A new budget-friendly hotel in Whistler that lets guests sleep in personal pods is trying to provide an alternative to expensive hotels and make mountain getaways more affordable again.

You don’t get your own room or even a door to close at the Pangea Pod Hotel. In fact, the only privacy is behind a curtain at the foot of your double bed that’s tucked into a cubby in the wall.

Co-founder Russel Kling, who’s opening the establishment with his wife Jelena, said they’re targeting a certain segment of the market that he thinks isn’t catered to in Whistler.

“It’s the guy or girl that wants more than the hostel that’s a bus ride out of town but can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a three-star hotel,” he said.

There are already a few hostels in Whistler that offer single dormitory beds for $32 to $40 per night. Kling said his guests can expect to pay less than $100 for a pod in the off-season, but more than $100 during a busy time of year.

By comparison, the cheapest room on offer at a Whistler hotel for a weekend in February 2019 was $350.

Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she’s glad to see a more budget-friendly option in a town that’s infamous for its astronomical hotel prices.

"Whistler's been expensive and the hotel rates have been increasing, especially over the course of the last couple of years. So this new hotel will just give a choice," she said.

Melissa Pace, CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, praised the idea as “such an innovative concept.”

The pod hotel, located on the village stroll near the gondolas, is still under construction. Kling plans to open it later this summer. But it did host a preview day in April where it invited the public to its common area and rooftop bar known as the Living Room for a sneak peek.

Kling said he’s looking to woo customers who feel they’ve “graduated” from hostels but who aren’t willing to pay for all the amenities found at Whistler’s luxurious but pricey hotels.

Inside the pods, it’s clear Kling has paid attention to detail. There are several regular and USB plug points, a lock box for valuables with a hole to thread cords through while they charge, a fan that’s as good for ventilation as it is for creating white noise and a personal trash envelope that gets collected every day.

“They want key elements of privacy at a really affordable price point,” Kling said. “And it’s a cozy space, like the berth on a yacht.”

He’s designed the pods with “acoustically absorbent materials” to help guests get a good night’s rest even though they’re separated from others only by a curtain.

The Pangea’s 88 pods will be subdivided into suites containing a handful of beds and each suite will have its own communal bathroom. There will also be one suite designated only for women.

All suites have their own private bathrooms, with each bathroom divided into four separately accessible pieces.

There’s one tiny room with a toilet and sink, a second with a shower, a third with a sink and vanity and a fourth with a full length mirror for changing. All are outfitted in trendy Italian tile.

Passers-by who spoke to CTV News had mixed feelings about the pod hotel. Some were uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping behind a curtain, and one said the idea may work well for solo travelers or a couple but definitely not for a family.

Others, however, said having a simple and cheap place to stay after a day of skiing was just what they were looking for.

"The segment of the market today that stays at the Four Seasons or the Fairmont... We're not trying to cater to them.” Kling said. “[Our guests] don’t want that and they’re not going to pay for it.”

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Hurst