Well Dear Readers, I’ve finally done it. I’ve stayed in my first “love motel” here in Korea. I must confess it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but have never had the opportunity. Now before you get any ideas, let me assure you I just needed a place to crash and was not expecting any company. Love motels are somewhat of a Korean specialty here as they have perfected the art of providing a decent room with little hassle and no questions asked.
Some love motels boast different decorated themes in each room like a Hello Kitty room or a candy themed room while some of the more expensive ones even come with a Jacuzzi.
Although love motels are known to Korean people as an intimate space for those with little privacy, they have also gained a reputation amongst travelers as a cheap and relatively clean place to stay for a night instead of dropping $80-$100 on a proper hotel.
With love motels, you don’t have to sign in with a credit card, your contact info and all that. You just walk in, ask if they have a room and for how much, exchange money for a key and you’re good to go. I stayed at the lovely ‘Remon Tree’ in Cheongju (I think they were going for lemon tree…but got lost along the way). The room was an affordable 40,000 won (around $40 CAD), was clean and well-supplied with more toiletries than any hotel I’ve ever been in.
I was given a toothbrush and face wash upon check-in and the room itself was stocked with even better amenities than most hotels. For example, There was a water jug in my room which was awesome. The bathroom was clean and had everything to shower with, including two silky bathrobes, a tube of toothpaste, hairspray, lotion, toner and bug spray (just in case). Most better quality (and by that I mean clean) love motels are between $40-$60. My friend said he got a room with a Jacuzzi once and it was only $60. A lot of foreigners like using these rooms when traveling around Korea as it saves so much on travel costs.
For those who do intend to use a love motel for romantic purposes but are lacking in a partner, assistance in that regard is readily available. Outside the love motels, “calling cards” of available ladies are usually scattered on the ground outside the motel and in my room, my tissue box was labeled with numbers that are said to be “coffee girls.” You call the number on the side of the box and the girl will come to bring you a coffee. I’m sure you can figure out the rest from there.
But, no coffee for me. I was pleasantly surprised with my first love motel experience and next time I hope to find one with a themed motif so I can sleep in a room filled with unicorns or space ships. I’m heading off to Thailand tomorrow so if don’t post for a while, fear not. I’m out getting more material for you and will be back soon.