Capsule hotels are a novelty that has been synonymous with living in crowded cities like Japan. However, London has joined in on the new concept to offer tourists and guests cheap accommodation.
London has a handful of capsule hotels for those who want to spend the night for the novelty value or because they are cheap. Some call them pods. Others refer to them as hostels or cubicles.
Regardless of the name, they are all compact sleeping sections that are fun to visit.
What is a Capsule Hotel
Capsule hotels are hostel-like accommodations where you sleep in a communal hall made of several capsule-like sleeping compartments.
These capsules, also called pods or cubicles, come in different shapes and sizes. The capsule hotel style began in Japan, especially around Tokyo, to address the high need for affordable accommodation.
Amenities and offerings vary from one capsule hotel to another. However, they typically consist of a clean set of beddings, individual capsules, a locker for storing your luggage, communal restrooms & showers, complimentary breakfast, and charging stations in each pod.
Some may come with air-conditioning, but it is not always the case. So, how is a capsule hotel different from normal rooms? Capsule hotels have less privacy since the bed-sized pods are closely located next to one another.
One hall may contain between 20 to 30 pods that are stacked next to and on top of each other. Moreover, the pods are sometimes closed by a simple curtain or small door.
Even though the sleeping area is roomy, the enclosed space may feel claustrophobic to some guests. 1.2m by 2m by 1m is the typical size of the capsule hotel pods, but some hotels modify them to have more room.
Sharing bathrooms is also one of those things you will have to get used to in capsule hotels. The good news is that female-only pods are available for more privacy & safety since most capsule hotel guests are male.
Even though the hotels have gender-neutral capsules, female and male sections are always separate. To sum it up, capsule hotels are cheaper than normal hotels but compromise personal space and more room.
Top 12 Capsule/Pod Hotels in London
1. St. Christopher’s Inn in London Bridge
- Address: 161-165 Borough High Street, London SE1 1HR
- Phone: 020 7939 9710
- Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, breakfast, colour-varying night light, charging ports, beddings, locker, and earplugs
St. Christopher’s Inn at the Village launched the first capsule hotel in London back in 2018. The London Bridge location started the popular Tokyo accommodation style with a small nightly fee of £19. One capsule per night currently costs £19- £34 depending on the day of the week, season, and events/holidays.
The pods are located a short walk from convenient locations like the Borough Market, London Eye and Tower Bridge. It is a great place to sleep if you want to get around the city easily using the two close tube stations.
The St. Christopher’s Inn capsules come with a free breakfast if you choose to book directly with the hotel. Apart from that, you do get a 25% discount on select drinks and offers depending on what is on the table.
The capsule area has access to free high-speed Wi-Fi and 24-hour security, including 24/7 receptionists. Your luggage is kept secure in the luggage storage area, but you can pay a small fee to have your locker next to the sleeping pods.
One important thing to remember when visiting the St. Christopher’s Inn is that the venue is dubbed a ‘party hostel’. It is not rowdy, but the vibrant venue has many eclectic crowds and loud karaoke nights. The great news is that you are provided with free earplugs when you book a pod at the hotel.
The sleeping pods are arranged in rows and columns, stacked next to and on top of each other. A curtain instead of a door separates the entrance to the pod.
You are greeted with a roomy interior the minute you open the curtain. There are two charging ports and two USB outlets for the power supply. This is enough to charge your phone, camera, laptop, and any other electrical device you may want to juice up.
The opposite end of the capsule has a mood lighting fixture that is controlled by a colour dial next to the power sockets. The dial is a touch surface that can be adjusted to create different colour schemes to soothe your specific mood.
Air conditioning is provided via a ventilation box to keep the small room comfy and airy. Lockers are available for those who want to store easily accessible stuff next to the pods. You are given the option of coming with your own padlock, or you can rent one at the reception.
St. Christopher Inn capsules are great for privacy. Feel free to tuck yourself in the pods to avoid the social scene.
However, you won’t avoid running into one or two hostel mates in the shared bathroom space with two toilets and three showers. A total of 26 pods may seem crowded, but the guests are usually quiet and keep to themselves.
Another thing to remember is that the pods are situated on top of the bar at St. Christopher Inn. You can clearly hear the music even at 2 am, which is why you are provided with free earplugs when visiting. For a quieter experience, choose a pod that is on the upper bunks.
2. Pop & Rest
- Address: 10-12 Bache’s Street, N1 6DL, London
- Phone: N/A
- Amenities: full-sized bed, clean beddings, bedside table & lamp, soundproof interior, blackout curtains for privacy
The Pop & Rest pods are highly acclaimed with multiple features in The Guardian, Forbes, and BBC. Pop & Rest is dedicated to providing a space where guests can meditate, take a nap, work remotely, and boost their well-being.
