In a 2009 interview, Plain Dealer music critic John Soeder asked Don Henley this about the lyrics:
The Eagles took 18 months between their fourth and fifth albums, reportedly spending eight months in the studio recording Hotel California. The album was also their first to be made without Bernie Leadon, who had given the band much of its country flavor, and with rock guitarist Joe Walsh. As a result, the album marks a major leap for The Eagles from their earlier work, as well as a stylistic shift toward mainstream rock. An even more important aspect, however, is the emergence of Don Henley as the band's dominant voice, both as a singer and a lyricist. On the six songs to which he contributes, Henley sketches a thematic statement that begins by using California as a metaphor for a dark, surreal world of dissipation; comments on the ephemeral nature of success and the attraction of excess; branches out into romantic disappointment; and finally sketches a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism. Of course, the lyrics kick in some time after one has appreciated the album's music, which marks a peak in The Eagles' playing. Early on, the group couldn't rock convincingly, but the rhythm section of Henley and Meisner has finally solidified, and the electric guitar work of Don Felder and Joe Walsh has arena-rock heft. In the early part of their career, The Eagles never seemed to get a sound big enough for their ambitions; after changes in producer and personnel, as well as a noticeable growth in creativity, Hotel California unveiled what seemed almost like a whole new band. It was a band that could be bombastic, but also one that made music worthy of the later tag of "classic rock," music appropriate for the arenas and stadiums the band was playing. The result was The Eagles' biggest-selling regular album release, and one of the most successful rock albums ever.
On "Hotel California," you sing: "So I called up the captain / 'Please bring me my wine' / He said, 'We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.'" I realize I'm probably not the first to bring this to your attention, but wine isn't a spirit. Wine is fermented; spirits are distilled. Do you regret that lyric?
"Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you're not the first to bring this to
my attention—and you're not the first to completely misinterpret the
lyric and miss the metaphor. Believe me, I've consumed enough alcoholic
beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper
nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to do
with alcoholic beverages. It's a sociopolitical statement. My only
regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would
defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower
the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical
不经意如下：一本笔记的音乐斟酌人访问一人，他说：“在那首歌里，你唱到‘。。。’，wine（酒） isn't a spirit（烈酒），wine是通过发酵做成的，而spirit是经过蒸馏的不二等秘书诀做成的，作者了解笔者不是首先个提出歌词中这些区别的人，你有没对这种歌词的用法以为狼狈吗？”
她过来讲：“谢谢您的引导，是的，你不是率先个让本人见到那个差距的人，并且你亦不是首先个完全错误驾驭那些歌词并且未有明白到歌词所要表达的隐喻（metaphor）的人。相信本人，笔者曾经喝过了丰裕多的乙醇果汁，以至于自身清楚它们是怎么构建的以及它们该怎么命名。然而，这些歌词在歌曲中与乙醇果汁独有那么轻松关系，或许便是全然未有关联的。它是一个社政含义上的公布（It's a sociopolitical statement.）。小编得向你详细分解那一个歌词，而这么会让歌词作者文中的历史学表明方法起不断它原来的法力，而且让大家的这一次谈话浪费在世俗的且与大家的话题自己毫毫无干系系的有关酒的塑造进程上。那是本身独有的可惜。
term "colitas" in the first stanza of the song is a desert flower, also
known as Antelope sage or Colita de Rata . Both Don Henley and Don
Felder have repeatedly and publicly stated that Colitas are "heady
desert flowers." Others assert that "colitas" is a
Spanish term for "little tails" or "little bottoms", and a reference to
the buds of the Cannabis plant.
忽视如下：colitas这些词，在歌曲的第一段中冒出的，是一种沙漠中的花，也被称之为Antelope sage只怕Colita de Rata（都是这种植花朵的名目）。Don Henley和Don 费尔德er多次公开的高频地声明说colitas是一种"heady desert flowers." 可是，有些人却坚称以为这么些词是菲律宾语的词，是指 "little tails" or "little bottoms", 引申为大麻植物的芽，意为毒品大麻。
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself, "This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...
"Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place, Such a lovely face
Plenty of rooms at the Hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here "
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain, "Please bring me my wine"
He said, 'We haven't had that spirit here since 1969'
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...
"Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place， Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis"
Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice
And she said 'We are all just prisoners here, of our own device'
And in the master's chambers, They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast
Last thing I remember, I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
'Relax,' said the night-man," We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
but you can never leave!"