‘Micro hotels’ becoming the latest trend in Dublin

Investors looking to turn Andrew’s Lane Theatre into new hotel with pod-like rooms


The announcement that Andrew’s Lane Theatre is set to become a hotel may be sad news for those who love the arts, but for travellers looking for a cheap place to rest their heads, it’s a boon.

The investors behind the new city centre hotel are looking to build a seven-storey development that will include 115 pod-like rooms of between 10sq m and 12sq m (107.6sq ft and 129sq ft), in a style comparable to offerings by Yotel, Pod Hotel or citizenM.

Ireland has generally been slow to embrace the concept of so-called ‘micro hotels’ that offer tiny rooms at tiny prices, but the concept is well-developed elsewhere.

Japan has led the way with its capsule hotels that offer minimal sleeping space and little in the way of frills. The first capsule hotel opened in Osaka in 1979 and has spawned a large number of imitators, both in its home market and elsewhere, with the first European version opening in Antwerp, Belgium in 2014.

Typically, capsules measure around 2m (6.6 ft) x 1m (3.3 ft) x 1.25m (4.1 ft), which is not that much bigger than your average coffin. But with prices starting from less than $20 (€17.67) a night, there are plenty willing to use them.

The pod-type hotels that have generally become popular in major cities in the US and Europe are luxurious in comparison, offering rooms that range in size from around 6.5 sq feet to 18.5 sq m (70 sq ft and 200 sq ft).

Ireland isn’t immune to micro hotels altogether. The Dean Hotel in Dublin for instance, offers so-called ‘mod pods’ and ‘punk bunks’ that measure 12.6 sq m (135 st ft).

However, for those looking for something more compact and bijou, then how about the world’s smallest hotel? The Central Hotel in Copenhagen, which opened in 2013, is a hotel that has just one room, which measures 12 sq metres (129 sq ft). The former shoemaker’s garret sits atop a cafe that only has room for five people.