I paid $32 to stay in a futuristic capsule pod in Sydney, Australia. After 1 night, I can see why it's one of the city's lowest-rated hostels.

I paid $32 to stay in a futuristic capsule pod in Sydney, Australia. After 1 night, I can see why it's one of the city's lowest-rated hostels.
The author inside the capsule. Monica Humphries/Insider I spent one night at The Capsule Hotel in Sydney, Australia, which cost me $32.   I slept in a futuristic pod-style room in the hotel, which was more akin to a hostel.
After a poor night's sleep, I understood why it's one of the lowest-rated hostels in the city. On the hunt for a good lodging deal in Australia's most expensive city, The Capsule Hotel in Sydney seemed to fit the bill. The author outside The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderSource: ForbesThe Capsule Hotel is actually a hostel with pod-style rooms. I've seen capsule hostels before and I've always been intrigued. To me, they seem like an affordable way to have privacy, which is often missing in budget lodging.
Plus, the idea of sleeping in a futuristic space for a night seemed fun. The interior of the capsule in Sydney, Australia. Monica Humphries/InsiderSource: The Capsule Hotel And for $32 a night, I couldn't find a better deal.
While the reviews weren't great, The Capsule Hotel was the cheapest place I could find that would grant me privacy. So I booked a pod for one night. The lobby of The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderAt such a low price, I knew not to expect luxury. But ultimately, I thought the experience wasn't worth the savings. I left tired and wishing I spent a bit more on nicer accommodations.
The Capsule Hotel did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the issues mentioned in this article. A row of capsule beds at The Capsule Hotel in Sydney, Australia. Monica Humphries/InsiderI arrived at the hostel in July and hopped on a train to the city's Central Business District.
On the corner of George and Liverpool Street was my home for the night — The Capsule Hotel. The outside of The Capsule Hotel. Monica Humphries/InsiderThe hostel fills the top three floors of the building, and guests can choose between two types of capsule rooms: standard and deluxe.
The exterior of The Capsule Hotel. Monica Humphries/InsiderThe standard, which is what I booked, is a little more than 3 feet by 6. 5 feet.
The deluxe is 2 feet wider. Both fit one person, so if I was traveling with a partner, we'd need to book our own capsules. Standard capsules in The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderI entered the building and climbed a winding staircase. On the way to the front desk, which was on the third floor, I passed a VIP lounge and a public bar with sticky floors. The winding staircase in the hostel's building.
Monica Humphries/InsiderInside The Capsule Hotel's lobby, I paid $32 for my reservation and put down a key card deposit, which was refunded a few days after my stay. Then, I headed to my capsule, which was two floors above the lobby. The reception desk to The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderWhile the reception was brightly decorated, I thought the fifth floor was not. Instead, it was a dimly-lit room with a handful of closed doors. The entryway to my room at The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderI found the door with my bed number and stepped inside. My pod was private, but located in a shared room with 11 other capsules where guests could dry towels, store shoes, and stretch since most people aren't able to stand in a pod. A row of capsule beds at The Capsule Hotel in Sydney, Australia.
Monica Humphries/InsiderI found capsule 502, which was my bed for the night. The exterior of the capsule. Monica Humphries/InsiderI swiped my key card to unlock the door, slid open the door to my capsule, and crawled inside.
The exterior of the capsule. Monica Humphries/InsiderEach plastic capsule was about the size of a twin mattress. I'm about 5 feet and 8 inches, and it felt tight to me.
I couldn't fully stand inside the capsule, so I crawled around the space instead. The interior of the capsule in Sydney, Australia. Monica Humphries/InsiderA mirror filled one wall, which created the illusion of extra space.
Below was a futuristic control panel with buttons for a fan, a USB port, and emergencies. While some elements worked, others like the lock button did not. I later learned that the capsules don't lock due to fire codes.
The control panel in the capsule. Monica Humphries/InsiderI was a bit alarmed that I wouldn't be able to lock my capsule at night, and the need for an SOS button didn't help ease my worries. A view of the buttons on the capsule's control panel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderAs I explored the details of the capsule, I noticed other features like a small safe, a cup holder, and a tray table. A foldable tray table was inside each capsule. Monica Humphries/InsiderWhile the capsule was designed to feel futuristic, I thought parts of it felt outdated.
For example, I noticed paint was chipping along the door and dust coated the white plastic interior. Dust filled most surfaces in the capsule and dirt could be found in the door's railing. Monica Humphries/InsiderBut I thought the worst part of the capsule was the bed.
Lying down, I could feel hard flooring underneath the four-inch foam mattress. The mattress in the capsule was only a few inches thick. Monica Humphries/InsiderOutside of my capsule, I was given a locker.
In this locked cabinet were linens and enough space to store my belongings. The row of lockers in the shared room. Monica Humphries/InsiderI've been to hostels without lockers, so having a secure place for my suitcase was a nice perk.
I opened my cabinet, grabbed the towel, pillow, and comforter, and stored my bag. Each guest had a locker with linens. Monica Humphries/InsiderOnce I made my bed, I headed to the all-gender bathroom.
While I didn't mind that anyone could use the bathroom, I didn't spot that in the hostel's description. The door to the hostel's bathroomMonica Humphries/InsiderAfter seeing the shared restroom, I wasn't sure I'd feel much cleaner after using the toilet, sink, and showers. The Capsule Hotel has not responded to Insider's request for comment on cleanliness.
The interior of the bathroom. Monica Humphries/InsiderIn the sink area, I saw an overflowing trashcan, hair covering the counter, beard trimmings, dirt, and grime. Dirt and grime was in the sink of the bathroom.
Monica Humphries/InsiderI also noticed that white dust coated the floor near the toilet and a flooded shower area. White dust filled the toilet area. Monica Humphries/InsiderWhile I wished the bathroom was cleaner, I also reminded myself that at $32 a night, this was a hostel and not a luxury hotel.
I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and headed back to my capsule where I attempted to sleep. The author back in her capsule before attempting to fall asleep. Monica Humphries/InsiderThankfully, I packed an eye mask.
The capsule had glowing blue and red lights that I couldn't turn off. All night, I heard other guests entering the shared room, unlocking lockers, and crawling into their creaky capsules. I was thankful for the bit of privacy while others entered and exited the room.
The room glowed at night. Monica Humphries/InsiderEventually, I fell asleep. But I woke up the next morning feeling like I had taken a nap instead of refreshed from a full night's rest.
The author outside The Capsule Hotel. Monica Humphries/InsiderI now understood why the hostel had 3. 7 out of 10 points on Hostelworld.
I liked having privacy, but the accommodation didn't feel clean or comfortable to me. And sleeping in a cramped capsule wasn't as fun as I imagined it would be. The description of The Capsule Hotel on Hostelworld.
HostelworldBut it was an affordable night's rest and close to Sydney's bustling Chinatown. For a budget traveler looking for a bit of privacy, The Capsule Hotel might make sense. A bustling street near The Capsule Hotel.
Monica Humphries/InsiderHowever, I thought the pros didn't outweigh the cons. I dropped my key in the early-checkout box, scurried back down the stairs, and immediately started daydreaming about the nicer hotel I booked for the upcoming night. The hostel had a drop-off box for early check outs.
Monica Humphries/InsiderRead the original article on Insider.