When you venture out on a vacation, finding the perfect place to stay is one of the most important aspects of travel. The place you choose to stay can make or break your entire getaway, and lately, there’s been an increase in people that prefer alternatives to larger, chain hotels. AIrBnB’s are high on this list, as well as tiny houses! A small alternative to a single room, a tiny house offers you the amenities of a house in a compact way, and Tiny Digs Hotel is the premier tiny house community for people looking for a new way to enjoy their vacations!
Pam Westra is the founder and owner of Tiny Digs Hotel, a community in the heart of Portland with 6 houses for you to stay at! Each house has its own theme, too, and this week, Pam talks to me about how she got started in the tiny house business, what goes into planning each house, and the designing involved to make each one unique and special, as well as cozy for guests from all over the world. Let’s get started!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- When Tiny Digs got started! Pam explains that they opened a year ago and have been going strong since! Each house is tiny in appearance—they’re under 200 square feet—and each house is individually themed. You can visit their website to see all of the houses offered to choose a themed house that suits you best!
- Pam also explains what each house can offer, starting with the fact that each house has a queen size bed at the minimum. Some of the other houses offer a pull-out couch for additional room, as well as a click-clack couch, meant for one adult, but mostly children. Overall, each house can fit a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 4. The houses are also electric powered, with a hot plate and toaster ovens included in most of the houses!
- Pam explains the designing process, stating that each partner takes turns in designing the houses on graph paper. Then, one of the partners works to build a model on SketchUp, and the original partner with the idea gets to choose the theme, as well as decorate the inside of the house to match! Currently, there are 8 houses on site (though one is their office space), and when they’re done with construction, they plan to have a total of 12 houses to rent out.
- Pam talks to us about the neighborhood where Tiny Digs resides, stating that it’s perfect for people looking to explore Portland. It’s just one block away from what’s called “Portland’s Delicious Half Mile of Food”, and Pam explains that there are over 50 restaurants and brewpubs within a 10-minute walk of the hotel!
- Pam explains to us what the inside of the houses look like, stating that most of them have a loft sleeping area upstairs. On the main floor, there’s a sitting area and a small kitchenette, where you can use hot plates and toaster ovens to prepare food. There’s also a restroom on the first floor, complete with a flush toilet and a stand-up shower. Pam also tells us the rates you can expect to pay for staying at these houses, explaining that weekday rates are 165$/night, and weekends are $175/night.
- Pam gives us a bit of background on herself, stating that she’s been living tiny for 9 years! Nine years ago, after her and her husband retired, they hit the road in their RV to travel. During that time, tiny houses were just coming about, and once they settled down in Portland, they decided to live in the RV! In the future, they’re looking forward to getting more tiny houses built for the community, as well as building one for the family!
- Pam tells us how her family got interested in building tiny houses, stating that she started to see little hotels popping up about 5 years ago. Pam and her son were already obsessed with tiny houses in general, and would constantly send each other ideas about tiny houses while they were traveling. After doing research, they set up their home base in Portland, and after another 8 months of research, they found the perfect property to start Tiny Digs! Additionally, they built tiny houses for a whole year before opening, so they could immediately start renting with 6 houses when they started.
- Pam explains that they do entertain tours of the houses for people who don’t want to stay, but want to see what the houses are all about! The scheduling can be a little hard, though, due to the houses needing to be empty, so she encourages people to keep up with their calendar on their Facebook page and their website to see when the next tour is coming around.
- Pam leaves us with why she thinks tiny houses are doing so well, explaining that people are realizing that McMansions aren’t the way they want to do. People want to have more freedom, and they want to be able to travel and not worry about mortgage payments. Tiny houses aren’t like trailers or RVs, which can start to break down after 10 years. A tiny house is just like a real house, except smaller, making it able to last for 50+ years of taken care of correctly!
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Did Pam not get to answer a burning question on your mind? No problem! You can shoot her an email, or contact her through the social media listed above. Pam and her Tiny Digs Hotel are amazingly innovative and creative, and the amount of work and effort that’s been put into the houses is simply amazing! Make sure you browse through the amazing pictures on her website or visit the Tiny Digs Hotel in person when you get the chance!