In some countries, they are "love motels." In Guatemala, they're "auto hotels."
In my trip between Antigua and Lake Atitlan, I saw plenty. Ditto for the trek to the airport between Antigua and Guatemala City.
I asked my airbnb hostess about the bounty of these love hotels in Guatemala. Again, I had this assumption of Guatemala as a socially conservative culture, yet there is very little subtlety about the nature of these hotel when you pass them by on the road.
She said, oh yes, they are very common. One of the busiest days of the year is Secretary's Day, she reported. This is when bosses take their secretaries out to .... lunch.
- Auto Hotels and Love Hotels, from Taken By the Wind
- The Creeptastic Auto Hotel, from La Aventura Project
- Passions in Secret, or The Explosion of "Auto-Hotels," from GuateBuena, GuateMaya
Here is the website for the Omni auto hotel. You can even book a reservation at this hotel via booking.com. One happy client, "David," reports:
La habitación tan lujosa, es un buen lugar para compartir con la pareja momentos intimos, es hasta el momento el mejor love hotel al que e ido.
The very luxurious room is a good place to share intimate moments with a partner; so far it's the best love hotel I've been to.
And here's the website for another auto hotel: Auto Hotel Chocolate. And the Happy Day Auto Hotel's Facebook page here.
The bottom line in any culture is that people are gonna do what people are gonna do. There are work-arounds for every rule.
I don't have a photo of a Guatemalan love hotel. But that's OK. It gives me a chance to revisit the sign from a hotel in Nazret (Adama) in Ethiopia.