We've always wanted to visit Japan.
The culture, the food, the crazy obsession with talking toilets - plus the opportunity to sleep in a capsule hotel. Turns out that in addition to amazing sushi restaurants, London has another trick up its sleeve until we head east: the UK's first capsule hostel.
So when the guys at St Christopher's Village invited us along to try it out, well, we jumped at the chance!
Part of a large chain of popular hostels that stretches across Europe, this particular St Christopher's is located in the bustling area of London Bridge. As well as being an iconic London landmark itself, this means travellers are perfectly situated for visiting some of the capital's most famous attractions. Borough Market, Pudding Lane (start of the Great Fire of London) and Tower Bridge are all within a few minutes walk, as is a delightful riverside stroll to The Southbank and The Tate Modern.
One floor up from the bright and colourful reception is the large 26 dorm housing the two tier POD beds.
Quite apart from the fact that this is a pretty unique place to spend the night, each individual 'capsule' is decked out with all sort of mod-cons including USB chargers, plug sockets, a thick and comfy mattress. and the pièce de resistance - funky mood lighting.
Have a party in your pod with a kaleidoscopic light show, or pick an ambient colour and chill out, all controlled from an individual pad on the wall.
Besides those obsessed with Japanese culture, the capsule beds are a great option for those who can't afford a single room but miss the lack of privacy when sleeping in a traditional dorm. All backpackers will sympathise with that situation, and so it's excellent to have an alternative on offer.
With a fully closing curtain in each pod, you can change in private without fear of flashing your bits to your room mates, as well as providing the option of saying good night to the world when tired from a long day's sightseeing. We love staying in hostels for the social element, but if you're travelling for a while, being able to shut out the world every now and again is wonderful - this set up provides the opportunity to do just that!
As a couple living and working together (every-damn-day!), having just 10 hours of alone time was worth its weight in gold.
The capsules are much larger than we expected, offering ample space to chill out in or to lay out and arrange your things in privacy. Some people have the concern that capsule beds are claustrophobic or cramped, and these were neither.
The modern aesthetic found throughout the hostel is continued into the dorm, with contemporary art work, exposed steel pipes and chrome details accentuating the futuristic feel of the capsules. And despite a relatively large number of guests sharing one room, natural light is rarely compromised with two large windows providing a bright chill-out zone that filters throughout the remainder of the room.
Importantly for us (and hopefully to you too), there are an adequate number of large lockers to store day bags and valuables which you can secure with your own lock - even with keycard access to the room, having an extra layer of security is vitally important.
We do not have to note that the proximity of this particular room to the bar below means that, whilst it definitely suits the more social traveller, those that like an early night may struggle to sleep until the revellers go home. Nothing a pair of ear plugs can't fix, but definitely worth knowing.
In addition to the 26 capsule beds, St Christopher's Village also has a variety of dorm beds and privates to suit couples and singles.
Facilities | Continental breakfast available every morning (for additional £3), on-site bar and restaurant within which guests get special discounts, 24 hour reception and security, lockers, organised pub crawls and walking tours, towel hire and laundry service.
Hostel Address | 165 Borough High St, London SE1 1HR
Website | Click here
Price | The capsule beds start at £25 per night
like it? pin it!
We were kindly invited along by St Christopher's Hostels to try out the new capsule experience, all opinions however remain our own.