efe-epaLa Paz

Comfort and a futuristic style come together in Bolivia's first capsule hotel, which starting this Tuesday will offer lodging to local and foreign travelers in minimalist rooms that look like they were taken from a ship to outer space.

"Sleeping in a capsule bed is a very different experience, it's like being on a spaceship," the manager of the Prado Capsule, Celica Hernandez, told EFE.

This unusual hotel is located on the picturesque downtown thoroughfare of Paseo del Prado in La Paz and has 44 capsule beds for individual use distributed into eight rooms.

Each capsule is made of steel and has television, a safe, a circular mirror, a modern ventilation system, electric sockets, fire extinguishers and reading lights that guests can use as they require, Hernandez said.

There is also a system that doesn't let sounds from the street keep the guest from getting a good night's sleep.

The white capsules are stacked one on another, two by two, in order to optimize the space, which one must enter without wearing shoes and without food.

In some rooms there are as many as 10 of these capsules, but there are also rooms with just two, depending on the privacy the traveler wants, the manager said.

The Prado Capsule also has common areas for dining that maintain the futuristic modernity of the minirooms that make this such a different place to stay.

For the inauguration, prices range between $14 and $18 a night, and there is also the chance to use the "hospitality express" service for people who can't return home at midday but need to rest for a couple of hours.

Hernandez noted that this project was initiated a year ago with the idea of offering a modern kind of comfort to travelers who come to La Paz, the seat of government, and was inspired by the capsule hotels of Japan.

The manager said that capsule hotels are now to be found in such countries as Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland, but in Latin America they are a relatively new idea.