Wellington, an eclectic metropolis recently named ‘The Coolest Little Capital in the World by Lonely Planet, is a city fuelled by creative energy and a unique fusion of nature, culture, history, and cuisine.
A charming, hip vibe is an ever-present feature of its legendary casual dining scene, which boasts a bountiful array of night markets, food trucks, funky cafes, award-winning restaurants, and tucked-away bars.
Visitors flock to Wellington throughout the year to take advantage of its bustling atmosphere steeped in maritime traditions, and the city’s quirkiness emanates into its fabulous hotels.
From picturesque boutiques to architectural grandeur, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Wellington (in no particular order)…
1. QT Wellington – a hip, funky and very Instagrammabe boutique hotel perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
A significant fusion of expressive and luxurious art, technology, and indulgence surprises guests upon entrance to the QT Wellington.
The hotel offers a warm invitation to explore an eclectic collection of art and character and is the ideal hub for cultural connoisseurs. Framed in designer opulence, the guestrooms boast abstract lines and playful patterns, and are situated amidst urban hills and harbour views.
Alive with expressive aesthetic, this cool and unusual Wellington hotel is your own creative hideaway, and the exquisite restaurant ‘Hippopotamus’ featuring a menu ranging from comfort food to fine dining leaves guests wholly satisfied.
The lavish décor and attentive staff presence make this hotel a truly remarkable experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for QT Wellington
2. Naumi Studio Wellington – a gorgeous, charming and trendy hotel that features classic architecture
A sensory wonderland awaits guests from the minute they arrive at the grand entrance to this vacation haven. From a sumptuous lounge to a lavish parlour and lobby, the spaces reflect the love story of Lady Naumi, the hotel’s original custodian.
The talents of NZ artists and designers suffuse the hotel, which is perfectly placed with a huge floral backdrop. Renowned for being the world’s coolest Capital City, Wellington’s electric Cuba Street plays host to this extravagant hotel, and the team has curated the ultimate guide for your stay.
Guests are warmly welcomed to sit back and take in their surroundings with a drink at the bar, or enjoy fine cuisine at Lola Rouge.
- To book, check prices or availability for Naumi Studio Wellington
3. Atura Wellington – a trendy, bright and funky place perfect for fun-loving and sociable Millennials and Gen Zs
A true urban oasis with cutting-edge comforts, this destination is truly remarkable, and is the idyllic escape from the hustle and the bustle of the city.
A new class of digitally convenient accommodation is provided here, against a stunning backdrop of Wellington’s picturesque central business district.
Atura Wellington totally prides itself in providing exquisite service and amenities. Guests can experience an evening of exceptional dining at Frankie’s Bar + Eatery, a restaurant where refreshingly local and savoury comfort collide, which is a delicious escape from the boring and bland.
Guests also enjoy complimentary access to City Fitness Gym Thorndon.
- To book, check prices or availability for Atura Wellington
4. Bolton Hotel – an award-winning city creative upscale hotel that offers personalized services
The premier independent hotel and a family-owned property in Wellington, this is where a personalized service and a boutique-style atmosphere are offered at the Bolton Hotel, steps from the Parliament building and central business district.
The well-appointed guestrooms are the perfect sanctuary amongst the energy and excitement of this effervescent capital, and range from cosy studios to spacious apartment-style suites.
Here, guests can enjoy exceptional features, which include an indoor heated lap pool, a bustling lobby area, a sauna and spa pool, and an artisan cafeteria perfect for a light bite or an indulgent High Tea.
With an excellent downtown location for work or leisure, the Bolton evokes the epitome of city-centre sophistication.
- To book, check prices or availability for Bolton Hotel
5. The Intrepid Hotel – a cool and creative boutique hotel with industrial chic decor set in the heart of a vibrant neighbourhood
A perfect place for discovery and exploration, this hotel lives and breathes all things travel, which is expressed through thoughtful touches.
The Intrepid Hotel is a gorgeous boutique experience nestled in Te Aro neighbourhood, a stones through from Cuba Street. 18 contemporary, luxurious guestrooms incorporate the heritage and architectural features of the building and are furnished with luxurious beds topped with high-quality linens.
