Love Motel #3

Well, my awesome love motel streak is over. It ended at a place called Joy Motel in Ulsan. Though it wasn’t terrible, the VIP room I rented was simply underwhelming – especially for the relatively high price of 70,000 won.

I booked the room on my phone using a Korean app called 야놀자 (Yanolja) before I arrived. I was worried about all of the rooms being booked, so I relied on the VIP room photo provided in the app:

Photo from application

I found the hotel a short cab ride away from the Samsan-Dong bus terminal. I learned the next morning that the walk was only about fifteen minutes.

This map is zoomed in on Samsan-Dong in Ulsan.

I realized pretty quickly, as I walked through the sea of bright love motel lights in this area, that I was probably not going to end up in a place as nice as the VOV in Busan. The Joy Motel was on the edge of a neighborhood dominated by motels, and it didn’t look as flashy or nice as some of the others nearby.

Joy Motel - Ulsan

Inside I found some free perks that were available for guests. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the popcorn – the idea of eating popcorn from a communal machine in a love motel turned my stomach. I was also not impressed by the offer for a free Lotteria (like McDonald’s) hamburger delivered to your room in the morning.

They were pretty proud of this free burger deal. The sign on the lobby wall was taller than me. Classy...

They were pretty proud of this free burger deal. The sign on the lobby wall was taller than me.

The room wasn’t as nice as I expected, considering the fact that I paid almost $20 extra for a VIP room. It was about half the size of the last two rooms in which I stayed in Busan.

Joy Hotel - Ulsan20130412_210532

Although the room was clean and comfortable, I thought they did a pretty poor job on presentation. They made no effort to hide a nest of wires that linked the computers, projector and other electronics. It immediately made the room look messy, even though it was just a small space in the corner.


The thing that bothered me most was on the dresser. Partially hidden by a handful of standard love motel perfume bottles and lotions was a big ass can of roach spray. That feels a lot like they’re saying to the customers, “we have a bug problem…but it would be great if you could handle it.” Fortunately, I didn’t have to play exterminator that night.

Roach spray - Joy Motel - Ulsan20130413_133900

In the morning, I woke up at 9am when my complimentary burger was delivered. I’m not a big fan of Lotteria burgers, and I definitely didn’t want a love motel burger…but I wanted to see if they were for real.

Don't worry, it didn't go to waste. My roommate is basically a garbage disposal with legs. He will eat ANYTHING that's free.

Don’t worry, it didn’t go to waste. My roommate is basically a garbage disposal with legs. He will eat ANYTHING that’s free.

When I left the room, I noticed something that didn’t catch my attention earlier. It was less than five feet from my door, but I walked right by it when I arrived.

Love Box - Joy Motel - Ulsan

Though this dirty old machine was a bit disturbing, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the small device that was attached to the side of it.


I snapped a picture on a whim, just because I was curious about its purpose. I showed it to a Korean friend who explained it to me. This device is a hidden camera detector. If you buy one of the rubber rockets (I guess that’s what they are…) from the Love Box, you get to use this detector for a short time to sweep your room for hidden cameras. This feels a lot like the bug spray.

As you might have guessed, this is not a motel that I would recommend. If the price were lower, it might be a fair deal. It is more expensive and more sketchy than the Busan motels about which I wrote in the past few weeks.

I’ll be travelling to a different part of Busan this weekend, so I hope to have a new recommendation for you by next week.

Until next time.


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One thought on “Love Motel #3

  1. Jessica Wesson says:

    Hidden camera detector?? Wow that is very interesting.

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