Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday, October 08, 2016
The capsule beds are stacked in a set per gender-exclusive room

















A capsule bed stay at a hotel is not for everyone, especially not for someone who's prone to claustrophobia or one who extremely fears confined places. If you don't love spending more than a minute inside an elevator, chances are such an accommodation is not your thing. However, it was something that fit my need for an emergency layover one hectic weekday in Pasay City.

I only got less than a thousand pesos of cash in my wallet that fateful night and I left my ATM card back home as I was trapped in a grueling commute from an event I attended. Traffic was snail-paced and I couldn't stand to bear sleeping the way home for fear that I would get robbed inside a bus or passenger van. I haven't had dinner nor have I slept an hour a day prior because of previous work engagements, so I needed to turn on the snooze button as soon as I was done with a meal at a fast food chain. Nearby was Kabayan Hotel which I found out to have a capsule bed for only Php750 per night.

Entering the capsule
Complimentary breakfast
Slept soundly sans the bed bugs which is a perceived problem in standard motel rooms
Provisions for a pillow, blanket, and a pair of slippers are available inside the locker


Free Breakfast and Wi-Fi Access

Upon further inquiry at the front desk of the hotel, I determined that the rate is inclusive of a complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi access. Since I don't have any predilection for open spaces especially when I'm alone, the aesthetic of my chosen sleeping quarters for that night suited me just right. It fit my budget, the emergency case I was in, and I terribly just had to call it a night.

Gender-Exclusive Quarters

For privacy, a separate quarters for capsule beds is designated for female guests. Surprisingly, I found the common room of the male quarters to be like a spa when I entered it. The lighting was dim but just right enough to let you see your stuff as you unpack and change your clothes like you're in a gym locker room. Some sleeping guests in their capsule beds didn't even bother unpacking anymore when they arrived as I saw backpacks tucked just at the bottom of their respective capsules. Some did not also close their capsule shutters, although there's proper ventilation inside each bed space which seems to be connected to the central air conditioning of the whole room. There's also a designated shoe rack for guests near the door, away from the capsule beds.

(clockwise) Male quarters of the set of capsule beds; The hotel hallway; Capsule bed shutters down
The spacious and clean common bathroom inside the male quarters
No room windows but this view when the capsule shutters are up
The hotel lobby

Decent and Spacious Common Bathroom

I first took a bath and found the bathroom to be quite spacious. Water pressure was strong and the whole design looked modern, well-kept, and decent. It was something I couldn't complain about for the affordable rate of the capsule bed. Some guests left their personal bath essentials inside the bathroom, but I preferred not to do the same for the stuff that I bought outside a nearby convenience store. I took mine back inside my designated locker after I was done.

If ever the bathrooms inside the gender-exclusive quarters are currently occupied, other capsule bed guests can use the common bathroom that's designated in the same floor.

Dining for breakfast at the hotel
Charging station inside the capsule




Sleeping Inside The Capsule

Each capsule bed guest is provided a pillow, a blanket, and a pair of slippers. Once inside the capsule, I tinkered with the control system that it's equipped with -- a couple of switches for lighting and another one for the ventilation system's exhaust. I also used the power outlets on the wall to charge my mobile phone while I dozed off to sleep. It was really up to me if I wanted it to be pitch dark inside or not because of the switches. I opted for the former.

Capsule Beds Versus Motel Rooms

Lying there in the middle of my dark space in the city, I realised why I preferred Kabayan Hotel's capsule bed over normal guestroom at nearby motels. Both are cheap anyway so why settle for a weird way to spend the night in?

My decision was clear and it was not because I was judgmental about motels being a venue for sex workers and the promiscuous. It's more than that. It was because I'm always paranoid about motel guests sleeping without their clothes on. And after learning that most motels are not really deploying best practices in changing sheets and all, there's always the possibility of bed bugs and skin diseases in such a place.

That issue extends to the presence of towels. I just couldn't bear to use a suspiciously kept towel in such a venue. With Kabayan Hotel's capsule bed accommodation, a guest is provided a towel inside one's locker and I can only assume that the same housekeeping maintains the same towels provided for the hotel's luxurious rooms.

Another issue I have with motels is the recent rise in criminal activities from murders of prostitutes, sex clients or those involved in illicit affairs regardless if they're drug-related or not. I just couldn't be in such a place and deal with a restful sleep altogether.

(clockwise) Roster of dishes to choose from for your set breakfast; The dining area; Unlimited coffee and drinks

Early Breakfast At 4:00am

I woke up the next day as early as 4:00am for breakfast because the hotel schedule seems to be sensitive to those leaving the place at earlier times. To my surprise, the breakfast was not a simple set as it let me choose from a roster of dishes to customize my own meal. I chose dilis and tocino for viands and had a hoot drinking unlimited coffee and iced tea from the drinking station. What's more, the food was delicious! I couldn't believe that I paid Php750 only for everything given my circumstance the night before.

If you happen to be trapped in Pasay City with less than a thousand pesos, Kabayan Hotel's capsule bed is more than a stay inside a weird sleeping space. I found that to be true.

Kabayan Hotel lobby
Kabayan Hotel

Official website of Kabayan Hotel

Address: 347 EDSA, Pasay City, Metro Manila Philippines 1300
Phone: +632 772-7888 or +632 702-2700
Mobile: +63 917-891-0772


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