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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.