I’d seen so many pictures of the capsule hotels from Japan and had always thought to myself that if I ever had the chance somewhere around the world, I would book in for a night. I needed a place to stay for my last night in Taipei on a trip a few years ago and thought it was going to be the perfect opportunity to try one out (a hostel in this case).
The first capsule hotel in Japan opened in 1979 with the main purpose of providing a bed for the night. Practical and space effective, it seems like a unique experience to have if given the chance and if not claustrophobic.
The rooms at UZ Hostel are seperated into male and females dorms. There is the option to book a double bed capsule so I suspect that these have their own dorm. I booked into a superior capsule which was still a bargain at $30 aud a night. I do like to spoil myself from time to time.
In the rooms, there were 16 pods. As above, the pods were staked in a bunk bed way of sorts. In the middle of the room were lockers for your bags although they were not very big so suitcases were also being stored in the middle. A communal bathroom was situated down the hallway which had more than enough cubicles for your bathroom needs.
I had a top capsule but there are steps which you can climb up with. Interestingly the bottom capsule was quite close to the ground. Probably not so good for the taller bunch amongst us.
Inside the pod, it was like a scene from a Star Wars movie. It was very futuristic and contained a tv at the foot of the bed. There was a control panel under the mirror that let you control the lights and air flow. Power sockets to charge your electronics and even a safe.
There was also both blue and white lights. I’m not sure whether they were for asthetics or whether the blue light was just a softer light to have on once awake. Perhaps both.
It was large enough on the inside to sit upright and gives you that bit more room to feel like you aren’t just in the pod to be in a horizontal position. The door to the capsule was a sliding door that was just as thick as the rest of the capsule. You can still hear people in your room though if they are talking. What I did find really weird was that once you closed your sliding door, it would automatically lock even if you were inside. I did think to myself how I would even let reception know if the electronics failed and I wasn’t able to unlock myself from the inside. Maybe a whole lot of door banging and screaming so that everyone else in the room could go and get help.
So how was my nights sleep?
Surprising well. It didn’t feel that claustrophobic due to how much space I knew I had above my head although I would have liked to have more air inside. There was one of those nozzles (like in plane bathrooms) inside the capsule as that was all the air as far as I could tell.
From my experience of that one night- I barely saw anyone else in my room but did hear them. I think you would book into a capsule hotel/hostel if you didn’t want to mingle so much. It offers you more privacy than your standard hostel which I think it what makes it so attractive to certain travellers.
Have you ever stayed in a capsule hotel/hostel? I’d love to hear what it was like. If you haven’t, would you ever stay in one?
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