Spice Motel wins the award for cheapest hotel I’ve ever booked. It’s shockingly cheap. Crappy hostel cheap. Sketchy Airbnb cheap. Yet it was one of my favorite hotel experiences in recent memory.
The buildings have been around since the US occupied Okinawa. It was recently purchased and renovated by an Osaka-based architecture firm and relaunched as a retro American-style motel for the hipster traveler crowd.
Above is the interior of the lobby/cafe where we picked up our complimentary coffees in the morning, browsed the Okinawa guide books and magazines, and asked the friendly receptionists for restaurant suggestions.
You absolutely need a rental car if you plan to stay at Spice Motel. Don’t even think about it otherwise.
The rooms are all along the second floor. Downstairs, there’s parking garages and common areas with a lounge, small communal kitchen with fridge, and washing machine for laundry. Free Wi-Fi everywhere.
We stayed in a double room. They also have twin rooms with bunk beds (perfect for kids) and an “original” room that looks like it’s from the 70s.
The regular rooms are pretty retro as they are, to be honest. So authentic that there’s really not much inside despite all the free space. There’s no TV, no fridge and no daily housekeeping.
You don’t really miss them though when you can hang out here on the terrace in the mornings.
And during the nights.
Spice Motel is about a 40-minute drive from Naha Airport. It’s a 3-minute drive to the nearest Family Mart and just 5-minutes to Aeon Rycon Mall.
I want to say we’ll be back next time, but I have a feeling it’ll be tough to snag a room.