I’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 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:
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.
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).