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March 7, 2017 A weird place to stay when you go to New Zealand

Especially if you’re headed to Auckland or Christchurch.

Recently I went over to New Zealand for a quick trip (it’s all connected to my self-motivation angle), and for most of the time I was lucky enough to stay in someone’s spare room. But there was something I wanted to try out while I was there – a place to stay that only costs around $35/night. The night before I flew home from Christchurch, I stayed in a JUCY Pod. 

Capsule hotels have been in Japan for a fair while, and apparently they’re mostly used by business people who don’t have time to commute. (Apparently they’re also weirdly expensive over there, but that’s just what I’ve heard, so don’t quote me.)

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The Kiwi ones are basically like kitted-out bunk beds with free wifi. There are eight pods in a room, stacked two by two on each side. When you climb in, there’s a control panel to work your personal light, fan and charging needs, as well as a mirror, power point and netting to hold any small stuff. You also get a personal locker in the room, so you don’t have to lug your backpack into the pod with you. Once you’re settled in with your provided pillow, sheet and blanket, you can pull down the privacy blind and block out the rest of the world. Well…kinda.

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The bed is comfy, and the pod’s big enough to sit up in without bashing your head. But the night I was there it was pretty noisy, with people coming and going all night, and a door that slammed. It also got hot in my pod, despite the fan, so I had to open the shade a bit to get some airflow going. But these are issues that come from any hostel situation, so you can probably pack some earplugs and ignore my whinging…

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Outside the sleeping arrangements, there are heaps of showers (towels are NZ$5 rental from reception, if you didn’t bring your own and/or don’t want to use a T-shirt to dry yourself) and a massive common room with cooking facilities, games and hammocks is there for all your hanging-out and eating-on-the-cheap needs. There were heaps of travellers of all ages making meals, reading and on their phones when I was there, giving the place a good atmosphere.

So yeah, if you’re planning some travel and don’t want to spend a million dollars on a place to stay, it’s worth checking these guys out.

Shane Cubis
is a contributor to A•STAR