Travel Trend :: Pod Sleepovers

easy hotel earls court londonpod hotel london[trip style = budget]

Compact, pod-like hotels have gone beyond a fleeting trend into a phenomenon of small spaces designed with the efficiency of Asia and the stylishness of Italy. People have been sleeping over in pod hotels for years in Asia, but like most things, we've been slow to catch on in North America.

Rooted in Japan, the popular capsule concept has been around since 1979. The originator created a capsule hotel which--pardon the comparison--offers little, morgue-like sleeping blocks and communal bathrooms. Pods have come a long way since then, growing in size, stature and geography.  I had the opportunity to stay in a pod room earlier this year and I'd totally indulge again! See pics of my windowless room above and below. I was only staying overnight and had just arrived in London from Nairobi. All I wanted was a bed, and a bed, a little space to place my bag and a cruise ship-style bathroom was what I got. And that was all I needed. Off to bed I went, but not before I caught a nightly showing of Wicked, which sent me to bed in song {Po-pu-u-lar...}.

Where's the Sacrifice? This is a serious question. Do we always need lavish offerings like 10 different types of towels, plush terry robes and seven restaurants with celeb chefs? There's a time and place for that trip style. What if you're just passing through and only need a simple place to crash?  So you lose out on space around the bed, big deal. What were you going to do there anyway?  Sit-ups? Yeah right, you're on vacation.

I only stayed in the pod hotel for one night, but I would've stayed longer. It was clean and simple. I wasn't in London to sit in my room; I was there to enjoy the city and sleep when needed.

easy hotel roompod hotel room london

Finding a Pod Hotel Yotel - At Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol Amsterdam airports. A 669-room Yotel is also planned for NYC in 2011. Ironically, the company's flagship property will feature the largest outside terrace space of any hotel in NYC.

Easy Hotels - All over Europe with a strong presence in London. Part of the Easy suite of companies. If you know anything about the company's color scheme, you'll wake up with a strong desire for orange juice.

Qbic - In Amsterdam, Antwerp and Maastricht. Features funky cube-like design, mood lighting, Philipp Starck bathroom finishes and self check-in.

Capsule Hotels - Going to Osaka? Try Asahiplaza. Headed to Tokyo? Check out Capsule Inn Akihabara

Trip Styler Tip: If you're selecting a capsule hotel other than two listed above, check the policy. Some don't allow westerners and given the shared bathroom and sleeping facilities, some aren't set up for women.