Spain tries out tourist pod hotels: No views, bathrooms or standing space for £26 a night

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With no windows, private bathrooms or room to stand up, the new capsule hostels aren’t for everyone. Pods are available for solo travellers and couples and could be a way to save money on a Spanish holiday.

New pod hotels have recently opened in Spain, dividing opinion between guests and experts in the industry.

Pod hotels first originated in Japan and offer guests a small sleeping area that can be closed with a small door.

A little larger than a coffin, pods can often be stacked on top of each other and many guests sleep in the same room.

Experts say the pod accommodation can not be described as a hotel in Spain, as the rooms lack private bathrooms and bedrooms.

Guests of pod hotels do have access to a shared bathroom and normally private lockers are included in the price.

In 2019 the first pod hotel in Spain opened in Bilbao with pods its owners said were bigger than those found in Japan.

Since then, other pod hostels have popped up across the country, with two due to open in Madrid and one recently opening on the popular tourist island of Tenerife.

The Aytypicap pod hostel in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife charges €32 (£26) for a single pod and €41 (£34) for a double.

An Aytpicap single capsule is 195cm long, 100cm wide and 100cm high and comes with reading lights and a 26inch screen.

The double capsule is also 100cm high and 195cm long but is wider at 161cm. Each of the capsules has a private safe box for valuables.

Fernando Costante, the owner of the hostel, told Spanish newspaper El País: “Our goal is to open new markets in a sector where it seems everything has already been invented.

“We spent three years getting ready and here we are with our Europeanised capsules.”

It is thought that pod hostels could be growing in popularity due to fears from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As pods are completely sealed with filtered air and sliding doors, guests are safe from catching germs from fellow roommates.

Research has also found that younger travellers tend to value experience on holidays and may opt for capsule hostels to try something new.

Some modern pods even offer guests a view of the outside world if they select a capsule by the window.

However, not everyone has welcomed Spain’s new pod hostels. José Manuel Calvo, from Madrid’s City Hall, said: “A law should be passed to stop them becoming a trend.

“It is very risky to give media coverage to this type of initiative as it paves the way for the pod hotel to become established as one model of accommodation.

“This only responds to yet one more demand in a low-cost market that is expanding into every sphere.”

Pod hostels are also on the rise in other countries around the world and three have opened in Mexico in the last year.

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