Jesse Mulligan stays at the Intercontinental Wellington.


A big, pink, central Wellington landmark that's impossible to miss by foot but strangely difficult to locate by car.

Check-in experience: Professional and deferential, as you'd expect. There's a new concierge station at the door of the freshly renovated lobby, so you can make dinner plans at a safe distance from the administrative burble of reception.

Room: A club room on the eighth floor - predictably flash, though all the rooms in the hotel were completely refitted last year: beds, carpets, curtains and bathrooms: "back to concrete", as our host put it.


What's so good about this place: It's always been the most luxurious experience in Wellington, but now it looks like a 21st century hotel, with the bonus of a first class new bar in the lobby offering 57 varieties of whiskey and slow drip gin infusions.

And the bad: It was the windiest night of the year, and even the super-hotel windows couldn't keep the howling out.

A room with a view: Great views of the water when the weather lifted. As I closed the curtains at night there was a sparrow outside my window struggling to fly against the wind. When I opened them in the morning, the sparrow was still there.

What's in the neighbourhood: The highly regarded Charley Noble restaurant, and the wonderful Ti Kouka cafe. You're seconds from the waterfront and Lambton Quay and, being Wellington, only minutes from anywhere else.

Bathroom: Five star luxe. There's a clear glass window between the bathroom and the bed, which frosts up instantly when you press a button. I spent about half an hour turning that off and on.

Food and drink: Club rooms give you access to breakfast, cocktail hour and various other privileges in a dedicated lounge on level seven. That complimentary pre-dinner session is particularly great - fantastic wine and craft beer by the glass, along with an antipasto station and plated appetisers from the Chameleon restaurant downstairs.

Chameleon Restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel in Wellington. Photo / Supplied
Chameleon Restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel in Wellington. Photo / Supplied

The bed:

Soft and delicious, with a pillow menu.


Exercise facilities: Good enough that locals in the know buy annual memberships just for the gym and pool complex.

Perfect for: One of those weekends where you don't end up leaving the hotel.

Would I return: Not much choice really, I'm ruined for anywhere else.