the millennials kyoto | full review with pictures

There’s nothing more quintessentially Japanese than a capsule hotel. Yet, shuffling your body into a pod the size of a portaloo is not for everybody.

And that’s where The Millennials comes in.

With a room measuring in at 3 square metres, it may not be enough room to swing a cat, yet its floor to ceiling height does mean that you’ll be able to get through a full rendition of the YMCA before bedtime (you mean you don’t do that before a night’s kip??!?).

Your Key

53E39E9E-E861-4FAA-A03E-36CB398641A5.JPG

Before we get stuck in, it’s worth explaining that you’ll operate most things at the hotel with your very own iPod touch (how very 2007). Not only is it your key, but it’s also your light switch, bed shuffler and alarm clock.

The Pods

After you’ve checked in, you’ll use your key to scan your way onto your designated floor – you can choose to stay with just men, just women or a mix (you don’t always get that last option in Japanese capsule hotels).

The vibes when you enter are very Malmaison meets Big Yellow Self Storage. It’s also dark. The exterior windows are blacked out, but the warm glow from each of the pods stop it from feeling like you’re about to take part in a sordid, x-rated version of Storage Hunters.

The Bed

DDD9599E-E57B-4840-9152-94347212FA84.JPG

Next, you’ll arrive at your pod (it will have your ‘number’ on top) and find the bed in ‘sofa mode’. Squeezed in between each wall is a queen sized mattress but steady on fellas – THIS IS A NO SHARING ZONE. That bad boy is all yours. But to enjoy it to its fullest, you’d best straighten that bad boy out.

Oh yes. IT’S TIME TO USE THE IPOD!

F3046897-DB38-41BA-9E8D-FCF6B0B9608E.JPG

Following a couple of prods, you’ll not only be able to turn the lights on and off, but watch in awe as the mattress slowly pans out to fill the entire size of the pod. I’d recommend doing it whilst you’re sat on it to give yourself that whole ‘going in for an MRI scan’ vibe without having to, you know, go in for an MRI scan.

3A8C4511-2A45-4AB7-B9F5-3BD820A1DA97.JPG

Your key also gives you the option to set an alarm that not only dims up the light for you, but can also lift the bed too. For snoozers, there’s even a setting that rises in increments meaning that in 10 whole minutes, you’ll finally be upright. Absolute genius.

3BFC1CA4-393B-41B8-A5E6-3DDA59D36AB8.JPG

Other things worth noting about the pod are that it’s got a slide out storage rack (big enough for a large suitcase), mirror and a helpful shelf with 2 plug points above the bed.

Your iPod touch will plug into a charger provided for you next to your bed.

On your bed when you arrive will be:

  • towel
  • slippers
  • toiletries bag (earplugs, cotton wool, toothbrush and hairbrush)

93D86E17-D9E9-4F50-BBB5-1BD34F578BC6.JPG

You can also hire pyjamas for 300 yen a pop (that’s about £2.20).

The Bathrooms

F9BB6817-F693-4E5B-83D3-34FF130E1BDE.JPG

You may get one whole pod to yourself but don’t get excited about a personal bidet. Instead, you’ll have a shared bathroom which is… Well, okay fine. It’s pretty damn nice actually. There’s hairdryers, a washer and dryer, hand soaps, hand creams, extra towels… The showers are also really decent with rainfall heads, shampoo and body wash. There’s also space to dress and undress behind your own locked door so you can make sure you don’t go flashing your bits to Kazimo from pod A19.

50FDD2F2-0338-48D7-91E2-29CFFEB69833.JPG

The toilets, too, are kitted out really nicely and yes, the loos are electronic. Bum spritz, anyone?

The Lounge and Kitchen

2BC5B3E4-27AD-4194-867E-FE0C853E1237.JPG

You know when you see a picture on a booking website and you’re like ‘yeah, yeah, someone’s had photoshop out here’ well DAMN. The lounge looks proper legit in real life as well. We’re talking serious boutique hotel vibes.

The kitchen has a whole host of contraptions (rice cooker, blender, mincer…) for you to use. There’s also a hob for cooking and a fridge to keep food fresh (when I say food, I obviously mean prosecco).

CCC3D3CD-A801-4B2D-B008-277D48977D7D.JPG

Now, with shared kitchen spaces I’m always a bit worried that there will be one Lazy Lorraine who doesn’t pull her weight and ruins it for EVERYONE yet the place was immaculate during our 2 night stay. It almost felt like everyone couldn’t quite believe their luck with the place and therefore were refusing to defy the hotel gods by leaving an empty mug out.

