In England, and even in London, most hotels cannot be booked by the hour and those which are often bear the brunt of a rather unpleasant stigma for providing hourly room rates. Hence, rather than being utilised by weary workers for the purpose of taking a midday nap, they are instead avoided, lest your friends or colleagues should catch you dashing into a hotel only to emerge looking infinitely more refreshed and revitalised only a short while later.
Meanwhile and in stark contrast, in the other countries around the world though, hourly hotel rates come as standard and there is little to no stigma around making use of them. Take Japan for example, where hourly hotel rates are not just a given, but capsule hotels where weary travellers, ‘salary men’ (the term used in Japan to describe office workers and business people) and even just those who have shopped till they have dropped can get a little shut eye in the afternoon.
In fact, this set up has proved so popular in Japan that in 2016 even its flourishing manga cafes now offer, for the most part, beds, showers and cubicles in which to eat, sleep, game, read and generally get some down time or take a snooze. Further, you can see for yourself what a sleeper-friendly manga cafe looks like and how it operates via the Grrrl Traveler website, article: A Night at the Coolest Budget Sta in Japan…The Manga Cafe.
Meanwhile, England then seems a little sluggish and slow (perhaps due to how tired and sleep deprived we are!) to have cottoned onto this novel idea. That said, we finally have begun to address this issue, or at least that is the hope, this summer with London opening its first ever ‘Nap Station’ to try and reduce the numbers of weary eyes workers an travellers milling about the City like something from The Walking Dead.
Unlike Japan’s manga cafes, which were primarily opened to give a place of refuge to its huge population of manga and anime lovers a place of solace in which to read, watch and get up to date on their favourite comic or cartoon, the sleep station due to open in London looks like it is set to be a resolutely sleep orientated place where people can opt to stop off to simply to catch forty winks ahead of getting back to the office or catching their next train.
Dreampt up, no pun intend, by the memory foam mattress making company, Eve Sleep, the ‘sleep station’ is currently occupying London’s Old Truman Brewery. A well known and frequently visited gallery space and cafe located in London’s East End, the Truman Brewery as part of its sleep station operation, offers those in need of a restorative nap or chilled place to stop of to catch up on a little work or simply check one’s emails without trying to tussle for a table in one of the capital’s busy internet cafes, a place to do exactly that. Hence, for anyone working in or travelling about London this month, head over and see for yourself if the Sleep Station is likely to become a dream turned reality in London, and potentially country wide in years to come.
Meanwhile, to find out how to get there and more about what you can expect to discover once there, head over to the Independent Newspaper website and give their article on the subject: London is getting a ‘nap station’ so workers can get some goddamn sleep, some bedtime reading.