

The Eagles assert that the establishment has misled guests into believing it’s associated with or even served as the inspiration for their song “Hotel California.”  The band says this claim is untrue.

The hotel website indicates that hotel was founded in 1947 by a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong.

Photos taken shortly after the opening show the “Hotel California” name.

https://youtu.be/tv5HJ7bmXCk

The hotel’s website offers this overview of hotel history circa 1970:

…During the 1960s and 1970s, the precise details of the hotel’s history are a bit “hazy” – not uncommon for the culture of that particular era in general… There are numerous stories. Whether fact or myth, nobody knows for sure. However, one rumor, fabricated in the 1990’s by someone with no connection to any owners of the hotel, states that the Eagles once owned it. This is unequivocally false.

Many of the other legends are less black and white and continue to fascinate the public. Although the present owners of the hotel do not have any affiliation with the Eagles, nor do they promote any association, many visitors are mesmerized by the “coincidences” between the lyrics of the hit song and the physicality of the hotel and its surroundings.

  • Hotel California is accessed by driving down a long desert highway from either Los Cabos to the south or La Paz to the east.
  • The Mission Church of Pilar is located directly adjacent to the hotel and mission bells are heard daily. Since the Church is so close it sounds like they are almost inside the hotel at times.
  • Countless stories and firsthand witnesses relating to spirits and ghosts in the courtyard of the hotel.
  • During the ‘Hippie Era” of the 1960s and 1970s, people were know to easily grow their own marijuana in the extremely fertile land of the Todos Santos area and then roll them into “Colitas” which is a Mexican slang term for ‘Joint” or Marijuana cigarette.
  • The simple fact that the Hotel California in Todos Santos was built in 1947 which was of course far before the “Hippie” or “Classic Rock” eras

The most recent owners are John and Debbie Stewart, who purchased the hotel in 2011 and allegedly altered the establishment’s marketing approach to take advantage of the famous rock anthem.

…According to the band’s representative, it was the Stewarts who began using the original name to market the hotel.

The lawsuit filed before a Los Angeles federal court claims the hotel owners piped Hotel California and other Eagles tunes through their sound system and sold t-shirts that called the hotel “legendary,” encouraging guests to believe the hotel was associated with the band and creating confusion as a result.

The lawsuit also stated that the hotel owners and their company, Hotel California Baja LLC, had filed an application before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the Hotel California name.

The band is seeking compensation for damages and a halt to the unapproved use of its intellectual property.