Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a thing for hotels. The squishy beds, the giant tubs, room service being available at the click of a button—these things spoke to me on a spiritual level. Back then, of course, this was an extremely rare, uncommon occurrence.
More recently, my fluctuating grown up income has allowed me to stay in a vast array of different types of hotels, from the cheapest hostels to the overwater bungalows. They all serve their purpose and come with their own lists of pros and cons. But, one specific type of hotel has stood out among the rest in terms of overall experience and bang for your buck—the capsule hotel. It’s perfect stay for anyone who wants to feel like they live in the year 3000, but also wants to spend less than 30 bucks to house themselves.
I’ve been lucky enough to stay in two capsule hotels so far: the Prime Pod Ginza in Tokyo, Japan and the Hey Bear Capsule Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. Overall, I enjoyed staying in both!
Here’s a video from my YouTube channel outlining my capsule hotel experience in Tokyo:
You can also check out my Taiwan vlog where I touch on my capsule hotel experience in Taipei:
Important Things To Keep In Mind When Booking a Capsule Hotel:
- Capsule hotels are unique in that a you are sharing one large bedroom space with anywhere from a handful to dozens of other people, with your own private capsule space inside. Capsules are stacked on top of each other, so you’ll either be on the bottom capsule or have to climb a small ladder to get to your upper capsule spot.
- In most capsule hotels, especially in Asia, the expectation is that you will be very quiet and considerate when you’re in the capsule because other guests could be sleeping or trying to rest at any time. You won’t really be able to talk above a whisper if you’re traveling with someone who is in the same room with you. During my experience, everyone was silent in the capsule rooms most of the time. Most capsule hotels offer a common area where you can talk and eat freely.
- Some individual capsules have locks and some don’t, depending on the type of hotel you choose. I’ve stayed in both kinds. In my experience, one was completely private with a sliding, hard, lockable door and the other was totally open and covered only by a moveable curtain. I felt safe in both of them, but the curtain did take some getting used to. In both cases, I did have a private locker in my capsule where I could put any valuables.
- Capsule hotels are generally very safe, but they have varying options for where to put your luggage. Prepare for your luggage to be placed in common areas, whether this means bringing your own luggage lock or simply moving any valuables to your locker.
- Some capsule hotels seperate the capsule rooms by gender. I was traveling with my husband when we stayed in the capsule hotel in Tokyo and our capsules were on totally different floors of the building. This meant we couldn’t really hang out late at night and had to meet in the common area for breakfast.
- Consider the weather when booking a capsule hotel. If it’s very hot or cold that week it may impact the comfort of your stay. During my Tokyo stay, it was nearly a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, so I got pretty sweaty on certain nights. The capsules do usually have AC, but some work better than others.
- You will be sharing a bathroom with all the other tenants, so pack accordingly. I suggest you bring flip flops to wear in the shower.
- The capsules did not make me feel claustrophobic at all. In fact, I found them quite cozy. But, do consider that your height plays a factor in how comfy it may be. You can totally stay in a capsule hotel if you’re tall. My husband is 6’4 and he had a great time. It’s just something to keep in mind.
My Capsule Hotel Experience in Tokyo
The Capsule Hotel I Stayed In: The Prime Pod Ginza (now permanently closed, unfortunately)
The Location: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, 13, 銀座5−13−1 デュープレックス銀座タワー5/13ビル 13階
The Price I Paid: $31.85 USD per night
- Free WiFi
- Free breakfast (though the breakfast in question was literally a hot dog)
- AC (for the most part)
- Freshly washed pajamas and slippers to borrow for the night
- Bath products available for free in the shower
- Hair dryers in bathrooms
- Great location
- Awesome view of Ginza
- Huge bathroom area
- Clean bathrooms and capsules
- No lock on the capsule itself
- AC wasn’t great
- You have to use your keycard constantly to get into any of the rooms, which can get cumbersome
Overall Rating: 7/10
I had a great time and loved the view/location. I got pretty hot the first night, but opened the curtain and felt some relief.
My Capsule Hotel Experience in Taipei
The Capsule Hotel I Stayed In: Hey Bear Capsule Hotel
The Location: No. 1號, Section 2, Chongxin Rd, Sanchong District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 241
The Price I Paid: $25.59 USD per night
- Free WiFi
- Laundry machines available at your own cost
- Great location
- Big common area
- Futuristic capsule design that makes you feel like an badass astronaut
- Big TV in the capsule
- Excellent AC
- Clean all around
- The capsule room itself was multi-gendered, which felt weird after experiencing the gendered rooms in my first experience
- The lockers didn’t fit my luggage, so I had to leave my bags in the capsule room without a lock (which is sort of my fault anyways)
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Great for the price! Again, another solid location. The design was fun!
If you’re considering staying in a capsule hotel, this is your sign to go for it! It’s a gloriously unique experience and you can’t beat the price.