As the world anticipates the World Cup soccer championship in June this year, Brazil is struggling to prepare the on-ground logistics that will be necessary to successfully host the 32 teams vying for the Cup, and the hordes of international visitors who will come to cheer their teams.
Airports are being revamped, stadiums are being built or retrofitted, and prices are soaring on every front. The biggest questions involve travel (airline tickets are three times their normal cost and rental cars have already been booked months in advance) and where to stay (hotels are charging three times their normal top rates). The lucky ones have hotel rooms, but there aren’t enough hotels in the outlying venues to accommodate the influx of visitors expected. All of the U.S. games will be plays more than 1,000 miles from Sao Paulo, in places where the limited number of hotels will have to house players and team handlers, reporters, and dignitaries.
Hotels are lacking throughout the countryside. Here, there are no Vagabond Inns, or Holiday Inns, or Super 8 Motels. Nope. Here you have hotels, fazendas, and posadas, and not nearly enough of them to house the millions of anticipated guests. What to do?
It appears that the Brazilian government has an answer: offering tax incentives to Brazil’s motel operators to make their accommodations available for the World Cup visitors. Sounds like a good plan. Unless you know about Brazil’s motels.
Here in Brazil, a “motel” is not overnight lodging where you would take your wife and kids for an inexpensive stay while touring the country. Certainly not. In Brazil, “motel” has one meaning, and one meaning only: a short-stay hotel for sex, where you typically pay in two-hour increments. In a society that is noted for celebrating sensuality and the human body, and where adult children typically live at home until they marry, this makes sense, non?
Love motels come in all shapes and sizes, from luxury rooms done up in Egyptian themes, to drive-in carports with only the suggestion of privacy.
Accommodations typically feature round beds, heavy drapes, windowless rooms, a selection of sex toys, complimentary condoms, numerous porn channels, and sometimes room service. High-end love motels feature saunas and/or jacuzzis, and complimentary robes and slippers.
The government is offering financial incentives for motel owners to revamp their businesses into “hotels,” converting from hourly lodgings to the more family-friendly short-stay inns.
Many are making the conversion completely, but some are keeping a few rooms open on the side for “business as usual.”
With that in mind, let us imagine a few scenarios with those who continue their “bread and butter” business. . .
Imagine calling to reserve a room, only to be told that you’d have to pay 12 times the posted rate of R$70 for a 24-hour stay (that’s 12 times the typical two-hour rate).
And how will parents explain the round beds in the room, with the mirrors on the ceilings (and perhaps on the walls)? And why are the bathrooms all done in black tile?
Let this be a warning to any parents traveling with kids: make sure you sweep the room for “toys” before allowing your wee ones to wander and explore.
Still, the use of motels for match-goer lodging could lend new meaning to the 2014 World Cup slogan: “All in One Rhythm”!
FIFA World Cup is advertised as the Biggest Single-Event Sporting Competition in the World. The use of motels will now allow it to become familiar with the world’s oldest profession.
It will happen. People will book rooms in Brazil’s motels. They have to stay somewhere.
If this comes to pass, there will be a variety of reasons why you might hear people screaming “Goooooooaaaaaaaaalllllllllll!” from next-door rooms.