14 AUG 2018: British Columbia is well known for its wilderness and laid back west-coast atmosphere. Vancouver’s cosmopolitan ocean-side character attracts visitors the world over, while an hour north, Whistler Village has shaped itself into a first-class four-season outdoor adventure paradise.

Pangea Pod Hotel

Russell Kling met his wife at a hostel in Prague 15 years ago, and now the Co-Founder of Whistler’s new Pangea Pod Hotel is hoping to change the landscape of accommodation options in that adventure resort town north of Vancouver.

“The philosophy behind this project came from our travels through Europe staying at hostels,” he says. However, he’s quick to point out the Pangea is not a hostel, nor is it a traditional hotel either.

“Hostels have an amazing social aspect to them, so what we’re aiming to do is maintain and amplify that component, while offering hotel-style amenities,” he explains.

Kling realized there was a huge gap in the accommodation market in Whistler, with the lower-priced hostel being 20-minutes outside of town, while the hotel options within The Village are often beyond the price range of many travellers. “This project has been five years in the making, and we’ve spent more money per square foot than any five-star hotel in Canada,”, he claims. “Guests are only paying for what they use,” he adds, referring to the 12-square-metre sleeping pods that guests will bunk in.

The property itself is divided into eight different Pod Suites, with a total of 88 single-guest sleeping pods. Each suite has its own key access, with its own separate washroom facilities, which are also divided up into pod-like sections, with separated areas for toilet, shower, change room, and vanity area. Five of the eight Suites have an outdoor balcony area, and there’s also one Suite dedicated to female travellers only.

“We’re targeting toward the 30 to 50 year-old solo travellers, who have the money to spend, yet would rather spend it on leisure activities and dining rather than a hotel room with features they won’t even be using,” he explains.

The building itself is a modern mix of interior design meets industrial design, giving it a boutique feel at an affordable price point right in the centre of town. Beyond the sleeping aspect, the property has two food and beverage spaces that are also open to the public – The Living Room and Rooftop Patio, offering espresso, cocktails, and a light food menu option. For guests, these will be part of the cashless system in place for any purchase, including payment for the room.

Pangea offers full maid service with linen and towels, art throughout the property (including each single pod), hangers, cooling fan which also acts as a white noise reduction unit, charging station, lock box, and memory foam mattresses.

Kling concludes by pointing out, “We’re going to be bringing in a new type of client. One who will support the local economy, and one with money to spend, not to waste.” He also mentioned future plans of expansion aren’t necessarily limited to resort areas, but perhaps beach destinations, or even cities. Anywhere there’s a need for a mid-range accommodation product.

The Pangea Pod Hotel opens this month. Availability and pricing can be found on the website - www.pangeapod.com

4a_ Pod

What’s New in Whistler

This year new lifts are being upgraded on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, new trails are being added to the bike park, enhancements to the Peak-2-Peak experience including a brand new pedestrian suspension bridge, and an illuminated attraction like no other. All this and more are part of a $345 million expansion plan for the surrounding area, that also includes real estate development. www.whistler.com

The expansion of Creekside Zone includes five brand new trails totalling 13 km running through 644 vertical metres, with its own separate gondola specifically for mountain bikers. For cycling enthusiasts, this means three berm-filled intermediate flow trails (Southpark, Earth Circus and Insomia), an intermediate tech trail (Midgard), and an advanced level, hand-built single track trail (Delayed Fuse).

The new 130-metre long Cloudraker Skybridge also recently opened beside the top station of the Peak Chair on Whistler Mountain, and access is included in the price of the Peak-2-Peak experience. The entire bridge is fully closed on both sides, and there’s an amazing lookout offering spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. At 2,000 metres above the ground, the developers believe it to be the highest above sea-level suspension bridge in North America. www.whistlerblackcomb.com

Vallea Lumina is the new multimedia night-walk that opened last month at Whistler's Cougar Mountain. Visitors can now stroll the 1.5 km long trail through the old-growth rain-forest under the illumination of lights. Vallea Lumina uses a combination of emotive lights, videos, soundscape and scenography, where guests are transported to another world with plenty of opportunities to explore and engage with the environment. The experience begins at sundown and runs every 20-minutes for an hour duration, operating daily until October 15th 2018. www.vallealumina.com.

Vancouver’s Dinner In The Sky

Dinner in The Sky Vancouver is a new summer-long initiative that lets guests dine high in the air overlooking the Vancouver skyline, Grouse Mountain, and the Pacific Ocean while rotating 360-degrees. They offer daily lunch and dinner reservations, as well as added brunch slots on weekends, and special evening Happy Hour in the Sky.

The menu is curated by Chef Ned Bell, most known for hosting seven seasons of Cook Like a Chef on Food Network Canada. All items are locally sourced from start to finish, with the dinner menu including Pacific salmon and other seafood dishes, while meat eaters can enjoy the organic beef striploin, and there’s also a vegan option as well. Upon lift off from the ground, the table is hoisted into the air, and is then manually manoeuvred by staff members on the ground who navigate the movements above.

The price tag of $399.00 per person for dinner ($569.00 VIP with wine pairing), is on the pricey side, and the experience is a bit rushed with having to consume the three-course meal in the allotted one-hour time slot. The 45-minute Happy Hour in the Sky gives you canapes, dessert, and a glass of wine, and is likely the best value for those looking more for the experience than the meal.

Dinner in the Sky is opening up at its second location this summer in West Vancouver, operating from August 4 to September 3, after a month long run at its previous North Vancouver location. www.dinnerintheskycanada.com

email icon facebook logo twitter logo
comments powered by Disqus