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Canada’s first pod hotel to open in Whistler

Whistler to be first in Canada with ‘pod hotel’
Tue, Jun 13: It’s not for everyone, but a B.C. company is betting that Whistler will be the best location for the first “pod hotel” in Canada. Ted Chernecki shows us what it looks like.

Real estate developers tend to think big, but the people behind a Whistler, B.C. hotel want to think small.

The Pangea Pod hotel is slated to open in April and will feature 88 wood-lined private sleeping pods that come with modern touches such as LED lights and USB charging stations.

“We want to play in that wide open space between what a hostel outside of town charges and what a hotel inside of town charges,” Pangea Pods founder Russell Kling said.

The hotel will also feature a common area that offers a panoramic view of Whistler Village and an outdoor rooftop patio.

Kling said the new pod hotel could appeal to a new breed of travellers.

“These guys don’t come to Whistler today, these 38-year-old young professionals because there isn’t a product for them,” Kling said. “Maybe a few of them come but for three days instead of 10 because they can’t afford it.”

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The building that will house the Pangea Pod Hotel used to be a timeshare complex that fell into serious disrepair. It took the developer a year-and-a-half to track down each of the 1,200 timeshare investors and buy them out. All told, the project is expected to cost around $10 million.

Kling said the pod hotel will be an upscale version of capsule hotels that have long been a staple in Japan and other destinations.

“Really, you are supposed to feel like you’re on a luxury yacht and this is your little berth,” Kling said.

— With files from Ted Chernecki