Thought you were alone in your quiet shame of needing a discrete place to bang a prostie or pal, the trading floor bathroom no longer being an option? Think again! Your Japanese counterparts (and colleagues there on business) are in the same posish and the economy yonder over there is benefiting. Bloomberg reports that Japanese "love hotels," which would be hotels you take someone you with whom you only want to spend a few hours and not be charged for 24, are make making money money, take taking money money. "It's a recession-proof industry," says Steve Mansfield, chief executive officer at New Perspective, formerly of Citadel, where he opened the firm's Tokyo office and headed its Asian private investment strategy and no doubt learned a thing or two. If any of you enterprising young pups are considering opening a chain of these establishments, please note that this isn't your father's p-town palace. Provide accordingly.
Many love hotels have abandoned the red velvet sofas, revolving beds and mirrored ceilings that made them famous in the 1960s and 70s. A renovation at the Bonita hotel in Sendai, north of Tokyo, recently bought by Japan Leisure, has rooms more akin to a boutique hotel, with 42-inch flat-panel televisions, black modern sofas and king size beds.
Customers choose their room from a display with pictures of the suites. There's no check-in form and you pay a cashier hidden behind a screen.
"It can feel embarrassing to take people back home and so love hotels are popular," said Mitsuo Seki, a 32-year-old bartender in Tokyo, who visited love hotels three to four times a month. "They have lots of extras as well that are very entertaining."