Pop & Rest Nap Pods, Shoreditch, London
Will Ross, September 13, 2018
The latest wave of innovation from East London embraces the new world napping, with startup Pop & Rest open for sleeping since March 2018. Somnambulant Londoners or jet-lagged visitors to the capital struggling stay in the awake in the vicinity of Old Street Roundabout can now take the exit north, stumble a few extra yards and arrive at the cool oasis designed by Pop & Rest for power naps and meditation.
While napping studios in New York have taken the pod and real estate play very seriously with locations in prime venues in Manhattan, Pop & Rest’s ground floor location takes a more relaxed approach. The napping studio has been made possible by a simple sleep-focused renovation of a ground floor office on a backstreet 200m north-west of Old Street Roundabout. A subdued also WeWork has found its way off London’s thoroughfares, now located opposite from the entrance to Pop & Rest’s napping studio.
The L-shape orientation of the napping space is bolted down by a small reception desk, a gateway to the venue. The division of the room allows for four guests to use the space at the same time, each with their own single bed and small allotment of space for dressing and storing a bag, perhaps even a slender inversion. Each booth is separated by sound-proofed panels and with ambient background noise, so it’s hard to even here the rummaging of your neighbour in the adjacent booth. There might come a point when the rumble of an aggressive snorer creates a headache for Pop & Rest, but presumably these individuals aren’t the early adopted lifehackers accustomed to power napping in major cities.
As well as having your own space for relaxing and switching off, tea, coffee and fruits are provided with each booking by default. Those concerned about hygiene will appreciate that clean linen is laid for every customer, not the norm in New York and certainly a luxury that sets the maintenance barrier very high. Waxy pot plants and refined light fixtures point towards a premium offering, also in step with the interiors at Nap York and Yelo Spa on the other side of the Atlantic.
Pop & Rest’s pricing falls within a ballpark pricing of £15 per hour, with slots available for half-hour naps, as well as longer stays of up to two hours (£20). Pioneering individuals might point out that napping across London’s parks or even on the Underground offer fine alternatives without the cost, while completely disregarding the safety and relative calm of dedicated venues, havens that might even become calm retreats for frenetic Londoners tied into an ambitious Netflix regime back at home.