Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Capsule Hotel

The guest space is reduced in size to a modular plastic or fiberglass block roughly 2 m by 1 m by 1.25 m, providing room to sleep. Facilities range in entertainment offerings (most include a television, an electronic console, and wireless internet connection). These capsules are stacked side by side and two units top to bottom, with steps providing access to the second level rooms. Luggage is stored in a locker, usually somewhere outside of the hotel. Privacy is ensured by a curtain or a fibreglass door at the open end of the capsule. Washrooms are communal and most hotels include restaurants, or at least vending machines, pools, and other entertainment facilities.
This style of hotel accommodation was developed in Japan and has not gained popularity outside of the country, although Western variants with larger accommodations and often private baths are being developed (such as the Hotel, Yotel the Pod Hotel, and citizenM in Kuala Lumpur, London, New York and Amsterdam respectively). Guests are asked not to smoke or eat in the capsules.
These capsule hotels vary widely in size, some having only fifty or so capsules and others over 700. Many are used primarily by men.There are also capsule hotels with separate male and female sleeping quarters. Clothes and shoes are sometimes exchanged for a yukata and slippers on entry. A towel may also be provided. The benefit of these hotels is convenience and price, usually around ¥2000-4000 a night ($21–42, 16-31, £15–29).
Most roomers are businessmen too tired or far away to make the trip home. Others (especially on weekdays) are too inebriated to safely travel to their homes, or too embarrassed to face their spouses.

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