Poised for TAKE-OFF

/ EdgeProp
October 21, 2018 8:00 AM SGT
Marketed as a no-frills alternative to pricier hotels in Singapore’s city centre, capsule hotels are proving to be an attractive option for millennials travelling on a shoestring budget.
The 56-bed Cube BoutiqueCapsule Hotel in Kampong Glam (Picture: Samuel Issac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
In February this year, husband-and- wife business partners Benedict Choa and Sonia Anya opened a 56-bed boutique capsule hotel in the historical Kampong Glam neighbourhood. The hotel is the result of extensive renovations of three linked conservation shophouses that previously housed a budget hostel that squeezed up to 40 guests in one room.
The couple owns and manages Cube Boutique Capsule Hotel, a niche hotel brand that offers capsule beds. This is their second capsule hotel, and it is located on Bussorah Street, near the historical Masjid Sultan — a mosque built in 1824 and rebuilt in 1932 — as well as F&B and entertainment outlets on Haji Lane and Arab Street.
Choa and Anya opened their first capsule hotel in 2016: It was a 58-bedder in a pair of conservation on Smith Street in Chinatown. Referring to the hotel in Kampong Glam, Choa says: “This trio of shophouses is on a closed street, and its proximity to the mosque is a key selling point. Tourists enjoy exploring this historical area for its sights and food options.”
Husband-and-wife business partners Choa and Anya opened their second boutique capsule hotel in February (Picture: Samuel Issac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Capsule hotels such as Cube’s occupy a niche in Singapore, as budget-conscious travellers to the city state may find mainstream hotels too pricey; on the other hand, lowend hostels may not appeal to them. It is no surprise, then, that new capsule hotels have opened their doors to keep pace with Singapore’s tourist growth. Last year, total tourist arrivals grew 6.2% to surpass 17.4 million, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.
Capsule hotels originated from Japan, where they acted as economical rest-stops to serve white-collar workers who missed the last train home on late nights...