Lonely Planet Writer

Science confirms that hotel rooms stimulate dopamine in human brains and promote romance

Science has confirmed what travellers have always suspected to be true; romantic feelings in a hotel room are stronger than at home. Turns out, it’s not magic, it’s just psychology.

A couple kiss on a hotel bed.
Science says hotels rooms can be better than at home. Image by franckreporter

Ian Kerner, a sex counselor and licensed psychotherapist explains that while the effect is real, the reason behind it is still all in our heads. He spoke with HuffPost to explain that the joy of having sex in hotels is all down to the novelty factor, which stimulates dopamine, the chemical in charge of our pleasure and reward system.

“There’s a psychological mindset when people check into a hotel that they can pamper themselves”, he said. “There’s something a little luxurious, languorous, sumptuous about a hotel that lends itself to feeling sexual.”

A survey carried out by booking company Travelocity showed that 56% of couples believe that travel keeps the spark alive in their relationship, although more than half have not had a romantic getaway in more than two years, with 30% having never allowed themselves take a couples holiday.

Couple relax in a hammock during a romantic getaway
Travel can help couples get the spark back. Image by Thomas Barwick

The company examined their American hotel listings to find ones the ones described as romantic and found that New York City had the highest number of romantic lodgings, followed by Miami and Los Angeles.

The good news is that you don’t always have to book into a new setting to see the benefits (although we always recommend a new travel experience!) Kerner says you could help recreate amazing hotel sex by turning your own bedroom into a place free of distractions and anxiety or simply break up your routine.

Some hotels go out of their way to encourage guests to get romantic.
Some hotels go out of their way to encourage guests to get romantic. Image by Getty

Single travellers can still benefit from a bit of love and romance while abroad. MissTravel is the world’s first dating site dedicated to finding a partner whose wanderlust matches your own. If you’ve left it to the last minute, a new app also allows you to chat to fellow passengers even while on airplane mode. If you’re looking for love abroad, you might think about visiting Italy; the Italian accent has been voted the most romantic in Europe.