The owners of “Pangea” (a husband and wife duo) met at a hostel, loving the accessibility of them, but wanting a more upscale experience from them. And thus their, and British Columbia’s first pod hotel was born.
The inspiration is taken from the Japanese style of quick and confined accommodations. Pod hotels offer travellers reasonable lodgings for one. The premise is that you only pay for what you need: a place to sleep. Utilities like toilets, showers, and sinks are shared amongst a cluster of stacked pods. You need not pay for the hotel desk you don’t work on, the lounger you never use, or the art work you don’t appreciate.
All guests are required to be 18 years of age or older, this is to maintain a certain environment. These accommodations aren’t designed with families in mind, and with the necessity to keep noise and talking to a minimum, the age restriction makes sense.
Each individual pod is shaped and equipped with practicality as a focus. A double bed gives you extra room; after all just because you are sleeping in a box, it doesn’t mean it should feel like a coffin. Each mattress fits two comfortably, but only 15% of their guests take advantage of this. And speaking from my own experience, even if I visited with my partner, I would want my own pod, for all the leg and arm room.
They are shelves and a cupboard for storage space. Plus, ample room at the carpeted foot of your bed; a place to position your luggage or overnight bag. A cubby allows you to lock up your devices safely with your own pad lock (or you can purchase one at the front desk).
A rail with hangers gives you the option to hang pieces, or you can prevent others from wrinkling, by hanging it off one of the hooks.
You even have your own mirror in your pod for easy make up applications or touch ups. And what many will appreciate, your own outlet that you can charge two separate electronics with. You can also feed your cable through to the above mentioned lockable cabinet, for a more secure charge.
For the security of larger items, they have a “toy box”. A stylish and secure place to store snowboards, skis, and mountain bikes; basically any paraphernalia you would need to get active in Whistler with.
As for the actual stay, check in is self serve, with attendants on stand by, should you need directions verbalized. You follow touch screen prompts that have you conforming your name and email, and swiping your credit card for incidentals. The process if finished with the activation of a chip that you wear as a bracelet. Not only does this identify you as a guest, but it also functions as your hotel key and form of payment.
Like at other hotels, if you don’t use anything, you won’t be charged for it. But here there isn’t a mini bar or pay per view to add on, instead you can use your sensor bracelet to charge any food or drink purchases. Both of which are available at their indoor lounge (fondly referred to as “the living room”), or the roof top bar with a bird’s eye view of the heart of Whistler Village. All and any purchases “tapped” will be reconciled at check out, with a bill emailed to you. Everything is paperless here.
Similarly, there aren’t any hotel phones in which you can call for room service. Instead, “Pangea” utilizes the technology you already own. With extra high speed internet connection, you use your phone for room service or concierge help, in place of a hotel phone. Your check-in is greeted with a text, and a response from you opens the air waves for requests. You can text the number (now in your phone), when you need more towels (though three are waiting for you in your pod: one for your body, another for your face, and a black one for make up removal). You can text for concierge suggestions, and complaints if your bunk mates are too loud. The messages get sent to one of their many employees. The first available responds, and the others get a prompt, knowing some one is on the job.
Of note, you don’t actually get to choose which pod you inhabit. You make a reservation but your pod is assigned based on your desired exit from the back or front, or if you prefer a women’s only space. You get to make this selection during your touch screen self check in and are informed by way of printed receipt. Similarly you get a receipt to place on your dash if you need to park your vehicle underground, overnight.
However if you are going as a large group you do have the ability to rent out an entire suite, like our party of 10 did. This makes a great option for a girls night, pyjama party in. Simply close the door and lock everyone else out. You can also rent out any additional pods to ensure a similar sort of privacy in any of their suites.
As for the rest you get, I have never felt so safe and secure sleeping outside of my own bed; all boxed up and protected by 5.5 walls. For fire safety reasons you cannot be inclosed in your pod, with a fully closed door. However, I found the curtain that you could draw, to shut yourself in, plenty of a barrier. I was tucked in and cozy. And with sound dampening walls, and a white noise fan, you really don’t hear much around you. You can just sink in and relax on the hotel quality mattress. A mattress that doesn’t need a bed frame or a box spring. It was just as comfortable without, and more so with the crisp white linens. The same linens you expect from a 4 star hotel stay. Truly, “Pangea” gave me one of the best sleeps I have ever had at any hotel.
