St Christoper’s at The Village if the first UK hostel to embrace the Japanese-style pod hotel. This long overdue revolution in the budget travel market stands tall above the rest in what can feel like a saturated market.
The merits of extreme budget travel are plentiful but not always immune from the sacrifices of compromising on comforts. As my twenties rapidly fade away like the dazzling career of an ageing Hollywood starlet, I find myself seeking at least some moderate luxuries while travelling. After largely eschewing the 4 am flight in favour of saving £15, I’m also preferring to opt for more mid-range accommodation in a bid to spend my hangovers in relative privacy.
While booking a budget hotel in Bangkok or Budapest doesn’t leave you in fiscal terminal decline, when visiting more expensive destinations the diagnosis isn’t always so promising. An antidote to expensive hotels is the innovative Japanese invention of capsule rooms – also known as pod hotels. Prototypes of pod hotel have been available since 1979 in Osaka, Japan but their popularity has soared across the country in recent years with the exponential growth in both the number of people travelling and the cost of accommodation.
Pod accommodation has now reached the UK, with St Christopher’s at The Village, situated in London Bridge, is the first to pioneer this innovative type of hotel in Britain. The brand is well-known for its hostels in major cities across the world but their new take on capsule accommodation is a long overdue leap into the twenty-first century – much anticipated by the modern traveller.
Pods are kitted out with mood lights, USB ports for charging devices and come complete with curtains so you can create your own private cocoon for substantially less dollar than even a budget London hotel. Facilities are also plentiful and well designed with numerous toilets and showers located inside the rooms. You can store your luggage in the large lockers and the room is bright and spacious with plenty of space to get ready without getting too up close and personal with the other guests.
One of the main benefits of the pod rooms is noise reduction. Once you’re tucked up for the evening it’s significantly quieter than a traditional hotel and the free earplugs provided by St Christopher’s are a nice additional touch.
With the saturation of budget flights making travel across Europe ever cheaper, the main financial obstacle is accommodation. The pod hotel is a concept which balances privacy and prices and offers intrepid travellers an inventive solution with exemplary results.