North Jing’an, on a stretch of Changshou Lu that’s heavy with shops, traffic, noise and people. Near that housing complex with the huge rock stuck on the side. Just south of the Creek. A few minutes from Changshou Lu Metro station
. They’ve taken some steps to preserve the anonymity of guests, so there aren’t any huge flashing lights or signs. It’s on the third floor of a building that contains
a massage place, a restaurant and some other random stuff. You need to take the elevator up. The stairs don’t lead to the hotel.
32 rooms, available for anything from three hours to overnight. Each room is different — different color schemes and different facilities. There are no theme rooms, no Hello Kitty dungeons or fantasy sex castles, but they’ve all got subdued lighting, lots of mirrors and some quirky touches.
The rooms are all priced differently, so ask first what each one costs. The one they suggested and we chose was the most expensive, which was 390rmb for three hours, Sunday to Thursday, or 398rmb over the weekend. A 24-hour stay was 800rmb. But the cheapest rooms are 198rmb for three hours (208rmb at weekends) and 600rmb for 24 hours. Twelve-hour stays are also available, and after your first three hours you can also just pay for an hour or two more. It’s all flexible and priced depending on your room.
8 Colors is a love hotel, which just means the rooms are available for short rentals and the hotel has taken some steps to make everything a bit more sexy. It’s designed for afternoon philanderers, or youths who are sick of having ninja sex while their parents are in the house. But it’s also good for couples on a limited budget who want to spice things up a bit and enjoy the freshly laundered sheets of a hotel, without the expense of an overnight stay. Hey, Chinese Valentine's Day's coming up on August 23. Maybe a sexy treat here for those who can't stretch to a suite at the Waldorf
. Just an idea.
Less seedy than you’d think. From the elevator you emerge into a very dark lobby with granite walls. It’s dark enough that you could sit gingerly on the sofa and wait for your lover without having to deal with any embarrassing eye contact with strangers. The rooms are set off long, high-ceilinged corridors that feel like they belong in a Tim Burton movie. Everything is soundproofed and pleasantly quiet and cool.
Is it sexy? In a kitsch, 1970s sort of way. Mirrored ceilings. Neon crap. Purple walls. Deep tubs. No natural light. The windows are buried under heavy curtains that may never have been pulled open. There’s a bit of wipe-down padding on some of the wall surfaces. So... yup, pretty sexy. Sexier than your bedroom. But not as sexy as a Hello Kitty dungeon or a fantasy sex castle.
There’s no sign of working girls or anything like that. Everything’s clean. The sheets are fresh. The mirrors are free from hand and lipstick smears. The staff are friendly and professional. Everyone’s minding their own business. We wouldn’t call it romantic, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not a place to propose marriage or conceive a child, but for some cheap afternoon thrills, it beats the changing rooms at H&M.
Even if you don’t need to hide your shameful love making from prying eyes, 8 Colors would make kind of a nice place for some time out. Check in here on a hot afternoon for a bit of a snooze and some TV. I wouldn’t mind that. I mean, not everything has to be about sex. We're not rutting animals, after all. We're human beings, here. We're better than that, right? Oh... forget it.
Not many. The room has a very sexy travel kettle, bathrobes, slippers and a couple of bottles of free water. Beverage, sir? Two sachets of pre-mixed, pre-sweetened instant Vietnamese coffee. No playbag hidden under the bed. No sexy airhostess costume hanging up in the closet. Not even a condom, if truth be told. But hey, you can’t move in this city for dildos, so if you need that stuff, get it from the convenience store downstairs.
There is a large TV with movie channels, all free, though nothing remotely blue. The TV also has KTV, if you get bored of making sex and you want to sing a song instead. Our room had a bath, just about big enough for two, plus a shower, a sofa, a DVD player. No mints on the pillows or turn down service. Did we mention the huge mirror on the ceiling?
Food & Drink:
None. We brought our own and no one seemed to mind. Same is probably true for drinks. Maybe they have bottles there. Forget it, bring your own, no one cares.
The horny. People who should know better. People who should be busy doing other things. Adulterers. Libertines. The debauched. Smooth operators. Gallants. Cruisers. Men on the make. Girls on the game. Skirt chasers and saucy philanderers up to no good. Maybe some couples looking for a silly thrill. Your wife / husband... No, no, no, just kidding.