Capsule Hotel and Sauna, Phuket: Be at the Heart of Bangla
Traveling alone and on a budget, one thing that I found hard to plan on my recent trip to Phuket was my accommodation. There is an abundance of choices, depending on the area where you would like to stay. I chose Patong because of its proximity to the nightlife center. I searched through Google for several weeks to see some hostels and found Capsule Hotel and Sauna. I first stayed in a hostel in Singapore and I knew that this was the perfect type of accommodation if you are traveling on your own and if you do not want to punch holes in your wallet. It’s also a good way to meet new people, if you are the friendly type.
If there is one thing that makes Capsule a good choice, it would be its location. It is situated at the center of Bangla Road, which is the liveliest soi in Patong. The hostel is located at the basement of the Bangla Mall. Just a few steps from its entrance, there’s 7-11. On the first floor of the mall, there are some places to eat like KFC and Burger King, among others. In less than a minute from the hostel, you can see all the bars and clubs lined up along Soi Bangla. Bangla is loud and alive almost until the early hours of the morning. When you are inside the hostel, however, you can no longer hear any noise from Phuket’s liveliest party zone.
Capsule offers two kinds of accommodations. You can opt to choose Korean-style dormitory beds at 250 baht (roughly 325 pesos) per night. If you want a bit more privacy, they have deluxe capsule units that are available at 350 baht (about 450 pesos) per night. I chose the latter and stayed in a room with at least 10 units. The hostel is new, which explains why their rooms are very clean. Staying inside the capsule is not recommended for those who are claustrophobic as it is small. In my case, I did not have any problem with its size and liked my capsule a lot. There are individual reading lights in each capsule, mirror, and socket. There is also a rolling blind, which gives you a bit of privacy.
Upon check-in, I was given sauna uniform, towel, and blanket. From the reception, there are two separate entrances, one for men, and the other for women. Upon entry, you will see their shower room and the line of lockers. They have almost everything that you will need in this area – shampoo, soap, lotion, toothpaste, hair dryers, and clothes steamer, among others. As per the hostel’s FB page, it says that they have 300 lockers and 27 shower rooms.
As you exit the shower rooms, you will be led to the common area. This is where the Korean-style dormitory beds are. This is also where they have their computers (they have free Wi-Fi within the hostel). They have two huge TV screens as well. If you have nothing to do, you can just stay here and mingle with other guests. They also have massage chairs.
On both sides of the common area are the rooms with the capsules. They have at least 140 deluxe capsules, around 10 in each room, or at least in the room where I stayed. The only problem I had in the room was that it is common to be awakened by the alarms from other people’s phones, especially those checking-out or going out early for a tour.
At the end of the common area, on the right, you can see the toilet. On the left, you can see the four different types of sauna systems – Finnish-style Sauna, Korean-style Sauna, Steam Sauna, and Ice Room. If I am not mistaken, the saunas are open until 10 in the evening.
At most nights, before heading out, I would first grab a few beers from 7-11 and stay in the common area. This is the place where you can get to hang out with other guests. As usual, conversations would often start by asking where is the other person from. You can also see people playing games – a good way to break the ice and know each other better. After a night of drinking, this place is still often packed with guests trying to sober up.
I had my room booked through Agoda a few weeks before the trip. The booking was supposed to be from January 1 to 3 only, but I decided to have it extended for one more night, which shows how much I liked the place.
If you want to book for tours, you do not need to go far as you can do so in the reception. Just book ahead of time as their schedule and availability varies. In my case, I had to book my Koh Phi Phi day tour outside since they do not have an available slot that fits my schedule.
Capsule Hotel and Sauna is the perfect choice if you want to be as close as possible to all the pubs, night clubs, and go-go bars. If you like hitting the beach, this is also an option that you will not regret. It will take you about two minutes of walk to Patong Beach.