Local Escapes

9 Of The Best Hotels In Wellington

By Thea Fauvel
18th May 2021

The bar at the Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington, one of the best hotels in Wellington.

Our fine capital is home to some fantastic hotels for all kinds of visitors looking for all kinds of getaways. Whether you’re looking to staycation in your own city, or need to find a place for a cheeky trip away, Wellington has something for everyone and somewhere for everyone to make a home for the night.

Whether it’s the location, the ambience, the comfort of the bed, the 5-star rating or the cleanliness that attracts you to a hotel, we’re here to spoil you for choice and highlight some of Wellington’s top hotels. 

So without further ado, here are the best hotels in Wellington.

The retro parlour at the Naumi Studio Hotel in Wellington, one of the best hotels in Wellington.

Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington

CUBA STREET

For the quintessential Wellington experience, you really can’t go past Cuba Street, so why not  stay smack bang in the thick of it? Thanks to Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington, you can. Located in a lovingly restored and renovated heritage building, Naumi gives a nod to the past and embraces the future making it one of the best hotels in Wellington. The dazzling new fit out is bursting with personality, featuring works by local artists and designers, and sprinkled with creative touches inspired by Wellington. From the moment you set foot in the lobby, with its floral backdrop and giant pink flower sculpture, you’ll feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. The colour and whimsy continues throughout the lounge bar, where you can cosy up in a plush armchair and sip on a cocktail or two while admiring the eclectic treasures on display. The parrot-green parlour is also an inviting space to sink a beverage, knock out some emails, or indulge in a spot of people-watching. To truly understand the Naumi vibe, be sure to ask the staff about Lady Naumi, the fictional custodian of the hotel—you’ll see her mischievous grin beaming down over the front desk. Once you’re ready to recharge your batteries, settle into one of the hotel’s 116 rooms. There are six types to choose from so whether you’re after a cosy and cute studio or an extravagant suite, there’s something for every style and budget.

An urban looking bedroom at The Intrepid Hotel in Wellington.

The Intrepid

Ghuznee Street

The newest kid on one of Wellington’s coolest blocks, The Intrepid is a hotel for people who love travelling and are looking for somewhere more than just a place to get their nightly zzzz’s. Located in the buzzy Te Aro neighbourhood, a hop away from craft beer breweries and lively eateries, this is top notch accommodation with a cool, urban edge. With just 18 rooms, the hotel is small but perfectly formed. Each room has been carefully curated to provide a memorable experience, with unique artworks and rugs, plush robes and premium New Zealand-made toiletries. These luxe features sit amongst shabby brick walls and exposed pipes, so you’ll get the feeling you’re in a trendy New York apartment. During your stay, you’ll discover plenty of other thoughtful touches, including a delightful beverage station on each floor, where you can help yourself to a fresh brewed cuppa by local legends Supreme Coffee and Libertine Tea, and complimentary baked treats each morning. There’s also a nightly turndown service complete with a choccy on your pillow, naturally. 

After a day exploring the city, cosy up for an evening tipple at The Puffin, a swanky wine bar specialising in interesting, natural wines. This hip haunt is located on the ground floor of the hotel, just an elevator ride from the comfort of your room. 

The InterContinental

Grey Street 

If you’re looking to explore the city on foot, this is the place for you to stay. Situated right off Lambton Quay, a stay at the five star InterContinental gives you the city right on your doorstep—great for a business or shopping trip. The Intercontinental offers its guests fantastic amenities including a club lounge, an indoor pool and spa as well as great dining options. The intercontinental provides comfort for every visitor, and word on the street is it’s the hotel of choice for our boys in black, as well as some other big-named guests, no wonder it's one of the best hotels in Wellington. Just moments from high-end retailer David Jones, and Lambton Quay, you’re uber close to all your shopping needs, as well as Parliament and other attractions too. The impressive eatery, Two Grey Bar and Brasserie is only a stone’s throw away and a must-try when in town. Or try out the Intercontinental's own smart-casual restaurant, Chameleon which serves up some modern and seasonal favourites. 

Hot Sauce bar at QT Wellington.QT Wellington

Cable Street 

Think thick carpets, dark mood lighting, luxe furniture and foliage the plant lover in your life would envy. QT Wellington’s beautifully designed hotel is the place to stay for an exclusive and grand getaway. Making your way through the intricately designed dark glass lobby, you wouldn’t feel out of place in a museum here—art is the heart, soul and identity of the hotel and it boasts a large and perfectly curated collection of intricate paintings, quirky life-sized sculptures as well as other incredible art pieces (including a sound-art installation made from bible pages and buzzing bee noises. Yep, it’s cool.) With art being the main focus of the hotel, they’ve paired with local artists to design unique rooms, meaning each has its own feel, look and vibe. All the rooms include a king bed, a deep-dish bath, a rain shower and of course fluffy white robes. QT also offers its guests a leisure centre complete with jacuzzi, sauna and a 70m lap pool making it one of the absolute best hotels in the city.

If that’s not enough for you, QT is also proudly home to one of Wellington’s top restaurants, Hippopotamus, which regularly offers high tea and themed food events to incorporate what’s happening in the city. Large windows look out over the Wellington waterfront making it the perfect place for an early evening beverage. If Asian fusion and banging cocktails are more your vibe, be sure to dip into the always entertaining Hot Sauce (pictured above).

