Eli Orzessek checks into the Sofitel Wellington.

Getting there:

I arrived by rail and the hotel was a five minute drive away. However, I chose to walk there, which took me around 15 minutes. It was easy to find, with the help of Google Maps.

Check-in experience: Staff were very friendly and helpful, keen to give advice on where to eat. The lobby was a pleasure to walk into, with an inviting woody smell.


Room: A deluxe king room, very tastefully decorated in black and gold, with patterned wallpaper and framed botanical prints on the walls. A decent size, with a minibar, Nespresso machine and a selection of teas, including a special sleep remedy.

What's so good about this place? It's one of only three five-star hotels in Wellington, so if you're hankering for a bit of luxury in the capital, you'll find it here.

What's in the neighbourhood? Lambton Quay and the CBD are a 10-minute walk away and the Beehive is just a couple of minutes around the corner. I took a short walk to the cable car stop and enjoyed a stroll around the Botanical Gardens.

Toiletries: Les Notes de Lanvin shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.

Food and drink: I didn't eat there, but the hotel's Jardin Grill was considered the most expensive restaurant in New Zealand, in terms of construction. However, it's also the reason the hotel was closed for some time — a fire broke out there only five months after it opened.

The bed: King-sized and comfortable with crisp sheets and feather pillows.

A room with a view? One window looked out on to the back of another building, although it was quite an interesting heritage building. My other window had a better view of a historic cemetery across the street and the green hills beyond. Although that might not be ideal if you're superstitious!

Bathroom: No bath, but the rainfall shower was nice and the decor was very shiny, clean and new.


Free Wi-Fi? Yes, it was included in my room. I had no issues when using it to catch up on some work.

Noise: I found the room a little noisy at night, as I could hear my neighbour upstairs walking around. However, there was no street noise and as it got later, the footsteps upstairs stopped.

Exercise facilities: There's a well-equipped gym that I'm ashamed to say I did not use.

Perfect for: Business travellers, political types.

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