"I wrote "Mermaid Motel" because I was so happy. I was on such a roll. I wrote three smashing songs, in my opinion. I wrote "Queen of the Gas Station", "Jump" and "Put Me in a Movie" in a week. And that's how it happens. I have to wait so long, I never know how long, could be years [for inspiration], but I know exactly when I have a song, and it comes all at once. It doesn't take long to write. It comes with the melody. It comes with the harmonies and I have to take as long as it takes that day, because then it does leave."
An extended studio demo, recorded in 2007, was leaked on July 1, 2017. The original file leaked the next day, July 2, 2017. The file comes from an album called "No Kung Fu Demos (Received 2007-09-06)" confirming that the demo was a track on Del Rey's demo EP, No Kung Fu. This version of the song was produced by Steven Mertens.
There is an alternate version called "Mermaid Hotel", with a length of 3:00. It is registered and remains unleaked.
Del Rey created her own homemade music video for the song in 2009 and posted it to YouTube on May 19, 2009. Like most of her earlier music videos, it features clips of Del Rey singing along to the song and clips she gathered from miscellaneous films and videos.