Torontonians hoping to sneak in a midday snooze are about to meet their new sanctuary — as long as you’re not claustrophobic. After already rolling through Montreal and Ottawa, the pop-up Pod Hotel is making its way to Toronto next week. Designed by the clever Breathe Right team (think: nasal strips) it’s designed so people can slip out of the office and catch 20-minutes of much-needed shuteye. The tiny pods will be set up outside the Royal Bank Plaza on 200 Bay Street from October 21st and 27th.
For a city that’s usually blanketed by traffic noise and busy streets, this is definitely a much-needed tranquil option. However, the pod hotel isn’t a new concept. Let’s take a look at where the design originated, and how other capsule hotels from around the world compare:
The first-ever capsule hotel opened its miniature doors in 1979. It’s known as Capsule Inn Osaka and was designed in Japan by Kisho Kurokawa. The rooms resemble large-scale microwaves that are intended to provide residents with a cheaper alternative to hotel rooms. Luggage is stored in lockers and washrooms are communal. Many others like it have been popping up in Japan ever since. Some even have restaurants, or at the very least a vending machine! Photo: booking.com
Itty bitty rooms are starting to materialize in North America too. The Pod Hotel in the heart of Manhattan is an uber-trendy version, and opened in 2007. The rooms are much cheaper than other hotels within the area, ranging from $100 to $200 per night. This new breed of accommodation is multiplying in the city, and one even boasts a top-floor bar lounge. Luxury compact living? Photo: thepodhotel.com
China opened its first capsule hotel last year in Xi’an. It’s called the Youth Capsule Hotel, and contains 86 creamsicle-bright orange capsules within nine larger spaces. It’s not just for tourists, either. Many local students lodge in the pods just to see what it’s like. Each tiny space also comes with free Wi-Fi and a foldable flat-screen, and costs less than $10 per night. Hope you don’t sleepwalk — they’re about seven feet long and four feet high. Photo: Youth Capsule Hotel
We’re curious if pint-sized hotels will find a more permanent home in Toronto too. After all, the average condo size is already dropping.
Photo: Breathe Right Canada