Darakhyu: Korea's First Capsule Hotel
I travel on a tight budget wherever I go, and as my most recent trips have taken me to Japan, I know a few things about capsule hotels. My first and favorite capsule was in a small guesthouse at the top of a mountain in Koyasan and I was excited to see if Darakhyu, Korea's first capsule hotel, could top that experience.
Turns out, Darakhyu is unlike any capsule hotel you've ever seen, in fact I'm not sure I would have call it a capsule hotel if they hadn't branded themselves that way.
Located in Incheon International Airport (voted the best airport in the world) sits 60 small rooms, deemed "capsules" by the company behind Walkerhill Resort in Seoul. What makes these rooms so unique is they can be rented by the hour, have different prices based on time of day, and offer styles from one single bed to the swankiest room of a double bed plus your own shower.
Darakhyu was nice enough to offer me one of these double rooms for three hours on a grey Saturday afternoon, only a few weeks after their opening.
I found the small reception and lounge area near the entrance to the airport train where you can check in, and then I was lead through a big of a maze to my room. First impression of the space was it was much bigger than I expected, and also - I got to keep my shoes on?! That was an odd feeling after years of taking off my shoes in Korea.
Here's a quick overview of what's in the double room:
- Hair dryer and a Korean electronics plug
- Shampoo & body wash, hand soap for the sink
- Bluetooth speaker, USB plug, ethernet port
- Two pillows, two bath towels, two hand towels
- Two pairs of slippers and two hangers
- Reading light and control panel for lights (with 5 settings)
- Heat and AC control panel
- Small stool and under the bed storage
- Emergency flashlight, fire alarm, carbon monoxide detector
The bed was a comfortable firm, but some may not be a fan. Personally, I enjoy firm mattresses and thought that it was the perfect level of soft along with the pillows. The bed was definitely large enough for two people and my 6 foot tall boyfriend thought it was long enough (though his feet were pretty close to touching the wall at the foot of the bed.)
While I ~technically~ didn't shower, my shower test showed that the shower was pretty nice with strong water pressure, two settings, and an adjustable shower head. The towels were typical cheap hotel towels (that special dryness you find from over-bleached fabric) but they were clean and did the job.
The toilets were located outside in the public bathroom. With 60 rooms total and only 3 stalls per bathroom (6 total for men and women) I could see this potentially getting busy, but perhaps they're banking on people just using the hotel for a quick nap.
There are also two public showers in each bathroom, in their own lockable stalls. The shower I looked in seemed to have been just used, as the floor was still wet with a few long black hairs on the floor. That being said, when I was still filming the bathroom a housekeeper came in to clean the shower so maybe I just caught the locker room right between cleaning times.
Overall, I was impressed by how quiet the room was thanks to a really solid door that blocked the consistent hum of the airport. The wifi was, in true Korean fashion, ridiculously fast, and the room overall was cozy and clean.
Here are the room prices as of February 5, 2017