Micro Hotels: A Look Inside the New Trend of Tiny Hotel Rooms

Source: Instagram/massimogu

The tiny house movement has exploded on the internet over the last few years. Videos and pictures on social media depict people making a home out of incredibly small spaces. It’s become a sort of online trend, and it has extended into a surprising space: hotels.

Hotels Are Eternal

Everyone knows that hotel rooms are spaces that you can rent short-term when you visit a new place. For a moment, there was discourse online that said that the AirBNB boom was going to put hotels out of business, but that turned out to be fear mongering.

Source: Instagram/f1lasvegas

Most hotel rooms are large enough to hold a bed, a tv, and other items, but there’s an expanding trend of very tiny hotel rooms. Some are less than 100 square feet, and can be a cost-effective way to explore a new city or spend time if you’re not going to be staying very long.

The Beginnings at Capsule Inn

This is by no means a new phenomenon. Micro hotel rooms have been around for decades, sometimes called “capsule” hotel rooms. The concept originated in a hotel in 1979, in the Capsule Inn in Osaka, Japan.

Source: Instagram/leonardo.di.chiara

The design of the building was originally built around the idea of Japanese compact design and efficiency. Hence the very, very tiny pods where visitors can rest and sleep, and then get up the following day to go about their business. The hotel is only open for male visitors, and was originally conceived of as a building where business men would come and sleep while on trips.

Gendered Locations for Capsule

Today, the idea that only businessmen are staying at the Capsule Inn has passed, but the gender distinction remains. While the first Capsule Inn is no longer the only location that follows this model of unique guest hosting, all of the locations around the country follow the gender separations. Some host men, and some host women, but none of them host both.

Source: Instagram/mukavahauska

This initial example of micro rooms in hotels only expanded from there. Japan is not the only country with citizens who are fascinated by an economic and beautiful use of space. Canada is another country where the trend of micro hotel rooms has taken hold, and grown exponentially.

The Panda Pod Hotel

Just outside of Vancouver, Canada, the Panda Pod Hotel is the first iteration of capsule hotel accommodations in the country. Panda Pod provides micro rooms that are each 3.6 feet wide, 3.6 feet tall, and 6.9 feet long, for a sleeping experience that is unique, but not overly cramped.

Source: Instagram/pandapodhotel

Panda Pod was conceived as a way to mitigate the high cost of travel, according to the website. When traveling, the cost of hotels is often the highest barrier for individuals, and Panda Pod provides an affordable accommodation situation near an expensive travel destination. And for those who prefer to vacation away from Canada’s chilly climate, there are more options.

Tubes For Rooms

Columbia came up with a rather unusual arrangement for the micro-hotel room phenomenon. Where the Panda Pod and Capsule hotels are buildings with micro rooms inside of a larger building, the TuboHotel in Villavieja works a little differently.

Source: Instagram/tubohotellatatacoa

Instead of having a large building with dozens of micro rooms inside, the TuboHotel works off a different model. The micro rooms for this hotel are built out of enormous concrete tubes, each of which have a small window, blackout curtains, and enough room for a queen-sized bed to fit inside. They’re painted eye-catchingly bright colors, allowing passerby to look and wonder exactly what it is that they’re looking at.

A Temperature-Conscious Alternative

A concrete tube for a hotel room offers a cooler alternative for the room than a standard hotel building. In a location like Columbia, where the temperatures are much warmer year round, it makes more sense than trying to create a large building that will need to be temperature-regulated throughout the year.

Source: Instagram/tubohotellatatacoa

Though the shape of the accommodations might be unusual, Columbia isn’t the only country that has come up with tube-shaped rooms for micro hotels. DasPark Hotel in Germany uses a similar model, though with a twist. Instead of using concrete tubes, they use repurposed sewer tubes, leaving them unadorned from the outside for an unobtrusive living situation.

Real Life Tetris Rooms

Tubes are far from the only unusual concept for these types of micro hotel rooms, either. In Amsterdam, CityHub went one step further for their micro hotel rooms. Instead of merely having a place to sleep, CityHub came up with a creative solution that not only allows for there to be a king-sized bed in their space, but some room to store clothes as well.

Source: Instagram/semschuurkes

The result looks something like a Tetris block, and the room occupants can play with their room like Tetris, too. The rooms are soundproofed, meaning that occupants aren’t bothered by each other no matter the close proximity, and each pod allows its guest to play music and adjust their lights in both brightness and color.

Probably No Micro Hotels in America Anytime Soon

With America’s fascination with bigger, better, and more expensive, it’s unlikely that micro hotels are going to be coming to the country anytime soon. Still, that doesn’t mean that these unique accommodations can’t provide a more affordable travel plan for those who are heading outside the country.

Source: Instagram/emanuelle.martel

It might not be the Instagram-perfect sleeping situation that some travelers seek, but micro hotels are definitely a unique concept that will likely continue to spread with both heightened inflation and the tempting itch to travel. They’re definitely worth checking out for the experience of seeing them and experiencing a different side of worldwide travel!

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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