The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Could this solve the snow-commodation problem?

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Australia | 1 comment

sleep capsule

Sleeping pods have long been the rage in Japan, where accommodation, particularly of the affordable variety in Tokyo, can be at a premium. With The Capsule Hotel just opened up in Sydney and one getting constructed in Whistler, would this be a good solution to some of Australia’s snow-commodation problems?

We’ve all been there.

A cracking weekend in the middle of August and it’s just dropped a couple of feet midweek.

You frantically hit the computer to look for an available place. Computer says no.

No on snow, no 30km up the road. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Things are so desperate you would probably sleep in a room little bigger than a single bed that looks like something from the Alien franchise. I know I would. And perhaps one day you may be able to …

Big in Japan

In Japan they earned the moniker of love hotels. A cheap place to get amorous at short notice.

Reality was (and is) they were more for a drunken salaryman who couldn’t make it home or those who simply couldn’t afford Tokyo’s hotels.

While the backpacker lodge took the shine off capsule or pod hotels in the 90s and naughties they’re making a comeback and I wonder whether some shrewd entrepreneur might make them work with a few tweaks in the Australian ski fields and/or feeder towns.

They’re certainly convinced in Canada it can work in Whistler.

Meanwhile in Canada

The Pangea Pod Hotel will be the first of its kind in the country when it opens next year.

Located in the centre of the pedestrian village it is described as ” set to fill Whistler’s void between hostels and hotels”.

Pangea Pod

An artist’s impression of a Pangea Pod in Whistler. I love artists. And impressions.

According to the release:

“Pangea will feature a series of custom suites with 88 private sleeping pods. Each boutique pod will be lined in wood and outfitted with a memory foam double mattress and high-end linens. They’ll also be equipped with individually controlled LED lights, multiple charging points and an integrated fan for ventilation and white noise. There’s a place for everything, with a lockable cabinet for valuables, hangers and hooks for clothes, and a storage area for luggage. “

Sounds pretty good. No mention of price yet though …

Sydney’s getting in on the action

Meanwhile in the world’s other most expensive city, Sydney, The Capsule Hotel opened in early May.

A night’s stay costs between $50 and $70, so it would be less than a cheap studio or one room in an Air BNB but more than a dorm bed in a hostel.

Reviews thus far seem a little mixed.

Could something like this on snow in Australia or at busy feeder town like Jindabyne work? Perhaps for solo travellers not wanting to outlay a fortune or for small groups looking at renting their own pod per night?

The obvious issue is the seasonality of such a venture. Perhaps some bright spark could make them removable. Renting space for a season and then moving them on to another tourist destination for summer?

And yes I know there are a whole bunch of other issues like council restrictions, bed number limitations in some resorts etc etc but I think it is all good food for thought. Anything that gets more people skiing or boarding is a great thing, right?

If anyone needs me to discuss further, I’ll be in my capsule.



1 Comment

  1. Its already here, The Manor at Perisher has rooms that are 3×3 m not enough room to change your mind


  1. Things could be just about to get very interesting across the ditch. - […] get completely Tim Bailey on you)  over the next fortnight and we may pick up 20cm or so of…

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