A capsule hotel (sometimes called a pod hotel) is a type of hotel that offers many small bed-sized rooms – or capsules – instead of typical walk-in spaces. Capsules are only big enough to crawl in and sit, but one can’t stand inside. They are typically designed for individual travelers, though some properties now offer double capsules for couples.
Originally developed in Japan as a cheap, basic overnight accommodation for budget travelers, today, capsule hotels can be found worldwide, with some providing a more luxurious experience.
Traditionally, capsule hotels stack sleeping bunks one on top of another and side by side so that multiple capsules can fit in one room. Each capsule has a curtain, blind, or door for privacy (though in Japan, it’s prohibited by law to lock from the inside). The amenities inside capsules might include a power socket, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, etc. A locker is usually provided to each guest as well.
Some newer, higher-end capsule hotels offer additional amenities such as an onsite restaurant, lounge area, a pool, free toiletries, complimentary breakfast, unique design, and more.
Just like hostels, capsule hotels are usually segregated by gender.