Each room boasts a unique rug and bespoke artwork as well as a little baked treat every morning. Some of the hotel’s in-room comforts include a 50-inch LG Smart TV, Real World bathroom products, and a curated selection of drinks and snacks.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Intrepid Hotel
6. Microtel by Wyndham Wellington – a modern and arty design hotel close to major shops and restaurants
Located minutes from the harbourside shops and restaurants along the Wellington Waterfront Walk, and steps from the panoramic views of the Wellington Cable Car, the Microtel by Wyndham greets guests with a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience.
The room types vary from Business Queen Rooms with large windows and city views, to budget-friendly Standard Queen Rooms which feature smart TV streaming, and the cosy Internal Queen Rooms which make for a blissful night’s sleep.
NZ’s finest craft beers and wines can be enjoyed at the hotel bar, whilst thick sandwiches and fresh-out-the-oven bakes are served up at Vivians Cate, the awesome food-tasting experience on-site.
- To book, check prices or availability for Microtel by Wyndham Wellington
7. The Dwellington – hip lower-priced accommodation that offers a tennis court and free ferry drop-offs perfect for backpackers
Established in 2013 with the goal of improving the standard of backpacker hostels in Wellington, a place of comfort and style has been created, providing the weary traveller with some long-missed home comforts at affordable prices.
Designed as an urban sanctuary, there are spacious, ultra-comfortable accommodations to suit any type of budget, from comfy queen-sized beds in private rooms to custom made timber bunks in dorms.
All are topped with superb quality mattresses and fresh bed linen. Over half of the hostel is dedicated to socializing, from a relaxed dining area to a cosy cinema room, a big open garden, and tennis and squash courts for the energetic visitor.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Dwellington
8. Mövenpick Hotel Wellington – a sleek and sexy hotel which is one of the most Instagrammable hotels in Wellington
Overlooking the vibrant Cuba Quarter within walking distance to Wellington’s best restaurants, bars, and shopping destinations, this newly opened five-star hotel boasts a creative energy, with a powerful mix of culture, nature, and stellar gastronomic offerings.
New Zealand-inspired cuisine features against a panoramic city backdrop at Forage restaurant, whilst Forage Bar serves a carefully curated selection of craft beers, wines, and spirits.
All of the hotel’s elegantly designed guestrooms are lined with luxurious textures in gilded shades, rich tones across the plush fabrics, with breath-taking city views. The hotel’s signature experience is the Chocolate Hour, with 60 mouth-watering minutes of cocoa indulgence making your stay a decadent one.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mövenpick Hotel Wellington
9. Ohtel Wellington – a charming boutique hotel with quirky chic decor that features mid-century-furnished rooms
Boasting a modern, concrete-clad façade, a passion for Fifties and Sixties furniture and artefacts infuses this Alan Blundell-designed hotel.
A vintage scene is set in the lobby with leather easy chairs, a gas fire, and a wooden dining table. Modern Kiwi artwork and textiles, topped with contemporary touches, beautifully contrast its mid-century design.
The quirky style of the guestrooms radiates through old clocks, post-war writing desks, and excellent king-sized beds. This 10-room boutique hotel exudes an easy-going atmosphere to complement its retro feel, which fits perfectly in this artistic North Island city.
Meals, coffee, and alcoholic drinks are served all day, as well as a menu of delicious, homemade local fare.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ohtel Wellington
10. Wellesley Boutique Hotel – a stylish and historic hotel perfect for a peaceful stay
The continued longevity of a unique historical building is the focus behind this hotel’s mission. As a result, every action taken by the staff is carefully planned to enhance the guest experience, whilst respecting the building’s true heritage.
Guests at the Wellesley are thus custodians of an architectural wonder. The hotel’s beauty and charm extend to the wonderfully appointed guestrooms, which are individually styled and feature glamorous neo-Georgian furnishings and décor.
