Our focus on this site is on tiny houses, but the movement of architectural downsizing spans beyond tiny homes to include tiny sheds, tiny hotels, and other tiny structures. I think that this broad trend holds the same appeal for other tiny house fans as it does for me. So today I want to share the concept of the “capsule hotel” with you.
The idea of a capsule hotel is best conveyed through an image of the inBox Capsule Hotel in Saint Petersburg:
I think you get the idea. Basically, instead of paying for a separate private room of your own like you do at a traditional hotel, you book a little “capsule” in a wall of capsules.
This is not to say that capsule rooms are not private. You can pull a screen across like this:
Admittedly at a glance, the capsule hotel has a somewhat dystopian quality to it.
This one is actually a bit softer around the edges than a lot of them. The wood texture gives it a slightly more “traditional” vibe (many capsule hotels seem to feature more in the way of metal and other cold industrial materials). These capsules are also a bit larger than some at other hotels.
There are common areas for when you want to relax with a bit more room. Facilities include a guest kitchen, luggage room, library, and shared shower facilities. Wi-fi, toiletries, and breakfast are all included with your stay.
Within each capsule, you can control the ventilation and air temperature individually. There are power sockets, an LED light, an orthopedic mattress, racks for clothing and towels, and a soft pocket to store belongings. Underneath your room is a storage locker which you can access with a keycard.
Want your own bathroom, plus more room to sleep? The “Double Box” is a larger unit which includes its own bathroom suite underneath.
When I checked rates today and ran the conversions from Rubles to US Dollars, I found that the smallest capsules cost less than $10 a night, and the Double Boxes cost less than $35.
This is why capsule hotels are just a brilliant concept. Contrast that with the $50-$200 typical for a regular hotel room, and you can see why these hotels have really taken off around the world.
The first time I ever saw a capsule hotel, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, that is like sleeping in a coffin or a clothes dryer (some capsule hotels look remarkably like laundromats).”
But if you think about it more like sleeping in a dormitory or barracks, but with added privacy and security, the concept becomes less claustrophobic.
I’ve done little traveling in my life because of costs. When I did, I often couldn’t afford a hotel room. I would often struggle just to find a safe place to sleep.
That’s what a capsule hotel is—a safe, affordable place to sleep.
So this is a great example of what becomes possible when we scale down and embrace tiny design. Travel, like home living, becomes a lot more affordable and accessible.
If you want to learn more about the inBox Hotel, you can visit the official website, where you may also book a stay if you happen to be traveling to Saint Petersburg.