A look into the capsule/pod area at Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, showing the two levels of pods anda the steps to ge to the upper-level pods.

Pod Sleeping: Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, Mexico City Airport

At Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, at Mexico City’s Juarez Airport, you can sleep in a capsule, or pod. It’s private, clean, secure… and cheap.

UPDATED in January 2020.

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The Birth of the Pod Hotel

Once upon a time (let’s call it 1979), in a land far away (let’s call it Japan), the Starship Enterprise and an old Pullman train car met, fell in love and reproduced. They called their offspring a Pod Hotel. And you should probably sleep in one at least once in your life.

Pod Hotel? Those of you old enough, like me, to remember the original 1956 movie “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, might have a negative reaction to the word “Pods…!!” So OK, let’s call them capsules. Better? Good.

Then the next time you have a flight to/from Mexico City, or a longish layover that makes you yearn for a nap and a shower, you might want to consider Izzzleep Capsule Hotel (website in Spanish only). The concept of “Intellient Hospitality” can be a great option for a few hours or overnight at a very reasonable price.

Why You Might Want to Consider Sleeping in a Capsule Bed at the Airport

This is a compare and contrast exercise. Think about all the times you’ve had a long layover between flights or had a flight delayed for several hours so you tried to sleep in a chair at your airport gate. Recall the crick in the neck and the pain in the butt that game provided. Or worse, remember that time you slept on the floor, with the eau de spilled coffee permeating the carpet, all the while freezing your tuche because the airport was fridge-like.

Or how about this? You’ve got a 6am flight out. You, like me, live nearly four hours from the airport, which means leaving home at midnight and arriving for your flight sleepy, grumpy, dopey, and possibly sneezy too. It’s mighty nice indeed to be able to head to your pod hotel, climb into your capsule bed, wake up to a shower and be a five-minute walk from the check-in desk. That, I found, was worth a lot.

As of 2019, there are two Izzzleep locations in the Mexico City Benito Juarez Airport, one in Terminal One, and a newer, slightly larger one in Terminal Two. I stayed in the Izzzleep pod hotel rooms in Terminal One, the International Terminal, so that’s the one reviewed here. I have learned that the bathroom/shower spaces in Terminal Two are slightly larger and there are more capsule beds. Otherwise the two are identical.

A look into the capsule/pod area at Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, showing the two levels of pods and the steps to ge to the upper-level pods.

The capsule area at Izzzleep. This photo, by Izzzleep Hotel, shows the two levels of sleeping berths and the steps to the upper ones. It was obviously taken with the lights on. But the capsule area is actually kept quite dark, with only low-level blue lighting. Suggestion: Take a flashlight in with you.

Of course there are pros and cons to sleeping in a capsule. Let’s get the cons out of the way up front.

The Cons of Staying at Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, Mexico City Airport

  • The individual capsules are small, so this is probably not a great option if you are very large or severely claustrophobic. We’re not talking MRI tube small. There’s plenty of room to move around, sit up in bed. My capsule at Izzzleep measured approximately 6 1/2 x 4’ (2+x1.25 meters).
  • The capsules accommodate only one person. If you’re traveling as a couple, you’ll have to book two, which wipes out a lot of the savings if you’re staying overnight. They can still be a great option for a nap and a shower though.
  • The locker and sink area is communal. You won’t be changing clothes there, or showering, but you will be washing, brushing your teeth, doing make-up, taking off your shoes, etc. in a co-ed locker room area. In this way, it feels a lot like staying in a hostel.
  • It can be more than a little difficult to dress and undress inside the pod, especially for older women who may be, shall we say, not quite as agile as we used to be. Since you can’t stand up, taking your pants off is especially tricky. And you will need to put them back on again to go out to the bathroom.
  • You won’t have your luggage in the pod with you. I did have my daypack in there, with my computer, hairbrush, etc. It sat on the foot of the bed by my feet. I also could have hung it on a hook.

That list may sound daunting, but don’t let it put you off until you read more. The pros of staying at Izzzleep might convince you to try it.

