The creation of capsule hotels came about targeting specific groups of people — namely Japanese businessmen who go into town for quick business, or the grittier side: drunken salarymen who miss the last train home. But a new wave of luxury capsule hotels has hit Japan. Now, there are more lavish options for not just businessmen but any sort of traveller looking to have quick and fuss-free accommodation options without scrimping on the luxe factor.
Gone are the days when capsule hotels are notably shabby and cramped. Sure, the “capsule” factor still remains for some of these luxury capsule hotels, but you have the newer ones like First Cabin that offers more leg room — there’s even space for a side table. Some, however, retain the same concept of being one-gender only. Back in the day, most capsule hotels were men’s only. Now, there are also women’s only capsule hotels with a tighter security and a better sense of comfort for both the mind and body.
Other than providing a snug sleeping environment, the new wave of luxury capsule hotels are also banking on the larger, more curated common spaces. The Spa & Capsule Hotel Grandpark Inn Kitasenju for example, has a whiskey bar in its premises, while The Millennials Kyoto has a classy lounge befitting a gentleman.
Feel enticed yet for a quick sleepover at these luxury capsule hotels? Read on.
Its white minimalist interior should already draw in aesthetic-lovers, but it is the concept behind 9h Nine Hours that’s unique. Guests staying at 9h Nine Hours don’t book by the night — you get exactly nine hours, as its name suggests. The reasoning stems from three basic actions: shower, sleep, and getting dressed. 9h Nine Hours suggests an hour, three hours, and another one hour respectively. Even the alarm to awaken you is done artfully — lights are gently raised to naturally wake you up. As of now, there are five 9h Nine Hours capsule hotels across Japan, including one in Narita Airport and a women’s only capsule hotel in Kanda.
9h Nine Hours, Narita International Airport Terminal 2, 1-1 Furugome, Narita-City, Chiba 282-0004 Japan, +81-0476-33-5109.
Frequent travellers to Tokyo will be familiar with the Ginza district and its collection of high-end fashion boutiques, upscale restaurants and bars. Prime Pod Ginza is a luxury capsule hotel located in this district, merging compact accommodations with luxe living. Even its classy lounge could easily be mistaken for one of the upscale restaurants in the area, while the view of the city from the luxury capsule hotel is rather impressive to boot.
Prime Pod Ginza, 5-13-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3-5550-0147.
Unlike most capsule hotels, First Cabin offers you several styles of “cabins”, depending on how much space you’d prefer. Pictured here is the First Class cabin, which actually has room for you to stand on the ground. The Premium Class cabin is best for those who love rolling around the bed, and can even fit two people. The Tsukiji outlet has a bar, cafe, and also laundry service.
First Cabin, 2-11-10 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3-5148-1130.
For men who need to have their daily workout, the New Japan Capsule Cabana in Osaka is perfect as it has a fully-equipped fitness centre with gym gear available for rent. The 24-hour spa at this capsule hotel is also rather swanky, perfect for resting your sore muscles after that workout. Taller gentlemen also need not worry about not fitting into the pods, as they have been designed to be longer than usual, and also fitted with a 13-inch flat screen TV. Finally, there is also a rooftop bar — we needn’t explain more.
New Japan Capsule Cabana, 2-3-28 Dotombori, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka, 542-0071, Osaka, Japan, +81-06-6211-0836.
Anshin Oyado also happens to be one of the new wave capsule hotels that aim to be upscale and luxe compared to their shabby predecessors. There are five outlets for you to pick from, located in areas such as Shinjuku, Akihabara, and more. Anshin Oyado is also known for its large hot steam baths as well as their steam rooms, which sounds like the greatest thing after a long day out.
Anshin Oyado, 4-2-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81-3-6856-3222.
Grandpark Inn Kitasenju is a spa and capsule hotel under Grandpark, a reputable group of hotels in Japan. This particular property is also only for men, and is perfect for those on work trips. Inside the capsule hotel is a whisky bar and business centre aimed for getting some serious work done, naturally. There is also an onsen sauna area to unwind after wrapping up that business deal.
Grandpark Inn Kitasenju, 40-9 Senju Nakacho, Adachi 120-0036 Tokyo Prefecture, Japan, +81 3-5284-2641.
As its name suggests, The Millennials Kyoto is a capsule hotel targeted at the younger generation that’s located in old Kyoto. The luxury capsule hotel has sleeping pods powered by the IoT (Internet of Things) technology, and also maintains a social-media-friendly aesthetic, as its common lounge proves. It also has a co-working space, which appeals to the generation of today and their penchant for hot-desking and community building.
The Millennials Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku Yamazaki-cho 235 Kyoto, Kyoto 604-8032 Japan, +81 752126887.