Extras

5C12C084-0FC7-4274-8275-60C0FB56BC14.JPG

Theres free decent Wifi, irons for lending and bikes for renting. There’s even a ‘roof terrace’ (don’t get excited, there’s no view) if you need a bit of fresh air without having to leave.

However, the best extra has got to be the daily free beer hour.

YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT.

E43EA7B8-D47E-4F68-8BE0-742274E14BD7.JPG

Between 5:30pm – 6:30pm every single day, the staff wheel out a ‘do it yourself’ beer pump and it’s a help yourself affair.

If you’re thinking, ‘I’ll just rock up with some empty bottles and make the most of this thang’ then you’re probably going to get kneecapped. (I managed three glasses each night which I feel is getting to the limits of taking the piss).

Everyone was pretty respectful and it was a great chance to meet other people staying at The Millennials. In fact, that’s probably the reason they do it. That and the fact that they probably don’t have a licence which means that bringing a couple of beers or a bottle of wine back of an evening to enjoy is totally fine to do as well. WINNER.

Breakfast

A8E21F68-76CA-4FB6-A666-DF7F6AFBD0F0.JPG

When booking, you may also notice that breakfast is included but don’t get too excited. It’s a fairly basic offering of a few breads and pastries. To the extent that we didn’t take it up on the second morning (more time for sleep) but if you’re on a budget, hell, it is free!

Cost

We stayed at The Millennials in Kyoto bang smack in the middle of Easter and Cherry Blossom Season. I may also have left booking quite late (what a plonker) and so the pods ended up costing us £65 a night each – including all taxes and fees. However, I have found the pods for as a little as £18 a night each and have done so on several occasions. Therefore, my tip would definitely be to BOOK EARLY!

£18 is unreal value and you could probably make that back in beer alone! Even at £65 a night each, I’d say it was definitely worth it as in comparison to other hotels at that time it was 1) cheaper and 2) so much nicer!

Booking

468C3B02-4AD3-4992-A38A-F8C0550BB01C.JPG

As there were two of us, I booked the ‘adjoining smart capsule – mixed’ via Booking.com. This means that they’ll place you either next door or opposite one another (contrary to the photo above, we were actually opposite one another).

We were on the fourth floor and in pods A14 and A13. They felt really private however you are next to the showers and therefore if you’re a light sleeper, the sound of the door rolling back and forth may wake you in the morning.

The most private (and quiet!) would definitely be A08, A09 and A10 as you’re by the fire exit there meaning no through fare and off the main corridor. So why  not email master@themillennials.jp and request them!

DA35C261-1003-47BE-B5AC-147E67DD88A7.JPG

There’s also the option of having a pod with a projection screen (FANCY) for a couple of quid more.

Would I stay again?

Abso-bloody-lutely. I feel like I’m going a little overkill here but I’d genuinely say it’s one of the best places I’ve ever stayed in. I really expected it to be a bit gimmicky and was blown away with the high standard of features and service.

Since our stay in Kyoto, they’ve also opened a branch in Shibuya, Tokyo and are planning to open even more. So here’s hoping there will be even more to choose from in the near future. Hurrah!

You can also watch the video of my stay here.

tuesday 29th may: today’s top deals

Since I’m full on obsessed with cheap holidays, I see a lot of deals from the numerous newsletters, facebook groups and whatsapp groups I’m signed up to. However, since I can’t be on holiday 24/7 (alas!), many of these brilliant buys are totally lost on me.

Therefore, I’ve decided to collate the best deals I’ve seen in the hope that it may tickle the fancy of one of you lot instead.

Here’s today’s batch of fresh holiday talent:

UK to Orlando, USA for £219

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 10.23.38.png

Many UK cities to Orlando, Florida for only £219 roundtrip via Secret Flying
Departing: London/Manchester/Birmingham/Newcastle
Airline:
TUI
Dates:
 Availability in June 2018

UK to Dublin, Ireland for £19

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 12.06.03.png
Fly to Dublin for £19 return from 10 UK airports via HolidayPirates
Departing: Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Newcastle
Airline: Ryanair
Dates: Availability in June 2018

Europe to Dubai for £55 

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 15.29.55.png

Fly from European cities to Dubai for £55 if you’re a Wizz Air member via Secret Flying
Departing: Cluj, Bucharest, Sofia, Katowice and Budapest
Airline: Wizz Air
Dates: Availability from June to August 2018

Wizz Air membership is €29.99 for a member + one companion and €59.99 for a member + five companions.

