Bronwyn Sell checks into an 118-room property with a small-hotel feel.
Location: Across the road from the Oriental Parade boathouses, and a 15-minute drive around the coast from the airport.
Check-in experience: Friendly and efficient. We arrived late morning and the staff quickly turned around our room so we could get sorted before setting out to explore. It has a small-hotel feel — I was surprised to discover the place has 118 rooms.
Room: A 36sq m family room with a king bed beside a balcony, and two singles in a cosy nook by the door, with the bathroom separating the two areas.
Unlike most hotel rooms, this meant the kids could have lights-out earlier than the grown-ups.
A room with a view? Even from our second-floor room the view was lovely - over the marina and the harbour to the port.
What's in the neighbourhood? Te Papa, the waterfront and Courtenay Place's restaurants.
Food and drink: The breakfast buffet was varied and generous — you could even make yourself a pot of quality leaf tea. The restaurant and bar are on the seventh floor with great harbour views, and the super-friendly staff learned our names straight away. With plenty of dining options in walking distance, we didn't order room service or have dinner at the restaurant, which was fairly pricey but offered a kid's meal for free with each adult main.
Wi-Fi: Thirty minutes free each day, in the public areas.
Bathroom: Small and neat, with a shower over a small bath. Copthorne-branded toiletries covered the basics.
Facilities: The pool was overdue for a reno, but was a good size for the kids and had a jaw-dropping view over the harbour, with sliding doors to a small deck. Stunning on a fine day, dramatic when the windowpanes rattle and the wind howls.
Noise? You're right on Oriental Parade, so there's some traffic noise and a few yahooing late-night weekend revellers, but that's life in the little city.
Value for money: It's rated four-star plus, so you get a great location and nice room without the five-star price tag. At the time of writing you could book it for $209 a night, including breakfast.
Perfect for: A family weekender.
The Copthorne Wellington is at 100 Oriental Parade, Wellington. Phone: (04) 385 0279.