QubeStay capsule hotel in Sakinaka Mumbai

Qubestay is probably India's first capsule hotel. For about Rs 350-1000 a night, you get a decent place to sleep at the heart of Mumbai city, and some decent facilities including breakfast, AC, WiFi etc. During my last weekend's Mumbai visit, I spent 2 nights at the QubeStay Airport Capsule Hotel in Saki Naka, Mumbai. This post is my review.

When I was looking for a cheap place to stay that would be closer to Mumbai airport and not too far from BKC Grounds (where Times Travel Show was to happen), the Qubestay capsule hotel came up as cheap and closer option. It was about 2.4 kms from Mumbai's Airport (terminal 2) and at a price tag of Rs 750 a night, looked like a good deal. I thought I can afford to walk to hotel at middle of the night instead of spending a lot on taxi. But my flight was later booked on Indigo which operates from terminal 1, so it was 6kms, too much to walk, so I had to take an auto to get closer- cost me INR 150 (got down a km shorter n walked last km)

Capsule hotels are a popular concept in Japan where space is at premium. Capsule hotels provide a tiny space just good enough to slide in and sleep, thus they can accommodate more beds than a normal hostel and keep per bed cost low. Read about my Japan capsule hotel experience here

The amount Rs 750 was for a capsule bed in 'First Class' category dormitory and included breakfast, WiFi and access to common bathroom.

There's also a cheaper "Economy Class" dorm where each bed costs only Rs 349 a night and a 'Business' category rooms that seem to be priced between Economy and First (Rs 600 to 650 per bed per night). Note that prices are dynamic- depending on how early you book and demand supply, 750 I paid could go up like 1000-1200 or go down to 600 or so. Similarly prices for other categories vary 10-20%, so indicative only.

Above: My First Class room
Below: View of my bed.

First Class beds get an AC duct, blue coloured mood lighting along with standard lights, two charging points and a larger locker area under the bed. In Economy it is a bunk bed with two levels while first class beds don't have any upper birth, though a slight climb required as bed is bit higher, located on a spacious lockable area. My room had about 6 beds and was mixed category. Exclusive female rooms are also available.

The train like interiors were fairly photogenic.

Breakfast
It is amazing how a group of boys manage the kitchen at Qubestay. They don’t cook anything in house- still they serve a fairly delicious breakfast. Everything is purchased pre-cooked- from Paratha to Upma to Idli- all are purchased ready to eat items, but heated and served fresh to guests. Guests can select any 2 items from a list of fixed menu and tea/coffee. Additional items are for purchase.
I liked the ready to serve tea premix- was super tasty- even Indigo seem to be using this brand for its in-flight tea serve. Couldn’t check local supermarkets for it, have to try online now.

Shower: On my day 1, when I went to shower room it was crowded. I had to go back after sometime and the room was too small and nearly no space to keep our cloths, except a hook. The shower control handle was coming off, giving me hard time in controlling water flow. But then, I figured that there’re slightly bigger shower rooms as well. On Day 2 I went a bit early at around 6.30 AM and could chose the most spacious room and take shower as long as I felt like. Management has fitted best of the equipment in shower but I guess Indian consumers are not gentle on the facilities given to them. Sustained abuse/carelessness meant some shower control handle gets lose.

In summary, bathroom should be easily manageable, if you can avoid peak hours.

Overall, Qubestay is a good deal- for Rs 750 a night, you get a well maintained capsule bed, breakfast included, in the heart of city. Sakinaka metro is within walking distance but to get to eastern line you will have to go till Ghatkopar. To catch western line you can take metro to Bandra and change to Virar local or Churchgate local.

There were few decent restaurants nearby, a street full of vendors for shopping was also there.

Newspaper will be available at reception and in restaurant.

Open area near the restaurant is nice.
The capsule hotel facility is in underground. In  case of emergency you will have two exits-one via restaurant area and second via reception area. Most doors are electronically controlled- usually they unlock themselves during emergency like fire alarm,

Oyo connection: The QubeStay premise also has normal hotel rooms, which seem to be operated under Oyo brand.
Summary:
Pros: 
  • Good beds and reasonable price, 
  • Good breakfast
  • About a km from Saki Naka Metro
  • Regular hotel rooms available if you wish to upgrade to bigger space
  • Good WiFi
  • At the heart of city, good public transport connections
Cons: 
  • Underground with no live windows,
  • Bit far from Mumbai Airport terminal 1- where budget airlines operate (6 kms) compared to Terminal 2 (2.4 kms)

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