Cap­sule rooms to let

> Ja­panese-style ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in Pe­nang

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY ED­MUND LEE

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.

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