Tel Aviv gets the country’s first ‘pod hostel,’ for budget-minded travelers
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Tel Aviv gets the country’s first ‘pod hostel,’ for budget-minded travelers

The Spot Hostel brings capsule rooms to the local market, offering tents and tight (but stylish) quarters

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The planned tents on the second floor of the Spot Hostel. (Courtesy, Spot Hostel)
The planned tents on the second floor of the Spot Hostel. (Courtesy, Spot Hostel)

TEL AVIV PORT — Hidden behind an Aboulafia bakery and a chic kitchen design store is The Spot Hostel, Tel Aviv’s latest addition to the accommodations industry, and reportedly the first capsule hostel in the country.

The concept was developed in Japan — namely, extremely small rooms that offer inexpensive, basic, comfortable accommodations for guests who do not want to pay for a room in a more conventional hotel, and the hostel, which is also calling itself a pod hostel, has taken the idea and given it a Mediterranean flavor.

“It’s very stylish, and it has what you need, but no more than that,” said Naama Shviki, marketing and sales manager.

The 90-room hostel has an assortment of rooms, including standard hostel rooms with bunk beds and bathrooms, cozy two-person rooms, family rooms that have lofts for parents and open-up couches for kids, with small but functional kitchenettes, as well as one-person capsule rooms with a single twin bed, storage, and a shared bathroom.

One of the capsule rooms at the Spot Hostel (Courtesy Spot Hostel)

The joke in The Spot office is that couples who stay there either become much closer, or file for divorce, said Shviki.

But while the capsule rooms are tight quarters, they are not claustrophobic, with air conditioning and windows installed near the ceiling, opening onto the hallway, for more comfortable privacy.

The fittings in these narrow but contemporary rooms are what makes the difference. Many of the rooms include flat television screens on the wall, contemporary, smart tiling in the bathrooms and on the floors, and muted blues and grays for the walls.

Thirty tents will also be installed on the second floor, an indoor camping area offering another inexpensive accommodation. They are not glamping tents — for glamorous camping — but offer a comfortable and inexpensive way to stay in Tel Aviv. The accommodations include 24 tents available for couples, and six with bunk beds, all with air conditioning and TVs, as well.

Prices will range from $20 to $68 a night for the tents, $25 or $35 a night for the dorm rooms, depending on the size of the room, $45 for a single pod room, and $85 to $145 for the mini, gallery, and double rooms.

Reservations are already filling up for the hostel, said Shviki, particularly as the weather warms. “It’s going to be a week of partying in this city,” she said.

In May 2019, Tel Aviv will host Eurovision, thanks to Netta Barzilai’s 2018 win of that contest, and the Gay Pride Parade is in June.

The hostel is owned by Shlomo Elia and Rami Ohana, and it is the second hostel for Ohana, in addition to the Post Hostel in Jerusalem, built above the city’s historic main post office. Ohana also owns the Eden Inn in Zichron Yaakov.

Like The Post, where Shviki spent nearly two years, the emphasis at The Spot is on the additional services offered at the hostel, including spacious hangout areas, simple but complete breakfasts of shakshouka, bread, and salad that are included in the overnight price, an ample terrace that overlooks the Yarkon River running through the port area, and a comfortable lounge area.

Clean lines and good lighting in The Post’s dorm-style hostel rooms (Courtesy, The Post)

The cafe that serves breakfast will also offer simple sandwiches at lunchtime, open to the general public as well, and it will become a bar in the evening.

Alternatively, guests will have access to a common kitchen on the main floor if they prefer, with room to store and prepare food. The hostel will also offer bike rentals and plan tours for guests.

“It’s all about added value, and sharing and community,” said Shviki. And affordable accommodation in popular Tel Aviv —  an expensive city to visit. “We say spend the money on your trip, not on your room.”

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