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Revolutionary new love hotel opens in Ginowan

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2002-02-28

A new love hotel named Water Hotel RY recently opened up close to Camp Foster on Convention Center Road. This hotel has an underwater theme, with water running down the windows, walls and bar. It also has a fully customizable lighting system with which you can change the settings to match your mood. In addition, where most hotels have no way for customers to wait for a room to become vacant, Water Hotel RY has a counter bar for you to wait at with free beer and soft drinks. Each table in this bar is walled in to give you ultimate privacy. The biggest feature of this new hotel, however, is their new pay system. At most love hotels, when you are finished with a room you make a call to the front desk using your roomís phone, and an employee comes to your door to collect money. But Water Hotel RY has special machines installed that you can use to pay in vending-machine fashion; no longer do you have to hand money over to an actual person. This hotel holds privacy in high regard and allows its customers to pay using cash or credit card in their new machines. These machines will accept all credit cards activated in Japan, but if you have a card that is from the United States or another country, you will have to call the front office, and they will come and swipe your card on one of their credit-card processors. Most love hotels donít have these new pay-in-private machines, so this is quite groundbreaking in the love hotel industry.

The majority of love hotels on Okinawa have two main time systems with which they calculate how much a customer owes for his or her stay in a room. Shukuhaku is a term used for an overnight stay, and Water Hotel RY charges between •6,800 and •12,800 for this option. Kyukei is a term meaning temporary rest. During kyukei hours the hotel charges •4,800 to •8,800 for two and a half hours plus •500 to •600 per extra half hour. Shukuhaku hours are from midnight to noon daily, and kyukei hours are in effect during the remainder of the day. Another feature of this hotel is known as ďkyukei service time,Ē where if you stay between 5:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or between midnight and 7:00 p.m., you will only pay the basic kyukei rate for the entire time. So, during this timeframe you can actually stay for a number of hours for a cheaper price than you would the rest of the day. Most love hotels have kyukei service time, but only on weekdays. Water Hotel RY offers this special daily.

The best rates by far for staying at Water Hotel RY are during the kyukei service time, but an overnight stay (shukuhaku) is definitely the most reasonable in terms of the majority of peopleís work schedules. However, this timeslot is in high demand, so most visitors come early and pay for extra hours in order to get the overnight rate. The best time to come and get the best spot is 9:30 p.m. or earlier. However, you will have to pay the shukuhaku rate plus extra for any additional hours you stay.

Staying at a love hotel without breaking your budget is a mathematical art, so be sure to bring a notebook and a calculator with you to help you figure out the most reasonable fee for how long you have stayed. Otherwise, front desk employees will probably charge you the most expensive rate. Letís do some math together. In these examples, Iíve used the least expensive rates in order to not confuse you. If you stay at Water Hotel RY from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., you will have to pay the shukuhaku rate (•6,800) plus one hour (•1,000). This comes to a total of •7,800. However, if you stay from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., you will still have to pay the shukuhaku rate plus one hour, so if you pay the kyukei rate (•4,800) plus the rate for overstaying by 1.5 hours (•1,500), you only pay •6,300. If you had left your fee up to hotel employees to calculate, you would have paid an extra •1,500. Letís do one more exercise. If you stay from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., you can either pay the shukuhaku rate plus three hours (•6,800 + •1,500 = •8,300) or you can pay the kyukei rate plus seven hours (•4,800 + •2,500 = •7,300).

The moral to the math lesson is that you will never know what kind of savings you can realize unless you do the math yourself. A night at a love hotel is definitely an experience you will remember, and Water Hotel RY is a good place to get your feet wet. For more information on the hotel, check out www.wh-ry.co.jp. This site is only in Japanese, but with a little help from a friend youíll find your way around just fine.

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