A Cuban state-owned news agency announced on July 3 that the government plans to bring back the so-called love motels, known as “posadas” in Spanish, to give cash-strapped couples more affordable options for privacy.
According to the announcement published in the Trabajadores, the official publication of the Central Worker’s Party (CTC), the Provincial Housing Company of Havana is planning to reopen the once-popular love motels.
According to the BBC, state officials want to stymie intimate behavior in Havana’s public spaces by bringing back posadas. Copulating couples are reportedly a common sight in Havana’s beaches, parks, and on the Malecon seafront. Many families in the island’s capital have to share apartments, and divorced couples are often forced to continue living together because of the housing shortage.
The concept of love motels originated in Japan, where short-stay hotels famously cater to all kinds of interests and couples can rent a variety of themed rooms by the hour. They started appearing in Cuba towards the end of the 19th century and peaked in popularity in the 1970s. There were reportedly 60 such hotels in Havana alone by 1973, but almost all of them disappeared during Cuba’s economic crisis in the 1990s following the collapse of the USSR.
The location of two new love hotels has reportedly already been identified and preparations are underway to ensure they are opened by September. Each room will be fitted with televisions, minibars, air conditioning, telephones, and a comfortable bed and cost renters about $5 for three hours.
“We will start with the Vento Hotel, a two-story building with 16 rooms with ensuites,” Alfonso Muñoz Chang, the Provincial Housing Company’s director, told the newspaper. “Our goal is recover that demanded service, of great social impact and, undoubtedly, very profitable.”
However, the BBC notes that the price of a room is almost a sixth of the average monthly salary in Cuba—which is around $30—so most Cubans won’t be able to afford the service. But state officials believe they will provide a cheaper option for couples who struggle to find private spots for sex in Havana because of housing shortages and overcrowding.