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Down with love: World’s least romantic hotels
It’s Valentine’s week. For those who feel like curling up into a giant cringe, here are a few places to escape the sugary madness
Valentine’s Day -- that time when heart-shaped chocolate boxes and sparkly red Hallmark cards suddenly become the most cherished, or most hated items on the planet.
For those for whom V Day is an agonizing roll call of sappy jewelry and florist TV ads, take a look at these unromantic getaways, guaranteed to suit even the most bitter broken heart.
1. Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Holland
We’re going to assume that romance is unlikely in a place that has widely promoted itself as “the worst hotel in the world.”
Boasting such features as “a basement bar with limited light and no fresh air” and “an open canteen serving a wide range of dishes based on running eggs,” this low-end property with a penchant for honesty is sure to repel overly affectionate honeymooners.
Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Kerkstraat 136-138, 1017 GR Amsterdam; +31 20 622 0687; www.hans-brinker.com; rates from US$28 for a dorm bed
2. Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia
Guests at this former Soviet prison will be too preoccupied trying to survive cleaning duty, courtyard exercise drills and guard inquisitions to care much about being lovelorn.
A stay at this penitentiary -- which has a brutal Cold War history -- can include sleeping in a room with iron bars and frequent insults from your overseers.
The property is also said to be haunted. Sleep tight.
Karosta Prison Hotel, Invalīdu Street 4, Karosta, Liepāja, LV-3402, Latvia; +371 2636 9470; www.karostascietums.lv/new/en/naktsmitnes-en.htm; rates from US$15
3. Xi’an Youth Capsule Hotel, China
We dare any duo to get amorous in these teeny, tiny fiberglass cubicles. See a full review here.
With little to no privacy available, it’s safe to say these joints won’t be a Valentine’s Day hot spot (at least, we really, really hope not).
More likely these miniscule compartments will provide a sealed environment in which to pretend you’ve beamed into a dystopian future in which V Day doesn't exist.
Xi’an Youth Capsule Hotel, Building 7, Wanda Plaza, Mingle Yuan, Xincheng District, Xi'an, China; +86 29 8738 2490; rates from US$10
4. New Valamo Monastery, Finland
Monastery stays have grown in popularity in recent years and are now available across Europe, Africa and North and South America.
While many of these cloisters feature luxury services akin to any other high-end hotel, there are still a number of properties that expect guests to observe strict religious practices -- rooms are small and sparsely decorated, food is simple and silent prayer is the day’s top activity.
Some, like Finland’s New Valamo Monastery, even enact dress codes that require knees and shoulders to be covered at all times.
New Valamo Monastery, Valamontie 42, 79850 UUSI-VALAMO, Heinävesi, Finland; +358 17570 111; www.valamo.fi/; rates from US$55
5. Propeller Island City Lodge, Germany
One of the most bizarre hotels on the planet, this Berlin abode features amenities such as coffin beds and a bathroom that’s a gigantic plastic bag.
One room even features a small cave hidden beneath a woodpile -- so if you feel like recreating a serial killer horror flick, you’re in the right place.
Most people will probably find the level of quirkiness here a tad distracting for a romantic night in.
Propeller Island City Lodge, Albrecht-Achilles-Straße 58, 10709, Berlin; +49 30 891 9016; www.propeller-island.de/english/2/1/; rates from US$95
6. Nickelodeon Suites Resort, United States
Hordes of screaming children, SpongeBob SquarePants-themed suites, public “slimings,” a Dora the Explorer live show and pizza dinners with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles … there may exist no greater argument against sexual activity.
Nickelodeon Suites Resort, 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, Fla.; +1 407 387 5437; www.nickhotel.com; rates from US$157
7. Hotel Tomo, United States
This Japanese anime-themed hotel in San Francisco is full of enough googly-eyed stuffed toys and spiky-haired heroes to kill anyone’s ardor.
There’s even a Player’s Suite complete with a huge LCD HD TV and Xbox 360 or Sony PS3 -- no human interaction required.
Hotel Tomo, 1800 Sutter St., San Francisco; +1 415 921 4000; www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/sanfrancisco/tomo; rates from US$85
8. Divorce Hotel, various locations, the Netherlands
It’s been said that breaking up is hard to do, but that’s not the case at this chain of 20 hotels across the Netherlands.
With a team of lawyers, real estate agents, civil-law notaries, tax lawyers and company valuators at your disposal, divorces can be arranged in a single long weekend.
On your downtime you can enjoy five-star hotel facilities -- separate from your soon-to-be-ex, of course.
Divorce Hotel, Newtonbaan 16, 3439 NK Nieuwegein, Holland; +31 30 602 3737; www.divorcehotel.com/en/; rates from US$3,400 (includes all divorce proceedings)