The Pros of Sleeping at Izzzleep Pod Hotel

  • Convenience and Stress-Free Travel – As I mentioned, being able to sleep in comfort just steps from the airport check-in desk is priceless. No looking for a cab to take you to the nearest off-airport hotel. No schlepping your bags from here to the back of beyond. You’re right where you need to be. And no constant clock watching, fearing a traffic delay will keep you from getting to the airport on time. Flying is stressful enough these, days. No need to make it worse than it needs to be.
  • Price – I spent a pretty comfortable night in my capsule, watched a telenovela on the overhead TV, had a good hot shower, and caught my morning flight for just US$40, almost exactly one-third of what the night would have cost me right next door in the Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
  • Location – The Izzzsleep located in Terminal One, the international terminal, is the one I stayed in and also the one my readers are most likely to be using. It’s located on the outside of the security check line, so it’s usable even if your flight leaves from Terminal Two. Just hop on the airport shuttle to get there. If, like me, you arrive at the airport on a long-distance bus from another part of Mexico, it’s dead convenient, only a few steps from where you get off the bus, to the left past the bus ticket counters. It is also just off the international parking lot. If you enter Terminal One from the front of the airport, it’s also not hard to find. Just look for the food court, walk all the way through it, and you will find Izzzleep on the left.
  • HINT: If you need to ask for directions, ask an airport employee for the “Hotel de Capsulas.” Or look for signs for the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, which is right next door.
  • That food court is also convenient for when hunger strikes, with more than two dozen fast-food places with the usual burgers, sandwiches, pizza, plus Chinese and Japanese food, coffee-and-pastry outlets, and of course tacos and other Mexican specialties. There are also at least five full-service sit-down restaurants.
  • There is fast free WiFi throughout Izzzleep.
  • The capsule area is a strict quiet zone. Even shoes are not allowed in that zone. If you want to watch TV or listen to music, you will definitely need to use headphones. If you want to talk on your phone, you are told to go out into the communal area out of consideration for your fellow guests, who are only a molded plastic/fiberglass panel away. If you are a very light sleeper, you may hear footsteps or people opening and closing their capsules. For that reason, you’re provided with ear plugs at check in. Since I personally am deaf as a post without my hearing aids in, I had no problem at all with noise. Your mileage may vary.

Make your Izzzleep reservation on Trip Advisor.

Everything Else You Need to Know About Staying in an Izzzleep Capsule Hotel Pod

At check-in at Izzzleep, you’ll be given an electronic key card and a cozy pair of thick socks. In the locker area, you take your shoes off and change into these socks, which you can take with you as a nice souvenir. I wore mine the next day on the plane.

While you’re still at the check-in desk, ask them to show you the ins and outs of the control panel you’ll find in your pod. I didn’t do that, and I ended up fiddling through more trial-and-error testing of lights, TV, etc. than was necessary

The brightly lighted locker area at Izzzleep has two levels of lockers, one for each sleeping capsule.

Each sleeping capsule at Izzzleep has its own locker, which is opened with your key card. Inside you’ll find a blanket, a towel, a small bottle of water, a hanger, earplugs and room for a suitcase and your shoes.

The locker you open with your key card is not huge. It easily accommodated my carry-on and looked like it would also work for a larger, checked suitcase, but not both. However, you may leave any bags that don’t fit in the locker at the reception desk

In the capsule hotel, the area where the sleeping capsules are located is quite dark, lit only by eerie blue lights that allow you barely to see the number of your berth. I suggest you have your cell phone handy with a flashlight app at the ready. The sleeping pods, like Pullman berths, are arranged in two levels. To enter a lower berth, you need to get onto the floor and crawl in. For the upper berths, there are a few steps you climb up into your pod. Going in head first seems the easiest option.

Cozy in my Izzzleep capsule, showing the control panel, safe, and large mirror.

Cozy in my Izzzleep capsule, showing the control panel, safe, and large mirror.

Once you’re inside your individual capsule, you’ll still want that flashlight to locate your control panel, below the large mirror. You can’t turn the lights on until you “energize the capsule” by inserting your key card into a slot on that panel. Slide in your card, then touch the button on the right side for the mirror light. This will light up the whole pod with white light. If you touch the button for the ceiling light, you will instead get a low, very blue fluorescent light, which might work well for those who like to sleep with a light on.

The control panel also has one three-prong electrical outlet, two USB outlets, and two headphone jacks, an emergency call button, a small combination safe, and a button to lock and unlock the door to your pod. There is a ventilation control knob and a clock. Finally, there is a large button that turns off all the lights in your capsule at once.

What Else is Inside the Sleeping Capsule of Your Pod Hotel?

On the wall of the capsule are two hooks for hanging items, plus a small fire extinguisher. As you sit up in bed, there are also two reading lights directly over your head with a touch panel to operate them. The TV is situated overhead. You pull it down and operate it with the remote given to you at check-in.