Nestled in the heart of the Lambton Quarter, this boutique hotel puts the gems of this cool Capital right at your fingertips, whilst offering an oasis of serenity brimming with intimacy and sophistication.
- To book, check prices or availability for Wellesley Boutique Hotel
11. U Boutique Hotel – a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel to stay in Wellington
Especially designed to provide outstanding accommodation for the discerning budget-conscious traveller, U Boutique Hotel is a comfortable, personal, and friendly choice.
With European-styled boutique accommodation over 2 funky buildings, there is genuinely something for everyone. The hotel has 13 rooms, which range from rooms with shared bathroom facilities, to large 1 bedroom family apartments equipped with a modern kitchenette.
The hotel’s quirky design has been inspired by the pensione style of continental Europe’s famed accommodations, and the communal courtyards, low-scale buildings, and relaxed ambience, are examples of this. In keeping with this style, a continental breakfast can be served to your room each morning, which includes cereal, fruit, yoghurt, juice, toast and cookies.
- To book, check prices or availability for U Boutique Hotel
12. Sofitel Wellington – an upscale, popular and lavish boutique hotel surrounded by exquisite botanicals gardens
This grand Sofitel Hotel oozes French luxury, courtesy of its lush surroundings amid stunning botanic gardens. The ‘art de vivre’ style is blended with the stunning beauty of New Zealand’s capital.
The guest sanctuaries, whether a luxury room or a spacious suite, further reinforce the refined French feel, through a carefully crafted selection of amenities.
Here, the rituals of breakfast, all day refreshments, Le Goûter afternoon tea and Apero Chic canapés form to offer a truly unique traveller experience.
The hotel’s renowned restaurant ‘Jardin Grill’ showcases fantastic food and beverage options, as well as an open kitchen where guests can take a look at the Chefs miraculous artistry on the apple wood fired grill.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sofitel Wellington
13. CityLife Wellington – an elegant, contemporary cozy place to stay in Wellington
There is no better place to soak up the atmosphere of NZ’s eclectic capital than this state-of-the-art hotel, situated in the beating heart of the city on Lambton Quay.
CityLife Wellington offers a range of studio, one- and two-bedroom serviced apartments with 24-hour reception service, and a charming staff presence dedicated to a fantastic housekeeping service.
Each room features a simplistic yet encapsulating colour scheme and glamorous soft-wood headboards, whilst the dazzling lighting surrounding the hotel’s entrance makes for a truly unique hospitality experience. The on-site, fully equipped gym welcomes guests before and after an exciting day of sightseeing.
- To book, check prices or availability for CityLife Wellington
14. Oaks Wellington Hotel – a contemporary and trendy hotel that boasts gorgeous panoramic city views
One of the main vantage points of Wellington’s entertainment precinct is this brand-new, modern hotel, which boasts spectacular waterfront views and offers a chic array of amenities.
The hotel pays homage to the building’s heritage, with a sensational mix of history and style to contrast its fresh and contemporary look.
The hotel was built in 1922 as an iconic Ford vehicle assembly plant but has seen a mega repurposing to stand today as a trendy 9 story hotel.
An exquisite on-site restaurant and bar, tremendous meeting facilities, and a gym, are just some of the facilities guests can enjoy at this state-of-the-art vacation haven.
- To book, check prices or availability for Oaks Wellington Hotel
15. BnB at Bidwill – a unique quirky chic B&B with vintage style decor that is within walking distance to local attractions
It is not difficult to see why so many travellers make this BnB their first choice when visiting this vibrant capital. The ideal mix of value, comfort, and convenience, attracts travellers of all kinds – couples, families, and solo travellers alike.
An eclectic twist on the traditional BnB, the mid-century hues and thoughtfully curated artwork embellish this grand property, which features two well-appointed bedrooms.
The views from the property’s deck encompass total greenery as well as awe-inspiring cityscape. Guests of BnB at Bidwill can experience Wellington’s gems with ease, given the close proximity to popular landmarks such as the National War Memorial, and the Government House.
- To book, check prices or availability for BnB at Bidwill
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam