Mauro Risch Photography
The Oaks Wellington Hotel, which opened Monday, is located in an ideal spot in the capital city of New Zealand.
Ask Wellingtonians which hotels spring to mind, and they’ll often be in the Featherston Street area—ideal for events such as the World of Wearable Art and the waterfront, but more of a trek to the city’s decent eateries along Courtenay Place, not to mention the 70 mm screen of the Embassy Theatre, ballets at the Opera House, convenient shopping at New World Supermarket or the weekend farmers’ market, the ever-vibrant shops of Cuba Mall, and the must-see exhibitions at Te Papa Tongarewa, National Museum of New Zealand. The nine-storey Oaks Wellington Hotel, situated at 89 Courtenay Place, next door to the St James Theatre, brings all of that to one’s doorstep—and the waterfront is still minutes away on foot.
The launch on Monday attended by Lucire was hosted by Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites’ COO, Craig Hooley, the Hon Peeni Henare, associate minister of tourism, and the hotel’s GM, Jamie O’Donnell.
After a NZ$33·5 million investment, working with the Chow brothers, who had been purchasing office blocks and turning them into hotels, the Oaks Wellington Hotel opened for business with rates beginning as low as NZ$165 per night.
Lucire readers will already be familiar with Oaks’ sister group, Anantara, which has featured in our pages many times over the last decade. They are both part of the Minor Hotels’ group, and Oaks operates in five countries.
The fact the Oaks Wellington Hotel is a block away from the Oaks, a local retail complex, is a coincidence—but sure to help those who know about the older building’s location.
Older locals might know the location as the Colonial Motors building from 1922, and photos of Ford assembly lines appear on the ground floor, as a nod to its heritage.
There are 226 rooms, and thanks to the building’s location, guests getting one of the outside suites could be facing in any direction, absorbing different Wellington vistas.
Interior rooms are 25 m², with executive rooms getting an extra 4 m². Corner rooms on the top floor have wraparound balconies, and the largest room has 42 m² (not including its balcony).
Antipodes supplies the Oaks’ amenities, and the hotel partners with Flight coffee, which is known for its fairer sourcing of coffee beans. O’Donnell pointed out the fibre internet in all rooms complementing the complimentary wifi—for those who’d prefer connecting to the internet with a cable, the Oaks has one covered. Smart TVs with Sky, and tea- and coffee-making amenities, are standard; kitchenettes are available with some suites. Reception has international power converters.
Also enviable is the Oaks’ car park, which might be on the tight side, but it saves guests the trouble of looking for a spot in nearby buildings if they happen to book one of the 68 available.
But you needn’t stay at the Oaks to enjoy all its facilities. A sizeable conference room aside (facing the Courtenay Place end), there is a standalone Oak & Vine restaurant, helmed by the excellent Kit Foe, whose CV includes cooking by appointment to HM the Queen. With Foe as executive chef, it’s a perfect restaurant to sample along one of Wellington’s favourite strips. Find out more at www.oakshotels.com/en/oaks-wellington-hotel.—Jack Yan, Publisher
Mauro Risch Photography