I stayed at the UK’s first capsule hotel in London a few weeks ago.
A ‘capsule hotel’, if you didn’t know, is like a wall of pods, that you lie in, and you have everything you could possibly need, for a comfy night’s stay, in there with you. For this reason, they’re also known as ‘pod hotels’. And St Christopher’s Village is the first pod hotel in London.
If you’re looking for a capsule hotel in London, this article will show you what to expect, how much they cost, and what it’s like to stay in London’s pod hotel.
I first stayed in a capsule hotel in Japan, in Tokyo, where they were made famous. In Tokyo, they’re often used by travellers and business men looking for a cheap and handy night of accommodation.
And now capsule hotels have come to London.
Well, back in February 2018 anyway.
Stay at a capsule hotel in London
St Christopher’s At The Village, just round the corner from Borough Market, is the first capsule hotel in the UK.
I walked in and 26 capsule beds, all with different coloured lights, lined the walls. I’d known it was 26 beds to the room, before I went, but based on my Tokyo experience I knew that the capsule hotels tend to be quieter than hostel beds.
Maybe something to do with having all your essentials in the bed with you so you’re not rattling around trying to find them late at night / early in the morning.
Check out the BBC video on London’s first capsule hotel
Trust me, it isn’t even nearly as horrific as 26 beds in a room sounds. The thing is with capsule hotels, you get to enjoy the price point of so many people sharing a room, but you get (something close to) the privacy as if you a room to yourself.
There’s also two bathrooms in the room – the one I went in had decent showers and toilets, hairdryers and plenty of space to get yourself sorted.
How London’s capsule hotel works
1. You’ll be assigned a capsule on check in.
2. Find your room, find your bed, find your locker (you’ll need a lock and key – £4 at reception).
3. Settle yourself in to your capsule.
4. Play with the touchscreen colour wheel light that changes the ambience in your capsule.
5. Set your PJs and bedtime routine stuff out for the evening.
6. Go out in London Bridge and have fun!
And you can always go to the Belushi’s bar downstairs if you want an easy journey home for the night.
Location of London’s capsule hotel
London’s capsule hotel is in SUCH a good location. It’s about a 10-minute walk from London Bridge Station and just round the corner from all the restaurants and bars of Borough Market (mmmm, chocolate brownies).
It’s also just opposite a Sainsbury’s and next to a Tesco’s too, if you’re on a real budget.
Downstairs there’s a Belushi’s bar with loads of cheap drinks deals, and music all night. I had a good go at the menu over the two days, for two lunches and enjoyed:
THE DIRTY BUFFALO £10.50
A breaded chicken breast coated in a spicy buffalo sauce, topped with a mound of melted blue cheese, salad and pickle.
Suicide Sauce Chicken Wings £5 – (and then tried to put my contact lenses in, killer!)
Ceasar Salad £5
Chicken Tenders £5
All tasty bar food, and all a great price.
Likes about the capsule hotel
– Proper duvet.
– Really lovely front desk staff.
– Good showers.
– Room wasn’t too noisy from fellow residents, thanks to the shape, privacy and curtains
(I’ve spent over 15 years staying in hostels, I appreciate a quiet door latch, lockers and floor).
– Privacy curtain (hate the idea of people looking at me asleep in hostels).
– Breakfast included – continental hostel jobby, I ended up with a cheese and ham toastie and a coffee.
– Free Wi-Fi, that worked in my capsule, the furthest one across in the room.
– Plug socket in my capsule.
– Late check out (12noon) for anyone staying in the capsule room.
Unusual things to do in London
Dislikes about the capsule hotel
– The reverb
I had bed number 24, on the bottom. Unfortunately the night I stayed (a Wednesday) they seemed to be having some sort of karaoke sesh downstairs, until 2am, and the reverb from the music made my bed shake. I complained as I couldn’t sleep and was told this was a ‘party hostel’.
Either make sure you get a bed on the top, at the front of the room (not above Belushi’s), or join the party!
I genuinely really like capsule hotels. I was discussing this with my friend beforehand and apparently it’s something to do with sleeping in confined spaces, as in, when we were cave men we wouldn’t have slept in open land for fear of predators. Instead, finding a safe little cave or space – on that, I also like sleeping in tents.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the best sleep at the hostel, thanks to the bar downstairs. If you’re looking for a party hostel though, or somewhere cheap with a bit of privacy to stay after a night out in London, I’d definitely recommend St Christopher’s Village.
I liked the set up, I was comfy, and it’s in a great location – especially for the money.
You can stay at St Christopher’s at the Village from £25 per night, including breakfast. I received a free stay at St Christopher’s Village, and a bar tab at Belushi’s, in return for an honest review on my blog. ^^
More capsule hotels in London
Since writing this review of the first capsule hotel in London, another one has been set up so I wanted to give you the option.
Pop and Rest is the latest pod hotel in London. They have two locations in Old Street and Holborn and you can book pods and suites for a bit of peace, or some rest. They’re not for an overnight stay but for 30 minutes to four hours to help you rest and recuperate in between meetings. Great idea but shame you can’t stay overnight!
I’ll keep an eye on the latest developments in capsule hotels in London. Let me know if you spot any on your travels!