The song's title references the Thailand province of Chonburi where The Libertines recorded Anthems For Doomed Youth. A few months previously, Blur had released The Magic Whip, which was influenced by trips that the band had taken to cities in the Far East, particularly Hong Kong.
Co-vocalist Carl Barât denied to NME that the band copied Blur by making an album inspired by southeast Asia. "We wanted to reference the name of the place where we were and where the songs were written," he said. "I only noticed Blur had done something similar when I got back."
Doherty explained the song's meaning to Q magazine: "It's about trying to channel that f--king darkness that we have," he said. "Amid the optimism and bonhomie and love we've got in the band at the moment."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."