Get a room: Why a stay at a luxury hotel makes you feel sexy

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Ever checked into swanky hotel and felt sexy? You're not alone.

Whether with a long-term partner, a new lover or travelling solo, people often report feeling saucy in their five-star digs.

So what's going on?

"A lot has to do with the fact you're away from the daily grind, you can invent yourself. There's the thrill and excitement of being in a new place, a sense of adventure about it," says sexual marital therapist and psychotherapist coach Nikki Green.

You might have been arguing with your partner for weeks, but time out in the novelty of a hotel room can get the sparks flying again.

"To move out of the place where we have an energetic tie with something, a bedroom you might have had sleepless nights in, to a place where we haven't had that imprint can rejuvenate a relationship," says Green.

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For many, the real indulgence isn't the 700-count thread Egyptian cotton sheets, it is the ability to hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and know that you truly will be left alone.

That guaranteed privacy, knowing you will not be interrupted, is one of the keys to good sex.

"Many of the women I work with fear being overheard [having sex] by the kids or the domestic helper," says Green.

Alistair Bond, 53, credits splashing out on a five-night stay in a Bali resort for saving his marriage. "We hadn't done anything like that since our honeymoon - and that was a long time ago. No kids, no pressures, it was a chance to remember what fun we used to have," says Bond.

For many guests the bathroom is a highlight and they explore the facilities even before they check out the view.

Hotels indulge this weakness.

At Hong Kong's Upper House Hotel half the space of a standard 730 sq ft room is dedicated to luxury bathing, with a deep soaking tub dominating a space that is only a little smaller than the average Hong Kong flat.

Peek-a-boo bathrooms, once a daring opportunity for exhibitionism, have become a regular feature.

The cynical may conclude that hotels are less interested in giving your sex life a kick-start and more concerned with cramming all the necessities into ever smaller guestrooms.

Regardless of their motives, watching your better half lather up in the shower while you lounge in bed can certainly spice things up.

Room service means that if you're having a good time you do not need to dress to go out for dinner. And if you do not want anyone intruding on your private space, not even room service, there's always the minibar. Once stuffed with booze and snacks, some now also feature so-called "intimacy kits" (think condoms and fluffy handcuffs).

Bond says his wife enjoys room service more than he does - because she is the one who usually fixes meals at home - and that he avoids the mini bar because of the usually exorbitant prices.

Where he does not mind splashing out is on in-room massages.

"I called ahead and there was a massage bed set up in the suite - that was total bliss, we both enjoyed it and it was all the better for not having to leave the room," says Bond.

The bottom line is that hotel rooms are sexy because they offer the chance to put the mundanity of daily life on hold and live out our fantasies in fresh, new surroundings - just so long as you do not look too closely.

A string of newspaper stories and TV shows have done exposes on the cleanliness of hotel rooms around the world and UV lights pick up all manner of unsavouriness, including semen, urine and saliva strains.

In his TV show Hotel Hell, Gordon Ramsay last year produced a black light and a case of amber UV goggles to uncover some pretty unseemly stains on guest mattresses as the Monticello Hotel, in Longview, Washington.

Suffice it to say that you are not alone in feeling sexy in a hotel. Unless it's a brand spanking new property, many people have also indulged their fantasies in that room before you.

The luxurious Upper House Hotel in Admiralty, Hong Kong. PHOTO: South China Morning Post

Preparing to check out of a certain luxurious five-star hotel in London a couple of years ago, I put my hand down the side of the bed to recover a pair of reading glasses.

I discovered something that was reading glass size and shape but wasn't my specs. It was a dried turd - the remnants of someone's idea of hotel fun or a case of incontinence? I wasn't sure which was worse.

But let's not go down that road.

Hotel stays are a treat, and if you are going to get the most out of a stay, then it's imperative that you keep your suspension of disbelief intact.

Enjoy the time out and do not think too much about who has stayed there before you.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post

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