It has been a long while since I’ve stayed in a hostel but when I was invited to try out London’s first capsule hostel I could not say no. I’d seen these capsule hotels as a big craze in Japan and thought one day when I get to Japan I’d try them out. I didn’t expect to be doing it this soon, in London.
What is a capsule?
A capsule or also known as a pod, is your own little private sleeping space but within a massive dorm. From the outside they kinda look like washing machines with a hole to climb through to find your bed but inside is a spacious sleeping area consisting of a comfy mattress, plug sockets, USB chargers and lighting controls for your pod. You then have a curtain to draw across the entrance you climbed in, to give you that desired privacy. Still not sure? Check out the photos and videos below.
St Christopher’s The Village at London Bridge
This awesome hostel is the first to build these Japanese style pods in London and let me tell you, they are awesome. Having a pod to sleep in really is the best of both worlds, you have the cheap price because you’re staying in a dorm but you have privacy like a private room because of the capsule surrounding your bed.
The room itself at St Christopher’s The Village has around 24 pods so is a pretty large room but at no point did it seem that way. There are two capsules stacked on top of each other and these are done in rows, each bed is then assigned a locker because you don’t really want your stuff in the pod while you sleep and is a curtain really going to keep it safe in the day? For those staying in the pod room there was a shared bathroom at one end with 2 toilets and 3 showers. To me that didn’t seem like enough but there was never a queue. These were very clean and looked quite new too, the only problem I found was the bathroom was right by my pod and so I could hear the hand dryer during the night.
My pod was a ‘top bunk’ pod, this meant I had to kinda chuck my stuff inside and then haul myself up the ladder. Thankfully, there were lots of bars to grab hold of and being high up was quite cool. Inside the pod the light control not only let me turn my own lights on and off but they also allowed me to change the colour of the lights. This meant I didn’t have crazy bright white lights on me first thing in the morning.
There were a few things I wasn’t sure I’d like about the pod, the first being that it has no windows and therefore no daylight. However, I didn’t find this a problem for waking up even if it did feel a bit weird sitting in bed at 7am and feeling like it was pitch black. I also wasn’t sure if I’d find it claustrophobic but there is so much space inside that it really didn’t feel like that at all.
The final feature of the pod room was the seating area it had at one end by the windows. This meant if you didn’t want to sit in your pod but still wanted to chill in the hostel you had some where you could go.
St Christopher’s advertise themselves as a party hostel and I can see why. When I went into the bar on Saturday night it was packed, they were showing plenty of different sport options and serving up burgers. There was a great atmosphere inside and to make it even better they offer hostel guests 25% off food and drink.
The following morning in the ‘Dugout’ they then serve a continental breakfast, which if you book direct is free. Otherwise you can pay a mere £3 and get your fill. It’s a typical hostel breakfast of toast, cereal, cheese and ham but it’s exactly what you need if your on a budget and need some fuel for the day.
Like most hotels the staff were all super friendly and helpful and the reception has the coolest decoration including a phone box which has been turned into a book exchange. The hostel also runs a walking tour of the city which would be a great idea if it was your first time in London.
The hostel is located in London Bridge, meaning it is in the heart of London and in perfect place for exploring the city. It is a quick five minute walk from London Bridge station which has both a national rail service and a the underground. This is also a central hub for buses meaning you are spoilt for choice with transport links. Near by, you also have the Shard and London Borough Market which are both worth a visit.
I would defiantly stay here again and will be looking for the next location that have these capsule pods so I can try out more.
Have you ever stayed in a capsule pod?
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