Winston Aldworth and his family check into a Wellington hotel with capital views of the harbour.

Check-in experience?

A breeze, except for the fella who was late checking out of what was meant to be one of our two rooms. Staff handled it well. The foyer is a stylish step-up from most Kiwi business hotels. Pretty sure I spotted a couple of English cricket writers in the tasteful foyer lounge.

The style? Smart business. But they're making a play for travelling families, too.

Rooms? Our family spreads out in two adjoining suites with a pair of double beds in each. The kids go in one, mum and dad in the other.


Something to eat or drink? The restaurant features a "Planet Trekkers" children's menu, developed by celeb chef Theo Randall and Annabel Karmel, author of children's books on nutrition. It's based on the idea of "taste exploration", so your tykes can try the flavours of the world or, at the very least, smear the flavours of the world all over the table. Ours opted for a delicious spag bol with the smear all over the table option. The food - both for the kids and for the grown-ups - was superb and there's a decent list of good craft beers to sit alongside the wines. A superb restaurant.

What's in the neighbourhood? Everything. The Cable Car is two minutes from the front door and a short walk gets you to a bunch of waterfront bars and restaurants, a longish one will get you to Te Papa. In between is Cuba St. Wandering the other way, you can be at the Beehive and its neighbouring House of Lies in a 10-minute stroll.

Exercise? A superb wee gym which was graced - daily at 11am - by our fellow guests, the England cricket team, who were out here for the Cricket World Cup. Remember them? There's also a swimming pool and a spa.

The bed? Big comfy doubles.

A room with a view? We had cracking views out over the harbour. We could see planes descending into the westerly for their airport approach and ferries doing the to-and-fro on the Picton run.

Noise? Not an issue.

Bathroom? Very well appointed with flash toiletries.

Would I return? Yes. Though, much as the kids' menu was great, next time we'll leave them at home.

InterContinental Wellington is at 2 Grey Street, Wellington 6011. Phone: (04) 472 2722.