Jesse Mulligan checks into a beautiful property in the heart of Wellington.

Check-in experience:

Quite exceptional. The lobby is filled with dozens of beautiful and exotic pieces of art and reception is run by almost as many beautiful and exotic staff members.

Room: Choose between the boutique, artsy rooms or the more spacious and restrained apartment wing.

What's so good about this place? Almost five-star level luxury with culture and personality the big name brands can't offer. Its location near Courtenay Place adds to the buzz — you don't need to walk 15 minutes through dusty corporate suburbs to find a decent place for a drink.


And the bad? There were some noisy renovations going on while I was there — it may pay to check these are over before booking.

What's in the neighbourhood? Te Papa is across the road, as is the weekly Wellington Farmers market. The fantastic Field and Green cafe is a great brunch option right next to the hotel.

Toiletries: A full range of own-brand toiletries blissfully free of the perfumed stink that dominate the genre.

Food and drink: Hippopotamus on the third floor is a highly regarded restaurant in its own right. Its bar features one of the best by-the-glass wine menus I've come across in New Zealand.

The bed: Very comfortable, although I had to call up for an extra blanket in the middle of the night.

A room with a view? The apartments look back over Wakefield St towards Courtenay Place. So nothing spectacular to see out the window, but a nice elevated city feel. Many of the rooms feature interesting artworks too.

Bathroom: Features a very, very deep bath and a choice of standard or monsoon showerheads.

Noise: Apart from the temporary construction noise noted earlier, the rooms are designed to be very quiet, and only the odd fire engine siren reminds you how close you are to the city.

Value for money: This is a high-end option for sure, but if you're paying $300 there are good reasons to do it here rather than at a more clinical five-star offering.

Perfect for: A romantic weekend in a hotel with creative attitude

Would I return? This is my new first-choice hotel in Wellington. And though it's recently come under new ownership, incoming Australian group QT is promising to retain the best of the Museum Hotel brand and rich experience.


The Museum Art Hotel (soon to be QT Museum Wellington, see below) is at 90 Cable Street, Wellington. Phone: (04) 802 8900.

Wellington businessman Chris Parkin, the Museum Art Hotel's former owner, sold the hotel last year for $28.5 million. Retaining its focus on all things arty, it will relaunch as the QT Museum Wellington in January 2017, the first QT hotel outside Australia.