Under the Influence

You really can live in a yellow submarine

The Yellow Sub hotel floats just fifteen minutes away from the famous Cavern Club in the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England.
From left, Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison pose with a cartoon cut-out of John Lennon at a late 1960s press review of the group's animated film Yellow Submarine. ((Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images))

Ever wanted to live in a yellow submarine?

Now you can, at least for a few days, in none other than the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England. The Yellow Sub hotel floats near the Albert Dock, just fifteen minutes away from the famous Cavern Club. The 80-foot submarine is painted to resemble the Yellow Sub in the Beatles famous animated film.

Upon entering the floating hotel, you are greeted with a stylish lounge decorated with Fab Four gold records. The interior is surprisingly spacious and is done in a 60's psychedelic design. Beatles memorabilia is scattered throughout. Your friends can all come aboard, as it offers three en-suite bedrooms, a kitchen, a double Jacuzzi and a great stereo system. The owner bought the submarine from Paramount Pictures, where it had been used in the movie The Hunt for Red October, starring Sean Connery.

There are a lot of die-hard Beatles fans in the world who eventually do their pilgrimage to Liverpool. While there are multiple hotel options there, many of those fans will opt to stay in the Yellow Sub hotel for the experience. And that's how marketing works. But it's not the only hotel room you can book with a bit of Beatles history.

In May of 1969, John & Yoko staged one of their famous bed-ins at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The couple had staged their first bed-in at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. The Lennons were on their honeymoon, knew they would be hounded by the press, so decided to use the attention to protest against war.

John Lennon was always a fan of advertising, and he wanted to use the bed-in as an advertisement for peace. At first, the press rushed to the hotel room thinking the couple might be staging a live sex act, but John and Yoko surprised everyone by simply sitting in bed, in white pyjamas, offering to talk about peace. John and Yoko originally wanted to do a second bed-in in New York, but a previous marijuana conviction kept Lennon out of the U.S. He then wanted to hold it at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, but Globe & Mail rock journalist Ritchie Yorke convinced Lennon to choose Montreal instead, saying Toronto was too conservative and Montreal offered closer proximity to the New York press. Ritchie later went on to work with the Lennons.

The famous couple stayed in the hotel room for a week, reportedly doing nearly 150 interviews. And – famously – recorded "Give Peace a Chance" in that very room. And room number 1742 is available to rent at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel.

Reproductions of the iconic "Hair Peace" and "Bed Piece" posters hang in the windows behind the famous bed. Photos from the bed-in decorate the walls. There is a 1969-era television in the corner that plays clips from the bed-in, an acoustic guitar sits in a stand near the bed, and there's a wall that features a multi-media experience.

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