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Time Capsule Retreat Pahang

Tube hotels in Malaysia

Not for claustrophobics

Written by
Time Out KL editors

Popularised in Japan, tube or capsule hotels provide a cheap, basic but comfortable place to stay. Here's where you can find them in Malaysia. 

Container Hotel KL
  • Hotels
  • Bukit Bintang

The latest concept hotel in KL is playing with the idea of steel containers – the same kind used in cargo shipments. Inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘Kyosho Jutaki’ which means living large on a tiny footprint, Container Hotel is also an eco-friendly hotel that is built with sustainable recycled materials. Naturally, these air-conditioned containers are not spacious. Rooms only come in three different sizes – Outgoing, Adventure and Conservative. For those who are budget-conscious, Outgoing (RM80) is your best bet – with single beds arranged dorm-style; Adventure rooms (RM120) come with super single mattress in a cave-like container and while Conservative rooms (RM200) have a twin-sized bed if you’d like to enjoy some ‘luxury’.
1 Jalan Delima, Kuala Lumpur. (03 2110 4388/

Time Capsule Retreat Pahang
How does staying in a sewer pipe (unused, of course) sound for a vacation? Time Capsule Retreat is a new concept hotel that offers stays in unconventional cylindrical ‘rooms’ measuring 190cm in diameter and 3000cm in length. Within these air-conditioned tubes, you’ll find a comfy queen-sized bed, lamp and plug sockets. It’s not big on space but it’s cosy. However, you’ll have to venture out of your room for the toilet and bathroom – talk about going back to basics. But the lush greenery of the surrounding forest makes up for the lack of ensuite facilities.

Located in Sungai Lembing, Kuantan, this retreat is just a five-minute walk from the town centre and its famous local food. As for activities, you can explore the areaon an ATV, hike to the waterfalls, soak your feet in a nearby river, tromp across the hanging bridges, go on a jungle trekking adventure, or visit the mining museum and tunnels.

So if you’re thinking of squeezing in a quick getaway, Time Capsule Retreat is currently having a promotional rate of RM99++ per room on weekdays, and RM119++ on weekends and public holidays. Besides eight of these capsules, owner Young Yeong Long and his son Kevin have also renovated a wooden house within the compound that can hold 34 people.
Sungai Lembing, Kuantan, Pahang (019 983 0883/
Tubotel Langkawi
Aside from Time Capsule Retreat, budget travellers seeking basic but unique accommodation can experience a similar life-in-the-pipeline holiday at Tubotel Langkawi. Originally inspired by Das Park Hotel in Austria and Germany, the Malaysian version has a more colourful outlook. Repurposed drainage pipes are painted in cheerful pastel hues and placed along Sungai Cenang, so you can pick out a ‘room’ with a panaromic view of the sea. If those are fully booked and you have to settle for a garden tube instead, flock to the café, bar and restaurant or dip into one of the three salt-water Jacuzzis as you take in the sunset.

Within the curved walls of each pod, comfort is assured with simple fittings of a king-sized bed, a storage compartment, mounted lights, plug sockets and a fan – air-conditioning is not needed as the concrete cylinders have efficient ventilation to maintain suitable room temperature. But if that’s a deal-breaker for you, Tubotel also offers an alternative range of cube rooms equipped with air con.

To fill your day, Tubotel can help you make bookings for water sports, cruise and jungle trekking. Otherwise, for a more leisurely holiday, Cenang Beach, duty-free shopping and various tourist spots are only a ten-minute walk away.
Jetty Pelancongan Chenang, Kuala Cenang, Langkawi Geopark, Kedah (012 329 4090/
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