Hotels where you pay hourly rates tend to have negative connotations in the western world, but in Southeast Asia they perform a necessary role in society. When large families live in cramped quarters, it’s difficult for couples to have time to themselves, and hourly hotels and motels provide them with a place to do just that.
These accommodations are traditionally referred to as “love hotels,” but recently many have begun calling them “boutique hotels” or “couples hotels”. For the tourist, they offer cheaper rates than many of the traditional chains, as well as the unique experience of staying in one of their many themed rooms. Some even offer the chance to pretend you’re a superhero for a few hours.
Love hotels with ridiculous rooms used to be a feature in Japan, particularly in Osaka, but recent building restrictions have forced many of these to close or remodel. Gems like the Hello Kitty S&M room at Hotel Adonis in Osaka are no more. Thankfully, there is still an abundance of incredible theme rooms in Southeast Asia, particularly in Taiwan and South Korea. Here are ten of the most amazing (and bizarre) boutique hotel rooms across the region.
Cozy Hotel Theme A, BMW room; Seoul, South Korea. 2. Wego Funtel, Boat room, Taipei, Taiwan. 3. Boutique 9, Funny room, Seoul, South Korea. 4. Cozy Hotel Theme G, Ramen room; Seoul, South Korea. 5. Sato Castle, Mission Impossible room; Taipei, Taiwan. 6. Lamang Pension Hotel, Spongebob room; Seoul, South Korea. 7. Eden Motel, Rose Garden; Taipei, Taiwan. 8. Swan Hotel , Casino room; Osaka, Japan. 9. ChezLee Hotel, Ancient Greece; Seoul, South Korea. 10/11. Under the Stars Love Hotel, Smurf room; Seoul, South Korea.
Danielle Ryan is a Paste intern and a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia.
1 of 11
If your parents never bought you that sweet car bed, the BMW room at Cozy Hotel in Seoul has you covered.
2 of 11
If you get too drunk to climb up into bed, the Wego Funtel's boat room features a bed sunk into the floor.
3 of 11
The "Funny Room" at Boutique 9 is a gamer's paradise with gaming chairs, systems and loads of monitors.
4 of 11
No theme is off-limits, as evidenced by this Ramen room at the Cozy pension hotel in Seoul.
5 of 11
The Eden Motel in Taipei may have a Batman room, but they also have this rose of a room.
6 of 11
It's not exactly a pineapple under the sea, but this Spongebob room is pretty impressive.
7 of 11
You can pretend to be James Bond, Sterling Archer or Jason Bourne in this drive-up room at Sato Castle.
8 of 11
One of the few remaining Japanese theme hotels, Casa Swan features a casino room, a Mickey and Minnie room, and a latex foam "space room."
9 of 11
Under the Stars Fantasy hotel only has four rooms, but they are all separate, fruit-and-fungi shaped cottages.
10 of 11
The Smurfs room at Under the Stars is intended to be a romantic room, which is sort of creepy really.
11 of 11
Rooms at the Chez Lee are fit for royalty with designs based on historical kingdoms around the world.