The company is a startup founded by Mauricio Villamizar and Yoann Demont. Pod & Rest also serves as a real estate company that offers its solutions to universities and other companies that need their sleeping/relaxation pods.
Pop & Rest serves as a provider for sleeping and relaxation solutions to travelers, remote workers, and nomads. Unlike other capsule hotels, the company offers no restrooms/bathrooms, and there is no food or catering. All you have access to is the sleeping pods with a bed, a side table, and a mirror.
The upside of Pop & Rest pods is they are roomy. The pod is essentially a small room with a normal-sized bed and wooden walls accented by modern décor. You can move up and down in the spacious modular soundproof pod fitted with a floor-to-ceiling glass entrance and blackout curtains.
The capsule hotel pods are available for rent on an hourly basis, overnight stays, or renting for specific periods. Starting price is £8-9 for 30 minutes nap/meditation. Overnight stays are available from 4 pm to 9 am.
- Address: Pudding Mill Lane London E15 2NQ and Cuba Street London E14 9TP
- Phone: +44 7533 587 807 (Olympic Park) +44 7533 587 807 (Canary Wharf)
- Amenities: free Wi-Fi, indoor washroom, TV, food service, clean beddings, a safe
Snoozebox is a living and real estate solution from the Portable Living Group Company. The accommodation solution has two venues in the Olympic Park and Canary Wharf.
Both venues feature award-winning compact living pods made from shipping containers. The pods are sizeable, with enough space that contains a bed, storage space, a safe deposit box, a TV screen, a toilet, and a dresser.
Clean beddings and quality linen are provided alongside a keycard to access the rooms securely. Free Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the venue, and you can order via the available food/beverage services.
Snoozebox pods include heating and cooling air conditioning, so you can book your stay any time of the year with no worries. There is a communal space in the venue for social gatherings and mingling. Landscaped gardens make for a serene stay and airy atmosphere.
4. YotelAir in Gatwick Airport
- Address: Horley, Gatwick, London RH6 0NP
- Phone: 020 7100 1100
- Amenities: super-fast free Wi-Fi, 24-hour security and reception, indoor bathroom & shower,
Another capsule style hotel from Yotel is YotelAir in Gatwick Airport. The capsule hotel in the London airport is a great place to sleep at Gatwick with a minimum booking of 4 hours.
There are three types of cabins in the YotelAir hotel: standard, premium queen, and premium twin. Standard rooms are the most compact for singles, but you can opt for the premium twin if you are not travelling alone.
There is limited storage in all rooms except the premium queen cabin, which can only store one suitcase under the bed. Feel free to visit the Excess Baggage Company located upstairs to store any extra belonging you may have.
5. Generator Hostel London
- Address: 37 Tavistock Place, Russel Square, Bloomsbury London, WC1H 9SE
- Phone: 020 7388 7666
Located near King’s Cross Station, the Generator Hostel in London offers high-class social accommodation with a bar and café.
Generator Hostel is a world-class staying venue nominated for various awards, including the 2015 Worldwide Extra-Large Hostel Awards. There are other venues apart from London; famous locations include Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Dublin, and Rome.
You can rent on-site bikes to move around the city, and the lockers near your quarters are great for storing your goods while moving. There are shuttle buses that can be easily accessed from the rooms, and laundry facilities help keep your clothes fresh and clean.
Keep in mind that the reception is not available 24/7, and you may need to call in advance to know the check-in and check-out hours.
The Generator Hostel has board games, pool tables, and foosball for those who need some entertainment and nightly activities. It is also close to a nightclub.
The Fast Company voted Generator Hostel as one of the top 50 Most Innovative Global Companies. The room types situated in a social experience make the hostel stand out. It is tailored to travellers who do not mind sharing close quarters and want to engage with other travellers.
6. Aerotel London
- Address: Terminal 3 Arrivals Hall, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow TW6 1 AA England
- Phone: 020 8745 9805
Aerotel is a convenient airport-style accommodation that offers convenient sleeping areas to rest after a long flight or while waiting for one.
The capsule hotel is a luxurious transit hotel where you can book your stay for as little as one hour or as long as 24 hours.
Rooms come in various sizes. The smallest one is the 10 square meter Solo Plus room for singles with one bed. The 14-square meter Double Plus can house more than one person in its spacious yet compact setting.
