A bohemian hotel and city centre masterpiece
City | History & culture | Unique & unusual
Set just behind the New Zealand capital’s waterfront, this boutique hotel is within touching distance of the city’s main attractions. In fact, the excellent Museum of New Zealand is just across the road; the country’s national museum features everything from historical exhibits to art installations. You’ll also be able to take the cable car up to Carter Observatory and its neighbouring Botanical Gardens. It’s an excellent way of getting a city overview – as are the walks through the city’s hilly bushland, itself fronted by charming Victorian timber architecture.
From the hotel’s striking exterior – chic silhouettes, jet black swathes and colourful murals exist side by side – you’ll enter into a lobby that’s equally avant-garde. After taking your time to admire the artwork and artfully incongruous sports bike, you’ll be treated to boutique rooms, each individually designed. Bright designs splash over the walls and armchairs come intricately patterned while iPod docks. Nespresso machines and 42” televisions provide the tech. Upgrade for a balcony with a view of the harbour. There’s also a range of apartments on offer, ideal for longer stays.
The hotel’s Hippopotamus restaurant and bar is every bit as forward-thinking as its hotel counterpart; seating comes in the form of wing-backed chairs and tables are ornately gilded. Among its awards, it’s a One Hat recipient with degustation menus spanning salmon sashimi and New Zealand oyster entrées to venison loin mains and extravagant desserts. Private dining is available in intimate settings along with the restaurant’s famed high tea. Here, sweet and savoury amuse-bouches are complemented by glasses of fine champagne. Whatever the meal, however, the drinks menu is something of a point of pride, with a superb range of international and New Zealand wines on offer.
In the hotel’s apartment wing, you’ll find its excellent fitness centre. Aside from its full range of equipment – watch your favourite programme on the LCD TV while going for a run – it’s home to a lap swimming pool, spa and a sauna. You’ll also be able to make use of the yoga balls and mats on the outdoor sun deck. However, the standout attraction of the QT Wellington is its art collection and work supporting New Zealand’s home-grown talent, having provided scholarships for over a dozen young artists.
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