Capsule rooms to let
> Japanese-style hotel accommodation gaining popularity in Penang
GEORGE TOWN: To experience sleeping in an individual pod or self-contained capsule room with a bed, lights, and a TV, book yourself into the Time Capsule Hotel in Lebuh Chulia in the George Town Heritage Zone.
The hotel, opened last year, is similar to that in Japan where one crawls into a compartment just long enough to stretch out but sure enough for some to have a claustrophobic experience.
CEO Steve Low told theSun he wanted to give guests something different from the ordinary as there were no hotels offering such sleeping options and so wanted to capitalise on the idea.
“This type of hotel is popular in high-density countries such as Japan and Hong Kong,” he said, adding that guests will enjoy staying in a compact yet comfortable space.
Guests who choose to stay at the hotel have the choice of a single or double capsule priced at RM62 per night and RM102 per night respectively.
Each capsule is lit by a relaxing soft blue glow and comes equipped with temperature controls, a television, a safe for valuables while privacy and safety is ensured with a sliding door which can be locked.
Women guests who seek privacy will be relieved to know that capsules on one of the floors on the five-storey hotel is reserved only for women.
Bathrooms are similar to other dormitory-styled guest houses whereby men and women have separate communal shower and toilet areas.
Low said he chose to introduce this capsule-type hotel into the market to differentiate from the competition.
He said he wanted to move away from the budget hotel segment which was becoming crowded and into the boutique and three-star segment.
Low said the hotel industry, especially in the budget end, was facing pressure from online vacation accommodation rental services like AirBnB.
He said the market was a bit soft at the moment with occupancy hovering about 70% at the capsule hotel.
“This is below our target of 80% but I am still happy with what we have achieved.”
Low also said guests were happy with the experience so far with many attracted by the experience of staying in a capsule.
Another thing the hotel is famous for, according to Low, is that many guests have been hit by the cupid arrow while staying there – many guests have met their better halves after bonding over playing board games and exchanging travel tips.
Low (above) inside one the hotel’s cosy rooms.
The capsule rooms hotel (left) is a novelty – to differentiate from the competition.