Ideally positioned in downtown Wellington, the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel has the feel of a charming boutique hotel although it actually has 106 guest rooms on seven levels.
Doubletree by Hilton Wellington occupies a striking heritage-listed building. Outside the entrance, a plaque reveals the building was once the Wellington branch of ‘The Australasian Temperance & General Mutual Life Assurance Society’. It was constructed in 1928 and shows elements of classical revival and art deco styles. The makeover into a hotel has kept the most luxurious features of the past era – high ceilings, marble, gilt, finely chased wood and iron fittings – and has sympathetically added modern luxuries to suit.
The location, opposite the famous Wellington Cable Car on the fashionable high-street of Lambton Quay, is excellent. Access to the magnificent Wellington harbour wharves and all their attractions, including the national museum, Te Papa, is only a few minutes away. The hotel’s entrance is from a small pedestrian plaza on Grey Street, and the lobby also has a petite cafe/bar.
I arrived with my luggage before my scheduled check-in time. The reception staff were exceptionally polite, friendly and helpful. They moved the check-in time forward, and arranged for my luggage to be sent to my room while I went out on a half-day tour. I later observed them doing all they could to help guests.
It was a pleasure to return to my quiet and restful room, a junior executive suite comprised of three spacious rooms: a magnificent bathroom with black and white marble chequered floors, a deep, stand-alone bath, excellent vanity suite and a vast walk-in shower. I could watch TV from my palatial sectional lounge in the living room, a space divided from the bedroom by a wardrobe and smart functional desk with desirable high-tech plugs, or from my king-size bed, lying propped up on the pillows, both substantial and feather-light. Thoughtful touches abound, such as the light fittings, seemingly designed to anticipate all your lighting needs, and simple to access.
All the internal structures and fittings are modern and extremely functional, but also styled in sympathy with the architectural heritage of the building. The colour palette of the furnishings is of soft greys with hints of gold, offset by chocolate brown and dark natural wood fittings. Vibrant original artworks, plush wallpapers and gold-mottled mirrors complete the stylish mixture.
The WiFi was excellent (there’s a router on every floor), and without charge once I joined the Hilton Honors club. I slept extremely well, ensconced in fine, soft linen in the very comfortable bed. The smart, spruce Spring Restaurant, located on the first floor, has a somewhat Parisian outlook over street trees and a classical balcony balustrade. It offers a full buffet breakfast, light lunches (including three courses for $30), more substantial evening dining, and pre-dinner and late-night drinks.
Doubletree by Hilton Wellington is an excellent hotel choice for both business and leisure travellers heading to New Zealand’s capital city.
Rates start at NZ$309 (approx. A$292)
Find out more: doubletree3.hilton.com