Be honest. How many times have you chatted up, or been chatted up, in a five-star hotel or when travelling business class? How many times have you flopped into your upmarket room from a late flight, knackered, but still lively enough to spruce up and nip downstairs for a nightcap and to see who is at the hotel bar? Women readers may scoff and say they never do that, but they’d be lying. For sure they look around them when sitting in business class or first to check if there’re any wealthy single-looking chaps or celebrities, but the new cubicle layouts make this rather difficult.
The time to check them out is in the lounge, but then they are usually glued to their iPads. After that you have to wait till they don their pyjamas and trot down the aisle to the loo, but that’s neither a good look nor a good opportunity. And the guys at the pointy end are often off-duty pilots, not tycoons. So the chances of meeting Mr or Ms High Net Worth Individual on the plane are limited. Unless you are a member of the cabin crew.
Hot spots to meet
Not that every posh hotel bar is fun-filled and action-packed. Nine times out of ten you get down there to find the obligatory Filipino band called something like the Foxettes playing enthusiastically to an audience of three guys who are already being, well, entertained. Hotels in Asia offer pretty slim pickings for single ladies on the road. Men seem to have more opportunities. Women of any age have a far better chance of getting chatted up when drinking solo in a bar in Australia, Europe or America.
A new survey shows that one in four single travellers are indeed looking for love on the road, but relaxed holiday travel may offer more success than business trips.
As Rocky of “Bachelors at War” fame says: If you’re looking for ‘the one’, travel alone.
Hotels.com and Asian dating agency ‘Lunch Actually’ have collaborated on the Single Traveller Survey, to study the single traveller’s “wish list” which reveals that holiday-makers are looking for more than a tan. No surprises there. Of the 301 single Hong Kong’s ‘Lunch Actually’ members and online subscriber respondents, a quarter is searching for true love whilst on holiday, with 30 per cent of the respondents also admitting to pre-holiday diets to get in shape.
And a third of them, 30 per cent, got what they wanted: at least one dalliance in the past, with 14 per cent admitting to several. And if you think holiday romances only last until the return transfer to the airport, wrong. A hefty 78 per cent expect to stay in contact with their paramour once back home. And of that 78 per cent, Hotels.com finds that a quarter have kept in touch with their holiday love for more than a year. In fact, more than one in ten, 12 per cent of them have turned into long distance relationships or are still dating.
The best place to meet “the one” is at; you’ve guessed it, the hotel bar, say 49 per cent of respondents. Next comes the hotel restaurant (45%) and swimming pool (25%). Forget the hotel gym - only 8 per cent find true love among the free weights. And best advice is: don’t stray from the hotel: more than half say they look for a fellow hotel guest when considering a holiday romance. When respondents were asked what the sexiest language is, French speakers topped the list (25%), followed by English (15%) and Chinese (11%).
Violet Lim, CEO of Lunch Actually who should know a thing or two about internet mating, reckons the high success rate is due to people being more open and receptive to finding romance on holiday. “When people are on vacation, they feel physically relaxed and emotionally renewed; it’s a great setting to fall in love.” In fact, many flourishing and happy relationships - especially in the thirty-plus age group, start on holiday, she says. So go on, fork out for that single supplement and leave your best friend at home.