Sex hotel facelift

The enticing façade, fresh from new paint.

UNLESS YOU’RE a relative stranger hereabouts you know I live next door to a sex motel, a fascinating neighbor.

It wasn’t there when we purchased the property and built the Hacienda 14 years back. There was a cow pasture next door where a lone cow lived and attracted flies.

About four years later, the construction crew arrived and started building the sex hotel. There are just eight rooms.

The hotel is part of a nationwide phenomenon called Hoteles de Paso, meaning “pass-by hotels.” These establishments are noted for their very low prices.

Our neighbor, for instance, charges the peso equivalent of about 10 dollars for eight hours; 14 dollars for 12 hours; and 22 dollars for a 24-hour stay, all taxes included.

Take that! Motel 6.

They are usually nicely appointed places with discreet parking. Three sorts of customers, basically. Single folks with nowhere else to get it on. Married folks who just want to have some “us” time away from the 12 children and Granny.

And anyone else who simply wants a nice, inexpensive place to bed down for the night, mostly travelers.

Not being on a major highway, we don’t get much No. 3 trade. It’s almost exclusively Nos. 1 and 2.

We were very apprehensive when the construction began because we thought the hotel would be a noisy neighbor.

Mexicans are noisy.

But no. It’s been tranquil these last 10 years, and the place even serves as a 24-hour guard service of sorts since it’s always open, and the office is out front.

The hotel has provided us with some entertainment over the years, as you might guess. If you walk out to the edge of the upstairs terraza and peer over, you’re looking directly into a couple of the bedrooms.

Toward the tail of the construction process, my wife and I crept over there one afternoon and slipped up the stairs of the back room. Very impressive, beautifully appointed, even with crown moulding. One of the rooms sports a jacuzzi.

But after a decade it began to look a bit scuzzy, and a week ago a couple of fellows showed up with paint and brushes.

Now it looks like it did on its debut day, a place you’d be proud to take your pants off to have a little fun.