A space saving solution in a Japanese style that is comfortable for Europeans and Central Asians
Capsule hotels are a bit of a craze at the minute. Ever since the Capsule Inn Osaka opened in 1979, they have fascinated travellers to Japan. Over the past few years, they seem to have been popping up everywhere – like Ilkham Gafurov’s new Kapsula Hotel in Astana.
Pitched at the mid-market, somewhere between a fancy hostel and a decent hotel, Kapsula is a place designed to cater for travellers who need a bit of space to call their own.
It is all custom-designed; the beds are larger than those in Japan, so a bulkier European or Central Asian doesn’t feel cramped, and each capsule is served by its own air-con so that farts don’t spread like a forest fire.
They’re also much more comfortable than I expected. I half thought, for no reason that I can now explain, that the mattresses would be awful. They’re actually superb.
Each capsule has a light and its own port to charge a phone, but laptops and cameras will need to suck up their power in the main living area because of fire regulations. And there’s decent wifi, which can be a bit hit and miss all across Kazakhstan.
The living area has a kitchen to cook and brew a tea, sofas and tables if you need to get a bit of work done. Up a ladder there’s a mezzanine which has been designed to act as a modernised, traditional Kazakh living area – everyone sits on the floor and eats together.
Of course, there’s no en-suite so the men and women’s bathrooms are shared. At the time of writing, these are brand new, exceptionally clean and covered in decals of moustaches and the words: “Keep calm.”
As if you’re ever going to panic when you’re staying in the Kapsula Hotel.