Japan capsule hotels inspire pals to invest in Cebu hostel
SHEJOJE POSHTEL HOSTEL
Inspired by the capsule hotels in Japan, two friends set up an affordable and practical accommodation option on D. Jakosalem Street in Cebu City, giving budget travelers comfort, convenience and value for money.
Sheila Ruiz and Ma. Evelyn “Joyce” Cervantes named their capsule hostel “Shejoje Poshtel Hostel” and opened their doors on December 10, 2016.
“We thought that there is a wide and untapped market for trendy backpackers. Those who want a five-star like accommodation – clean and crisp sheets, thick and soft comfortable bed, clean toilet and bath, soft pillows, free wifi, free breakfast, friendly and caring staff – all these at a very affordable rate,” says Ruiz.
Ruiz says they have 16 single capsules and two double (deluxe) capsules in an 80-square-meter area.
Six months into the business, Ruiz says occupancy rate is often at 80 percent.
“The business has picked up a whole lot since we’ve opened. We get the bulk of our bookings from social networking and online travel agency,” she says.
The rates are P588 and P888 for single and double capsules which include free breakfast. Those who only need a place for sleep and shower (bed and bath) pay P388 for a 12-hour stay.
Ruiz is a Computer Science graduate from the University of San Carlos who previously served as a banker before operating her event design and styling business.
She used to own a flower shop in Barangay Mabolo in Cebu City but closed it when she saw a need of change in business direction.
Cervantes is in the transportation and house rental business.
Ruiz and Cervantes met through direct selling company, Lifestyle Asia Pacific Philippines, where they were both brand distributors.
The two hit it off and became best friends and travel buddies.
“The idea of Shejoje Poshtel Hostel was inspired from our travel in Japan last June 2015. We appreciated the capsule hostels in Japan as practical and affordable options for budget travelers,” says Ruiz.
They immediately planned on the business after returning to Cebu and invested a pooled amount of P2 million for Shejoje Poshtel Hostel.
“Cebu needs trendy, posh, Instagram-ready, cleaner, safer, and accessible guesthouses and dorm-type rooms. We offer that in our capsule hostel. We don’t want to shortchange our customers. We are committed to give them more than their money’s worth,” says Ruiz.
Ruiz and Cervantes decided to put their money on making a hostel that does not look and feel cheap.
On the hostel’s Facebook page, it is common to read five-star reviews of satisfied and happy customers.
Jessie James Tubeo wrote: “It was my first time to ever try a capsule accommodation in Cebu. I must say I was pretty impressed with how amazing my stay was at Shejoje.”
Tubeo, in his online review, said the hostel was well ventilated, clean and “smells good.” The hostel’s location and customer service also impressed him.
The hostel employs three people who are trained by consultants with emphasis on good customer service.
“We are very conscious of good customer service. We want to give the best to our customers. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care,” says Ruiz.
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