What do you think of when you hear “capsule hotel”?
For me, things like “coffin-like”, “claustrophobic”, “hole in the wall” and “unsafe” spring to mind. (surely I’m not the only one…?)
That said, I’ve still always wanted to try staying in one for the experience, hehe. I’m not masochistic! I just like to try everything before passing judgement. *nods sagely
while stroking her imaginary (or not) beard*
I came across Apaiser Relaxation & Spa while researching on where to stay in Nagoya.
RELAXATION! SPA!!! I was sold when I browsed their website and discovered that they had lots of hot bath pools and saunas! (I don’t call them hot springs because… they aren’t hot springs.)
I quickly checked the interwebs for reviews on the hotel and they were in the clear (some pretty good reviews, actually!), so I made my booking online ^o^
This was one of the things I was looking forward to on the trip because it was a brand new experience!
We arrived at the hotel at about… 11-ish pm after visiting Nabana no Sato.
The hotel was bright and welcoming, and the front desk staff was friendly and nice. He remained patient throughout my 312 questions (cause first time mah! and that Fu, everything also ask me ask! -_-;;)
We paid for the hotel upfront, and each received locker keys.
The thing about this hotel is that men and ladies’ spas are separated into specific floors (because everyone walks around butt naked – literally! – in the bathing areas), and each gender has their own private elevator to bring them between floors.
Sleeping quarters were on the 5th floor, so Fu and I parted ways for the night, agreeing to meet the next morning in the common area.
THEN IT WAS EXPLORATION TIME FOR ME MWEHEHE!
Technically, no photos are allowed within the hotel (I think it’s because there are naked people running around) but I um, took them in order to document them for the greater good! (this means you, ok!!!)
Plus, I made sure to take them very late – I took them at about 1+am, when there are almost no people left – and I also made sure there were no naked people in sight, whether directly or reflected. (sorry if you were anticipating anything)
Stealth mode on, I headed to B1, the ladies floor!
Everyone is given a personal locker on the left. This locker is super skinny and only good for storing clothes and a small handbag.
The staff at the counter saw I had a luggage with me, so he gave me a locker key for the right locker as well. Roomy enough for my carry-on trolley luggage!
The amenities here are impeccable. You can literally walk into this place with nothing but yourself (and wallet) and be able to relax, clean up, and sleep! (“What about underwear?!” you ask. They sell ’em. In vending machines!)
Firstly, inside the skinny locker was a bag full of towels (3 face towels, 2 bath towels) and a set of baggy, comfy clothes:
Then in the bath area, there was shampoo, conditioner and body soap. They’re not some nonsense cheapo brand, but Shiseido!
Sidetrack: Totally different from the jjimjilbang (Korean spa) in Seoul where there was n-o-t-h-i-n-g! #cultureshock
Moving to the powder room:
(ps: again, all Shiseido!)
Tooth brush? Check, complete with toothpaste built into the bristles and sealed for sanitation.
They are stocked with most anything in a regular female’s routine!
The only thing I didn’t spot was cotton pads, but I think it’s because they pat the toner on to their faces using their hands rather than use a cotton pad, so yeah, I just do as the Japanese do!
SPA (HOT BATHS)
There were 5 different baths for ladies, and one of them even had jacuzzi jet functions!
I soaked in the 42°C jacuzzi one first, splashed myself with water from the 18°C pool, dipped into the 43°C pool, and finished off with 17°C. This alternating hot-cold sequence is supposedly good for blood circulation.
Didn’t go into the sauna because there were people there and I didn’t feel up to sitting in my birthday suit in a hot, enclosed area with strangers that night…
Including this section because after storing my luggage, I had NO FRICKIN’ IDEA WHAT TO DO.
Do I change into the clothes they gave? Do I wrap a towel to walk to the bath area? What???
I literally just hung around, pretending to be busy digging into my bag (I was just rummaging randomly lol) as I waited for a brand new person to arrive so that I can copy what she does LOL.
After sneaking glances, this was what I gathered:
- Strip naked
- Store clothes in locker
- Bring a face towel for washing body
- Go to the bathing area!
HOWEVER, because I didn’t see the full cycle, I realized belatedly (when out of the bath and soaking wet) that I should also have brought along the bath towel and set of clothes so that I can dry off and be clothed!!! D:
What’s a girl to do?
I furtively checked left and right before breaking out into a Mach 20 dead run, arriving at the lockers before the first drops of water even fell to the ground. #notdramaticatall
Dundundunnnnnn! The thing I was most curious about!
Will I be crawling into a coffin-like enclosure and afforded just as much space as the real thing?
The corridors were actually more spacious than I expected! I thought it would be cramped because you know, capsule hotels…
By the way, this place is actually quite safe because even though this level also houses the men’s sleeping area, the ladies area is locked and you need a key to enter! Before I arrived at the hotel, I was afraid that there will be random people roaming about. Quite pleasantly surprised by the security!
The place was made more homey by the snores of a lady (is she still a lady if she snores like a monster?) lol. But lucky for me, she was sleeping quite far away from me and I couldn’t hear her snores from my… what do I call it? Capsule? Bunk? Anyway, you get the idea.
Next, the capsule itself!
I thought I had to crawl horizontally into the capsule, because on their website, they had this picture:
But it’s inaccurate! The mattress is laid out perpendicular to the entrance. Meaning, the moment I enter the capsule, I had to turn left.
Side note: Pool picture on left is also inaccurate. Ladies spa is in the basement. WHERE GOT NICE SUNSHINE AND ALL -_-
Anyway, the photos below should clear up the perpendicular to entrance thing:
I found the capsule quite spacious and while the pillow could be more comfortable, I had a pretty decent night’s rest!
Fu also said that it was way better than he expected! We enjoyed the stay so much we even considered extending our trip and staying an additional night on our way back lol.
It was also quite inexpensive, only 3,200 yen (~S$35) a person on weekdays! (plus free parking!) You could add 300 yen for breakfast, which I initially did, but later canceled because we had to leave (for Universal Studios!) before breakfast started.
In summary, I recommend this place (unique Japanese experience, anyone?) and would happily stay here again! I’m so glad I decided to give capsule hotels a try! :D