Sitting up in bed, the TV is above and in front of. Here, I have my tray table in place on the bed.

The TV is above in front of you as you sit up in bed. (Shhh… you’re not supposed to have any food or drink in your pod except for water. Please don’t tell them I had a Starbucks latte and a cookie in there.)

There’s a foldable table/desk/tray hanging on one wall. I found it pretty easy to work using this clever contraption. You take it down from the wall, flip down the legs, and set it on the bed. It looks for all the world like one of those things people use to bring you breakfast-in-bed…should you be so lucky as to have one of those folks in your life (I unfortunately do not.) I imagined Jean Harlowe on satin sheets, a crepe de chine negligee falling just so from her shoulders, struggling to sit up against her fourteen satin pillows while a servant set her breakfast tray in front of her and threw open the curtains to let in the late morning sun. My situation was a bit less glamorous, but it got the job done. I was able to sit up on my bed, arrange my laptop and a notebook and type these notes.

The desk/table removed from the wall and unfolded to act as a bed tray, ready for working.

The desk/table/tray comes down from the wall and unfolds for working. (Oops, there’s that latte and cookie again…)

The “bedding” is not exactly luxurious, but it is serviceable. The sheet is one of those fitted things made of some unnatural cross between fabric and paper, sort of a felted non-woven surface. It’s not scratchy and some might find it comforting to be sleeping on a disposable sheet that’s never been slept on before.

There is no blanket in the pod. You’ll find a blanket, as well as a bottle of water, in the locker where you leave your suitcase. Don’t forget to bring it into the capsule with you (ask me how I know this.) The blanket is thinnish and a bit small. The capsules have AC and ventilation but no heat. If you like to sleep warm or if you are quite tall, just ask for an extra blanket at Reception. They will be happy to hand you one.

HINT: Bring an extra bottle of water with you into your capsule. The one they give you is small and you don’t want to drink the tap water anywhere in Mexico. You also don’t want to have to go out to the food court area at 2 am in hopes of finding more.

Where and How Do I Use the Bathroom in a Capsule Hostel?

Individual toilets and shower rooms are located just outside the pod area at Izzzleep Hotel.

There are individual toilet and shower rooms right outside the capsule area. They were both spotlessly clean and the water was hot.

The toilet rooms and individual shower rooms are located right outside the darkened capsule area of the Izzzleep pod hotel. I thought they were fine. Everything was sparkling clean and there was plenty of hot water. The rain shower head was an added bonus. The sinks and mirrors are communal, located in the locker area. They were also very clean.

Note: Because of the noise factor, there are no hair dryers provided in the bathroom and you may not use your own.

The row of modern sinks and mirrors is used communally and is co-ed.

The sink area is communal. In this way, it feels a lot like you are in a hostel. (Photo by Izzzleep Capsule Hotel.)

So, what’s the bottom line on this spaceship/pullman/hostel hybrid called a pod hotel or a capsule hotel? Based on my single experience with Izzzleep, I’ll be back. I am small (just 5’ tall) and have never suffered from claustrophobia, so I had no issues at all with the size of the pod. It’s an inexpensive and convenient overnight option if you arrive in Mexico City very late or have an early flight out. I would also certainly use it if I had a long layover and was exhausted. The thought of a nap on a bed and a hot shower sure beats trying to get comfortable in a chair at the gate. I also think it would be a wonderful option if I arrived from a long flight and had to go directly to a meeting or important gathering. A chance to shower, change and freshen up would make me say “Ahhh…”

For the money, I think this is a no brainer. I can have some genuine fun with the money I can save staying at Izzzleep instead of the Marriott next door.

Izzzleep Capsule Hotel at Juarez Airport, Mexico City: My final opinion. Give it a try. You might like it!


Fast Facts: Izzzleep Capsule Hotel, Mexico City Airport

  • Overnight prices are approximately US$40 (depending on exchange rate). You can also book for day use at US$9 per hour, with a two hour minimum. If you just want a shower to refresh, it’s $8. All prices include taxes.
  • Reception is open 24/7
  • There are no double capsule beds. All pods are single only
  • No children under 12 are allowed. Children 12-18 must be accompanied by an adult. Each child must stay in their own capsule bed.
  • The hotel is a No Smoking space. The airport smoking area is about 10 meters from the front door.
  • Due to the nature of the capsules, Izzzleep pods are NOT handicap accessible.
  • You can get to Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City by taxi, bus, Uber, or Metro. You can also get a long-distance super-comfortable bus from almost anywhere in Mexico direct to the airport.

