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What’s with These Capsule Hotels?

What’s with These Capsule Hotels? It might not classify as a trend just yet, but capsule hotels are on the rise. More and more are popping up throughout the world. What started as movement towards minimalism in Japan has worked its way across Southeast Asia into South America and Europe. If you’re claustrophobic you cringe at the very idea of packing into a small morgue-like cell with little room to breathe. If you’re not afraid of tight spaces then the cost, space efficiency, and ease might be appealing! What is a Capsule Hotel? Capsule hotel rooms are just small, horizontal cells designed for individuals to sleep or relax for the night. They are a temporary solution if someone needs a quick place to stay for the night when unable or too weary to return home. While individuals sleep in typically a fiberglass module, their luggage and other belongings are stowed nearby, while they use a shared bathroom and common spaces. Each module holds a bed, and sometimes a television and electrical plugs depending on the hotel. Generally, there are two rows of modules, one on top of another, open to one common space, with shades and a small door to separate individuals from the whole. It looks very futuristic, like something out a sci-fi movie in deep space, but these capsule hotels are becoming more and more common here, on Earth. Luxury certainly isn’t the calling card of these capsule hotels, as you won’t find the huge suites, queen beds, and room service of other establishments, but there’s certainly something efficient about pit stopping in a ready-made pod. It’s almost like a fast food hotel. Where to Find One? Capsule hotels started in Japan with the minimalism movement and increased in popularity during the economic downturn in recent years. Now, you can find capsule hotels across Southeast Asia and in Europe in places like Belgium. Australia recently began working to build a capsule hotel in Sydney, while similar forms have sprouted up in the U.S. “Pod Hotels” in the U.S. have gotten more popular in recent years, and while these are built with the capsule in mind, they are far bigger than the traditional capsule hotel. Pod hotels are a hybrid, in-between a traditional hotel and the module structure of the capsule. If you’re thinking about trying a capsule hotel when visiting another country, but you’re worried about whether or not you can handle the restriction, it makes sense to try staying in a pod hotel first as a way of assimilating to the minimization. Why Stay in One? Unless you are someone who strives for minimalism and has a strong disdain for space and excess, then you’re probably wondering why anyone would choose to stay in a capsule hotel over a regular hotel. The easy answer? Price. Capsule hotels can cost half as much as traditional hotels with all of the same purpose and services (albeit in a different venue). For those looking to make the most of an exciting vacation on a budget, these hotels offer an affordable option for your temporary residence. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfortability and luxury, a capsule hotel might not be a bad option!

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