We know that flying has a big carbon footprint, but when you do have to fly, you may have noticed that air travel isn't as glamourous as it used to be: shrinking seats, meals not included, extra fees up the wazoo, and even pre-flight fisticuffs due to "overbooking" (like the recent fiasco with United Airlines).
Today, getting cheaper air travel tickets sometimes means having a layover somewhere, and sometimes, those layovers can be long. As in, watching-paint-dry long. If you're thrifty, you might choose staking out an overnight spot somewhere in the airport instead of getting a hotel room for the night. But if you're flying through the international airport in Naples, Italy and have a long wait, there's now an affordable capsule hotel option available.
Designed by Carlotta Tartarone and Studiotre of Naples, the Bed and Boarding (or BenBo for short) offers a modern take on the traditional hostel, without losing out on style and comfort. Based on the capsule hotels of Japan, which provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation, the BenBo is located right by the airport and open 24/7. The concept behind these economical small spaces is to give the weary traveller a safe place to rest and sleep, or rent them out by the hour, so that people can shower and change clothes.
Each pod has an automated door, soundproof walls, and measures 4 square metres (43 square feet). The capsule comes with a bed, mirror, storage cabinets, workstation and free wifi. Two of them are wheelchair-accessible. Guests are assigned a private bathroom with shower that's apparently separate from the sleeping capsule itself (that's a lot of extra bathrooms compared to a shared bathroom, but probably a good idea for safety reasons).
Even though it's a modern capsule hotel on a budget, there is a well-lit common space tying it all together, a place for people to work or chat.
These modern hostels cater to a new generation of young business travellers who want good value for their money, rather than something over-luxurious. Says Tartarone:
The idea comes from an elaboration of capsule rooms at Tokyo's airport, but it is the only experiment in Italy for the moment. We chose Naples because it is our city, but we are already in contact with the airports of Rome, Bergamo and Palermo to export the model.
The best thing is the price: BenBo's capsules cost USD $9 for the first hour, $8 for the second hour, and only $28 for a full 9-hour stay. There are plans now to enlarge BenBo to include 30 two-room capsules. Now, if only more airports worldwide had something like this... To find out more information, or to book, visit Bed and Boarding.