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The London Edition, one of our best hotel stays ever.
Size matters. But for this editor, when it comes to hotel rooms, smaller is actually far better.
Last year, I paid for a standard room at the London Edition which just barely breaks 250-sq.ft. (22-sq.m.) Despite not having much of a view and despite it being the tail-end of a dreary winter, I fell in love with my room and all of its convenient amenities. The dark wood paneling, the sumptuous beds, the fur throws (yes, I even liked these) the bacon jam in the minibar, and the room service breakfast I ordered the night before through the door tag and which arrived promptly the next morning
Last month, I was invited to stay at the New York Edition on opening night. When I checked-in, I actually asked for a "basic" room. I was told there wasn't any available but I would be able to stay in the Deluxe Loft rooms. These rooms have incredible views of the Empire State Building and you best believe I Instagrammed the heck out of that view.
But when I toured the rest of the hotel and saw the standard rooms, my heart skipped a beat. Even though the color palette of this Edition is much lighter than London, it looked just like the cozy little room I stayed in last year, complete with a fur throw.
I already knew I had a preference for smaller hotel rooms before this moment but it was then that it hit me how strong the feeling was. I would rather pass up a killer view of the Empire State Building for a closer view of the TV.
We've mentioned how expensive hotel rooms can get, especially in Moscow. Where luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton can fetch upwards of $17,000 per night for a super flashy suite, it makes sense for an affordable hotel to come to the city center and give options to the masses. Enter, Sleepbox Hotel Moscow, the city's first capsule-style accommodation.
It's not the first Russian capsule hotel, but it is the first in the high-priced city. Sleepbox opened up it's first trial capsules in Moscow Airport ready for long layovers and weary travelers. Now, the boxes have come downtown to one of Moscow's most vibrant areas forming a hostel-like hotel of multiple pods.
Opened last month, the Sleepboxes offers small 'semi-self-contained' boxes that come in various sizes from single, twin, double and a family right in the heart of the Tverskoy District. Each 'room' comes with a TV, free WiFi and unlimited use of the hotel's iPads.
Starting rates of 2,600 Rubles ($86 USD) per night for a twin capsule with bunkbeds is affordable enough for those that are backpacking through the region or even hipster travelers that want a new experience on a dime. If you're traveling with a family and need to reserve some Rubles, the family capsule goes for 4,900 Rubles ($162 USD) per night.
The area is known for a wealth of history, so this place might be the best option for you and your Comrades if you would rather spend your money at the Bolshoi Theatre or other neighborhood culture. And if Sleepbox hopping is your thing, the airport is only 35 minutes from the main train station just a few blocks away.
[Photo: Sleepbox Moscow Facebook]
Back in December of 2009, a new sort of hotel opened in Japan. It's a capsule hotel sure, but it's one unplagued by shochu-swigging salarymen who rent capsules by the month. It's called 9Hours Hotel and it prides itself on being technologically up-to-date, very clean, very design-aware and yet completely affordable.
We've got an upcoming trip to Japan and we were totally psyched at the idea of sleeping there, until we discovered that the 9Hours is not in Tokyo as we thought, but in Kyoto and it's the only one of its kind. Sad face!
Why is Tokyo lacking the 9Hours love? Perhaps it's because the city is already well-stocked with capsule hotels, skyscraper Western hotels and family-owned ryokans that the 9Hours crew decided to try their luck outside the most obvious metropolis.
We’ve been on a bit of a Capsule Hotel roll lately, so why stop now? The latest itty-bitty hotel rooms to capture our attention are in—where else?—Japan, at the highly conceptualized 9 Hours Hotel. What makes this one so special is not just the lines of pods that makes us think of rows of washing machines, but the minimalist design that flows through the entire property.
UPDATE: More capsule hotels arrive in the form of the Sleep Box!
Last week, we thought we'd moved on from the capsule hotel trend to the micro-hotel trend, especially ones with private bathrooms. But there's a new capsule hotel on the block that's snagged our attention with their pretty but pretty claustrophobic designs---the Atlantis Capsule Hotel.
There's not much to go on about this new capsule hotel design though. The background photo for the hotel’s Twitter account shows what looks like a double-decker tanning bed, and so far all the info we can glean on this project also comes via tweets.
Looks like London is copying Japan's longtime capsule hotel craze and putting the tiny pod-like rooms in bustling Piccadilly Square.
Except instead of Japanese businessmen checking in, the hotel will likely see Olympic groupies, since the budget hotel is scheduled to be completed by the London 2012 Games. The 495-room hotel will be housed in the second to seventh floors of the Trocadero, an entertainment complex with tenants like Funland—no word yet on the fate of the gamer haven. Though the lower floors are supposed to offer retail and entertainment outlets.
Japan Hotels / Capsule Hotels / Hotel Hell / Business Hotels / Recession Hotels / New York Times / → All Tags
Hearing about businessmen who turn their hotel room into a home-away-from-home is no new phenomenon. There may even be a wife-away-from-home involved, but that's a different story altogether.
Also nothing new are those teeny, tiny capsule hotel "rooms"—if they can even be called that—common to Japan. They're cute and quirky to us Americans, sure, but these days they're serving a different purpose. With the economy having taken a turn for the worst in 2009, some of the country's unemployed have turned to dwelling at places like the Hotel Shinjuku as they search for new jobs, reports the New York Times.
Whoopsie daisy. Here's an example of, um, too-easy, anything-you-want-at-the-touch-of-a-button hotel technology gone awry. Or just an unfortunate incident in a Japanese capsule hotel (one that, for a change, does not involve passing gas).
Flickr user Omer van Kloeten posted this snapshot of what appears to maybe be a lightswitch (or something) inside his pod at a Japanese capsule hotel. Um, however:
In an effort to find the light switch (which ended up being the last one I tried), I pressed this one, which turned out to be the porno pay per view channels. Only later did I notice that the note above it said, among other things, 300円 (yen).
Oh noes. We probably would have done the same thing thinking it was a lightswitch. That's what we'd call a total Hotel FML, right? Except that 300 Yen is, like, 3 US dollars. So, eh.
[Photo: Omer van Kloeten]
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We can always count on Travelodge UK for some wacky promotions but their latest one might not be so wacky, considering it's helping out the earth.
The British hotel chain has their sights set on building the first recyclable hotel constructed of steel container crates imported from China. (Like the one Peter Petrelli found himself in on Heroes.)
Paul Harvey, Travelodge's Director of Property & Development, said: "Although it may not look like a hotel right now, the containers will be fitted out to include everything we offer in the rooms at a traditionally-built hotel - a comfortable bed, en-suite bathroom, wardrobe, mirror, desk and chair, right down to the plasma TV and free tea and coffee making facilities. You simply won't be able to tell the difference."
Travelodge is also saying that the hotels can be assembled and disassembled rather quickly, making them the perfect type of temporary hotel to open around major sporting events or festivals. And we know how Travelodge is big into festival hotel accommodations.
But this isn't just some Travelodge pipe dream. A company rep says the hotel is currently under construction in west London district of Uxbridge. It is set to open in June at a starting rate of 19 pounds a night. The hotel will have 120 rooms and a bar cafe on site.
Travelodge also hopes to open near Heathrow Airport by the end of the year. Whoa Yotel. You've got more competition.
Considering that women are usually not allowed in capsule hotels, I found it interesting that I should find out about these strange sleeping pods from a female traveler. "They're for guys who are too drunk to get home," she said, "In Japan." She was a woman I met in transit at an airport in London.
Budget travelers love getting the inside scoop from other travelers. Especially when it's a secluded beach, or a cheap place to crash. But would you really want to catch some zzzz's in a coffin?