Vancouver Would Be Cooler If It Had Whistler’s Pangea Pod Hotel

Vancouver Would Be Cooler If is a column that advocates for things that exist in other cities that could serve to improve or otherwise celebrate life in our own.

My best friend loves staying in the capsule hotels of Tokyo. She loves the convenience, the efficiency, the purposeful design and – most of all – the price. A year ago she even wrote about why Vancouver would be cooler if it had one. I totally get the appeal. Why pay big bucks to stay in a hotel if you aren’t ever going to sit at the desk in your room, or relax in its armchair, or really spend any time in your room other than to crash after a full day of exploring?

I suspect the red tape of Vancouver’s building codes would be a little too sticky for such a thing to come to pass, but after a recent stay at the Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler, I think there’s a middle ground. Instead of port-hole style doors that seal sleepers inside, the pods are closed off by simple curtains. I may have heard one of my pod-neighbours stumble in after 2am, but each pod has a white noise fan that helps soften outside sounds. There are also earplugs for guests should they require them, and the front desk is only a text away if you want to narc on anyone so wrapped up in their own good time that they abandoned the unwritten convention of courtesy. The beds are super comfortable with light switches and charging ports within easy reach, and the shared bathrooms, showers, changing areas and sinks are fastidiously kept clean. And you don’t have to go it alone, as some of the pods can accommodate couples.

Check it out the next time you’re in Whistler, even if you’re staying somewhere else. Have a beer on the roof or a bite in the restaurant, and ask the front desk to show you around. It really is a highly efficient operation; right in the sweet spot between a hotel and a hostel. It’s only a matter of time before visitors to Vancouver get a similar option. So what’s the hold up?

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