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Travelers Are Downsizing From Luxury Stays to Coffin-Sized Rooms

Travelers Are Downsizing From Luxury Stays to Coffin-Sized Rooms
Scott Dylan

Have you always wished you could stay at a pod hotel? The option hasn’t really been available in most parts of the world. In fact, the pod hotel was widely considered to be a Japanese phenomenon up until very recently. That’s all changing. The pod hotel is now a mainstream trend. That’s good news if you’ve always dreamed of paying for a room that’s the size of a closet or sleeping stacked in a bed right next to a group of strangers. The pod-hotel market is valued at somewhere around $226 million right now.

The hospitality industry is ready to embrace the pod hotel as more and more travelers search for budget-friendly accommodations. What’s more, pod hotels appeal to people who value efficiency when traveling for business. That means that pod hotels can simultaneously attract adventurous travelers looking for bare-bones accommodations that are a step up from hostels and business travelers. One of the big things helping pod hotels grow right now is the fact that travel websites and third-party booking platforms are now featuring listings for pod hotels. even features a special page solely for what it is calling capsule hotels.

There’s no denying that pod hotels are growing the fastest in spots around the globe like Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Properties like Tokyo’s Book and Bed and The Millennials in Kyoto set the bar for what high-tech, hyper-efficient pod hotels should be. However, pod hotels are also popping up in some surprising spots. Pod hotels are really catching on in the United Kingdom. That makes sense when you consider that cities like London are often on the cutting edge of travel trends. What is more surprising is that pod hotels are actually becoming quite beloved in Russia. Of course, Yotel famously offers pod suites at European airports like Schiphol and Gatwick.

What is it that’s so appealing about pod hotels? Price is a big perk. Many pod hotels around the world cost about as much as a campsite. You can easily get a room for about $50 per night in major cities in Asia. Many travelers today really only care about having their essential needs covered. That usually means a bed, Wi-Fi and a place to charge a phone or laptop. The rise of low-cost airlines throughout Asia at the moment means that travelers are hungry for cheap hotel rooms to go with their cheap airfare. Pod hotels also offer great flexibility. Most charge by the hour instead of by the night. The location also helps pod hotels to look appealing to travelers. Most are either located in city centers or right inside of airports. That creates the ultimate opportunity to get some rest in without getting off track with your busy itinerary. Of course, one has to wonder if spending time in such cramped quarters really feels like a vacation at all.

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (8)


  1. MimiB22

    May 19, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I look for a few things when I just need a short stay hotel. Cleanliness, decent mattress, quiet and a bathroom with a shower. Nothing else [other than accessible electrical outlets] is essential. So, small and cheap is fine. I’d rather splurge on nicer longer stay accommodations, when one will actually use the rooms and hotel amenities.

  2. strickerj

    May 19, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Wait, what? Most people dream “up”, not “down”. I’ve never gone into my hotel room and thought “well this is nice enough, but I sure wish it were a pod that I couldn’t stand up or move around in.” I guess this is an attractive alternative to hostels or not traveling at all, but I guarantee no business traveler is interested in it. And I notice no mention of bathrooms… is that not considered essential anymore? Or more likely, communal? Yeah, no thanks to that.

  3. OMSHH

    May 19, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Actually, Yotel does not offer “pòds” in Gatwick or on Schiphol.

    While they maybe smaller than a hotel room, they are by no means, “pods”. Instead, Yotel rents out what they call “cabins”.

    Here is a link to the Yotel website where you can see images of the cabins (rooms, which also include a full size bathroom/shower) at both Gatwick, as well as Schiphol. You’ll also find that they have either “standard” or “premium queen” cabins.

  4. In2ishn

    May 19, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve stayed in them at both AMS and SVO. Great deals and great for long layovers

  5. Sydneyberlin

    May 20, 2019 at 1:03 am

    What an absolute nightmare. But if the riff raff wants to stay in capsule hotels instead of annoying me by the pool of my 5 Star resort- good for me!

  6. OUTraveling

    May 20, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I will have to try this out sometime as I am cannot afford the nicer more established hotels as I was fired from my job as a taxi driver and have a female travelling companion (Leeloo) in tow. After all, it helps me save money on travel lodging on my way to Fhloston Paradise!

  7. Annalisa12


    May 21, 2019 at 12:36 am

    I’d love to stay in one of those just for fun.

  8. Romelle

    May 21, 2019 at 6:04 am

    A pod in Helsinki airport worked wonderfully for me. I had a 7am departure. Since I was already in the airport, through security, and near the gate, I slept until 6am.

    A regular hotel outside the airport would have involved transportation and getting through security. I’d have been lucky to set the alarm clock at 4am.

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