Have you visited Whistler, British Columbia yet? I’d really recommend it!
Our drive from Vancouver to Whistler is always beautiful, with mountains to our front and right, and ocean and islands to our left. As we approach Whistler Village, I’m constantly overwhelmed with a sense of wonder and magic as the mountains rise around us and we start to see the twinkling lights of Whistler Village.
I can never wait to jump straight onto the slopes and into that ski (and après ski) life!
We arrived at the Pangea Pod Hotel a little later than planned one Friday evening in March. We’d come for an overnight skiing trip and had stumbled upon the Pangea Pod Hotel online a few weeks earlier. Its central location and cool design caught my eye and I couldn’t wait to experience it! We were immediately greeted by such friendly staff, who guided us to our parking space (underground, and right by the hotel) that we knew this trip was going to be a fun one!
We ran to snap some photos outside before it got too dark, then properly checked into the hotel. Pangea’s cool vibe hit us right away, with their all-digital check-in procedure, wrist bands instead of room cards and edgy artwork adorning the walls. Dimmed atmospheric lighting ran throughout the building and there was a real sense of mountain sport and adventure, meets stylish and chic comfort.
We stored our ski boots in lockers and skis and poles in their equipment room, called The Toy Box. Many guests to Whistler are adventurous, outdoor sports type of people, with some of the best skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking and mountain biking experiences on offer, so this is a great idea. In the warmer months, this storage space is perfect for bikes too, so you don’t have to worry about leaving any of your equipment in your car overnight (or trying to squeeze it in your pod with you!).
As per usual, I arrived with far too much luggage (oops!) so a kind member of staff helped us carry everything up the stairs to our suite, and then our pod exploration began!
We’d never stayed in a pod hotel before, but we’d heard about them online – mostly pod hotels based in Japan, or within airports. Pangea is Canada’s first ever boutique pod hotel, in an area that could really benefit from less expensive guest accommodation. They certainly utilize their central location well! The pods at Pangea are stacked in layers of two, and line the edges of a suite, which are like stylish two-story dormitories. Off the suites are balconies for those wanting some fresh air.
Inside each pod is a full double bed, a lockable cupboard for your valuables, plug sockets and USB ports to charge your gadgets, a rail with coat hangers, a mirror, a fan to control the temperature of your pod, and more than enough room for your luggage at the foot or side of the bed. I was a little worried that the pods would feel claustrophobic but in actual fact they’re pretty spacious. We could both sit up fully in bed, and Paddy (being 6’1″) could stretch out fully while lying down.
The most common question I got asked during our stay at Pangea was about the level of noise at night. It’s true that, by law, the pods don’t have fully closing solid walls or doors to block out all the sound, but they do have thick magnetic curtains that close out any light. When evening time came around, the lights were dimmed across the suites and we found that guests naturally hushed their voices and tiptoed around out of respect for fellow guests, particularly those who have hit the hay early after a long day on the mountain. We both slept soundly through the night and weren’t disturbed by any noise.
Pangea also has separate toilets, showers and sink with mirror areas, to avoid anyone waiting in line to use the washroom, while someone is in there singing their heart out in the shower, and vice versa.
We quickly realized that the only part of a bedroom you really need, and would like some privacy in, is the bed. The rest of your time can be spent enjoying the communal areas, socializing with other people, or just chilling in the beautiful surroundings. Paying for just a pod, rather than a whole room, saves money but it doesn’t mean you need to miss out on all the luxuries!
The places you’ll probably spend most of your time in, are the beautifully designed communal restaurant, bar and living room areas, as well as the rooftop patio and mini bar, which overlooks Whistler Village and the surrounding mountains. Staying in a pod hotel is definitely a social experience, made even better by Pangea’s hosted guest gatherings, such as their morning “get fed, then shred” meet-ups, where guests can enjoy a group breakfast then all head to the slopes together.
