Capsule hotel the snug thing for those who just want to sleep and leave

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 December, 2010, 12:00am

If actor George Clooney had shot Up in the Air - in which his character lives out of a suitcase - in Kyoto, he could have checked into the Nine Hours capsule hotel.

The no-frills hotel is designed for people who want to just sleep and leave. It consists only of sleeping spaces - no television sets, no fridges, no Bibles.

Claustrophobics won't dig the idea, since it might feel like being stuck in an MRI scanner. Nevertheless, the idea is welcomed by busy Japanese businessmen, budget tourists and design fanatics.

Created by Fumie Shibata (right), the hotel model was showcased at this year's Business of Design Week in Hong Kong. 'It's called Nine Hours because you need seven hours for sleep, an hour for a shower and another hour to get dressed,' explained the designer, who was in town last week for the close of design week.

She said the sleek design was inspired by designs in nature, such as the Venus flytrap and beehive. 'It makes you feel safe and peaceful, as if the space was built around you,' she said.

The first capsule hotel is located in a nine-storey building which hosts 125 capsules, locker rooms, showers and a lounge. The designer said she had been approached by clients from all over the world, including Hong Kong.