Get cosy in an insanely exuberant Taiwan love motel. A romantic honeymoon nest or a playful pleasure pad, these luxe love shacks are cool and quirky.
There are times when roses and chocolate just don’t cut it, and only an all-gold Ancient Egyptian suite with a miniature Sphinx will do. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Taiwan love motel. These high-end love motels are where the rules of interior design (or good taste) are simply there to be broken. The old Taiwan motel culture of the sleazy love hotel with mirrors on the ceiling rented by the hour to furtive couples is long gone. Now you can expect far-out sound-proofed pleasure dens, featuring high-tech karaoke sound systems where groups of mates gather to party in style for a few hours.
So what makes the so-called car motel Taiwan so unique? They certainly don’t do subtlety. Think Las Vegas strip hotel on steroids. You get the traditional love motel experience with the glittery revolving disco balls and circular beds, but also a raft of oddball themed décor that will tickle your sense of humour. How about a Roman bath? Carousel rides? A bat cave? A party sized Jacuzzi with a life-size Spiderman looking over you? Or your own private in-room dance floor? Just slip on the silk bathrobe and admire the jaw-dropping exuberance (and luxury) of these playful pads. Ready to take notes? Here are 8 out-there Taiwanese love hotels that may just inspire a second honeymoon.
1. Wego Linsen Boutique Hotel, Taipei
Quick checklist to figure out if you’re staying in a Taiwan love hotel: Are there beaded partitions dangling from the ceiling? Is there a Jacuzzi tub in the centre of the room? Does check-in time start at 7pm? Congratulations! You are in a Wego motel Taipei — brave pioneers of Taiwan’s creative pleasure dens and the brand that kick started the high-end love motel trend. The company’s creative minds have gone to town designing a post-modern kitschy playpen for the landmark Wego Linsen Boutique Hotel.
Wego Linsen Boutique Hotel, Taipei checks all the boxes for that quintessential over-the-top pleasure pad: a gold ‘floating divan,’ massive hot tubs with TV, bright blue neon strip floor lights and fleur-de-lis crystal chandeliers. For me, the only thing lacking is a lava lamp.
2. Mulan Villa Spa Motel, Taipei
Some of the rooms at Mulan Villa Spa Motel Taipei are very classy indeed, in a velvety, boudoir, 50-Shades-of-Grey kind of way. Each of the rooms has its own whimsical moniker – flower dance suite, maple dance suite, cloud dance suite, and the swanky water dance suite, complete with its own private pool. This unique Taipei theme love hotel presents shades of 1920s Shanghai glamour to go with the bright contemporary style which seemingly blends a gallery full of mismatched art pieces, quirky accessories and sparkling lighting effects.
3. Sato Castle, Taipei
Self-styled as Taiwan’s first castle-style design fantasy theme hotel, if the two worlds of Disney and Game of Thrones ever collided, this would be the result. Sato Castle is an eyebrow-raising vision from the very outset. Rising above the hi-tech Zhongshan District is a sandstone coloured Moorish fortress complete with soaring turrets. Yet even this only barely hints at the crazy caricatured décor that is about to assault your senses.
Among the bizarre things spotted in the guest rooms at Sato Castle: A deer statue, life-size superhero costumes, football goal posts, plastic apple trees, a full-size Cinderella’s carriage with a pink-maned white horse, and a replica of the Statue of Liberty. Did we mention there’s a drawbridge guarded by a knight at the hotel entrance? If that doesn’t do it for you, we don’t what will. The number of styles is just mind-boggling, from the deliciously trashy boudoir-chic of the ruby red Princess Turandot room to the sleek and sexy Cupid room.
4. iCloud Motel, Taichung
Prepare to be surprised. You just don’t know what you’re going to get when you book a room at iCloud Motel. Every single room is different, so just expect the unexpected. What you will get is something artsy, intriguing, sensual and modern. The flagship ‘iCloud Wonderland’ suites are just so out-there gorgeous with a healthy dose of regal kitsch. We love the different ‘Fashion’ themed rooms too, in a range of pinks, deep reds and sparkling neon lit hues. The dreamy bubble-massage bathtub for two and bathroom flat screen TV is a big plus too.
The motel also boasts a spa with a sauna, a spacious fitness centre and slinky Skyline Lounge for late night schmoozing until 5am. It offers fine views of the Taichung City skyline.
