As Hotels Struggle, One Chain Markets Rooms As An Escape From Your Spouse During Lockdown

Facing an unprecedented downturn, hotels are struggling to stay afloat. Some are turning to unconventional means to fill rooms, like providing luxury quarantine services or serving the homeless at risk for infection.

One furnished apartment chain based in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo is taking a different route: they’re marketing themselves as an escape for spouses at wits end with their partners during the lockdown.

Japanese hotel chain Kasoku frames their properties are the perfect antidote to “carona-divorces” stemming from couples fed up with spending time together while sheltering in place. At $40 per night, they’ve so far only filled 28 out of their 500 room inventory. They say that’s exceeded expectations.

The service began after reports of divorce rates increasing in the country, as the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus takes a toll on some couples.

Authorities arrested a husband, Kazuo Makino, 59, after he allegedly killed his wife for complaining that he was not earning enough profit due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Japanese government’s Minister of Women’s Empowerment said Friday that a new 24-hour emergency hotline would be available by the end of the month for victims of domestic abuse, citing increased reports due to couples stuck under lockdown measures.

Guests booking into rooms receive a free 30 minute divorce consultation because if the time away isn’t a solution to relationship challenges, they’re good prospects for divorce lawyers (who presumably will pay referral fees to the chain, a new source of ancillary revenue).

One customer reports that she “fled after having a big fight with her husband” while another “wants time to herself as she is tired of taking care of her children who are at home all day because of school closures, while her husband works remotely at home.” Two thirds of guests have been women. I’ll leave it to readers to offer baseless speculation as to why using overly broad sexist generalizations.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My husband gets kudos for insisting on a house bigger than I wanted when we retired & downsized. We have plenty of space to get away from each other without leaving home.

    I’m not sure which of us would run to the hotel first if we were jammed into a tiny Tokyo apartment. Hopefully one of us would get there before we killed each other.

  2. As someone who follows the judicial system in my city, I can tell you that domestic abuse has skyrocketed. Sure seems a hotel would be a lot cheaper than going to jail.

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