Exterior of Capsule Hotel in Tokyo, Japan

Snug as a Bug in a Rug – The Capsule Hotel

We’ve all been there. Had a few too many to drinks after work, missed the last train home, and have a client meeting at silly o’clock in the morning. A hotel is too pricey, and the park bench is out of the question, so what’s the best alternative? A capsule hotel of course! 

Why pay for the luxuries of a hotel room such as a window when all you want is to lay your head down and have a good night’s sleep. 

Capsule hotels are convenient, cheap and comfortable – what’s not to love right? Well for some that might not be the case. 

What you get isn’t quite a space where you can stretch your legs, they’re snug. So, if you’re over 6ft tall, you may find crawling inside about as much fun as squeezing into those jeans you owned when you were 25 years old.

The usual booking for a pod is 12 hours (the same as a hotel room). You can stay for more than one night and you have to check-out usually at 10:00 am, but this can be extended for a small fee, usually a couple more pounds per hour.

If you’re wanting some privacy you’re out of luck, there are usually no locks on the capsules, only a shutter or curtain between you and the outside. So if you’ve got unwelcome rowdy neighbours then that luxurious sleep may not be on the menu.

But of course, like most things in life, you get what you pay for but it’s not all doom and gloom. The majority of capsule hotels will have access to a bath or sauna, a variety of vending machines for a midnight snack, communal space for watching TV and some even having a manga library, arcade machines, massage services and even a restaurant. The rule of ‘essentialism’ doesn’t always mean basic.

It may not be everyone’s taste, but they are certainly popular, with more and more popping up all over Japan. Staying in a pod can set you back £15 to £50 which is a bargain if you think about it. For those who like to try something different (or are a little too tipsy to make it home), these are a perfect pad for an overnight nap. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

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