Poshtel really lives up to its name in more ways than one.
Our reporter Seiji Nakazawa first heard about capsule hotels when he was a child, and he remembers how the thought of them made him want to cry, as he imagined dark corridors lined with coffin-like capsules, where exhausted salarymen attempted to sleep in tiny beds.
While capsule hotels were never really as bad as Seiji imagined, they’ve come a long way since they were first introduced in Japan in 1979, growing in popularity not only with travellers in Japan but visitors from overseas, who can now choose from a wide range of different establishments offering all sorts of perks for travellers on a budget.
During a recent Internet search for a good capsule hotel, Seiji came across a YouTube video from Experience Japan, where they introduced a new capsule hotel in Tokyo’s Asakusa district that had received rave reviews from foreign tourists.
Curious to find out whether the place would live up to the hype, our once-capsule-shy reporter packed an overnight bag and headed over to the hotel to see what it was like.
▼ The capsule hotel is called Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa.
Seiji had made a prior reservation before arriving, paying 4,100 yen for the night and checking in at 5:00 p.m., although check-in time runs from 3:00 p.m.until midnight. As he made his way to the hotel, he was impressed to find that it was in a really good location. Since Asakusa covers a large area, he expected a budget accommodation like this to be a little far from the main tourist areas, but it was about a two-minute walk from Exit B of Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station, and you can see Tokyo Skytree from the street in front of the hotel.
▼ There are plenty of places to shop and eat nearby…
▼ …and it’s close to Asakusa’s star tourist attraction, Sensoji temple.
While the hotel isn’t far from the main tourist areas, it’s also a little removed from them, in a quiet residential street, which gives you a chance to escape the crowds.
▼ When Seiji checked in, he saw a money exchange machine in the lobby, as well as free-to-use irons and roomwear, which you can rent for 300 yen (US$2.06) during your stay.
▼ There’s a smoking room on the ground floor for guests…
▼ …and large luggage can be secured with a chain lock in the luggage room.
▼ There are four floors in total, with restrooms on every level.
▼ After checking in, Seiji was given a card key and a set of ear plugs, which all guests can take for free.
The elevator doesn’t work without a card key, which is a nice security measure. When you step out of the elevator and into the hall to the rooms, you’ll be greeted by some very Japanese decorations that’ll make you feel like you’re a posh hotel rather than a capsule hotel.
▼ Walking down the hall to his room, Seiji was pleased to see large areas available for luggage storage.
▼ And when he used his card key to open the door to the capsules…
▼ …there was nothing scary here at all!
Sure, the place may have had dim lighting like the sort Seiji used to imagine as a child, but it was a calm type of lighting, and the capsules were more like cabins, with arched doorways and numbered light-up signs, giving each one a stylish look.
▼ Stepping inside, Seiji was immediately bowled over by the beautifully decorated ceiling, which gave the space a very Japanese feel.
▼ Not only did the space look beautiful, it was surprisingly wide too.
The width and length of the mattress was almost the same size as a single bed, but what stood out most for Seiji was the height of the ceiling. It was much higher than anything you’d expect to find in a capsule room, so the place didn’t feel cramped at all!
There was a power supply and a USB port next to the bed, so guests can adjust the lights and air conditioning and hook up their electrical devices. There’s also free Wi-Fi, so Seiji was able to get some work done while he was in the room, and watch a few YouTube videos before he turned off the lights for the night.
It took Seiji no time at all to get to sleep, and the next thing he knew, it was morning. He slept right through the night, managing to get nine hours of comfortable sleep, which is a pretty rare feat for Seiji in a capsule room. He reckons he slept even better than he does at home, so that’s saying something for the comfort levels of this posh capsule hotel.
The toilets are located at the end of the floor, and can only be opened with the card key. There were a lot of toilets to accommodate guests, so Seiji was able to walk right in, and the toilets themselves were clean and modern, like the ones you’d find at a fancy shopping mall.
The washroom was spacious as well, but they’re only equipped with showers, so guests wanting a bath can stroll down to a nearby sento called Kotobuki. Seiji took a bath here on the night he arrived, and it was about a 15-minute walk away.
▼ Seiji paid 970 yen for use of the bath, sauna and a rental towel set.
After checking out in the morning, Seiji took a seat on the terrace to gather his thoughts about the poshtel experience. Even the seating area had been well designed, evoking images of traditional Japan with its low table and bright red parasol-like shade.
As he sat beneath the shade, Seiji realised how little flourishes like decorative details can make all the difference between an ordinary capsule hotel experience and an extraordinary one. With so many decorative details, as well as clever design ideas, Resol Poshtel certainly was one of the poshest capsule hotels he’s ever stayed at, and he would definitely stay there again in a heartbeat.
Resol Poshtel definitely lives up to its posh name while keeping prices surprisingly low for travellers on a budget. So next time you’re looking for a stylish place to stay in Asakusa, be sure to put this posh capsule hotel on your list. And if you’re looking for a highly recommended place to eat in the area, this eel vendor in the backstreets is another gem to keep an eye out for!
Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa / リソルポシュテル東京浅草
Address : Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Nishi-Asakusa 2-25-1