Switzerland’s first capsule hotel closes after just one week

It was supposed to make Switzerland "affordable for everyone": instead, the country’s first 'capsule hotel' is causing sleepless nights for its operators after being temporarily shut down.

Switzerland’s first capsule hotel closes after just one week
The relax capsule. Photo: Hirschengraben Coworking + Innovation

Japanese pod-style sleeping for just 35 to 60 Swiss francs (€31–€53) a night. That was the promise of the new Capsule Hotel in Lucerne.

The futuristic hotel with 18 pods of varying sizes and levels of luxury captured plenty of media attention when it opened recently.

All the hotel's pods came with wi-fi, USB charging stations and a safe. The hotel was also offering women’s-only capsules and a premium version with a large bed and a video.

But just after a week after opening, the hotel has been closed because a building permit had not been obtained, according to regional daily Luzerner Zeitung.

A spokesperson for the organization that operates the hotel, Hirschengraben Coworking + Innovation, says it “worked closely” with authorities during construction but had been forced to close because of “a misunderstanding”.

The spokesperson said the organization was working towards a solution and hoped to have the hotel up and running again as soon as possible. Guests who have already made reservations will be put up elsewhere, he said.

Meanwhile, city planning authorities told Luzerner Zeitung there was currently no building permit. They said the city was eager for the hotel to be reopened and that they were working together with operators to make this happen.

But with a number of administrative boxes yet to be ticked, the reopening date is not yet known.

Read also: In pictures – Pop-up hotels with a Swiss twist