Love motels: The secret behind Brazil’s booming hotel business

While in the US, a “motel” signifies a cheap place to stay for the night when on the road somewhere, in Brazil, the word “motel” means only one thing: a place to have sex.

motelbrasil

What is a “love motel” like? 

Everything is extremely discreet.  Before entering the facilities, the couple must book their room at a kiosk. Here, customers are given a “menu” with photos of the available room choices.  From there, they drive into a private garage, where the car will remain hidden for the remainder of the stay (thus eliminating the possibility of somebody finding them there). They will be given direct access to the room, and will therefore not have to make contact with anyone else.

In addition to a large bed, many motel rooms (often windowless so as to ensure complete privacy) offer a jacuzzi (some even have a waterfall!), a swimming pool, a dance floor with a stripper’s pole, bondage equipment, a light show, mirrors, and a minibar with a multitude of sex toys and condoms- basically, the whole nine yards.  The largest suites have two king-size beds that are generally used for “group parties,” as Gringoes.com puts it. Many motels are themed, such as ancient Egypt or the jungle.

Generally, stays are booked in three-hour blocks; however, all-night or all-weekend stays are also available.

Motel Playboy, in Sao Paulo, claims to be the first motel ever made.  For those in Rio who have a bit of money to spend, the VIP Suites is (supposedly) quite popular.

Who is the clientele? 

Yup, you guessed it. Sadly, a large portion of the clientele are people who are having affairs (hence the discretion offered by the motels).

In addition, many motel guests are younger people still living at home with their parents, who are craving a bit more privacy with their significant other.  Many Brazilian families are large and young adults often stay at home until they get married; this makes any sort of privacy a luxury.

So if you hear the word “motel” used in Brazil, just remember: you’re not in Kansas anymore…

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