11 design inspirations from Japanese love hotels

There are around 30,000 “love hotels” in Japan, where guest can pay by the hour to escape the daily grind of their lives and enjoy some well earned respite. With so many of them around, love hotels go to great lengths to attract customers with their unique interior design philosophies. Here are some of the best.

Blacklight Art


Art that only appears when ultraviolet light is turned on are extremely prevalent in love hotels. It’s also a good way of telling whether the sheets are clean.

Saturday Night Fever


It might look like a cross between Austin Powers’ pad and John Travolta’s secret dungeon, but is there anywhere else you’d rather invite your date back to? Multi-coloured strip light ceilings might just catch on.



Nautical themes are also popular in love hotels. Check out this one complete with a bed/boat, sails and pirate wall art – perfect for a kids room.

Bath/Swimming Pool Combo


You don’t know that you need some things until you know they exist. Who wouldn’t want a bath next to their neon-lit, Grecian pillar-adorned swimming pool?



There’s a bit of a vogue at the moment for soulless open plan spaces free from clutter. Fair enough if you still listen to the Pet Shop Boys, but other design aesthetics are available – why not take every outlandish piece of kitsch design you’ve ever wanted and cram it into one room?

Hello Kitty chic

hello kitty

Hello Kitty themed rooms are a disconcertingly popular option for love hotel guests. Whatever floats your boats, but it’s probably advisable not to emulate the ceiling mounted manacles.

Underlit bed


Presumable inspired by the garish underlit cars from The Fast And the Furious franchise, there’s something delightfully vulgar about this bed that we can’t quite put our finger on.

The Half Car

car room

The car-sticking-through-the-wall is a theme that has potential to be developed further. Bike, bus, boat, plane, shark…

Animal Print


The leopard print sofa, the ottoman-ish mosaic coffee table, the red carpet style streak down the bed, the oversized marble wall tiles, the engraved mirrors, the Chinese hotel lobby ceiling light… Some love hotel rooms are almost too perfect.

Water Slide


Legend has it that former Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Il had a water slide running through his house, and why not? In-home water park amusements aren’t only for dictators.



If you have a weakness for pillars, love hotels prove that you don’t need to feel constrained by space. If there’s space to stand, there’s space to build an homage to the Acropolis.