Love hotels are an establishment found primarily in Japan that rent out rooms by the hour or night. Love hotels are often used by romantic couples seeking a private place for intimate relations, as well as for those who don’t want others to know the nature of their meetings or just need a private place to stay for an hour or two. A love hotel stay is usually quite short-lived, and is typically between one and four hours long. The cost of a stay varies depending on the level of service and the type of room requested.
The history of love hotels is a complex one that dates back centuries. Love hotels in Japan have typically been seen as providing a safe haven for both men and women to meet and engage in intimate activities outside of the home or public area. As early as 17th century Japan, these establishments were used as a form of ‘outcall’ entertainment for samurai and wealthy upper-class merchants. During the Edo period (1603-1868) they were referred to as ‘yado mairi,’ or “room travelers,” and were known to be especially popular amongst married couples.
In the modern day, love hotels have become a more normalized – though still somewhat taboo – phenomenon. Actors, singers, and other public figures have begun to embrace the concept of a love hotel as a romantic getaway. It’s not uncommon to see photographs of Japanese celebrities visiting such establishments posted on social media, giving love hotels more mainstream attention and acceptance.
Interestingly, love hotels in Japan take a somewhat holistic approach to romance and intimacy. Most will not only offer a private room with amenities such as an audio-visual system, a large bed, and a massage chair, but may even go as far as featuring a large pool and Jacuzzi. Some luxury love hotel rooms can even feature individualized décor settings, from a princess-like room with a canopy bed to a retro-style room with psychedelic lighting. The extravagant décor in some of these establishments is hard to compete with.
Moreover, love hotels in Japan are not all about the physical space that is offered. Customers can enjoy a range of services ranging from free snack products to lavish dinner packages. More traditional services such as haircuts and spa treatments are often offered as well. Compared to regular hotels, love hotels provide a great deal of privacy and convenience, allowing customers to stay in a setting of their own choice without having to worry about being seen or heard by anyone else.
In addition to regular services, some love hotels offer themed rooms. For instance, an establishment in Tokyo offers rooms designed after film scenes such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Titanic.” Certain love hotels also feature rooms designed with a “superhero” or other fantasy theme. These sorts of over-the-top designs have helped to make love hotels even more popular.
Though some people may be intimidated by the concept of a love hotel, they provide many more services than just a place to get intimate. Love hotels are a great means to get away and relax without having to worry about other people finding out. With that said, they should not be viewed as a dirty, cheesy place or refuge for the criminal element, but rather as a unique and convenient way to experience intimacy in a safe and relaxing environment.