North Island

Wonderful Wellington accommodations for enjoying New Zealand's culture capital

Auckland and Christchurch are the typical stops for holidays in New Zealand, but it's worth looking to Wellington for buckets of cool accommodation spots waiting to tempt you away to the capital.

Wellington is alive with exciting corners to explore–from bohemian Cuba Street where cool cafés call for long Kiwi brunches, to the glimmering waterfront where the acclaimed Te Papa Museum keeps watch over the teeming harbour.

And then there are the Wellington accommodation options, as beguiling at the city itself. We’ve rounded up the best Wellington hotels here–ranging from four-star apartments on the edge of the CBD, to a luxury boutique just steps from the waterfront to a plush lodge with gourmet dining close to The Weta Cave creative hub. Wellington is ready to welcome you no matter what kind of traveller you are, so pack a bag and prepare for a weekend–or more–in New Zealand’s up-and-coming player on the scenic city scene.

A five-star Wellington accommodation for an artsy break


If world-renowned Te Papa Museum is what draws you to windy Wellington, then QT Museum Wellington is your ideal accommodation spot. Right across the road from the city’s most famous attraction, this five-star design-driven hotel blends edgy art with luxury touches to provide a feast-for-the-eyes sanctuary.

Experience the very best this exquisite hotel has to offer with a stay in a QT Gallery Harbourview King room. Wake beneath an intricate mural, then rise to sip on a hot Nespresso on your private terrace or harbour-view patio before going for a brisk plunge in the sparkling, sunlit lap pool.

A bountiful breakfast awaits at on-site restaurant Hippopotamus. Wash down the silky hollandaise sauce of your eggs florentine with a lychee Eddylitch mocktail, then make the two-minute walk to Te Papa for a morning of exploring the six floors of captivating exhibitions and displays. If you’ve got energy to spare, walk nine minutes to the City Gallery Wellington for an artistic immersion, then retire to the hotel for a well-earned chill-out in the steamy sauna.

For a spicy end to the day, grab a table in the on-site Asian-inspired restaurant, Hot Sauce, and treat your tastebuds to zingy tamarind and lime fish curry. You’ll have just enough time for a Zenkuro Junmai sake nightcap before falling into your King Size QT Gel Bed for the dreamiest of sleeps.

QT Wellington

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (4197 reviews)

Self-catered living in apartment-style Wellington accommodation


You can’t beat apartment accommodation for privacy and independence, and the four-star Quest on Thorndon truly embodies the comforts-of-home vibe. Friends on a budget break can get cosy in a studio, while if you’re holidaying with the family, a two-bedroom apartment is one of the best places to stay in Wellington.

Spread out in 80 square metres of soothingly decorated, plush-carpeted space and soak away any cares in your oversized bathtub. Wake early each morning in your memory foam bed and prepare a filling brekkie in your fully equipped kitchen, then rally the troops for a day of urban adventures.

Duck into the quiet beauty of Wellington’s hillside Botanical Gardens and enjoy vast views over the city’s skyline. Learn about the universe and test your knowledge of the constellations during a visit to the exhibitions and interactive galleries at Space Place, then descend back into the city for house-made beef burgers with bacon and smoked feta at charming Smith The Grocer Café.

Return to your apartment—freshly cleaned, thanks to a daily housekeeping service—and leave the younger ones with your other half for an afternoon of complimentary movies while you make use of your free pass to off-site gym CityFitness.

Quest on Thorndon

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1198 reviews)

Waterside Wellington accommodation for a peaceful suburban stay

For a break beyond the thriving centre of Wellington city, check into the Edgewater Lodge and gawk at the glittering water views. This decadent hotel can be found in the eastern suburb of Seatoun and hugs the edge of cerulean Karaka Bay.

Check in to the Mauve Deluxe Room to start each day in the cushion-scattered depths of your comfortable king bed. Swing open your room’s double doors and gaze out at the undulating sea while taking in the fresh morning air, then meander down to breakfast where renowned ex-chef Stella will spoil you with homemade bread, fresh-cut fruits and healthy muesli.

At just 900 metres from The Weta Cave, you’re within walking distance of creative genius, so take a tour of this fascinating workshop and see how the magic is put into some of your favourite movies. Call in at Pestle & Mortar to refuel with a turmeric latte, then take some time out in nature and wander around peaceful Maupuia Park.

The bright lights of the city are just a 15-minute drive away, but if the peace of your bayside abode beckons, stop off at gourmet food and drink haven The Larder to pick up a bottle of Te Mata Estate Merlot and retreat to your private terrace for a sunset tipple.

Edgewater Lodge

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (13 reviews)

Central Wellington accommodation with a luxurious edge


You won’t get more central than the Bolton Hotel, and this classy independent offering prides itself on providing refined comfort for every single guest. A Sleep and Go studio is ideal for those briefly passing through, as it’s set up for the essentials–a sound sleep and a stocked shower.

