Hotels have been synonymous with the excess of the rock n’ roll lifestyle for decades – the backdrop to wild parties, glamorous groupies, chaos and destruction, the swanky setting for the conception of rock n’ roll offspring and the scene of tragic accidents and deaths.
More recently though, a new breed of rock star hotels have become popular; inspired by famous musicians, these hotels offer guests a refined, sophisticated and luxurious stay quite at odds with the wild, hedonistic reputation of the rock stars themselves.
Jimi Hendrix, who died 40 years ago on Saturday (18 September), is the latest inspiration for a tribute suite at the Cumberland Hotel in London. Flight comparison site Skyscanner.net looks at the best rock n’ roll hotels around the world.
The Cumberland Hotel, London
Jimi Hendrix lived in London for four years, primarily at a flat on Brook Street, but also spent much of his time in a number of hotels across London. Hendrix died from a barbiturate overdose at the Samarkand Hotel in Notting Hill, but it is the Cumberland Hotel in the West End that is most synonymous with the legendary guitarist. It is said that Hendrix would pay £17 a night for a room at the hotel, often spending time with girlfriends away from the prying eyes of other enamoured admirers. The Cumberland Hotel is unveiling a Jimi Hendrix Suite where fans can sleep alongside the Hendrix inspired Flying V guitar and framed copies of NME articles in a bed adorned with zebra print throws. Flights to London cost from £53 and depart from Newcastle.
Hyatt West Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles
Once known as the ‘The Riot House’, the West Hollywood Hotel has a legendary status amongst the Rock set. Legend has it that The Who drummer Keith Moon once threw a television out of the window here, while Jim Morrison is said to have crept onto the window ledge outside his room on a number of occasions, much to the consternation of staff. The hotel, now owned by the classy Andaz hotel group, has become better known as a sophisticated urban retreat offering the latest in style, service and innovation. Flights to Los Angeles cost from £430 and depart from London Heathrow.
The Clarence Hotel, Dublin
Dublin’s premier boutique hotel, the Clarence is owned by Bono and The Edge of rock band U2. The hotel was first opened in 1852 and the famous Octagon Bar still has many of the buildings original historical features. Each of the rooms at the hotel has been uniquely designed, and the there is also a rooftop garden complete with Jacuzzi. If you really want the full rock star experience, book the penthouse suite and impress your guests with a tune on the baby grand piano. Flights to Dublin cost from £62 and depart from London Heathrow.
The Chelsea Hotel, New York
The list of former musical guests of the legendary Chelsea Hotel (pictured above) is almost unrivalled – Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, and the Grateful Dead have all passed through the hotels doors. The Chelsea Hotel was in full swing in the 1960’s and 1970’s, with its most notorious incident occurring in 1978 when Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious is thought to have stabbed and killed his girlfriend Nancy Spugen. Vicious served 55 days in prison before being release on bail, and died soon after from a suspected heroin overdose at a party thrown to celebrate his having made bail. As well as providing guests with a nostalgic choice of accommodation, the hotel now pays tribute to its rich cultural heritage by hosting many photo and film shoots amongst its classic architecture, dramatic spiral staircase and original furniture. Flights to New York cost from £328 and depart from Bristol.
Sanctum Soho, London
Created by nightclub owner Mark Fuller, this luxury hotel in Soho was designed specifically to cater for the needs of touring rock stars and their entourage. Self-styled as a ‘sexy hotel’, the £6.5m hotel features a cinema in the basement, roof garden with a private al-fresco spa and, most impressively, a 24-hour cocktail bar with access to a mixologist who can come to your room with a portable bar. But don’t think that you can behave like the rock star of yesteryear – the owners expect guests to behave, and have strict security to keep fans and groupies out. Flights to London cost from £50 and depart from Edinburgh.