GEORGE TOWN, June 1 — It’s oval-shaped and glows with a blue light with a sliding door for privacy. The smooth white capsule is air-conditioned and there is even a TV right at the foot of the foam bed.
No, this is not Japan where such space-saving capsule hotels have long been popular. The Time Capsule Hotel is right here in Penang.
Located along the busy main thoroughfare of Chulia Street within George Town, the newly-opened hotel offers travellers not only comfortable capsule room nights but an experience that is rivalled by no other dormitory-style guest houses in the state.
Each capsule is shaped much like a squat number 8 with a unit each on top and bottom, where the top is accessible by a small ladder.
There are a total 100 capsules at the hotel, about 33 units in each floor of the five-storey building.
“The capsule has all the basic amenities, like a small safe, wifi and a charging point so customers have almost all they need within reach,” said the hotel chief executive officer Steve Low.
The ground floor of the building is the hotel reception where guests will be handed a bag of toiletries that include a striped pajamas set, a pair of cotton bedroom slippers and a key card for access to their shoe and luggage lockers, their floor and their own capsule.
Each guest is required to leave their shoes in the shoe locker on the ground floor and change into the bedroom slippers before making their way up to the capsules on the floor they picked.
“We have two floors that are unisex and one floor meant only for women,” Low said.
On each floor, the capsules are arranged in rows or eight or four facing each other or the windows.
The hotel is still a work in progress even though it opened in mid-April as they are still working on the final floor which is the facilities floor so guests can read, make their own drinks or do their laundry.
For now, there are small reading nooks with comfortable beanbags facing the floor-to-ceiling windows either facing Chulia Street or the back alley on each floor.
While the rooms appear claustrophobic, the space is much bigger than it looks when one is sitting or sleeping inside.
“We tried out every capsule to make sure all the controls and switches worked,” Low, who had personally slept overnight in many of the capsules, said.
As for privacy and safety concerns, each floor has a locked glass door accessible only by a key card and each capsule has a sliding door that can be locked and securely latched from inside.
The air conditioning is centralised but there are controls within each capsule to allow the guests to adjust the air conditioning within the capsule.
As with other dormitory-style hotels, the bathrooms are communal ones, one for women and one for men.
Much like the clean, simplistic lines of the capsules, the bathrooms and toilets are also kept to the same feel with white porcelain basins and simple fuss-free shower stalls.
Though initially targeting backpackers and short-stay young travellers, Low said they have been getting numerous bookings from families and a wide range of guests who were merely curious about sleeping in a capsule.
The Time Capsule Hotel offers rates for 24-hour stays and also six-hour stays.
Time Capsule Hotel
418 & 420 Chulia Street,
10200 George Town, Penang.
Email: [email protected]