Because of my affinity for love motels, I'm sensitive to what's unsurprisingly a lazy post that gets it wrong---and looks quick to jump on the "news of the weird" theme that runs through so much international news out of Asia in western sources---starting with the photograph that accompanied it.
Korean love hotel? From Gawker.
It's of a storefront you'll find in redlight districts throughout the country, sometimes but rarely attached to a motel.
Love hotels (or love motels, the terms are interchangable) are pretty much the best accommodation options for domestic and international tourists in South Korea, as I've written about on this site and in the Korean Herald.
Though they're primarily used as a place to share an intimate moment, people are starting to realize they're not only about sex. A Yonhap News piece in August looked at the ways motels have changed to attract not only clients looking for a few hours to get away, but people who want to relax in other ways. Competition has pushed motels to offer more, and, the piece says, "more and more motels are transforming their guest rooms into private entertainment places equipped with wide-screen TVs and other high-tech gadgets as a means of attracting clients."
Large televisions, computers, big beds, and bathtubs are standard in the newer rooms, and some of the more stylish ones offer jacuzzis, Nintendo and PlayStation consoles, motorcycles in the room, and even telescopes on upstairs verandas, all for between 50,000 won and 100,000 won a night. The kitch of multicolored mood lights and swanky interior is a fun, welcome change from drab apartment rooms or ordinary faded beige of older tourist hotels.
From that piece in Yonhap, the Korean wire service, last year:
[I]n the face of a steep increase in competition, motel owners are transforming their guest rooms into private entertainment complexes, renovating once spartan furnishings into lavish accommodations.
Couples can now find rooms in some of the country's leading motels equipped with a swimming pool, a sauna or jacuzzi, and flat-screen displays. Popular game consoles like Play Station or Wii, as well as karaoke machines, multiple PCs and a tastefully decorated bed are all part of the package.
They often have the best amenities, are found in convenient locations all over the country, and are a fraction of the cost of "tourist hotels," which are often the only option for foreign travelers because they are the only ones that show up on English-language searches. Yes, motels rent out rooms in two-hour blocks and not because South Koreans don't sleep much. At their worst they can be dingy and dirty, home to one-night stands, gambling sessions, suicides, and deaths by smoke inhilation.
But at their best they are basically what's known as boutique hotels elsewhere.
A "brothel" is, according to dictionary.com:
a house or other place where men pay to have sexual intercourse with prostitutesand, says Naver:
매매춘을 하는 집and you can bet that Koreans, sensitive as they are about foreigners knowing about love motels, won't be happy about this mistake, which portrays Koreans more than just oversexed, but as poor hosts.
Much more on accommodation in Korea in the "Motels and Hotels" category.