First Look: Inside the Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler
Canada's first pod hotel—filled with compact, 50-square-foot rooms—is finally opening
July 20, 2017
Whistler is renowned for its amazing ski slopes, great food and local nightlife—but it often comes at the expense of pricey lift tickets and accommodation. Luckily though, one couple is looking to change the Whistler lodging scene. Eight years ago, Russell and Jelena Kling left their ordinary lives (he was a partner at an investment firm; she was a biochemical engineer) to travel the world; three years and seven continents later, they realized they had a solid idea of what worked—and what didn’t work—at hotels and hostels. The couple then developed the concept for the Pangea Pod Hotel—a hotel-and-hostel-hybrid that they hope will provide more affordable accommodation for travellers.
Pod (or capsule) hotels originated in Japan to provide the most basic accommodation to locals and travellers at a cheap rate, targeting guests who either either didn’t want (or couldn’t afford) the usual hotel amenities. Why include features like private bathroom, a balcony, kitchenette, and living space if a guest merely needed somewhere to sleep?
Take a peek inside the innovative hotel below.
Grand Central Station
The Pangea Pod Hotel (Located at 4333 Sunrise Alley) is in the heart of Whistler Village, ensuring guests are just steps away from pubs, restaurants, shops and, most importantly, the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. The hotel is designed to allow travellers from all over the world to enjoy Whistler for longer (prices will be comparable to hostels, rather than luxury hotels) and with a better sense of community—while still maintaining some privacy (you won’t find any eight-person rooms here).
Designed with Bricault Design, each pod measures approximately 50 square feet, and is outfitted with natural wood finishes, a comfortable double mattress, soft sheets and pillows, and artwork. They also come equipped with USB and other tech-charging ports, safes for storing your valuables, soft LED lighting (with handy switches located at the front entrance of the pod, as well as some in back), an electronic fan, clothes hangers, a mirror and a cable to neatly stow away luggage.
The ceilings are high enough so that guests are able to sit up in bed; they can also separate themselves from their shared surroundings thanks to privacy curtains that hang in front of each pod. And for those worried about sleeping close to their neighbours, there are white-noise fans to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Tiles with Style
Hostel bathrooms are often unpleasant to use (need we say more?), so Russell and Jelena decided to completely reinvent them at Pangea, designing more than 60 compartments (separated into toilet rooms, shower rooms, changing rooms and vanities) to accommodate guests. This ensures that those wanting to brush their teeth or to quickly change outfits don’t have to wait for someone else to finish taking a long shower.
All Together Now
The living room (above) was designed to encourage a sense of community among guests. There’s a café and bar where guests can order everything from coffee and craft beer to cocktails and snacks—and the long, picnic-style tables encourage travellers to mingle and bond over sharing stories of the day’s adventures. On the roof, a similarly-designed space acts as the patio (not pictured), inviting guests to enjoy views of Whistler Village from up above.
Sure, the pods have some method of storage—but how on earth is all of our gear going to fit? Winter sports require a lot of equipment (and extra layers of clothing for those of us that don’t fair well in cold weather). That’s what the Toy Box, a shared space where guests can store and organize their snowboards, skis and jackets, is for. Visiting during the summer season? For a small fee, you can reserve a spot for your bike.
The hotel is now accepting reservations for August stays.