Hourly hotels have built up a reputation as being places where prostitutes meet with their clients. However, they intend to change that stigma by providing their clients with high-tech accommodation that is mainly used by young couples who plan their meetings there, but the demand for hourly hotels is steadily increasing across all age groups.
The old saying that each sin costs a bit, that’s why sinning is so attractive, still stands. An hour-long stay at one of these establishments costs 500 crowns, while three hours go for 700-800 crowns. A weekend stay costs up to 2000 crowns.
The owners of these hotels state that their clientele is growing and is surprisingly diverse. There are students, who cannot take their girls to the dorm room or their parents’ house, co-workers, and secret lovers, who have to make sure they are not seen anywhere.
However, there are also seniors, who set up dates with their exes or past lovers. A surprising group are the regular married couples who prefer these establishments whenever they need some private time, away from their children or parents-in-law who may live with them.
In the legal grey zone
The highest influx of clients during work days is seen from lunch time till 4 pm. Pairs usually also meet there in the morning, before working hours. Large amounts of bookings also take place during the shopping fever of Christmas holidays. The least amount of bookings can be detected during the summer holidays, when a simple blanket in the forest or the empty flat of a friend can suffice.
These hotels are pretty vocal when it comes to providing rooms to prostitutes, with many of them putting claims that they don’t provide their services to sex workers on their websites. However, when asked privately, the owners usually admit that they cannot avoid this clientele entirely. They aren’t regular customers, though, and they do not have any long-term accommodation options booked.
Most hotels are trying to avoid prostitutes, since they lower the interest normal lovers have in these places. Prostitution is not a crime in the Czech Republic, but it could still be taken as an offence. However, the person who makes money from it can be branded as a “pimp”.
If someone provides accommodation with the intention of using it for prostitution, they are criminally liable for the offence of pimping under Section 189 of the Criminal Code, committed in the form of prostitution, stated Vítězslav Květenský, a Prague-based lawyer.
Discretion is often a condition
An hourly hotel is successful when it’s clean and discreet. The staff must be very professional and not ask any questions, while simultaneously understanding the delicate situations they can encounter. The process of booking itself must be discreet, often being done via SMS messages, without any names, addresses or stated fees. There’s also the option of using nicknames. The owners of these accommodations agree that they can differentiate between lovers wanting to have some private time and professional prostitutes. That’s why you rarely come upon advertisements for these establishments on porn sites and similar platforms.