The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn

by Robyn on May 10, 2008 in Uncategorised

My room at the Holiday InnI’ve just moved to Wellington, but before I did a proper move, work sent me up for a few days to get acquainted with things, and while I was there I stayed at the Holiday Inn on Featherston Street.

I was kind of excited because over past 25 years, there have been many hip hop songs with mentions of exciting things that happen at a “hotel, motel, Holiday Inn”. What extravagances would await me? Perhaps a party that didn’t stop till six in the morning…

The Wellington Holiday Inn is a nice, new hotel, and everything felt new and shiny and probably a bit more luxurious than it’ll eventually feel in a few years’ time. The viewThe hotel rooms either face the harbour or the Beehive, and the building is cleverly designed so that the room windows are angled to face the best part of the view. So rather than having some non-descript office building in my face, I could lie in bed and gaze out at the Beehive and the hills of Thorndon. Aww….

There were two notable things about the room: Peekaboo

1. The opaque bathroom window It looks really dramatic, but the problem is that while it’s opaque, you can still make out a lot of details from the room side (I did experiments with my camera on autotimer). So it might be OK so see your sweetie’s sexy silhouette, but you probably don’t want to see your mum. Or vice versa. So they’ve put a blind up to preserve modesty. Crap art

2. The chocolate design theme Ok, so there’s a lot of dark brown in the room, which is cool because it’s fairly fashionable at the moment and it’s nicely done so it’s not overwhelming. But something has gone wrong with the art – it’s a photo of Guylian chocolate seashells, WTF. It’s like someone has thought, “Hmm. There’s a lot of chocolate colour in the room, so let’s continue that theme with a photo of some supermarket choccies!!!! lolz!!!!” But what’s worse is that Holiday Inn has totally missed an opportunity by not stocking Guylian chocolates in the minibar. Despite there being eight pillows per bed, there was an additional pillow menu available – you rang Housekeeping and they’d bring you your choice of a pillow (rubber, feather, etc). This sounds really luxurious and extravagant, but it’s little more fancy than ringing up and asking for another blanket. And who has special pillow needs? I don’t. (Perhaps I should.)

There was something weird going on with the room’s air-conditioning. The remote control was difficult to use – even following the instructions that had evidently been created for hotel guests. And even when the AC was going and air of a pleasing temperature was flowing out of it, it didn’t seem to actually affect the whole room, leaving it feeling stuffy and hot. I didn’t use the room service, but I was impressed that they had a cheaper version of it, where they’d deliver you the food in takeout paper bags, saving them the return visit of collecting your used plates (and freeing them up to deliver pillows).

Robyn Gallagher

Robyn used to live in Wellington, but now divides her time between coastal Waikato and wherever. She can be found over at her long-running blog, watching too many music videos, or generally mucking around on the internet.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea May 16, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I stay here on average two nights a week. The air conditioning really bugs me, and they ALWAYS forget to leave a breakfast menu on the second day, but otherwise I love it.

I’ve found that the most economical way to get a good room service feed is to order a pile of side dishes – they’re really generous with the amounts they give you, and tasty too.

1415 is the worst room I’ve stayed in so far, with 1508 by far the best. For the record.

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Duncan May 13, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I’ve stayed here a few times too. The pillows thing really gets on the nerves – especially returning late at night after a few bevvies (or martinis – sometimes with Wellingtonistas); and having to fight off the pillow mountain to hit the sack.

I second the curtain point as well. I copped an early morning sun wake-up my first night there, although i don’t think i provided any excitement to the local office workers.

Hopefully they’ve fixed the problem they had with the fire alarms. I stopped staying after the third early morning false alarm !

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H June 15, 2008 at 2:05 pm

We just come back from an unromantic night at the holiday inn, wellington. That opaque glass wall between the bed and bathroom is a real passion killer! You can see everything from the other side, well the designers have positioned toilet right next to the glass for maximum visability!
The room service was terrible, it wasn’t just slow, it never arrived! This was despite 2 phone calls to reception to find out where it was.
Other than that the decor in nice and it’s in a nice location, but for the price ! wouldn’t bother staying here again.

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Lou May 11, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I stay here regularly and the blind is a new addition. My solution was to not share the room with anyne, or leave the light off. Have found the room service good, and te air con equaly baffling.
One also needs to be careful to shut the curtains rather than just the red chiffon thingees – apparently office workers nearby ften get an eye full of ‘goings on’ otherwse!

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Alan May 10, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Hmmm, I thought the art looked like a nice photo of blowfly pupae. Now I’ll not eat Guylian again.

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Garrick May 12, 2008 at 6:52 pm

The chocolate theme must be all the rage. The Museum Hotel has a interior design of similar vein. Complete with pillow menu also.

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Gabrielle May 11, 2008 at 12:38 am

the holiday inn is the best place to watch fireworks. at least that was my experience. but the room service was sloooow. 7/10

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