Three main things abut the Pangea Pod Hotel really stood out to us:
Its prime location. Pangea couldn’t be more central if it tried. Nestled right in Whistler village, it’s a two minute walk to the Whistler Village Gondola and chair lift, and amazing for people watching out the restaurant windows! Waves of people go past in the winter; first, there’s the organized keen beans who are up and at ’em, making their way to the gondola to make first tracks. Then come the people who may have had too much to drink the night before and who are heading out a little later (teehee), or indulging in some long and leisurely breakfasts. Basically, you get close proximity to the slopes without paying the hefty price tag of the neighbouring hotels.
Their awesome staff. I can honestly say that the Pangea Pod Hotel’s staff were the most friendly, helpful and accommodating staff we had ever experienced out of anywhere we’d ever stayed. Seriously! You can tell that everyone there enjoys their job, everyone loves being immersed in Whistler life and their aim is to make guests’ stays as fun, smooth and as easy going as possible.
Their food selection. Typically in mountain resort towns, we find that menu options stretch from poutine to cheese covered such-and-such’s, and burgers to beer/mulled wine. Not at Pangea. We were pleasantly surprised to see gluten-free and vegan options, including gluten-free artisan pizzas and vegan charcuterie boards, as well as an impressive selection of house special cocktails.
We spent a really fun Saturday skiing Whistler Blackcomb, making the most of our day passes and exploring new areas. The views at the top just take my breath away. From up there, your eyes can feast on the beauty of untouched wilderness, rolling mountains, Whistler Village and frozen lakes nestled in the valley below. The skies were blue, the sun was out and the snow was great – perfect conditions! We even had some friendly local birds come and land on our gloved hands while waiting for a chair lift, which was certainly a first!
That’s one of thing things I love about skiing in British Columbia. The Canadian culture really values and respects the natural environment, and so aims to protect as much of it as possible, purposely not expanding certain ski resorts and not building upon vast expanses of land. This makes it a haven for wildlife, and seriously beautiful to look at!
We’re yet to experience Whistler in the summer months, but we’re so intrigued and excited to see the same views in a completely different season, with the blue lakes sparkling below and all the hills looking green!
If you’re a skier or snowboarder, I’d love to hear what your favourite runs or hidden spots are! I’ve heard there are some ice caves somewhere on the resort, but we haven’t found them yet. Have you?
I also skied my first batch of black runs on this day, which I was so happy about! My posture still isn’t brilliant, but I’m working on it. More than anything, living out here and skiing more often has seriously built my confidence up, which I’m so grateful for. I can now ski down runs I would once have avoided at all costs, and clipping into skis feels a lot more natural and ‘normal’ now. Practice definitely makes perfect – or in my case, progress!
What I would say, though, is that even if you’re brand new to skiing or snowboarding, Whistler has some amazing beginner terrain and lots of groomed green runs for you to meander down. So don’t be put off by its scale or by how famous it is in the skiing world. It really does have something there for everyone. Plus, I’ve heard the summer time mountain biking is incredible! Read my guide on what to pack for a ski trip here.
What else is useful for you to now about Pangea…
Their breakfast menu was just as cool as their dinner menu, with options including smoothie bowls, avocado toast, salmon and eggs bennie, almond croissants and all those delicious wake-you-up coffees and cocktails!
In the Living Room, you can borrow all sorts of games, such as Jenga or Monopoly. Games are some of Paddy’s favourite things, so we played around five rounds of Battleship while sipping hot cider and rum after our first dinner there!
Unless you’ve purchased a late check-out, then you have to vacate your suite by 10am. But on days where you can’t wait to head up to the mountains, and with such comfortable communal areas to chill in if you’re not yet ready to leave, this didn’t feel early at all.
I hope this has been insightful to anyone thinking of heading to Whistler for the night, anyone who’s ever wondered about pod hotels, and for anyone considering booking a night or two at the boutique Pangea Pod Hotel. We would really recommend it!
For full transparency, the Pangea Pod Hotel gifted this stay to Paddy and I, which we thank them for! As always, all opinions and thoughts are entirely our own and completely true to us. We only recommend places, products and experiences that we genuinely love.