Are you the backpacker who wants something different for an accommodation? The passerby waiting for a flight the next day? Think about it: a capsule room in between that short bland side trip. Practical.
Those were my introductory statements the first time I did this writeup. But since my second visit to Kabayan Hotel only a month after the first visit, I decided to make an update which is separately sectioned at the bottom page.
DORM TYPE OR CAPSULE TYPE?
I have heard accounts of how dorm type rooms in hotels are and personally have lived in a dormitory for four years in college. Spaces are common and shared with a couple of people. There is interaction and company.
With capsule rooms, spaces are common and shared, too. Company is present and interaction is optional. The main difference is you have an enclosed personal space.
Once inside the capsule, you have the option to lower down the horizontal blinds and viola space for yourself or keep it open to allow interaction with the others.
In contrast to dorm type rooms, the capsule is my personal choice.
My slumber adventure at Kabayan Hotel at Pasay fulfilled my dream to sleep in a capsule, of which I thought I could only do so in Japan. Kabayan has an old humble look when viewed from the MRT Taft Station. I’ve always thought its proximity to a major transportation hub will command a high price, but it proved otherwise.
Capsule room in Kabayan costs PhP 850. This includes a capsule, shared shower/toilet room, locker, hanger, bath towel, bed sheet, pillow and slippers. Amenities inside the capsule include a mirror, electric sockets, lights and ventilation. The only entrance and exit is the square shaped opening of the capsule, adorned with a horizontal blinds for your privacy.
UP OR DOWN?
Each room contains 10 capsules stacked in two levels: upper and lower. The rooms are gender exclusive, so females and males are assigned separately.
If you find yourself in a life situation when you need to choose between the upper or lower capsule, I suggest the lower capsule. As in double deck beds, it feels awesome to be up there in the upper bed at first, but the lower bed provides the simple joys of one, sitting without your legs feeling numb from hanging from the ledge and second, the ease to access your things that would otherwise be piled up in the bed itself when you’re in an upper bed.
You’ll find more people at their cafe, since the package includes a free breakfast which you can take between 4 am to 10 am. WiFi access is a staple, too.
The breakfast is the type that you will easily grow tired of, being limited in choices. But it’s barely a down side, considering the whole package.
CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT
The normal hotel setup for check in and check out time also applies in guests using capsule. Check in time is 2 pm and check out time is 12 noon. In case of arrivals later than 2 pm, an advance information should be properly communicated to their staff or receptionist.
For my overnight stay, I was more than elated to finally experience sleeping in a capsule. I was not pressed for time. It was wonderful and peaceful. I had my breakfast late and even went back to sleep to maximize my stay before checking out.
It was a holiday when I checked in and some capsules were empty. I had a neighbor/neighbors (I’m not even sure) that I hadn’t had the chance to greet, since I would be out when she/they would be in her capsule and vice versa. I mused my roommate may have actually been staying for a couple of days already, since she had laundry hung in the other bath room. Homey feels.
I heard fellow Warays chatting in the cafe and another guest talking loud in the phone about transmitting money. I was reminded that this was a haven for OFWs. Kabayan is basically groomed for our kababayans who worked abroad.
The commute was not a hassle. I rarely do taxis now, so the Kabayan’s proximity to LRT 1, MRT, and Pasay Terminal (for bus and jeep) is perfect. What more, the Airport Loop Bus queues in the same terminal. Convenient.
Concerns on the size and space ranks high among worried guests. Personally, I think people with a slight to moderate degree of claustrophobicity may still find this fun.
I am not claustrophobic, but when I tried laying down on the capsule I can still stretch the way one does when one wakes up in a normal bed. Another human being can fit beside me and it’ll still be comfortable. When I stretch my arms towards the “ceiling”, I couldn’t touch a thing. There’s more than room to toss and turn. For a capsule, it was good enough. For my dream, very good.
It’s like seeing for the first time ‘again’, it was only now I noticed that the Reception Area of the hotel is at the backward part to the left side. The first thing that actually greets you is the restaurant part.
For the free breakfast, the menu actually changes by the day so it’s not really as boring as it sounded on my first try.
This time I was assigned the dreaded second level. But I managed well. I’ve learned my lesson from a similar experience at Cebu (Shejoje Hostel: Capsule in Cebu).
Finally, you don’t need to do advance booking. As long as there are available capsules or ‘ordinary’ rooms, (business-wise) they will let you in. They accept walk-ins any time of the day or night.
Fortunately, the capsule is still the cheapest option when compared to solo pad. All other rooms are a thousand plus in pesos, while the capsule reigns at PHP 850. It’s still the best deal in town.