As a general rule, I’m usually in favour of new things. I know that’s a bit of a generalisation but what I mean is that I like change and I enjoy seeing innovations. But the current trend towards nap cafés hasn’t really caught on in my brain.
These, in case you’ve missed the phenomenon, are currently to be found in cities (New York for example) and are advertised as places where those in need of a nap can rent a bed for 45 minutes or so for a ‘refreshing nap’.
Perhaps my cynicism here is because I’ve never been a napper. Naps are for very small children in my opinion. Or the elderly. There are very few instances in which an average adult would need a nap, surely? But those supplying nap cafés say otherwise. Their clientele, they say, are people who:
- Need a nap after work and before embarking on the evening’s extravaganza at a nightclub
- Who have been hard at work all day and fancy a kip before the commute home
- Are pulling an all-nighter at work and need respite
Okay but I still don’t get it. At an airport, fine. If you arrive on a flight at midnight and your connection leaves at 5 am then yes, having a place to sleep for a short period – a place that doesn’t charge you what a hotel would – makes sense. Airport sleeping pods seem sensible.
But to me (and this may just be the way my weird mind works) these sleep cafés could find out that they are renting out beds for purposes other than sleep. Right?
If they are in some way patrolled to make sure that they are not being used for hookups, then that would sit uneasily with those who are renting a bed for a simple siesta. It all seems way too complicated for me.
Of course, I see the advantages for the traveller. Some airports supply sleeping pods but (to date) most cities do not. If I were to arrive in Madrid by train at 6 am, absolutely tired out, then it would be good to know that I could rent a bed for a couple of hours to recharge my batteries until my Airbnb or hotel check in time. Then lunch and a few hours of sightseeing before check in – perfect.
But does that sort of situation really constitute a demand? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
I’m also a little concerned about the hygiene aspect. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure that each sleeping pod is cleaned after every guest and the linens replaced. But if (repeat, if) the sleep pods are going to be used by couples – and I can see no sensible way of preventing their use by hookups – then will they really be cleaned to an acceptable standard?
At the moment (2018) I’m seeing a 45 minute nap time advertised as costing $25 – and this includes plenty of extras such as pjs, toiletries etc. So economically – and I hope I’m wrong – I just can’t see how this would work.
But I really hope it does – that would be lovely.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.