5. Shuei Wu Villa, Taichung
First of all, Shuei Wu Villa looks nothing like a hotel, or indeed a villa, at all. The seemingly windowless façade resembles an avant-garde art museum designed by someone like Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s very luxe, very spacious, very… interesting. Shuei Wu Villa has spared no expense decorating its rooms, and it certainly shows. Expect a rustic mix of natural stone, tiling and dark wood panelling but with a wicked sense of style.
Rooms are cavernous and are deliciously decadent. Enjoy dazzling black and white kitschy brilliance and majestic flowing drapes over picture windows. The spot-lighting is strategic, the bathtubs are large enough for two (or three!) to splash around, and those chandeliers are amazing. Tucked away in the Xitun District of Taichung, there are few unnecessary in-resort distractions other than wow-factor comforts, so it’s just the perfect opulent hidey-hole for a weekend tryst.
6. Uher Luxury Resort & Hotel, Taichung
Say what you like, there is something sensuous about the rooms at Uher Hotel. Could it be the pretty lamps? The plush furnishings? Maybe the carved headboards? Whatever it is, we can definitely see ourselves lounging around, donning silk bathrobes in this decadent love motel, Taichung.
There is a lush room for every mood including the over-the-top Skylight Suite, complete with private pool. You can serenade your sweetheart with the in-room KTV Karaoke sound system and if that doesn’t work, the bubble marble Jacuzzis for two or infrared sauna is sure to spice things up. There is also a restaurant serving up a rotating menu of Chinese and western bites, a rooftop terrace and VIP party pad for private entertaining.
7. Wego Dazhi Boutique Hotel, Taipei
Wego Dazhi Boutique Hotel is not difficult to spot; it lights up just like a Christmas tree. For sheer razzle-dazzle, some of its themed party rooms put Las Vegas flashiness to shame – all glass and glitter, while others, like the famous boat room is a budding pole dancer’s delight. How about swinging sofas suspended from the ceilng? While these flirty fantasy rooms may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we just can’t get enough of the decadent circular beds, glitter balls and awesome marble jet powered Jacuzzis.
Wego Dazhi Boutique Hotel, Taipei offers a fine restaurant serving up Asian bites that itself is a weird and whimsical work of art, designed as a green maze. A honourable mention also goes to the lobby, which is like the set of a creepy arthouse fairytale. Wego Dazhi Boutique Hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the airport — perfect for a quick, er, layover.
8. Lanshy Boutique Motel, Taichung
Perhaps slightly more sedate (eg less in-your-face-kitschy) than the above motels, Lanshy Boutique Motel rooms still offers a moody, eye-catching fantasy world to sink into. This heavenly hideaway is just the abode for the more discerning cosplayer – the Luxury Double Rooms decked out like a funky Arabian Harem are a treat, complete with matching neo-classical bathroom and gorgeous sunken bath. We can’t get enough of the chintzy Art Deco style rooms with cute four poster bed either. There is everything here you need to act out all your playboy fantasies.
If you are veteran Love Motel aficionado or have a fondness for old school beige and dazzling neon, you’ll just adore a stay here in your own contemporary reboot of a disco party pad. Be sure to pack those bell-bottoms. Lanshy Boutique Motel provides all the romance shack essentials right on site: massage, hot tubs, 24-hour room service and of course, a super-charged karaoke system complete with garish lighting effects.
In Conclusion –
Whatever the seedy history of the love motel, there is no denying the contemporary model is now all about luxe and playful style. For guests overnighting you definitely get more er, bang for your buck. Designed more for young revellers to party in privacy, rooms are almost always huge – cavernous bathrooms, multiple TVs, a separate place to lounge and often an outdoor space. Some of the above properties even have designated family rooms. Whatever the reason, be it a role-playing fantasy, a furtive few hours of fun or simply for affordable luxury pampering, don’t forget to come with an open mind and a sense of adventure. In the mood for a romantic staycation? Fire up the HotelQuickly app for affordable, last-minute hotels.
Alexander Grootmeester is an copywriter/online media expert living in South-east Asia for the better part of a decade. Asked what he likes best about living there, he usually answers that it’s “the tightly organized anarchy”.
Enjoy a 5% discount on me EXPLOREWITHALEX