Stunning harbour views at Rydges Wellington.Rydges Wellington  

Featherston Street

No trip to Wellington would be complete without stepping off a windswept street and being far too glad to step inside, and the Rydges Wellington welcomes you in with warm and open arms. The CBD location of the hotel is perfect for people looking to be amongst it all in the city centre, and with the high-rise factor, you’ll be spoilt with killer views over the entire Wellington waterfront and harbour. Rydges offers simplistic and comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities, though with Wellington right on your doorstep, you’ll likely spend your time exploring what the city has to offer. As the hotel is right in the centre of the city, the Rydges poses as the perfect stay over for business and leisure travellers alike. When you enter the hotel, you’ll notice  dark carpets and grand staircase in the centre of the lobby. The decor gives us old school Titanic vibes, and the dapper theme continues through into the restaurant. Rydges is home to Portlander restaurant. A contemporary restaurant visited and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. This is the restaurant the steak lover in your life will want to eat at. They boast a fine selection of locally hunted, prime cut and dry-aged meats, and there’s a well-stocked bar with over 100 whiskeys for you to try out.  

A lovely looking room at the Ohtel.Ohtel

Oriental Bay 

Nestled in between Oriental Bay’s rows of houses, you may mistake luxury abode Ohtel for a sweet and humble cafe. Stepping inside you’ll find a boutique hotel complete with all the trimmings and whilst the hotel might be small, it definitely doesn’t lack in quality. The mid-century interior features are complimented by bright and open spaces. Possibly the best location on the list, Ohtel is situated on the town-end of Oriental Bay, close to all major attractions. You’re only minutes from Te Papa, many theatres, Oriental Bay beach and a number of delightful bars, restaurants and cafes. You’re situated right at the bottom of mount Vic, a perfect location to people (and dog!) watch, as well as visit the Sunday market. 

With the likes of Ortega Fish Shack and Capitol just around the corner, you’ll never be far from some of the city’s top restaurants and best food. Or if you fancy a night in, head down to Duppa Bar, the hotel’s Kiwi and Spanish inspired restaurant proudly serving tapas with all-local ingredients.  

Plush furnishings abound at the epic Sofitel Hotel Wellington.Sofitel Wellington

Bolton Street

The Sofitel Wellington is the epitome of luxury accommodation within the city and one of the best hotels in Wellington. The French-inspired elegance and gold accents and features really make you feel the quality you’re amongst. From classic rooms right through to their Prestige and Opera suites, the Sofitel has accommodation for any kind of traveller and no matter who you are, you’ll love the location. Close to everything Wellington has to offer, you’re right in the city centre, yet somehow tucked amongst lush greenery. As well as a beautiful hotel and rooms, the Sofitel boasts two intimately designed restaurants and bars, the Green Room Lounge and the luxurious Jardin Grill. The Green Room offers top-shelf liquors in a high-class setting of velvet and leather, whilst the restaurant, Jardin Grill will leave you satisfied and full, choosing from a well-curated menu of fresh meats, fish and other enticing meals. The luxury and quiet outdoor courtyard area allows you to enjoy a glass of wine or two in a setting that perfectly encapsulates elegant and casual dining. 

A view of the outside of the Lighthouse in Island Bay.The Lighthouse In Island Bay

Island Bay 

How often do you get to stay in a lighthouse? Not often right, well here's your chance. This iconic lighthouse is set over three floors and boasts spectacular views across the rugged South Coast and Island Bay. With the airport across the water, it’s a great place for a drink and a bit of plane spotting. With a small balcony to watch the sunrise, this is the perfect stay for romantic getaways—far from the bustle of the city centre, you’ll be treated with uninterrupted views over the ocean. Soak up the sun on a quiet, balmy evening, or come cooler months, stay tucked in on a stormy night to watch the unruly and unforgiving seas. With just a short walk to the suburb and shops of Island Bay, you’ll find several cafes to stop for your morning coffee, as well as restaurants and a cinema. With all the basic amenities, and a homely feel, including fresh fruit and flowers, this is your chance to have a one of a kind stay in a lighthouse all to yourself.

A nice looking kitchen at the Oaks Hotel.

Oaks Hotel Wellington

Courtenay Place 

The Oaks hotel is a fresh gem on Courtenay Place and with everything Wellington has to offer just a stone’s throw away, the location is fantastic for all kinds of travellers. Whether you’re a night owl looking to enjoy Courtenay place’s vibrant nightlife or visiting the city for a creative and culture-packed trip, you couldn’t get closer to the action. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the many bars right on your doorstep, or it’s just a short stroll to the heart of Wellington’s creative hub, Cuba street—packed with some of the coolest little shops. The hotel sits in a historic 1920’s building and has been refurbished to offer simple and clean, well-designed, modern hotel and apartment-style rooms complete with soft furnishings and cool blue tones. Feed that feeling of ultimate relaxation at the newly opened on-site restaurant, Oak and Vine. The menu is designed for sharing and you’ll find a number of drool-worthy plates and platters with a kiwi-Mediterranian influence. 

Taking a trip to Auckland any time soon? Check out our top picks of where to stay whilst in the city of sails. 

Image credit: The Bar and the parlour at Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington, The Intrepid by Sean Aitken, QT Wellington, Rydges Wellington, Ohtel, Sofitel, The Lighthouse, Oaks Hotel Wellington.

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

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