In the 1970s, Hungarian sculptor, Erno Rubik ignited minds and imagination when he created the 3-D combination puzzle originally called the Magic Cube but now better as Rubik’s Cube. The cube was, at the same time, known as a symbol of simplicity and complexity.
Fast forward to 21st Century Singapore and two properties called CUBE are creating a sensation in hospitality for their simplicity and complexity. Based upon the Japanese concept that originated in Japan in the 1970s, CUBE Chinatown and CUBE Kampong Glam offer simplistic capsule accommodation for travellers who basically want a bed.
The husband and wife partnership of Benedict (Ben) Choa and Sonya Anya Tay are the driving force behind the concept, which is set to open another outlet aimed at families in Chinatown soon. Sonya Tay is the Chief Operating Officer who claims that while the capsules appear simple, getting things right is quite a complex process.
She adds, “The needs of travellers are changing and while many still require full hotel facilities, a growing number of young and adventurous travellers are more than happy with a bed at a budget price. They claim that the money they save on a room can be better spent on experiences, activities, meals and even shopping.”
As such, CUBE offers single and queen beds each in its own capsule. Each capsule is designed to moderate its own temperature and air-flow and is insulated to reduce outside noise. They are fitted with universal electrical outlets, safe, mirror/vanity area, bedside light, a space for hanging garments, and a locker drawer with digital security. Work desks and complimentary wi-fi are provided. Breakfast is served in a relaxed communal dining area.
Female travellers can choose to stay in the women-only rooms (only in Kampong Glam). Bathrooms have showers, hairdryer and toiletries and guests are provided with a dental kit, slippers and towel, upon check-in. A washing machine with complimentary detergent is also available for guests.
CUBE Boutique Capsule Hotels are owned and managed by RB Hospitality. The group’s current premise is to provide affordable, restored heritage accommodation located in popular conservation and cultural enclaves targeted at digitally-inclined travellers. Sonya Tay explains CUBE provides compact accommodation for those who like to be out and about and not spend time in their hotel room.