The more sober kind of hotel executive likes to say: ‘We’re in the business of selling sleep.’ But let’s face it, other kinds of nocturnal activities are available in hotel rooms. So there’s a rather smaller, urban clique of hotels that celebrate everything naughty and rock’n’roll in the hospitality sphere.
Welcome to the world of sexy-cosy. These are properties that combine alluring and provocative decor with sexy add-ons: erotic minibars, shagpile rugs and often red-light districts right outside the front door.
The Scarlet, Singapore
Even its best friends wouldn’t say that Singapore is the sexiest city in the world – in fact, it might struggle to make it into the top 100. But this hotel, housed in a 1924 art deco building and tucked away in a virtuously restored CBD location, is doing its bit with chaise longues, four poster beds, chandeliers, a rooftop tub and the city-state’s entire annual allocation of velvet. It’s a lot calmer and restrained than the ‘vivacious and uninhibited’ joint it claims to be on the website, but things get a bit livelier as you wander up nearby Ann Siang Hill.
Le Pigalle Hotel, Paris
Le Pigalle bills itself as ‘a neighbourhood hotel’. Given that neighbourhood is Pigalle, where red light bohemia was more or less invented, it means its eponymous boutique is just as inviting – albeit with a musical twist (on the ground floor is a jukebox endowed with the hotel’s playlist). An eclectic mix of neighbourhood memorabilia – including erotic photos, fliers and neons – hangs from the bedroom walls, with beds squishier and loungier than the ones you’ll sleep it at home. There’s postbox-red bunk beds in the twin rooms, if that’s more to your taste.
The Fleming, Hong Kong
New (or, reopened) kid on the block The Fleming, in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district, brings the slightly grubby nature of its surroundings inside, transforming it into a sleek maritime-themed, green-and-brass boutique hotel. The minibar comes stocked with champagne and condoms, the concierge is available 24 hours a day and bathroom amenities are based on Chinese medicine, and change depending on whether you use them in the morning or the evening.
Sanctum Soho, London
Even if you wanted to sleep, you probably wouldn’t at Sanctum Soho. The boutique property is in the midst of London’s most bombastic nightlife – and there’s a hot tub on the roof to keep the party going. Rooms are purple, pearlescent and baroque in style; deluxe rooms come with four-poster beds and the junior suites with round ones. In 2014, Sanctum Soho launched London’s first S&M suite based on wildly popular trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. You can Google the rest.
The Drake, Toronto
Sharing its name with one of Toronto’s most famous exports (spoiler: Drake the rapper doesn’t own it), this boutique property has everything you would expect a city hotel in a renovated building to have: rooftop patio, lively Gen Y clientele, monochrome tiled floors, plus an in-room ‘pleasure’ menu that includes a blindfold and a massage bar. That’s the sexy bit covered. The cosy part comes from the handmade dolls that you’ll find on the bed, patterned throws and rugs and lively art on the walls.