Without the discount of being a member, you can still find return flights for around £82.

Dubai will be hottttt in summer but remember, it’s a great place to fly to Thailand, Sri Lanka and beyond from!


This is pretty UK centric at the moment but leave a comment if you’re interested in flights from elsewhere.

And lastly, share the deals you’ve spotted with me on either @howmanyholidays or @chchchchelsea and I’ll make sure to give you a shout out on here!

chatting travel with matt and tom

Matt and Tom, off of the YouTubez, invited me onto their Park Bench series to talk all things travel for which I was MORE THAN WILLING.

Due to their well deserved popularity, I also smashed through 1,000 subscribers on my own channel (WHOOP WHOOP) so it’s official, it’s not just my Mum watching (hi Mum, I know you’ll be reading this and yes, I am very grateful for your loyal, unwavering support and no, I can’t make it home for Mother’s Day sorry).

The video features loads of travel tips (with a load I’d never heard of before – WHODATHUNKIT?) so give it a watch and make sure you subscribe to the wonders that are Matt and Tom as well.

Lovely.

need help booking a holiday?

delfi-de-la-rua-152121-unsplash.jpg

As I can’t quite get away with booking another 10 holidays this year I’ve decided to flex my booking skills for others instead – give his girl the Nobel Peace prize or summit riiiiight?

I’ll then post my findings on here each week so that we can all be tempted to book the shit out of some cheap (but lushhhhh) getaways.

So, how to get in touch? Send me a message to chelsea@howmanyholidays.com and answer the following:

  • What dates are you looking to go and is there any flexibility?
  • Where are leaving from?
  • Where would you like to go?
  • Where would you not like to go? (already visited, etc.)
  • Who are you going with?
  • What’s your budget per person?
  • What temperature are you after?
  • What do you like to do on holiday? Sightseeing, food & drink, hiking, etc.
  • What has been your favourite holiday of the last couple of years?

In general, I’ll only find you well rated and nice looking accommodation so also point out if you’re willing to slum it a little if it means you get the best price out there.

Right, let’s see what comes of this, eh?!!

The average Brit spends £3418 a year on holidays.

What the actual fuckles.

£3418?!?

That’s like 45 pairs of Topshop boots.

Or a 2009 Vauxhall Corsa with tinted windows, body kit and some alloy wheels.

chelseacorsa
Nice rims mate

SHIT SON – that’s 682 Toby Carveries!

Whatever way you look at it, that is one huge lump of cash that I, as a holiday deal delving fiend, was shocked – neigh- OUTRAGED to discover.

Even if we were to say that half of that is spends, that’s still £1709 on travel and accommodation.

Therefore, I’ve decided to go ahead and commit to not getting engaged/housedup/babyfied for at least the next year (in the very, very least) so that I can see how many holidays I can do for the same price.

I know. What a bloody trooper.

chelsea-phelps
SOMEONE GIVE THIS GIRL A MEDAL (also Omega, hit me up with some sweet sponsorship again, thanx bbz)

Now, I’m not talking about slumming it – christ, Zante 2008 was enough to swear me off 2 stars for life – I’m just talking about getting the most for your money. After all, we all still want to look fancy as fuck on Instagram (AM I RIGHT LADS?!).

So first things first, we’ve got to have some rules.

For £1709:

  1. I’ve got go on at least 10 holidays
  2. Trips have to be 2 nights or more and two have to be 5 nights or more
  3. I can only use my 28 days of annual leave
  4. I’ve got to visit at least 3 continents
  5. I have to fly business class at least once

THAT’S TOUGH, RIGHT? (Again, what an absolute champ I am for taking on this grueling task, etc. etc.)

So, if you fancy seeing how I get on/how long it takes me to fall into a pit of inevitable yet totally instagrammable debt then get a pen, some paper and write down the name of this website. Oh, what wait- you’re not my gran? (Shit! More people than my gran are reading this!!). Well, you can just sign up for emails or press ‘follow’ to the right instead.

Next time, it’s all about finding holiday numero uno.

Yeah, I should really start looking at that…