When I tell people back home about the ‘love motel’s’ we stay in I can almost visualize the disdain in their face and I am pretty sure my brother thinks we are staying in the dodgiest place in Asia with neon lights, dirty rooms and hookers on offer. However the truth couldn’t be more different (on the most part!!!)
The love motels are an awesome place to stay if you are caught out in a city without a reservation or if you are just staying in a place for one night. Our first experience with a love motel was when we couldn’t actually find the hotel we had booked into and gave up at 1 AM to check into the nearest hotel we found which turned out to be a love motel! However we use them when we can’t get back to Geoje island from Busan on a Sunday night (as buses can some times sell out!)
What are they?
Well they are simply a ‘short-stay’ motel, where you can pay for the use of a room for an hour, 4 hours or the night. You can find them in many parts of Asia and we even used one in Thailand although it wasn’t quite as classy as Korea! They might sound seedy however sex is still a taboo subject in Korean (and in most of Asia!) with most people living with their parents until they are married a love motel offers them a chance for ‘alone time’ however it also offers a place to crash for the night no reservation required!
Are they clean?
Most of the love motel’s you stay in, the big chains, are actually some of the cleanest rooms you can stay in with blue light used to ensure every inch of the place is clean! They also come with fresh towels, clean sheets and clean robes.
Why not go to a hotel?!
Well for one you don’t need a reservation, its much cheaper, and if you stay in a good one… its actually fancier than some hotel rooms I have stayed! We have stayed in hostels which cost more and you get A LOT less!
What is it like?!
A big chain has a really big bed, showers, baths, water machines, ridiculous sized TV’s, clean towels, bath robes, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair dryer, face masks, satellite TV which always has an English movie on somewhere, under floor heating, electronic toilet, air-con, fan, some have Jacuzzi’s and of course some ahem… condoms and a channel of (extremely) soft porn! This is only some of the things on offer.
Usually they range from 40-80,000₩ (£22-45/$41-83). We stay in the VIP room for 65,000 (£36/$68) which is usually bigger and sometimes has a Jacuzzi!
How do I check in?
Going in there is the tiniest of hatches which are usually lower than your face so you don’t have the embarrassment of them seeing you face… although we always bed down to speak to the woman. We ask for 1 night (make sure you don’t’ pay for 1 hour!!) You pay your money, the person behind the desk will give you a key and a small welcome parcel which usually includes a sealed toothbrush, razor, ‘ladies set’, face wash packet and sometimes has face masks, make up remover wipes and face cream.
When is check out?
If you have booked in for one night then you can usually check in from about 4-5 pm and check out is at 12 pm next day and to leave you can just leave your key in a box in the lift. If you over stay your welcome they will ring the doorbell Although this has never happened to us yet!
How can I find one?!
Really easily! You just need to look for the buildings with loads of lights on them names in massive writing. Usually the more flashing lights the better! We stayed in one that had no flashing lights however had a LED Blue light in the hallway… it was the dodgiest one we stayed in with a round bed, red light in the room and not the best sound proofing! Usually the receptions have small openings where you cannot see the person behind the counter and there are curtains over the parking lot so people cannot see your car parked in there!
You can find some theme roomed love motels, we have never found these however our friend was telling us she stayed in some quite funny ones like a prison!
Our favorite one is “S motel” or ‘G2 motel” which is right at Sasang Station in Busan! Really you should give them a try before you judge… you never know you might end up liking them!!