Japanese Sleep Capsules Coming to Europe

Saturday, February 27, 2021. 1:28pm

The Original Japanese Sleep Capsules are Coming to Europe

Today’s sleep capsules are an appealing option for budget-conscious travellers – and generate up to three times the revenue for hotels and hostels.

Audience Systems are launching an exciting accommodation concept for hotels and hostels into the UK and Europe – Kotobuki’s original Japanese sleep capsules.

The first sleep capsules were designed by Kotobuki in 1979 – a genuinely innovative response to the pressures on space and time in cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The subject of numerous articles and documentaries, the rest of the world saw them as something exotic – and uniquely Japanese. However, since then, sleep capsules have become a more mainstream concept, throughout Asia and beyond. Kotobuki has installed over 60,000 of them in hotels, hostels and nap spaces, at airports and even on board ships.  As Kotobuki’s capsule design has evolved, hoteliers and travellers have begun to see these clever little spaces as more than just a curiosity. The combination of savings for guests and increased revenue for facility owners is a truly seductive business model.

A bank of sleep capsules, and a sleep capsule interior
A bank of sleep capsules, and a sleep capsule interior
A bank of sleep capsules, and a sleep capsule interior
A bank of sleep capsules, and a sleep capsule interior

Today’s Kotobuki sleep capsules are sleek, comfortable and modern. They offer a high level of amenities and privacy, but still with similar space occupancy to a bunk room. They feature relaxing interiors, including adjustable ventilation and lighting, sound insultation, and device charge points. Options include TVs, mirrors, and clothes rails. Kotobuki also manufacture wider capsules with extra storage and even sleep cabins – self-contained mini-rooms with space to stand beside the bed.

Sleep capsules can be stacked with entrances on opposite sides to form private rooms.

The overall design of capsule hotels has evolved too. Today they are slick establishments offering guests far more than walls and a mattress. There are often welcoming areas for relaxation or to prepare food, and a choice of storage solutions for guests’ belongings. Some hotels have also worked with Kotobuki’s design team to create clever layouts which integrate the capsules into private spaces for individuals or families.

For hotel operators, even considering communal facilities – bathrooms, chill-out areas and so on – a floor converted to sleep capsules can accommodate up to six times as many guests as a traditional hotel layout – and generate three times the revenue. For hostels, they offer guests enhanced amenities and privacy over traditional shared rooms, but with no loss of space efficiency.

Kotobuki’s sleep capsules offer fuss-free installation too. They arrive on site in kit form, and can be carried into the building through any standard doorway. So it’s simple to convert a building or a floor into a capsule hotel.

The capsule hotel model also allows guests to be relatively self-sufficient. In many such hotels in Japan, capsule hotels have used technology to reduce staffing costs – by allowing guests to check themselves in and purchase food and drink from automated facilities, for instance. It’s all part of the stripped-back model that allows travellers to free up more of their budget for experiences and fun. That, after all, is what travelling is about.

If you would like to explore how sleep capsules might work in your hotel or hostel, Audience Systems offer a free consultation and CAD layout service – as well as an opportunity to try out sleep capsules in person. Contact Audience Systems on +44 (0)1373 865050 or [email protected] to find out more, or visit the company’s sleep capsule website at www.audiencesystems.com/sleep.

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