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Inside a “Love Hotel” in South Korea

love hotel

A look inside a room at Busan’s Queen Hotel

The amenities in a South Korea “love hotel” are not what you’ll see at your local Holiday Inn: flashing colored lights over the bed, a higher-than-average number of mirrors, a “personal massager” for sale in the minibar.

If you travel to South Korea, though, you’ll find some good reasons to check into a love hotel. Here’s what you need to know about the “love hotel” experience:

Why They Exist

In South Korea, it’s not unusual for several generations of a family to live together. Sure, that can make for a close-knit family. But it also detracts from privacy. So when couples feel like gettin’ freaky/frisky/funky, they might leave the family at home and check into a love hotel for a night – or even a few hours.

Why They’re Different

love hotel

An outside view of the Queen Motel in Busan

First of all, a love hotel in South Korea is cheap – as much as half the cost of a conventional hotel. And they’re considerably nicer than hostels or guesthouses: You’ll find a generously sized TV, a computer with Internet and very likely a fancy Japanese toilet that can blast a jet of water a good 12 feet. It’s everything people need while they travel – and then some. Also, you’ll enter through a discreet entrance designed to conceal guest’s identities. You’ll pay through a bank teller-like window (and possibly not even make eye contact with the staff) in cash per day. And I’m serious about the in-room amenities. The staff issues a little care package with things like powdered coffee, tea bags, razors, hair ties, bubble bath gel … and condoms.

Why You Might Think Twice

As far as I could tell, most love hotels allow smoking in rooms. That’s a tough smell to get out of the rooms to nonsmokers’ satisfaction. It took a little arm twisting to make sure it was eradicated from our room – or at least enough to pass muster.

love hotel

A typical love hotel amenity kit

How You Can Find One

It seems love hotels don’t really fly their flag on the Internet. There’s a feeling that the people of South Korea consider them ever-so-slightly tawdry (if necessary). But they stick out in the landscape. Just look for a building that’s on the garish side, likely with a word like “Queen” or “Castle” or somesuch in the name: I saw one called the Wow Motel. If you see neon, fringe and jarring colors, you’ve found yourself a love hotel.

 

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7 thoughts on “Inside a “Love Hotel” in South Korea

  1. Waegook Tom

    Ahh, love hotels (I call them love motels…same difference). They do serve a purpose and it always feels a little naughty staying in them. Used a few during my single days and it brings back fond memories of muscle-bound Korean doctors.

    Some are nicer than others though…stayed in a truly dreadful one in Seoul with some friends that is nothing like the pictures here. Yuck. They’re necessary in a lot of cities for travellers though, as Korea doesn’t have a well-developed hostel scene outside of Seoul really.

  2. Nichole L. Reber

    Can I just have the bed? Crikey! I’ve been sleeping on a virtual toothpick. That thing looks like a Redwood tree.

    @NicholeLReber

  3. Pingback: Jeju Love Land – Craziest Attraction in Korea – WanderingJustin.com

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