Hotels Where You Can Rock Out Like Britney, Aerosmith, and Drake
When it comes to the crème de la crème of recording studios, music lovers will recognize names like Abbey Road, Electric Lady, and Motown as places where The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, and the Supremes left their musical marks. Though you can tour some of those soundproof walls, if you want a truly immersive experience, you’ll want to book a stay at one of these hotels — all of which feature built-in recording studios and rooms for writing, jamming, and mixing.
Geejam Hotel in Jamaica
Your first clue that this tropical hideaway was made for music lovers? Its deluxe cabins and suites — along with three hilltop villas — are all named for musical genres (i.e., Ska, Rocksteady, and Drum & Bass). As tempting as it might be to spend your time wandering amid the avocado groves and decades-old fig trees or lounging by one of several pristine swimming holes like Frenchman’s Cove or Geejam Beach, the true draw here is the large, modern studio complex. (Drake, Katy Perry, and Gwen Stefani have been among the artists to lay down tracks here over the past ten years.) Guests can take advantage of the customizable workspaces and showcase suite, as well as an entire team of talent, including an A&R admin, in-house engineer, session musicians, and local performers. One of the most notable resources at your disposal: piano and keyboard aficionado Jonny O’Brien, who has collaborated with legends such as Frank Sinatra, Fats Domino, and Nina Simone.
To book: geejamhotel.com; doubles from $425, recording studios rates available upon request
NightBird Recording Studios at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles
In a town known for big acts (and sometimes even bigger egos), this West Hollywood icon comes from relatively humble beginnings. When writer/producer Jed Leiber and guitarist Jeff Beck were holed up in a room and making a bit too much noise working on new material, the hotel manager offered them a laundry chamber in the basement so they could riff in peace. Since then, an impressive list of rock, pop, country, and reggae artists — Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Keith Urban, and Damian Marley to name a few — have followed suit.
To book: sunsetmarquis.com; doubles from $415, Nightbird Studios rates start at $1,500-2,000 for a 12-hour period
nhow in Berlin
As the only hotel in Berlin devoted to the musically inclined traveler, this sleek Friedrichshain property provides two standout amenities: a pair of professional recording studios for mixing, producing, and post-production, and a one-of-a-kind room service concept that lets you borrow a guitar or keyboard, delivered straight to your quarters free of charge. Throughout the property, you’ll spot various shades of pink — it’s the hue hotel designer Karim Rashid favors for creative inspiration.
To book: nhow-berlin.com; doubles from $112; recording studio rates start at $763 for the day
Hutton Hotel in Nashville
Opening any new music project in a city that’s home to such iconic country venues as the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Café requires careful thought and killer features. This West End boutique hotel nods to Music City U.S.A.’s rich legacy with its Analog music venue and cocktail lounge (housed in the hotel’s former parking garage) and Writers Studios, two spaces that provide access to top-of-the-line equipment, instruments (both modern and throwback), and vocal booths. Country star Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder helped give the rooms a homey feel by weighing in on design touches (think: Saltillo-tile floors, layered Navajo area rugs, and vintage tchtotchkes). Another fun fact? “The Middle” by Zedd and Maren Morris was recorded here.
To book: huttonhotel.com; doubles from $249, Writers Studios rates available upon request
Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos, Mexico
Since its renovation and reopening in 2015, this artsy Baja hotel has always drawn a cool crowd: Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine and supermodel Behati Prinsloo rented out the entire place for their nuptials, and Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash once showed up and played an impromptu concert. Countless singer/songwriters and composers have also called the arts-and-music haven home while recording in The Underground, a soundproof studio that can be accessed via a trap door in the lobby floor. Regularly used for recording El Ganzo Sessions — the performances are streamed in all rooms, around the property, and on their YouTube channel — this recording lair has the appeal of quality equipment brands like Fender and Gibson. The 70-room hotel’s rooftop also boosts a stage setup for acts and their artist-in-residence free performances.
To book: elganzo.com; doubles from $250, recording studio bookings by invitation only
W Sound Suite in Hollywood, Bali, Barcelona, and Seattle
With their Wet Deck dance parties, Wake Up Call festivals, and clubby, destination-specific soundtracks, W Hotels have more than earned their reputation as high-energy getaways. At the Seattle, Barcelona, Bali, and Hollywood locations, the chain’s Eat. Sleep. Record. Repeat. sound suites take the nightlife vibe to the next level. Functioning as both private recording studios and creative chambers, the spaces include a lounge, live room, and a main mixing area. And though you may not have a tour rider, you can take advantage of the W’s signature Whatever/Whenever services in the form of a late-night munchies room service menu, premiere dry-cleaning concierge, and portable snacks for your departing plane ride.
To book: whotels.com; doubles from $332, Sound Suite rates available upon request
Gold Diggers in Los Angeles
The erstwhile Gold Diggers Bar has been transformed from a dilapidated watering hole into this chic, music-inspired boutique hotel. Eleven well-appointed rooms are styled with graphic wallpaper and painted brick, velvet couches, curated rare books, and bluetooth Audio Technica turntables, plus upscale comforts such as 2920 Sleep Mattresses and Malin+Goetz bath products. A transformed warehouse, tucked behind the development, houses nine recording studios and a main stage that hosts its fair share events and disco parties. Even if you choose not to book a session or hit the dance floor, you’ll leave with a special musical memory: a limited-edition, seasonally-released vinyl record left on your pillow, given as a welcome gift.
To book: gold-diggers.com; doubles from $159, Gold-Diggers Sound Studios rates available upon request