In Focus

‘Kink tourism’ is on the rise – but does it live up to the hype?

Curious to see how the hospitality industry is embracing eroticism, Jordan Gray and her wife checked into London’s The Mandrake Hotel with its new high-end ‘kink concierge’ service – and found a world of mischief, sensuality and exploration

Sunday 19 May 2024 06:00 BST
There’s more to The Mandrake than meets the eye...
There’s more to The Mandrake than meets the eye... (Jonathan Bond )

There is something new and mysterious going down at this five-star Fitzrovian Hotel.

As if its shadowy provocative exterior, nestled halfway down Newman Street, doesn’t evoke a sense of darkly playful mischief, I will tell you, as a newly minted Tribe Member, that there’s more going on within the walls of The Mandrake than meets the (literal) eye.

“Kink tourism” is on the rise. There is a heightened discourse around the benefits of sexual exploration. Couples (and singles alike) are taking ever-more extravagant ownership over their erotic adventures – and the hospitality industry has responded. Hôtel Amour (Paris) comes replete with a feast of phallic paraphernalia. Hedonism II (Jamaica) is a couples-only resort that offers either a ‘rude’ or ‘prude’ package, depending on your penchant for nudity. The Erotic Suite at The Palms Casino Resort (Las Vegas) boasts mirrored ceilings, an 8ft rotating bed and a dancing pole in the shower. It’s all good fun… but where’s the nuance?

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