If Japan’s love hotels range from cheap ‘n’ cheerful to downright bizarre, Sky Paradise Rakuen must rank as one of the most marvellously ridiculous. While enjoying a discreet tryst with your partner of choice, you can also take a ride on a gondola under a sparkling jewel-encrusted sky and gaze from your balcony out over theme park-style attractions.

Disney don’t do love hotels, but if they did they’d probably look like this!

Naturally, our Japanese reporter couldn’t resist heading down to Sky Paradise to check in and check it out. Just for research, of course.

Sky ParadiseRakuen, located in Oita Prefecture, was finished 13 years ago. Ordinarily, love hotels are hugely private places where guests are encouraged to check in quickly and quietly rather than spending time outside their room. Not here though; Sky Paradise Rakuen’s courtyard looks like the kind of set-up you might find at Disney or Universal, with cascading waterfalls and model animals dotted around the place.

Prices vary per room, 3,500 to 5,900 yen (US$30-$50) for a two-hour stay, up to 18,800 yen ($150) for a night in one of the more expensive rooms. On the day our reporter rocked up, all but two of the 30 rooms were already booked – this is a popular place!

After leaving his car in the pitch-dark car park, he chose his room as per the usual love hotel routine, then headed up in the elevator. First things first, he wanted to check out what wonders he could see from the bedroom balcony.

▼ The courtyard of the hotel was decorated like some kind of tropical Waterworld tribute.


▼ As well as boats (sadly, these are for the owner’s use only), there are model animals scattered around the place.


▼ Like this big cat!


▼ He also spotted this elephant, and a slightly odd-looking monkey.


▼ And the place had palm trees galore!


The only actual moving attraction at the hotel is a gondola, on which you can be whisked away for a two-and-a-half minute ride.

▼ This is what it all looks like at night, by the way. Wowser.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 13.33.01Sky Paradise Rakuen

After spending a while gawping at the view from the balcony, our reporter headed back inside to check out the room itself. Despite this being in one of the cheapest rooms available, he was amazed at how lush and spacious it was!


▼ There was a strong Arabian Nights theme going on, and the room was spotless, too.


There were more surprises yet to come – on opening the closet, our reporter found this sexy pachinko (Japanese pinball) machine:




He even managed to find the time to take this video of his afternoon stay.

▼ Check it out!

Overall, he felt the room was airy and light, and the impressive and unusual view made it perfect for relaxing in! Relaxing, I said! Or, y’know, that other thing people do in love hotels…

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