Unique stay in Sydney: Capsule Hotel

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Trupti Devdas Nayak

Traveler . Writer . Photographer . Artist . I write about outdoor adventures at http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/trailbound and my travels at http://www.exploringthebluemarble.com
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The Future of Traveling. Using the words “future” and “travel” in the same sentence is a surefire way to get my attention. When researching places to stay in Sydney, with requirements like “should be close to train station”, “reasonably close to Sydney Opera House” and “not too expensive”, I stumbled across The Capsule Hotel in Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District), touting itself as The Future of Traveling.

With photos depicting sleek and snug capsule pods packed with all the amenities of luxury, they seemed like the best option for a reasonably priced stay in prime location. I could stay affordably in Sydney and I would get to experience sleeping in a capsule! I’d heard of Capsule Hotels in Japan so it was no surprise when I learnt that The Capsule Hotel was in fact inspired by Japan’s very own! Sydney’s Capsule Hotel was launched in May 2017 which meant the pods were shiny new and waiting to be slept in by eager travelers.

I happily booked the unique stay and reserved a Deluxe Side-Entrance Capsule (Single Bed) for 2 nights. The price came to $60 USD per night (including the 10% VAT, AUD 5 for towel fee and the AUD 10 City tax). In terms of location, the Capsule Hotel is a mere 2 blocks from the Museum Station. And the Museum train station is a mere 2 stops from Circular Quay which boasts Sydney’s iconic Opera House! We could get from the Capsule Hotel to Circular Quay in less than 15 mins (including the walk + train ride).

The Capsule Hotel is located right in the center of Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) and there are no dearth of options for restaurants and coffee shops. Bustling with energy as travelers and locals buzzed about, we loved the location of the Capsule Hotel and the proximity to everything that we needed to get to. Grocery shops down the street (for stocking up on water and snacks). There was a cozy restaurant next door where we stopped the next morning for early coffee and eggs on toast while watching Hugh Jackman being interviewed on the local news about his latest movie “The Showman” making us feel like we were locals in Sydney, even if just for the day.

When trying to find the Capsule Hotel, you might miss the entrance if you walk by too fast! Located above The Century Bar, the Capsule Hotel lobby is on the 3rd floor. We had a to wait a while for the elevator and we opted to wait instead of lugging our suitcases up the spiral staircase. The lobby and common lounge area was clean and neat, with Christmas decorations in full swing since we visited in December. We had arrived earlier than the 2pm check-in time, so we left our bags with reception and headed out to explore Circular Quay. After a full day out sightseeing Sydney, we got back and were assigned our capsules and given the key card.

There was an instruction manual on the reception counter which I took a photo of in case I forgot some essential rule and locked myself in or out of the capsule! Ha! But there was no need to be so cautious. Operating the capsule turned out to be easy and straightforward. Inside the capsule was a large bed, with fresh sheets, soft pillows, comforter and everything for a good night’s sleep, an LCD TV, control panel with climate control, USB port, headphone jack, personal headphones, universal power point, reading lights, a safe deposit box and more!

In case you’re wondering about feeling claustrophobic, I was worried about this too. But booking the Deluxe Side-Entrance Capsule with Single Bed meant I had plenty of space to stretch around. The bed was closer to a double than a single and there was a lot of room inside to move around.

Thoroughly impressed with how self-contained this pod was, I got in and started exploring the interiors. You have to insert the key card for the control panel and lights to operate, so you’ll always remember to take it out with you since that’s the only way to turn off everything when you leave. Locking the capsule is super easy, you get out, slide the door shut and it clicks indicating it’s now locked. The only way to open the door is to scan your key card, so it’s very secure.

To get to the Capsules on the top, there are a few steps leading up to the entrance. As a couple or a family, you can request for pods to be adjacent to each other. There are Capsules with front entrance and side entrance options. There’s plenty of storage room inside the pod itself to keep your backpack and other essentials, but there’s also a huge storage locker allocated to each capsule where you can stow away your suitcase and lock it with the same key card that locks your pod. Everything is within hands reach for whenever you need anything. In case you’re wondering, there are no bathrooms inside the pod itself, but there are a set of shared bathrooms and showers that are a few steps away from the sleeping area. With fresh towels included in the stay, you just need to remember to bring your own toiletries. In my experience, the bathrooms were kept well-stocked and neat and clean.

So, given a choice, would you stay in a Capsule Hotel and sleep in a comfortable pod that made you feel like you were traveling at warp speed into deep outer space on a journey outside our known universe? I know I would and I did! I was thoroughly impressed with how efficient the Capsule Hotel was in terms of usage of space, amenities all packed into a pod for individuals, great use of resources and conveniently priced for travelers on all types of budgets. No wonder these are a huge hit in Japan where space is at a premium.

In cities around the world too, space is always at a premium. Perhaps one solution is self-contained capsule pods that cater to all needs but consume less resources and space? Perhaps capsule pods are the future of traveling and even living? Who knows! Only time will tell. For now, I’m thrilled I got to experience a unique stay at The Capsule Hotel in Sydney. It was definitely one of my most memorable stays in all my travels!

Have you stayed in a Capsule Hotel in Australia, Japan or anywhere else in the world? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Exploring!

~ Trupti

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