Capsule or ‘pod’ hotels were developed in Japan as a way for budget travellers to have somewhere safe and affordable to sleep. Over the years capsule hotels have remained popular but the experience of staying in one has dramatically changed, with pod hoteliers competing to provide guests with the most stylish and luxurious experience.
Here are the world’s top 10 capsule hotels, as voted by international travellers.*
Nonze Hostel in Pattaya, Thailand
Nonze Hostel, Pattaya, Thailand
Only a short walk from the Central Festival Pattaya Beach, the Nonze Hostel’s sleeping pods all feature either rustic, modern, or vintage designs. Guests have a choice between double or single capsules and the hostel has a communal seating area and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the sea.
Dream Lodge in Lavender, Singapore
Dream Lodge, Lavender, Singapore
The Dream Lodge is decorated with inspiring quotes and the sleeping pods mean that it’s possible to share a room without being disturbed by guests on different schedules. But it’s the lodge’s fantastic connections to the Lavender MRT airport that really make it popular with both business and leisure travellers.
Capsule Hotel Astil Dotonbori in Osaka, Japan
Capsule Hotel Astil Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
At Capsule Hotel Astil Dotonbori all the capsules are non-smoking (something that is still rather unusual in Japanese hotels), and come with a flat-screen TV, phone charging points, USB ports, and free WiFi. In addition, the 24-hour front desk, lockers, and double-lock security boxes make the whole place feel extra secure.
InBox Capsule Hotel in Saint Petersburg, Russia
InBox Capsule Hotel, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Only 15-minutes’ walk from the St Petersburg Summer Garden, Russian Museum, and the Mikhailovsky Castle, the stylish InBox Capsule Hotel is a great starting point for exploring this historic Russian city. Based in the Tsentralny district and with plenty of restaurants nearby, visitors are given all the convenience of a traditional hotel, with the simplicity of a capsule experience.
Star Anise Boutique Capsules in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Star Anise Boutique Capsules, Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Star Anise Boutique Capsules are an example of how the traditional capsule hotel has evolved. While guests can choose to stay in one of the hotel’s more traditional capsules, a lot of the units now come with seating areas, making it more sociable for groups of friends. A perk is that free bike hire allows guests to make the most of the surrounding cycling trails.
The Pod Sydney in Sydney, Australia
The Pod Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Every room at The Pod Sydney has a king-size bed, a reading light, charging points, and air conditioning, making it ideal for guests not yet used to those scorching Australian summers. Guests can mingle with other travellers in The Pod’s shared kitchen and dining facilities, or explore the many nearby cafés and bars.
Ease Single Inn in Taichung, Taiwan
Ease Single Inn, Taichung, Taiwan
A short walk from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Ease Single Inn is located right in the centre of Taichung in Taiwan. It has a 24-hour front desk, free toiletries (not usually offered at capsule hotels), lockers big enough to fit two large suitcases, and a complimentary breakfast.
The Prime Pod Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan
The Prime Pod Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
Despite only opening in February 2017, The Prime Pod is already one of the top ten highest-reviewed capsule hotels on Booking.com. The Prime Pod makes a point of providing all of the luxuries of traditional hotels, including flat-screen TVs in every pod, free toiletries, robes, slippers, security boxes, and a ‘hot dog breakfast’, that well known hospitality staple.
Mono’tel in Taipei, Taiwan
Mono’tel, Taipei, Taiwan
Just a one-minute walk from the Shilin Night Market, the Mono’tel in Taipei is a great base for exploring Taiwan’s bustling nightlife. Air-conditioned rooms come with lockers, reading lights, free WiFi, and a 24-hour helpdesk. In the morning there is the option of a free breakfast or a shared kitchen to make your own with produce picked up at the night market.
UZ Hostel in Taipei, Taiwan
UZ Hostel, Taipei, Taiwan
The UZ Hostel is an example of how Taiwan’s hoteliers are taking capsule hotels to the next level. Founded by two friends, the UZ was designed to help travellers with similar hobbies and enthusiasms meet, and it’s used by a variety of Meetup groups to organise social events.
**As rated by Booking.com reviewers.