Canada, known for its vast landscapes and bustling cities, is a popular hiking and skiing destination for travelers who want to experience below-zero temperatures.
However, both domestic and international accommodation can be quite expensive especially in major cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal – posing a challenge for budget travel and adventure seekers.
To fight this issue, the introduction of the capsule hotel concept in Japan opened a new door to all essential and practical stay – offering comfortable and a cozy night’s sleep in a compact and ergonomic pod.
This concept could be beneficial and might revolutionize the concept of budget travel, providing an affordable and efficient solution for those seeking a place just to sleep, without breaking the bank.
The Concept of Capsule Hotels
Capsule hotels are similar to pod hotels but are typically smaller; it was first developed in Japan in the late 1970s. The first capsule hotel opened in Osaka in 1979, designed by the renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa.
The concept was simple: provide a safe, clean, and affordable place for people to sleep. This was particularly appealing to Japanese salarymen who might have missed the last train home or were too intoxicated to travel by train.
Each guest in a capsule hotel occupies a capsule, essentially a bed-sized pod. These capsules are typically stacked two units high and arranged in rows.Despite their compact size, these pods are designed to offer maximum comfort and often include amenities such as air conditioning, power outlets, and sometimes even a small television.
What to Expect in a Capsule Hotel
When you stay in a capsule hotel, you can expect a unique experience. Upon entering the hotel, guests are usually required to remove their shoes and wear slippers, which is a common practice in Japanese culture. If you are Canadian and new to this concept, then don’t be surprised.
- A locker to store belongings
While the capsule pods feel secure, it doesn’t give access to be lock from the inside or outside. But theft isn’t a big issue in most known capsule hotels in Japan, but some still advised you to store belongings in lockers that are often located in the lobby or a dedicated room. If you prefer to bring your belongings with you, a capsule hotel might not fit your needs.
- Pyjamas and slippers are Essentials
Capsule hotels understand that their guests might not have planned to spend the night away from home. Therefore, many provide overnight clothes and slippers for their guests. Not all capsule hotels offer this service, but some are innovative enought to provide functional amenities and features. Complimentary items can include pajamas,slippers, and towels. The essentials such as shampoo, soap, conditioner, toothpaste, and a toothbrush are standards in most properties.
Here’s the catch, slippers must be worn at all times: EVERY single capsule hotel requires guests to wear slippers. Some provide standard hotel-style slippers, while others have a rack of plastic sandals to choose from. As a result, capsule hotels are incredibly clean and feel homely.
- Daily Checkout is Necessary
Usually in Japanese Capsule hotels, require their guests to check out daily. This is a common tradition that supported the Japanese salary man to stay overnight if it’s not convenient for them to go home or if they want to work late.
While this might seem inconvenient or bothersome as it sounds; it ensures that efficient cleaning and staff rotation since capsule hotels operates 24/7.
As a guest, you are likely to be assigned to a new pod or request to move a different one.
- Not every pod will have a socket or built-in table
Most capsules come with folding table and electric plug and sometimes with a USB socket for convenient charging.
However, it’s worth to check this before you book your stay online if these electronic essentials are available or only the common area is availabe for charging purposes.
- Does the pod have air-conditioning?
Sleeping in a confined space like a capsule pod, stacked on top of each other like Legos can give you that uneasy feeling of being in an oven.
To avoid this and like the previous tip, check beforehand whether the hotel includes air conditioning. Most do, allowing cool air to vent inside the pod. However, some brands don’t offer air-conditioning and this can be a bit of a pain.
- Do you badly need your personal quiet time?
In Japan, guests are required to follow the capsule rules limiting noise levels. However, not everyone can control snoring while sleeping. Capsule hotels are still finding solutions to limit the noise of snorers choosing to sleep in pods.
In fact, stackable egg cartons can be great to amplify the noise in some pods, so don’t expect this kind of luxury.
How much does a Capsule Hotel cost?
One of the major selling points of capsule hotels is the affordability. Prices typically range from $100 – $130 CAD per night, making it a budget-friendly option compared to traditional Canadian hotels. This cost-effectiveness, combined with their convenient locations often near airports and major transport hubs, makes it a popular choice among budget travelers, backpackers, and locals alike.
Capsule hotels are not just known in Japan – The concept has spread across Canada and all over the world appearing as “pod hotels” in cities and tourist spots.
From the POD Boutique Capsule Hotel in Singapore, to the Capsule Hotel Lucerne in Switzerland, the capsule hotel experience has been adapted to suit different cultures and markets.
Capsule Hotels offer a Unique Accommodation Experience
Whether you’re a budget traveler seeking an affordable stay or a curious adventurer looking for a unique experience, Capsule hotels offer a unique accommodation experience, combining affordability and efficiency.
Capsule hotels offer an affordable and efficient solution for accommodation, which could be particularly appealing in Canada’s urban centers. They could provide a cost-effective option for those who need a place to stay for a night or two without the expense of a traditional hotel.
Moreover, Canada’s diverse and inclusive society makes it an ideal location for such an innovative concept. Capsule hotels could cater to a wide range of people, from business travelers needing a convenient place to rest, to backpackers exploring the country, or even locals who need temporary accommodation.
Additionally, the introduction of capsule hotels aligns with Canada’s focus on sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives. The compact design of capsule hotels not only maximizes space but also reduces the resources required for construction and operation compared to traditional hotels.