Friday, 26 March 2021

Sleeping in a "mega morgue" proves a surprise


I don't do camping - I joke to friends that I dislike the lack of room service. And I certainly like an en-suite bathroom.

I'm also not keen on hostels. Too noisy, too busy and no privacy.

So what am I doing staying at the Pod Inn in Launceston, Tasmania, sharing bathrooms and a common space with backpackers and budget travellers from around the globe?

I'm having my first Pod experience and apart from some early claustrophobia - and a momentary panic in the middle of the night when I can't find the button to open my pod door - it is a success - and a money saver.

Often, all you need from a night in town is a bed, wifi and bathroom facilities (shared or not).

The first capsule hotel in the world opened in 1979: the Capsule Inn Osaka, located in the Umeda district of Osaka. In Australia they are a relatively new phenomenon. 

The bathrooms and toilets at the Pod Inn appeared clean, even if I am not overly keen to share. 

My plastic Superior Side Entrance Capsule Bed (below) was relatively spacious for one person but would be a little tight for two - although at $60 a night, beggars can't be choosers.


I'm certainly glad to be on the lower level, not having to climb up to a first-storey pod in what has been described as a "mega morgue for the living". 

The capsule is certainly well equipped with room to easily slide in and out through the card-controlled sliding door. You are provided with a comfortable mattress, comfy pillows and quilts. 

There is a dimmable ambient light, laptop desk, a safe to lock up your valuables, reading lights, air conditioning, USB charger port, power point, back-lit mirror, smoke detector and coat hooks. 

A locker space and towel is provided to each guest.

The capsule bed was intended to provide basic layover accommodation for those who didn't want to pay big bucks for full service hotel. Often mega drunk businessmen who were just sober enough to realise they wanted something better than a shared hostel room. The Launceston operation opened in 2018.

Guests can control their own lights and ventilation to suit themselves - and you don't have to worry about disturbing other guests. 

I expected to hear some noise from other guests but slept relatively well, although getting in and out of the pod to go the toilet in the middle of the night was tiresome. 

As a plus for those not wanting to brave the mean streets of Launceston, there is also an on-site noodle bar eatery.  

All in all the Pod Inn delivers exactly what it says. And I hear an offshoot is coming to downtown Hobart very soon. 


# The writer paid his own way

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