I stayed here for two nights in September, 2012 in a Studio room. I had taken the plane from Rotorua to Wellington and then taken the shuttle van from the airport to the hotel. The van dropped me off right outside the hotel but I still needed to take my luggage into the hotel on my own.
There weren’t any large sliding automated doors to greet me but instead just a normal door. It was immediately obvious that the hotel was boutique in character with a uniquely designed and modestly-sized lobby area, which was characterful and homely. There was even a fireplace in the lobby, not a real one but with flames and likely using gas.
The reception check-in attendant was friendly, second perhaps only to the reception at the Silverfern Rotorua in the level of friendliness experienced from reception desks throughout my New Zealand sojourn. Things were explained and the unique features of the hotel pointed out in a friendly manner, including the ability for people outside to call my room directly.
My room was located just behind the reception area and it’s the only room on the ground level, as I understand it. Although located near the reception area, it was quiet once I was inside, although I could still hear some sounds from the lobby and from the lift located near the room entrance but that mostly disappeared in the evening. The lobby is not staffed during the evenings and my key needed to be used to enter through a separate door. There was no concern with security for my room as even though it was on the ground floor, the other rooms were accessible by stairs and so would be the same as the ground-level suite in terms of security level.
I appreciated the unique character of the room, designed in a more old-fashioned style apparently using elements from furniture in New Zealand in the 1950s or 60s. The ceiling was 3m above the floor. The room still contained a good deal of modern conveniences and technology. The TV was a large and modern Philips unit with a very large channel selection. The room also featured complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, although I did find the working desk and chair to be perhaps slightly too old-fashioned to keep up with the ergonomic advancements that have since taken place, it was certainly not a Hermann Miller chair in terms of comfort value. I liked the alarm clock-radio, as it embodied perhaps the unique character of the room in a sense; it was modern and the speakers were also good but the outward design was in a retro-fashion, which made it fit into the room but still contain the needed technological elements underneath.
The bed also was comfortable and outfitted in a way that also suggested a style from a bygone era. The housekeeping kept the room tidy and back to the original condition for the second night’s stay.
The room unfortunately had no real view, being a ground-floor suite. Another issue arose with the aircon, as I wasn’t sure it was that effective in controlling the temperature and whether it was powerful enough given the size of the room and the high ceiling.
I’d agree that the bathroom seemed to lack slightly in terms of functionality. There was no door separating the bathroom from the bedroom but only a thick two-layered curtain. The shower was also only separated from the rest of the bathroom by a curtain. The bathroom didn’t have a bath but just the shower. It was good to see the bathroom tiles were heated, although only certain sections of the flooring were warm. The issue of the lack of space for placing items in the vanity area has been addressed, based on previous reviews.
Overall, the room did seem to grow on me, as it’s quite hard to immediately get a sense of the room upon entry, especially as I am more used to the traditional and conventional style of hotel room but there was a character there that took a while to appreciate.
I have a video of the room which can be found through the link in my profile section.
Location and Public Areas
The hotel is located directly opposite Waitangi Park, which provided some greenery in the immediate vicinity and it’s also next to the harbour. It’s not directly in the city centre but I walked towards Courtenay Place, which was only about a 5-minute walk away and then took the city public bus to get to the centre of the CBD and to visit the Parliament Buildings. A walk towards the CBD itself should only take about 15 minutes. I asked the reception desk about the nearest point to find supermarket provisions and it turned out to be just a very short walk from the hotel so that was extremely convenient.
It was in fact windy in Wellington, I was surprised by just how blustery the conditions were during my stay. It was also still very cold during September but I found that many eateries were within close walking distance, so that was welcome as I walked to Cuba Street and Mall and sampled some of the food there one evening, when it was windy and wet so it wouldn’t have been a good idea to walk far. I also tried the Malaysian restaurant ‘KK Malaysian Cafe’ located along Ghuznee Street, as mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide to Wellington and had a very good dish of beef rendang there.
The comprehensive Te Papa museum is also within walking distance and I had a good time exploring it during the stay. It was an extremely high-quality facility and although Wellington is a small city, I doubt that Australia could produce a facility of similar quality.
There weren’t really any public areas or facilities to speak of, apart from the lobby and the area for serving breakfast. I didn’t try the breakfast but as mentioned, appreciated the lobby space even when just passing through.
I had interaction with the staff during the check-in, the check-out and also while asking for the nearest supermarket’s location, which was cheerfully provided. The check-in experience was friendly. Check-out was also friendly but not quite to the same level as the check-in and the lady seemed to have an Australian accent.
The hotel was comfortable and I also appreciated its boutique character with a suite that was designed with a homely and warm character. It did capture the essence of Wellington, in that it was small but also had a very interesting edge to it. The location was also convenient while still providing a quiet place for the night.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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What a fabulous job you've done describing your stay from start to finish, covering every detail - a really useful account of the whole experience which I'm sure prospective guests will find useful.
Thanks so much for taking time to do this, I really appreciate it. Hope to see you again soon, and perhaps next visit we can get your views on an elevated front facing room.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.