Melissa Nightingale stays at Naumi Hotel in Wellington, connected to the previously opened Naumi Studio Hotel.
Location: Right in the middle of the lively and vibrant Cuba St, visitors can step out of the hotel’s front entrance and find themselves steps away from numerous eateries, quirky shops, and high-end secondhand stores.
Style: The Naumi brand prides itself on funky, rich decor. Think glittery elevators, stripes, and zig zags. The lobby and lounge areas are comfortable but fun with eye-catching jewel tones and lush furniture.
Perfect for: Couples or tourists wanting to experience central Wellington.
First impressions: You’re immediately taken in by what can only be described as the pizzazz of the hotel. There’s a lot going on, design and decoration-wise so there’s plenty to look at while you wait to check-in. There’s also the bar and lounge area, which is lively and bustling in a sophisticated sort of way, making you want to immediately drop your bags and sink into one of the comfortable chairs with a cocktail in your hand.
Rooms: I stayed in the Oasis King room, which came with a kitchenette and views over the city including a glimpse of the harbour. It’s spacious and cosy, with a chaise longue as well as a small table and chairs. There’s great mood lighting around the room, much of which can be controlled by a switch on the headboard, which also contains power plugs and USB ports. This room starts at $399 per night, while other rooms in the hotel start at $299 in the low season and $389 in the high season.
Bathroom: There’s not a lot to the bathroom - it’s simple, black-tiled, and does the job. The shower is a little cramped and contains refillable products to help with sustainability goals.
Food and drink: Even if you don’t stay at Naumi, you should definitely try out the Lola Rouge bar. Take a seat and the bar staff will come and take your drink order. I chose a rose-flavoured cocktail, which the waitress brought to me along with a special gun she used to create a big, smoky bubble on the top of the drink.
After a couple of these fun cocktails, it was time to move on to the Lola Rouge restaurant, an intimate dining room set on the corner of Vivian St, the main arterial route through Wellington. Lola Rouge serves Asian-fusion food that is best shared with a friend or loved one. Notably, the menu also contains a full page of plant-based and vegan options.
There’s also a buffet breakfast available in the morning, with one section of the restaurant dedicated to hot foods, such as the usual eggs, sausages and pancakes, while out near the bar is the toasts, pastries, fruits, and cereals area.
Facilities: There’s an indoor swimming pool and gym for those active relaxers. There is a parking building attached to the hotel, which costs $30 per night.
In the neighbourhood: Plenty to see and do on Cuba St. If you’d rather not stay in-house for your meals, there’s no shortage of great places to grab a bite, a dessert, or a drink - hot or cold. There’s also music venues, bars, and fascinating shops you can lose hours in. You’re also a little over 10 minutes’ walk away from Te Papa museum and the Wellington waterfront.
Accessibility: Everything can be reached by ramps and elevators, making this hotel easily accessible to all.