The idea of the capsule hotel has emerged for a few years now and originate from Japan. It is also known as pod hotel.
Japan is one of the expensive places to visit with their living cost being so high especially while looking out for accommodation. The creative Japanese came out with the idea of cramping a large number of small private pods intended to provide basic private accommodation with a cheaper price and without services provided by common hotels.
I have been traveling for quite a fair bit for the past few years but never once consider checking out a capsule hotel for some reasons. I have been traveling with B on most of the trips in which we need more space to move around, or with families (old folks to care for) which would be so inconvenient and the bucks to be spent on few pods a night isn’t any cheaper than getting a proper accommodation.
While I was looking for accommodation for a night in Sydney in the very last minute, it was clear that I need a sack to crash for the night that’s it. I had two options, one being the conventional dormitory or capsule hotel. The conventional dormitory was so much cheaper compared to the capsule hotel but heck it, I chose the capsule hotel instead because I have not got any chance to stay in one. I booked The Capsule Hotel in Sydney the night before I departed for Sydney.
Here goes my first experience staying in a capsule hotel.
The Capsule Hotel is strategically located on the busy George Street with accessibility to the train (Town Hall station two minutes walk away), shopping, food, walking distance to Chinatown and Darling Harbour, pubs and bars on the street at night as well.
The Capsule Hotel is on the 3rd floor of an old building with a small elevator. You have the option to use the stairs or the slow elevator.
Check-in was quick and I was assigned to a pod on the 5th floor. I used the stairs going down and the elevator going up (I am lazy like that, energy saving for myself haha).
This is how the futuristic pods look like in The Capsule Hotel.
Hello, pod 503. I immediately regretted not bringing a pair of flip flops or sandals. I have totally forgotten about the essential staying in share space.
The pods are equipped with a card scanner each, so you can access the pod you were assigned with the card given. The pod is well lit with plenty of adjustable LED lightings.
The lights can be switched on or off according to personal preference with the console under the mirror. Ventilation and air conditioning can be adjusted with the knob in the middle. Phone charging can be done with the USB port provided, but I used the plug socket provided (at the side of the console which was not picture) instead for a faster charging. There is a small safe locker in the pod under the console as well.
A small console (on top, over head) for reading lights as well.
There is also a small TV fitted on top as well but it doesn’t work on mine because I booked a cheaper pod (me being myself, few bucks cheaper is a few bucks saving).
Alarm and smoke detector were fitted in as well. I was advised not to smoke or use any spray (aerosol I assume) in the pod because it would trigger the alarm. It’s never a problem for me because I don’t smoke or use spray (not even perfume). Wonder if the use of perfume would trigger the alarm?
I was more concern of with the smoke detector is what if I sneeze? Would it falsely assume it’s smoke and trigger the alarm? Omg, my imagination gone wild from there. Can’t help with my imagination, hahaha! I don’t get to testify anyway because I never sneeze during my stay.
That’s not it, there’s a small table fitted at the side which can be detached for writing purpose or in any case (especially the ladies) need to place your makeup/skincare while you’re on the routine.
There are also hooks at the side (for hanging purpose), water bottle holder, and small flat space to leave things. You get a glimpse of the space on the right side of the photo above (not all were pictured in my frame).
Luggage storage is in the same space yet different space. What am I talking? I don’t know. Hahaha
The luggage storage is in the same room I was assigned but not in the pod. The storage doors are equipped with card scanners as well, so only the storage space assigned was accessible.
The shower and toilet are one of the most important parts when it comes to judging my stay in an accommodation. Surprisingly, it is kept minimal and clean. It is definitely above the par when it comes to a shared shower and toilet.
Though there is no changing area and the floor was all wet in the shower room. It did not bother me much, I can be more careful during changing.
There is a communal area with a small dry kitchen fitted. Microwave ovens, toaster, kettle, plates, bowls, cups, cutleries, fridge, and storage space for food storage as well. There are also tea bags you can help yourself to if you need a cuppa. The area was kept clean as well.
Here comes my personal opinion after my stay.
The pod is encapsulated with plastic materials which make it a bit irritating with the noises when someone moves in and out of the pods. To make things worst, my pod is above the luggage storage and there was more noise from the luggage dragging and tugging. Well, I signed up to it because I chose a cheaper pod, so not in any position to make a complaint (was clearly written when I booked for the pod). I would assume that those that paid a little more have more peace than I did.
I would not recommend it to a light sleeper as there are pubs in the same building, the bass can be felt and noises from the street were heard as well. I am an easy sleeper myself, the noise did not bother me much once I fell asleep.
Overall, it was a great experience staying in one of the pods for a night. I thought so much was fitted in a tight space like this was a brilliant idea. Of course, it must have come from a thoughtful and creative team of designers as well. I would assume these ideas originate from the Japanese.
Folks that have experience staying in any other capsule hotel, I would love to hear from you.
One last one, a full-length mirror found behind the door for the last check before exiting the room/hotel. A shameless mirror selfie before I sign out for the day.
Till next time folks, see ya! Cheers.