If you’ve got time for some indulgence, though, check in to a recently refurbished Premier Suite. You’ll unwind in calming amber and navy interiors and gaze out over the leafy green city through floor-to-ceiling windows. Prepare a hearty breakfast in your in-room kitchen, or allow the Artisan Dining House to do the work for you and feast on smoked salmon-topped eggs Montréal.

Hit the indoor lap pool to get your heart rate pumping before strolling just 10 minutes to the Lady Norwood Rose Garden for an unhurried morning smelling the flowers. Browse some 3000 delicate blooms in a staggering 110 perfectly kept flower beds, then visit next-door Begonia House and marvel at seasonal displays of colourful cyclamen and tuberous begonias.

Make your way back to the hotel via The Terrace and pay a visit to Amarin Thai Traditional Massage for a soothing aromatherapy session. Once your muscles are relaxed, grab an early dinner of creamy wild mushroom risotto at the Artisan Dining House before making a selection from your in-room pillow menu to top off the night.

Bolton Hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (1193 reviews)

Wellington accommodation in the business district for self-sufficient explorers


On the edge of the Central Business District, you’ll find the Astelia Apartment Hotel. Opt for a teal-tinged Studio Apartment and allow yourself to relax in a self-contained haven packed full of convenient amenities.

After a peaceful night’s sleep on feather-soft foam pillows, use your fully-equipped kitchenette to prepare a nourishing breakfast. Feel free to take advantage of complimentary Moroccan oil-infused toiletries to freshen up in your walk-in shower before going out in search of caffeine. If espresso-based bevvies are a morning requirement, grab a steaming cappuccino from next-door coffee heaven Raglan Roast before continuing along Willis Street into Wellington’s vibrant heart.

To pack in the city’s highlights, you can join a ‘Culture and Society’ tour from the Wellington I-Site Visitor Centre with local company Wellington on Foot. End your fascinating two-hour lap around the ‘boho-chic’ inner city with an extravagant late lunch at Cuba Street favourite, Fidel’s. Chase creole spiced fish tacos with mozzarella stuffed jalapenos and muse over what the Lord of the Rings cast might have dined on when they visited during filming.

As the daytime hours depart, catch a movie at the iconic Embassy Theatre and see if you can find the plaque marking Elijah Wood’s premiere seat. Return to the serenity of your apartment as night sets in and brew a calming cup of tea to enjoy before bed.

Astelia Apartment Hotel

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (3599 reviews)

Budget Wellington accommodation with an outdoor hot tub


For a budget-friendly break close to all of Wellington’s main attractions, Gourmet Stay is a quirky 13-bedroom spot modelled after the communal feeling of European towns and has a warm, friendly vibe that will instantly put you at ease. A stylish self-contained King Studio room is the ideal romantic retreat, spend mornings bathed in natural light as you start the day by taking tea on your private wooden deck.

Relish an on-site breakfast of continental delights like freshly baked savoury scones, then visit the National War Memorial for a bit of quiet reflection. An easy 13-minute walk will take you over to Central Park, where you can mosey through leafy natural woodlands and spot native plant species. Carry on to Willis Street to The Bresolin for a satiating lunch of coriander-infused eggplant curry, then make your way back to the hotel via Arthur Street (make sure to stop off at Tuatara brewery to sample some of their smooth amber wares). When you return to your room for a bit of quality alone time, we recommend sliding into the foamy depths of your outdoor hot tub.

U Boutique Hotel Wellington

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (1308 reviews)

Harbourside Wellington accommodation for lovers of the great outdoors


The five-star Ohtel Wellington is a true harbourside gem. Splash out on a suite and enjoy vast views over the marina and Waitangi Park in 45-square metres of stylishly appointed space.

Freshen up in the early morning from your elegant freestanding bathtub, then make your way downstairs to the homely ground-floor Duppa Bar for a gourmet breakfast. Opt for sweet cinnamon, honeycomb and caramelised pineapple ‘Ohtel Torrijas’ (Spanish French toast), and guzzle down a fruit-packed Almighty Juice before heading out the door.

Stroll just a few minutes along Oriental Parade and spend an introspective half hour on the stretch of sand that lines the crystalline waters of Oriental Bay. Another 10 minutes on and you’ll reach the start of the Southern Walkway, an 11-kilometre path that takes you through the verdant and tranquil Town Belt. Tackle the trek with enthusiasm, then celebrate your triumph with a well-earned bottle of Eagle Brewing pilsner at The Hop Garden.

Back at the hotel, top up the tanks with one of Duppa Bar’s locally sourced wines alongside a tapas dinner of patatas bravas and warming paprika gambas. When sleep begins to creep close, seek out your comfortable king-size bed to finally put your feet up.

Ohtel Wellington

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (663 reviews)