Podule hotels seem to have taken the commuter and international travel world by storm. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a podule hotel is a hotel, often located inside an airport terminal, with tiny podules or cabins instead of big, fancy hotel rooms. The idea is that travellers who might have a few hours to kill between connecting flights, or even an overnight stay in an airport, can rent pods by the hour so that they can catch a few zzz’s or have some quiet and private relax time before their onward travel. The pods are simple, just what you would need for a few hours kip (i.e. a bed) and are much more hassle-free than a hotel.
I have always thought that the idea of podule hotels was so futuristic – like staying in tiny space cabin that looks like something out of star trek! But it wasn’t until I recently got the chance to finally stay in one myself that I realised how great they are and what a genius idea it really is. I wanted to write a blog post about my really positive experience staying at a podule hotel in case, like me, you have considered it but weren’t sure about it or preferred to choose a normal hotel option because it was the one that you know. This is just my personal experience, I’m sure there are some that would disagree with me, but I always find real, personal recommendations written by real people to be the most helpful!
So how small are we talking? Well, of course pods come in different sizes according to the number of people in your party. I stayed at ‘Yotel’, in London Gatwick’s South Terminal and I rented a single ‘standard cabin’, intended for 1 person comfortably or 2 at a tight squeeze, that was 7 sqm. But this particular hotel also offers a ‘premium cabin’, for two people sharing a bed (10sqm), or a ‘premium twin cabin’, for 2 bunk beds (10 sqm). All cabins come with an ensuite shower/toilet.
The really great thing about podule hotels is that there are no check in/check out times. When you make your reservation, you simply book the number of hours you need, and this is so perfect for matching the needs and requirements of each individual guest. You don’t have to worry about meeting standard hotel times – you just book your pod and go! I also wanted to mention, in case you were worried that you wouldn’t know exactly what time you would be arriving, as I was, that when I arrived half an hour early (and very late at night) to my podule reservation, it was absolutely no problem – there is someone on reception 24 hours a day and they were extremely friendly, helpful and kind.
The cabin itself really is tiny – hopefully you can get a feel for it’s size from my little video below! It was just wide enough for my violin case and once I had opened up my suitcase there wasn’t much floor room to be seen! But, the bed was really comfortable, and it was nice to have a private toilet and shower too. If you choose to share a cabin with another person, it might be helpful to know that there really isn’t room for any privacy in the pod, and there is only a glass divider between the toilet and the bed space, so make sure it’s someone you know well! There is, however, a blind on the door window, so you can feel very private from the outside corridor and other hotel guests. On that note, it may also help to know that, although I slept very well, at about 5am it became very busy outside with people getting up to catch their early flights. If you are a light sleeper, definitely wear some earplugs!
Some other useful things to know about Yotel:
- Towels are provided.
- Free tea/coffee and bottled water from reception 24/7.
- Free WiFi.
- Yotel has an interesting blog, featuring tips for travellers, interviews and recommended apps for meditation amongst other things.
- Food menu including breakfast, sandwiches, hot meals and snack options, all very affordably priced (around €5).
- TV in cabin.
- There are Yotel hotels in London Heathrow, Amsterdam and New York airports.
A podule hotel is really the perfect solution for weary travellers and anyone who just needs to sleep. I will definitely be staying in them again in the future and really recommend you check them out of you need a few hours of down time while en route.