Many years ago, when Japan was the world’s leading economy and Japanese businessmen were hard-striving cheapskates anxious to squeeze out any savings, several properties in Tokyo created so-called “capsule hotels” charging awesomely low rates.
Instead of placing their clients in normal rooms, they lodged them in coffin-like boxes, three feet wide, four feet tall, and seven feet long, all inserted into walls. By doing so, they were able to accommodate a much larger number of guests in the space available to them, and at correspondingly cheap rates.
No one would have ever predicted that in the year 2018, such capsule hotels (“beds in boxes”) would begin reappearing in London, England.
At the oddly-named St. Christopher's at the Village, at 161–165 Borough High Street, London, a five minute walk from the London Bridge Tube stop and near Borough Market, workmen have now completed installing 50-some-odd sleeping capsules in the building’s main wall, with more to come.
Guests inserting themselves to sleep in these capsules pay the British pound equivalent of only $24 a night, including breakfast, in low season, or some $44 including breakfast in high season. (Guests are given nearby lockers in which to store their clothing.) A curtain can be pulled over the entrance to each capsule, and a metal bar can be grasped to swing yourself into this bed-in-a-box.
Why have hotel entrepreneurs chosen this desperate design for their lodgings? Brexit? A declining British economy? A forthcoming British depression? An odd form of British logic?
Whatever, it’s a remarkable development, and I hope our readers will benefit from it. By doing so, they’ll be paying rock-bottom rates in a city with sky-high prices for overnight lodgings—especially for single rooms.