Make your Izzzleep reservation on Trip Advisor

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The iconic bell tower in Perth, Australia

A Fistful of Cool Things to Do in Perth, Australia

There’s no dearth of cool things to do in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. And many of the most fun things to do in Perth can appeal to older women travelers, no matter your age or degree of comfort with “adventure.”

Perth, Australia—locals call it “The Pretty City.” And with good reason. This west coast city of 2+ million people has a special blend of nature and urban cityscape that can capture both the eye and the heart. With its modern architecture, its plethora of green spaces, and surrounded by some 25 miles (40 km) of soft-sand beaches and the glassy water of the Indian Ocean, it is beautiful for the eye and the lifestyle. And the fact that it has more sunny days per year than any other capital city in Australia doesn’t hurt. The best Perth points of interest will keep you outside a lot of the time.

Perfectly situated where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean, Perth offers a laid-back lifestyle with a cosmopolitan accent. With such a diverse landscape and cityscape, there’s a long list of intriguing, adventurous and downright fun things to do in Perth. (To find out what’s on in Perth today, visit the Perth city Tourism website. And for a great way to save money here, check out the best offers on things to do in Perth at Groupon.

Let’s take a closer look.

A Twilight view of the skyling of Perth, Australia shows one reason it's called The Pretty City.

There’s a reason Perth, Australia is called “The Pretty City.” From skyline to greenways, river to Indian Ocean,
it’s a delight for both the eye and the lifestyle.

Step Up and Look Out

One of your first things to do in Perth is to look at it from a vantage point that will help you get your bearings. I always like getting to some high point in a new city for an overview. In Perth, the best view of The Pretty City, night or day, is from the Fraser Avenue Lookout. You can see how the Swan River snakes through the city, a watery anchor for everything else. You can also see the Narrows Bridge spanning the river.

A view of Perth showing downtown, the Swan  river and the Narrows bridge.

Perth, Australia, offers so many lovely views. Get high up to see it at its best.

And then there’s this… because Tree Tops! Head to the Lotterywest Federation Walkway along the boundaries of Kings Park. The glass-and-steel arched bridge of the walkway begins near the massive Boab Tree, a 750-year-old giant transplanted here from the Kimberley area, nearly 2000 miles (3200 km) away. In a stroll of about 40 minutes, it takes you among the canopy of eucalyptus trees and gives spectacular skyline views of the city. You’ll see the Swan and Canning Rivers, get a sense of the diverse Western Australia flora, and be treated to aboriginal art along the way. One of the most fascinating and fun places to go in Perth, the walkway is open daily from 9-5, is free and is wheelchair accessible.

The glass-and-steel arched walkway traversing the tops of the eucalayptus trees in Perth's Kings Park.

The glass-and-steel Lotterywest Federation Walkway in Kings Park lets you walk among the treetops.
It’s one of the best experiences in Perth.

Eat it Up—One of the Most Delicious Things to do in Perth!

A Cloud Gelato treat in a huge cone, enough to fill you to the brim.

Cloud Gelato–a waffle cone that’s crispy out, soft inside and filled with deliciousness.

Perth’s food scene has exploded in recent years, and you’ll find anything you’re hungering for. From high-end, chef-centric restaurants to the diverse farm stands at Twilight Hawkers Market, from a classic high tea with bubbly at Bistro 10481 to pigging out at Margaret River Chocolate Company (free chocolate tastings!), Perth’s got it. Judging by its diverse food scene, Perth is a truly cosmopolitan place. And thanks to the sunny climate (remember, it has more sunny days than any other capital city in Australia), it has a high concentration of rooftop bars and dozens of opportunities for al fresco dining.

On one of those sunny days, you should definitely hit Cloud Gelato in Hay Street to gorge on one of their signature “cloud waffle” cones, crispy outside, fluffy inside, and filled with premium gelato and enough toppings to please even the most hedonistic Nomad Woman.

Drink it In

Upshot Whiskey from Whipper Snapper Distillery in Perth, Australia

Learn about how whiskey is distilled and why Whipper Snapper Distillery’s Upshot Whiskey is so delicious.

