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First 'pod hotel' opens in Christchurch

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/10/2016 Cleo Mary Fraser

New Zealand's first "pod hotel" has opened in Christchurch.

The 271-bed facility, owned by rental car firm Jucy, sits near the airport and features pods which allow travellers to create a private space around their beds in dorm-like rooms.

CEO Tim Alpe says the hotel will help reduce the number of people sleeping at the airport by providing cheap and comfy quarters for tourists in transit.

It's also hoped it will ease the accommodation shortage in the city brought about by the 2011 earthquake which damaged or destroyed many hotels.

"This is really designed around giving people their own space so it has a privacy shield that comes down ... it's kind of that dorm room experience but with your own privacy and some of the technology features that some of our customers are asking for," Mr Alpe told reporters on Thursday after Prime Minister John Key officially opened the hotel.

"I think the big thing is that when you're based at the airport it's only for one night and what (people) are saying is that we don't need lots of space."

Each pod is fitted with a fan, lights, storage cupboard and a charging station, while the communal area is one large open space which features a lounge, hammocks and kitchen.

Jucy plans to open several around Australia and New Zealand, including in Queenstown where there is also an accommodation shortage due to the large number of tourists that visit the resort town.

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