Convenience, comfort, and cost effectiveness: Aren’t these three things exactly what you wish for in a hotel?
When most people visiting Japan think of hotels that offer these things, they probably think first about so-called business hotels. While some might also include capsules hotels, hostels, guest houses in this group, most of these lack what could be called comfort, including privacy. They don’t tend to be couple-friendly, either.
But there is a whole class of hotels that are superior in providing these features, yet are off the radar of many tourists: couples hotels. Many couples hotels are going out of their way to reclassify themselves, as “rest hotels,” as the hotels are great places to rest in good locations. Many couples hotels can be found in very trendy and “nice” areas, including, in Tokyo, Akasaka, Meguro, and Ebisu. Of course, the areas famed for them are places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Ueno, and Asakusa.
Convenience is one of the best reasons that a couples hotel should be one of the places you consider when choosing accommodations. Not only are most of them in great places all around Tokyo, they are easy to find, too! The districts are just outside of the main train station areas, close enough to walk to and yet far enough away that you won’t step out the door and end up right in front of heavy commuter traffic.
Couples hotels are, of course, designed for people who are, well, enjoying love. Well, if not love, then enjoying each other, at least.
To provide for romance, many hotels offer a great many in-room comforts. From television, karaoke, music, moody lighting, and even cosplay, many couples hotels are entertainment palaces. What’s more, most offer some kind of food and drink, ranging from in-room mini-bars to fully stocked drink bars in the lobby. Many offer some alcoholic beverages, too, since a bit of wine, a cocktail, or even champagne are a wonderful way to warm up a night of love.
Other hotels offer food, including some in-room deliveries and, for the late night, cup ramen.
And, since a hotel wouldn’t be a nice place to stay without a place to wash up, many couples hotels offer baths that cater to couples. Jacuzzis and other facilities, including some with special lighting features, can make a couples hotel stay comfortable and exciting.
While many couples hotels wouldn’t be considered “budget” hotels, they can offer an effectiveness that most other accommodations can’t match. First, from the start, the price for a room is designed for double occupancy. So a ¥10,000 room in a couples hotel is really the equivalent of a ¥6,000 price, per person, in most hotels. But more importantly, in addition to the “stay” price, couples hotels offer a “rest” price, for usually 2 to 3 hours.
Usually, the “stay” hours start at around 10 or 11PM, so if you’re planning to spend the night, you’ll either have to go late, or pay a “rest” fee in addition to the “stay” for the night.
But the most cost effective aspect (also convenient) is that for people who are flying to and from Tokyo on early morning or late night LCCs, couples hotels provide a place to stay when you need it and only for the hours you need. If your flight leaves Haneda at 9:00AM, you can spend your last night in a couples hotel from 11PM to 4:00AM and only pay for a 5 hour stay. Or, if your flight is at 11:30PM, you can use one for 5 hours between 1:00-6:00PM and catch some Z’s before your flight home. Either way, you can use the hotel in a way that is impossible at a standard hotel and is much more comforting than in an internet cafe!
Beyond the Kitsch
Your impression about couples hotels may be shaped by their image – a place where people having a affair or someone hiring a partner go to for an illicit tryst. But this image is not as true as it might seem. Many couples use couples hotels to make a romantic evening more exciting, as well as a place to – ummm – play away from the in-laws.
Beyond the often gaudy and neon exterior, many couples hotels actually have facilities that are both romantic and relaxing – many customers actually do want to sleep after they romance. Some are very roomy and most offer very large beds – big enough that a couple (who aren’t lovers) would feel comfortable in.
On the other hand, for those who are traveling as a couple, and much in love, these accommodations offer a choice of experiences that might otherwise be prohibitively embarrassing. With themed rooms – such as Victorian, anime, and high-tech – to adult toys, contraceptives, and costumes, couples hotels may offer an exiting option in Japan that may make your stay here more memorable than a visit to the Imperial Palace. What’s more, there is probably a couples hotel in Tokyo with an Emperor’s bedroom theme. Why not spend the night as the prince an princess!