In case you are travelling with family or a larger group, you may want to opt-out for something bigger, yet in a capsule fashion. This is where the 21-square-meter family room comes in.
7. The Corner
- Address: 42 Adler Street, London E1 1EE
- Phone: 020 3021 1440
The cube-shaped pods at the Corner offer comfy beds for a good night’s sleep, rainfall showers to cure jetlag, and high-speed Wi-Fi for all your internet needs.
The Corner is an energy-conscious and sustainable establishment that aims to conserve energy and use the best conservative practices in its business.
All lights use light-saving technology, whereas the energy consumption in the hotel is 8% less than other standard venues. Water use is 41% less, and C02 emissions are 67% less than most establishments of its size.
All rooms have super-king-sized beds and 32” flat screen TVs. Bathrooms and washrooms are en-suite and come with water-saving tech. Walls are adorned with handmade fixtures and artistic paintings to make for a serene stay.
8. Z Hotels
- Address: 136-144 City Road, London EC1V 2RL
- Phone: 020 3551 3702
Check-in time at Z hotels in London is 3 pm, and the check-out time is 11 am. As their motto says, “we sell great sleep”, you can expect a good night’s stay in their rooms made of handmade beds with organic bedlinen.
Rooms are available from £195 per night in Shoreditch and other major regions. Room types range from singles to doubles and family style. The compact rooms feature a TV, an in-built bathroom, and huge windows that let in tons of light.
9. Easy Hotel
- Address: 80 Old Street, London EC1V 9AZ
- Phone: 020 3976 4890
Easy Hotel delivers exactly what its name suggests, easy to find accommodation at low and budget-friendly prices. There are various locations for Easy Hotels, including Shoreditch, Victoria, Paddington, and South Kensington.
For as little as $ £27 per night, you can have a tiny yet comfy room with a bathroom and sizeable storage space. Rooms come in various shapes and sizes: double rooms with windows & without, twin rooms with two beds, and the accessible double room with a larger-sized bed and more space.
10. Assembly Hotel
- Address: 27-21 Charing Road, London, WC2H 0LS
- Phone: 020 3953 4300
If you want access to a rooftop bar and a continental breakfast, then the Assembly Hotel may be your chosen capsule hotel. The Covent Garden hotel is situated behind Leicester Square and has 139 rooms to cater to your various needs. All come with soundproofing and high-speed Wi-Fi.
The rooms are spectacularly named regarding what they offer. Snug Rooms are for short visits and a maximum occupancy of two guests, ideal for solo travellers. Den Rooms are more compact without any windows to help distract you from the busy world.
Den Rooms are the more capsule-designed type with a small space of about 10 square meters. A walk-in shower is included, together with a double bed suitable for two guests.
11. Bloc Hotel
- Address: South Terminal, Gatwick airport, Crawley, London RH6 0NQ
- Phone: 020 3051 0101
Bloc Hotel in Gatwick Airport is located in the South Terminal next to the security entrance. The rooms are equipped with smart controls to control the smart devices, access to the room, and AC.
The rooms have no windows and help you tune out from the airport craze with warm lighting and cosy bedding. Other amenities include free high-speed Wi-Fi and monsoon drench showers.
There are various hotels in London that offer compact sleeping quarters with no windows or much room to move around. However, we do not classify them as sleeping capsules or pods due to their amenities. They fit into the budget hotel room and hostel categories.
Most compact rooms in London feature designated bathrooms/showers with enough room to fit queen/king-sized beds. These hotels also have room service, under-bed storage, wheelchair-accessible rooms, big-screen TVs, and so much more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Sleep Pods in London?
Sleep pods come in different shapes and sizes, which has contributed to making the term quite ambiguous. Some refer to small compact sleeping rooms as sleeping pods, while other hotels consider capsule cubicles to be sleeping pods.
St. Christopher’s Inn is the one and only authentic capsule hotel with Japanese-style sleeping pods. The pods are arranged in rows and stacked on top of one another to make a capsule hotel with 26 total pods.
Pop & Rest is another company that offers sleeping pods made of individual modular soundproof pods with glass entrances and blackout curtains.
How Much Does a Night at A Capsule Hotel Cost?
The cost of sleeping in a capsule hotel varies from one establishment to another. You can expect to spend between £8 for a 30 minutes nap to £70 for a full night’s stay.
What Is the Point of A Capsule Hotel?
Capsule hotels are an accommodation option tailored for the budget traveller. They only offer the necessary amenities required to give you a good night’s Rest. Capsule hotels are also beloved because of their communal aspect and novelty that provides a refreshing experience for adventurous spirits.