A DAY AT INDIA’S FIRST CAPSULE HOTEL.

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In these days, when there is a scarcity of space as well as time, you need not go any far to satiate your luxury needs. A new concept of ‘pod’ or ‘capsule’ hotel has recently been introduced in India. Originally a Japanese concept, this is the perfect and most technologically sound option out there. Being offered an opportuntity by our college to personally visit and experience the ‘Urban Pod’ from ‘ground-zero’, our optimism for this concept left no bounds.

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According to the definition, a capsule hotel, also known as a pod hotel, is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of extremely small “rooms” (capsules) intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels.Taking a cue from pod hotels across Japan and China, Mumbai has got its first brand in this segment under the name of ‘Urbanpod.Typically, pod hotels have small rooms to accommodate budget-conscious travellers looking for a bed and shower options.After studying from Michigan University and exploring a range of places across the world in the hospitality segment, entrepreneur duo of Hiren Gandhi and Shalabh Mittal thought to bring something new and non-existing in India.

The General Manager, Mr. Ajay Pandit and the front office manager, Mr.Prasad were not only very enthusiastic in explaining the hotel facilities to us students but were welcoming the doubts and questions with the same zeal.  There are four categories available viz. exclusive ladies pod, classic pod, private pod, suite pod ranging from INR 1800 to INR 3400. The classic pod is the base category room with minimal and compact space but with no compromise is done on comfort and luxury. There are two USB ports, a mirror, a ejectable television, headphones, a charging socket and complimentary wi-fi. Also, there are plethora of different lights to suit one’s mood with adjustable luminosities, a sleep mode button, a DND button and a digital safe. The exclusive ladies pod offers more or less the same facilities as that of a classic pod  but no males are allowed inside a ladies pod. The private pod has an additional space outside the main pod where a guest can keep his luggage or just sit and relax by the window. The suite pod has a queen size bed with a study table and space for storing luggage.

 All the guests have to leave their shoes behind in the locker which is provided at the time of check in, before entering the pods. We will discuss this anomalic reason in a short while. Also, no luggage is allowed inside the pod. The guest are provided with a safe to keep their luggage inside them. A single key is provided to be able to open the pod, shoe safe and the luggage safe. Each pod has a duvet, a soft-cushioned mattress, a pillow. Also, a welcome kit with bath towel, bath-kit and a water bottle are provided at the time of check-in. The hotel has common rest rooms and bathrooms for all the pods. A iron-board for the guest can be provided on request. The hotel does not have an on-premises laundry, rather it is outsourced.

The hotel strives to use eco-friendly practices in its day to day functioning. The concept of shared bathrooms and rest-rooms is one such example. Shared bathrooms allows for more water conservation. Also, leaving the shoes outside pods prevents the dirt and pests from entering the pods, thereby reducing the need for unwanted use of housekeeping cleaning agents consequently reducing the costs as well. The compact spacing allows for saving the fuel and electricity which takes this hotel a step further from orthodox hotels.

In India there is a lackluster in the segment of quality accommodation as there are a lot of people who travel domestically, especially in metro cities. India is a growing market at the moment, and shares a big chunk in travel and tourism. Urban Pod is targeting online travel agencies as for now to gain a momentum in market being a first mover of this segment. The hotel has tied up with many global and domestic companies like makemytrip.com, Expedia.com, Goibibo. The average occupancy at the moment is at about 10% which is expected to grow substantially with time to come.

 this wonderful opportunity given by our professor, Mr. Ajit Gavandi, for without him, we would not have been able to experience such an unique technological feat. Also, special mentions to the general manager Mr. Ajay Pandit and the front office manager, Mr.Prasad for guiding us in such an immaculate and impeccable manner.