Shanghai’s very first capsule hotel has opened up somewhere on the north side of the Shanghai Railway Station. While it is not fully operational yet, curious budget travellers have already been knocking on its doors. The 300 square metre hotel consists of 68 “capsules”, each 1.1m high and 2.2m long, equipped with its own lighting, pillows, bedding, alarm clock, power sockets, flatscreen television and wifi. Shower facilities are communal, but alas, for those of you that don’t like letting it all hang out, there are no cubicles as you can see in the pictures.
The daily rate for each capsule is 88RMB but if you choose to stay less than 24 hours, you pay a basic rate of 28RMB, plus an additional 4RMB per hour. So if you rent a capsule for 10 hours, for instance, that would work out to 68RMB for the stay. We suspect they may have to lower the pricing once the novelty factor wears off — beds at youth hostels in Shanghai go at about 60RMB per 24 hours. This is of course still a huge bargain if you compare this with capsule hotel rates in Tokyo, which are about 4,000 yen (319RMB or $48) per night. The management has also decided to serve only male customers for now, because capsule hotels in Japan serve mostly men anyway (or so they say). If there is sufficient demand in the future, they will open up to female clientele.
This capsule hotel is understood to be China’s very first built according to international standards. A shanzhai capsule hotel was opened by an elderly gentleman last year in Beijing (click here to see what it looks like), but it looks like it won’t be attracting any international travellers anytime soon. It will be interesting to see how things go for this capsule hotel, and if this will open up a whole new category of budget travel. We think this could work, if the pricing is right.
Xitai Capsule Hotel 希泰胶囊旅馆
Address: 1036 Zhongshan North Road, 闸北区中山北路1036号
Photos from China Daily.