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Capsule Hotel at Zurich Airport

I arrived at the Capsule Hotel Alpine Garden and threw up my arms and declared "This is a totally new experience for me." The Host smiled and she replied, "And new experiences are good!"

I wanted a cheap lodging for a single at Zurich airport for my flight home and I came across this option. Although my flight was at 1:05 pm and could have stayed in Luzern, I realized I had booked my flight for a Saturday and Saturdays during ski season at Zurich airport are crazy to say the least. So I wanted to be right in the airport if I could, and booked at least a month in advance for 65 CHF.

What you get is the opportunity to spend the night in a 4' by 4' by 8' wooden box. Now that does not sound very attractive, but is really very comfortable if you can make a few compromises. The capsules are stacked two high, so the upper ones are reached by a ladder, Since I expected to have to answer the call of nature a couple of time during the night, I paid a couple Francs extra to book a lower capsule.

The capsules are about 20 to 30 per room, the there are about 8 rooms. Rooms are either all-male or all-female. There separate male and female communal toilet/shower rooms plus a disabled toilet/shower room. The capsules have a sliding door which locks and the key is via an app on your smartphone with bluetooth enabled. You have a key for both the room and your capsule this way.

Anyway, the capsule contains a comfortable bed, lighting, mirror, a couple of clothes hooks, very quiet ventilation system (22 air changes per hour!) mural of clouds on the ceiling and Alpine scenes on the interior sides. There is space under the lower capsule to store your luggage and shoes. They have cable locks if you are paranoid, as well as a separate luggage storage room.

Now the most attractive feature of the hotel is the lounge. There is a host on duty 24-7. They have coolers for beer, soda, water. A good selection of wine, and some liquor if you want a cocktail. A variety of snacks and a coffee machine. Breakfast is cereals, fresh croissants, jams etc. Now all this is for sale, nothing included, and you buy from the host, but all the prices were reasonable. The full continental breakfast was 11.50 CHF, and less for reduced options.

There are no TV sets on the premises. There are groups of tables, some had signs, "Communal Table: Talk to each other". Other tables if you wish to maintain your privacy. Book shelf with "Take a book, Give a book", board games including chess sets, work stations, easy chairs. The decor is a low key Danish Modern if that makes any sense. All in all, a very relaxed vibe.

Clientele is, of course, many young people and budget travelers, but also many older people who I suspect had very early flights and lived far enough away from the airport that staying overnight before departure is an attractive option.

The downside is that there are no "couples" capsules, each unit is single occupancy only. Couples and families will probably find using one of the lower priced airport hotels a better option. Directional signage from the train station and airport arrival area could definitely be improved. Of course, prices increase for last minute booking, so prices could be as high as 150 CHF for walk-ups. But your location is right in the airport. Walk outside, cross the street to Swiss check-in 1, or take the elevator down to the train station upper level and Swiss check-in 3. BTW, Economy passengers must use Swiss check-in 3 for the time being as there is some construction work at Swiss check-in 1.

Posted by
4338 posts

Interesting concept (similar to a Japanese pod hotel) and really nice to have a first-hand report from someone who tried it! I can definitely see a use for it. I booked something once somewhat similar, but probably less comfy, at CLT airside (Minute Suites) when I had a long layover arriving late and departing early (saved me from 4am airport shuttle and redoing security).

Is this connected to the airport or just by the airport?

Posted by
20460 posts

You have to know Zurich airport. Outside the hotel is the outdoor departures level, so you have to walk across the road to Swiss check-in 1, immediately inside the door. But if you take the elevator down one level, you are connected indoors to both the airport train station, Swiss check-in 3, and the airport proper.

Posted by
33324 posts

as TTM says, it is so good to have a first hand boots on the ground account.


Posted by
4338 posts

Sad to say I have only exited/entered the Zurich airport once. I think this is a situation that needs to be remedied. Lol.