These unusual hotels are pretty much what they sound like: Lodging made up of small pod rooms that fit only the necessary amenities — a bed, lighting, and some storage space. Most of them have communal bathrooms, and some hotels have other perks like spas and cafes.
The trend was born out of Japanese capsule hotels — extraordinarily tiny rooms built into small fiberglass boxes. The very first one was the Capsule Inn Osaka that opened in 1979. Staying in rooms this tiny may not be for everyone, but their popularity stems from a growing desire for cheap lodging that provides a bit more privacy than the traditional hostel.
Here's a look at 8 of the most innovative pod hotels from around the world:
The Ninehours hotel in Kyoto, Japan starts at $49 a night and offers pod sleeping arrangements. But you can also choose to nap for just $9 an hour or just shower for $7 with shampoo, soap, and towels included
Guests are given a locker key upon check-in where they can store their personal belongings.
The lockers are necessary considering the pod assignments change every night. If you want to stay for more than day, you'll have to check out and back in.
The pods have a Sleep Ambient Control System meant to mimic dawn so you wake up easier. Each pod is made of fiberglass, making them stackable.
CityHub in Amsterdam also offers pod bedrooms that come with a double bed, an audio streaming system, and app-controlled mood lighting.
Rooms start at $40 a night and come with a little window so you don't feel claustrophobic.
Guests are given a wristband upon check-in that automatically unlocks their door when held in front of a scanner. There's also a communal bathroom and CityHub bar.
Singapore Capsule Hotel also offers bunk bed style sleeping, but a curtain can be pulled down for extra privacy at night. There's complimentary WiFi and laptops.
There are a variety of options, from Queen Size bed pods and even female-only pods. Rooms start at $64.
There are personal lockers under the pods that can be opened via keycard access and a communal bathroom.
The Time Capsule Hotel in Malaysia is one of the more futuristic pod hotels we've seen.
It comes with a bed, sockets for charging your devices, and a smart TV you can play games and watch TV on.
Rooms start at $24, and the hotel comes with a little cafe and even a vape bar.
First Cabin hotel can be found in multiple locations in Tokyo, Japan, as well as Osaka and Kyoto. Each pod comes with a TV and there's free WiFi throughout the hotel.
First class rooms cost $60 and business class costs $50. Aside from the rooms, the hotel has a communal bathroom with showers.
Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado in Tokyo is a luxury pod hotel.
Each pod comes with a bed, an LCD TV, and a set of headphones.
Other hotel perks include a spa and jet pool. Rooms start at $51.
The Wink Hostel in Singapore has queen-sized pods and a female-only dormitory full of pods. All rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, and mood lighting. Rooms start at $34.
The pods are also sound resistant, come with sockets, and have lockers that only open with smartcard access.
The bathrooms come with rain showers and there are internet stations throughout the hotel. You need your smartcard to access the hostel's common room.
If traditional pods don't do it for you, maybe these floating pods will. You can book a Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, Canada.
The cheapest option starts at $175 a night and includes a single bed, electric heater, cupboards and counter space, and built-in speakers.
More expensive versions include amenities like a thermostat controlled heater and windows. To get to the sphere, you climb a series of stairs that wrap around the tree.
Each guests gets a private bathroom located 165-feet away from the base of your sphere. There's also a sauna and kitchen that guests can use.