As I mentioned earlier, they do offer food and drink solutions in common spaces. These, they encourage their guests to linger at. The “living room” is kitty corner from their lobby counter with a lounge to brunch feel. Large windows, mirrored walls, mirrors on the ceilings, colourful murals, a portable fireplace, a long banquet table, coffee and cocktail bar, and board games. Basically plenty to make anyone’s stay a little more personalized.
Here, I would enjoy breakfast after my check out at, as they offer a fulsome menu with plenty of healthy options, coupled with those key hangover helpers. I would indulge in the former. More details below, later.
Check in is at 4pm so after we sorted our selves out, we climbed the stairs up to their roof top patio for happy hour. Here, you take in cold drinks and small bites overlooking the hub of Whistler Village. And with a hot sunny day like today, this is definitely the place to be.
Keeping cool with their trademark cocktail, the “Dalmatian”: vodka, peppercorn syrup, grapefruit, lemon, and rosemary. A citrusy mix with the spice of the smashed rosemary.
The “Espresso martini” was a great pick me up with vodka, coffee liqueur, and Pangea espresso.
In contrast is the “Romina Sour” with gin, cassis, lemon, and egg white. A lighter and sweeter cocktail for a sunny day.
I thought the “Smoked Sriracha Caesar” was a little watered down. It could have use more tomato flavour with the vodka, Clamato juice, sriracha, lemon, DescriptionWorcestershire sauce, and pepper.
I liked the “Canadian Whiskey Sour” a lot more with rye, sortilege, lemon, and egg white. It was a stronger cocktail, yet easy to sip with the egg white foam. I especially liked the cherry that top it as a last sip, finishing touch.
For food, we shared a few of their hand held appetizers. Each featuring their flatbread crust, which they do so well. “Caramelized pear and blue cheese flat bread” with a white sauce base, topped with mozzarella, Parmesan, caramelized pear, walnuts, blue cheese, and olive oil. It was my favourite of the three varieties I tried. A sweet and salty combination with the chucks of pear as the highlight.
“Portobello mushroom + bacon flatbread”. Tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, portobello mushroom, asparagus, bacon, red pesto, and olive oil.
“Carbonara flatbread”. White sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, bacon, onion, mushroom, and garlic cream.
The meat and cheese boards were great for grazing. The meat board included prosciutto, chorizo campesino, Genoa salami, grainy mustard, olives, walnuts, balsamic reduction, olive tapenade, and stone baked flatbread. The cheese board had brie, blue cheese, manchego, whipped goat cheese, quince, olives, walnuts, balsamic reduction, olive tapenade, and stone baked flatbread.
When it came time to check out the next morning, it was just a matter of cutting off your bracelet and shedding a tear that you have to leave. Like camping in a tree house with rooms stacked one on top of each other, and one beside another, this was a one of a kind experience.
But before we got into our cars for the 2 hour drive back to Vancouver, we made sure to have breakfast at the “Living room”. “Pangea power smoothie” with mixed berries, banana, Greek yogurt, honey and almond milk. I liked the consistency of this compared to bowl below, however thought the drink could use more fruit flavour.
“Strawberry cheese cake smoothie bowl”. Banana, rolled oats, cream cheese, honey, almond milk; and sunflower, chia, and pumpkin seeds. It was thick with a graininess to it, much like what would imagine drinking a smoothie out of a bowl would feel. I liked the taste, but not the texture and not enough to finish.
The “Spinach Bennie” was a nice meat-free option. Made with sautéed spinach, red onion, roasted garlic, white wine, poached eggs, and homemade hollandaise, all on an English muffin. It was tasty from the full bodied sauce, and the runny yolk added a nice creaminess to each bite. But I personally would have like it greasier with bacon and tomato.
The “Avocado toast” was smashed avocado dressed in feta, chilli, coriander, red pesto, lime, and sourdough. Ironically, I thought it needed more avocado, or maybe to keep the avocado as sliced, for a 1:1 ratio of avocado and bread.
In short, these pod hotels are worth traveling to for a weekend getaway at, and worth looking in to the next time you are in Whistler. I can see why they are rated the #1 specialty lodging in Whistler by TripAdvisor users. A great solution for solo travellers wanting to save, but not compromise. Or the place to party with a group of friends.
For the more interactive recap, check out my latest vlog now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.
Pangea Pod Hotel
4333 Sunrise Alley, Whistler BC, V8E 1B4