I didn't expect to like staying at the Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler, British Columbia.
The sleeping spaces are tiny. You basically pay for a perch that includes a bed, a shelf, a few hangers and a rather noisy fan. You don't even have a door - you have a curtain that closes you out from the rest of your podmates.
There's not a lot of privacy. Shower and bathrooms are shared.
And yet something about staying at Pangea Pod Hotel made me really happy. Maybe it was the feeling that I had magically returned to college age, as most of my pod partners were. It was nice to go back in time.
For starters, Pangea gives you a place to sleep at a modest price smack in the middle of Whistler Village's best locations. The hotel has an inviting "Living Room" area where food and beverages are served. It even has a rooftop patio, where you can do more smoozing and boozing with other podmates.
Was it loud? Yes, it was loud. Lots of laughter from the Living Room filters through the hotel well into the night. And then there's the occasional noise of your neighbors, strolling by to the bathroom.
But I found Pangea's fan system to work quite well at creating a soothing white noise that drowned out most of the ruckus. And for the noises that were bit louder, ear plugs -- complimentary for guests -- worked well. Believe it or not, I slept well for both nights of my stay.
How cheap is it? Let's just say it's a tiny fraction of the price of Whistler's other hotels. A random search for a pod space a week out showed a price of $74 per night, CAD.
That's not bad. And besides location, you get a hip place to stay, with a gear room for your skis, that will make you feel like you're an undergrad in college, in all the best ways.