Foreign fans in Manaus forced to stay in 'love hotel'
By Marine Hass
MANAUS Brazil (Reuters) - England soccer fan Marc Cummings was not planning to stay in a Brazilian "love hotel" opposite a brothel when he came to Manaus for the World Cup.
But a shortage of accommodation in the hot and humid Amazon city forced him to opt for Hotel Opcao, a modest wooden building on a dark side street that usually rents out rooms to amorous couples by the hour.
The Opcao and its sister establishments lie in the red light district, a part of the city with bars, clubs and sex trade workers - the kind of place tourists are usually told to avoid, especially at night.
"It was either sleep in the street or sleep in the love hotel. And we have been propositioned every night," Cummings told Reuters Television.
"I haven't done a damned thing ... but I have been very close," he added with a laugh.
Love hotels are traditional Brazilian hideaways for couples seeking privacy from the prying eyes of parents or spouses.
The Opcao usually charges 15 reals ($7.50) for one hour, 20 reals for two. Night rates, between 7 p.m. and 7a.m., are higher. Seeing a chance to make some extra money, the hotel changed its business plan for the World Cup and sought more overnight guests.
During the tournament small, clean, basic rooms are going for 250 reals a night, with a three-night minimum. The hotel also hired an English- and Spanish-speaking student to help handle the foreign visitors. Continued...