Chinese capsule hotel lets you pretend you're sleeping in space (minus the microgravity)

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The first "capsule hotel" in mainland China is scoring huge popularity, in part because it's being described as a "space capsule," as if you're sleeping inside a spaceship. Each tiny room includes wireless broadband internet and a little dresser, as well as a bed.

The capsules are divided up into different houses of the Zodiac, with the soundproofed "Leo" capsules reserved for people who snore. According to Xinhua:

A "capsule" hotel — featuring science-fiction design and bedrooms just long enough for most people to lie down in, in Xi'an, capital of central China's Shaanxi province — has been doing good trade since opening two weeks ago.

Manager Xu Meijang was inspired to open the unusual business, thought to be the first licensed capsule hotel in China, by such accommodation's popularity in Japan and by the number of generally young, adventurous travelers requiring an affordable night's stay in the area. Occupancy rates at the hotel, in Xi'an's Minleyuan Wanda Plaza, have been over 60 percent so far, and it was full over the Labor Day holiday.

Capsule hotels' lack of services compared to conventional hotels is compensated for by the novel experience and their good value. Each bedroom is a modular fiberglass block roughly two meters long, one meter wide and 1.2 meters in height. The hotel charges 59-65 yuan (about 9.4-10.3 U.S. dollars) per person per night. The 480-square-meter building consists of 86 capsules in nine rooms named after star signs to reflect the space theme.


[About Xinjiang and CRI, via Design Launches]