“Discretion Environment Elegance”

An illegal brothel at Girona Airport.

Club La Luna receiving some bikers, an important client segment, with oilseed rape in the foreground.

Club La Luna receiving some bikers, an important client segment, with oilseed rape in the foreground.

The mistranslation into English of Ambiente in the slogan of Club La Luna, 5 minutes walk from the Girona Airport terminal, conjures up delightful images of bearded ladies in sandals chomping muesli all night long. Unfortunately la Vanguardia (which itself makes a decent living from brothel advertising) says that when the Policía Nacional dropped by one night in October 2008, they found the customary selection of morose Eastern European and Latin American women waiting for someone to buy them a drink–ten Rumanians, a Colombian, a Bolivian, a Venezuelan, and a Brazilian. The latter three were detained, and one of them was summarily deported.

Hotel Sallés

Juan José Cuellar’s puticlub has at least two things in common with the four-star Sallés Aeroport de Girona: its roof (it’s round the back of the hotel, as as Lille Skvat discovered recently) and its relaxed attitude to planning legislation. Both hotel and brothel popped up in the Diari de Girona a month before the raid in connection with a meeting of the local council in Riudellots de la Selva. Under questioning from independent councillor Paola Estrada, mayoress Montserrat Roura revealed that the hotel was unlicensed, having been converted without planning permission. She also announced that, while other brothels were to be prevented from opening, nothing was to be done about La Luna, despite it never having been licensed for prostitution–it is currently officially a night bar. Roura gave the extraordinary explanation that it had not been closed because “the owners knew that they didn’t have a license”.

Assuming that this phrase is not a euphemism between local politics and organised crime (and casting from our mind the regional police inspector who was providing premises for a brothel just down the road in Sant Antoni de Calonge), it has to be said that the brothel does have its logic. Apart from the airport, there is a large industrial estate and substantial passing lorry traffic, and local mayors have been complaining for years about hordes of roadside prostitutes. In the sensitive words of Miquel Casas, mayor of Caldes de Malavella, “They create a bad image and cause distractions”; Roura commented after the raid that she had nothing against brothels, but that one was quite enough.

Riudellots is, as the council website says, a village with all the virtues and defects that that implies. I usually walk to the airport via it, partly in order to view the works on the AVE high-speed line connecting brothels in Madrid, Zaragoza, Barcelona and Riudellots–cue jokes about Zapatero’s sustainable economy PR campaign:

There are some incredibly tacky photos on Club La Luna’s site, but I’m sorry not to be able to provide you with any of my own. In recompense, here’s Galician friki-star Cañita Brava singing in another of Spain’s 4,000-odd brothels:


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  1. Via this wonderful invention called Google, I believe this is what you’re after. Sounds like there are better ways of spending 100€/half hour.

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