The liquid spirit of Perth is another draw. With the nearby Swan Valley wineries creating some of the best wines in Australia, a bunch of breweries turning out great brewskies, and super-fine coffee on offer all over town, you won’t go thirsty. Take a tasting at the award-winning Upper Reach winery or the globally known Sandalford Winery in the valley. Hit Billabong Brewing for their gluten-free wheat beer, brewed on the premises. Or head to the super-luxe Northbridge Brewing Company for a brew overlooking the city’s skyline from their rooftop Skydeck. For coffee brewing turned into art, head for Standing Room Only, a tiny place in the middle of Picadilly Arcade, with no seating, as the name implies. All they do is coffee, and they do it perfectly. These guys are passionate about coffee and it shows.

If your spirit needs a spirits lift, you need to go to Whipper Snapper Distillery for a whiskey workshop and tasting. You’ll learn that the recipe was developed during World War II by a couple of bomber pilot mates—one Yank and one Aussie. Then it was tweaked 50 years later by a renowned whiskey maven from Scotland. Learn how it’s made and leave with a bottle of their goes-down-so-easy Australian Upshot Whiskey, aged two years, or their whiskey-inspired smoked honey.

Speed it Up—Get an Adrenaline Shot with These Exciting Things to Do in Perth

Need an adrenaline rush? That’s also easy to find in Perth, whether as a spectator or a super-active participant. You can have a 90-minute motorcycle lesson from Down Under Riders. Enjoy a day-long quad tour just outside town. For something a little less stressful, watch harness racing at Gloucester Park. Water babies can learn to ride that wave at Gone Surfin’ Surf School, and they’ll provide the board. At Rooftop Trapeze, you can learn to be that “daring young woman on the flying trapeze.” And for the highest thrill of all, one I’m dying to do myself, let West Oz Skydiving drop you from a plane up to 14000 feet in the air, attached to a professional for a tandem dive. What a thrill! (To see how I’ve been preparing myself for my own first skydive, check out this post about IFly Indoor Skydiving

A tandem skydive, one of the thrills available in Perth, Australia

Sskydiving is one of the thrills I am dying to experience (no deathwish intended). In Perth, it’s easy.

Throw it Back

For a totally different experience of flight, go back a whole lotta years and take a flight tour in a vintage open-cockpit 1930s bi-plane at Ozwest Aviation. See how daddy did it, complete with the wind against your face. It’s great fun.

What a cool red vintage 1930s biplane.. Rides available at Ozwest in Perth.

In an Ozwest Aviation vintage biplane from the 1930s, you’ll see how daddy (or grandpa) experienced flight.

Don’t Feed the Animals

This is Australia, and you can’t leave without a wildlife hit. I mean… kangaroos, right? You might not think you could find them close to town, but Heirison Island, a wildlife refuge in the Swan River, is teeming with the bounding cuties. They are very tame, and not at all people or camera shy. You may have to walk around the island a bit to spot them, or you can head to their enclosure at dusk, when they emerge from the bush. Get there on the free red CAT bus from the WACA stop then it’s a short walk across the causeway. You’re also likely to see lots of birds on your walk, including egrets, ravens and willy wagtails. Open daily.

A kangaroo looks out from the golden grasses of Heirison Island, not far from Perth, Australia.

To see ‘roos up close, head to Heirison Island, just a short bus ride and a walk across the causeway from Perth.

For another unmissable wildlife experience, you can take the brief ferry ride across the Indian Ocean to Rottnest Island—“Rotto” to the locals—and have a close-up look see at what may be the world’s cutest and friendliest marsupials. Expect the island’s quokkas to steal your heart. These little fellas, about the size of a house cat, will come right up to you as you sit in a café and will happily pose for photos. But please, please don’t handle or feed them. It can make them sick, and there’s a high fine for doing it. Do be prepared for a series of “aww…” moments. These guys are such cuties! Rottnest Island is also worth exploring. The whole place is car free, but you can rent a bike at many places, or just have a lovely walkabout.

A darling little quokka on Rottnest island, looks up with a beseeching face, showing why everyone loves them.

The quokkas on Rottnest Island, a short ferry ride from Perth, provide a whole lot of “Awww…” moments.
But please don’t handle or feed them!

As you can see, there are more than enough fun things to do in Perth to keep you busy for days… or weeks. It’s a part of Australia that’s not on many tourists’ radar. It should be on yours.

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Pin - Cool things to do in Perth, showing the Bell Tower.