The Most Luxurious Boutique Hotels In and Around Auckland and Wellington
Whether you're planning an out-of-town jaunt or just a much-needed staycation, these unique spots have something for everyone.
A mass-produced foil bag of Dilmah green tea and a dodgy-smelling three-in-one shampoo/conditioner/body wash combo doesn't have to be the norm when it comes to your next hotel stay. There are some stunning and unique boutique accommodation options on offer right on your doorstep — sometimes you just need a bit of guidance on where to look.
We've compiled a list with some of our faves in Wellington and Auckland, perfect for your next weekend away, or hometown stay-cation. After all, international holidays are still off the cards for a wee while yet, so we all need something to look forward to.
Just a skip, hop and a jump from Wellington's iconic Oriental Bay, Ohtel is a long-standing boutique hotel amongst the mainstream masses. New Zealand owned and operated, Ohtel was architecturally designed and built by Alan Blundell. After being inspired by a trip to New York in 2000 to create a baby 'design hotel', Alan set about bringing the 10 room, four-storey structure to life.
Ohtel are known for their locally sourced menu offerings, such as freshly baked goods from Pandoro some 300-odd metres down the road, and organic dairy products from Zany Zeus in Lower Hutt.
This boutique firecracker of a hotel couldn't be more perfectly situated, right in the heart of the quirkiest spot in the capital, Cuba Street. Complete with mesmerising interior decor and a bloody good cocktail list, you'd forgive yourself for thinking you were on the other side of the world.
Singaporean-owned, Naumi exudes Alice in Wonderland meets SoHo vibes. The wallpaper, furnishings and colour palette create the best kind of sensory overload. A great choice for a fun weekend away, or an urban staycation.
Part art gallery, part eclectic collector's showroom, checking into the QT Wellington is a surreal experience. Situated on Cable Street opposite Te Papa museum, this swanky hotel is a treasure trove of oddities.
Despite Wellington's fantastic hospitality scene, you're forgiven if you don't want to venture out of the hotel into the wind gusts that whip around Tory Street. There are three stellar options to eat and drink on site. And it's worth noting, the French-inspired Hippopotamus restaurant does an exquisite high tea. This is a great activity to schedule into your next 'girls on tour' weekend away.
THE INTREPID HOTEL, WELLINGTON
Dubbed the 'traveller's hotel', The Intrepid brings the wide world to Wellington, without the MIQ requirements. Having just undergone earthquake strengthening, the former Cadbury chocolate warehouse built-in 1909, is situated on Ghuznee Street, with some of the best bars and restaurants at your fingertips.
On that note, be sure to venture around the corner to Pomodoro Pizza, then satisfy your sweet tooth at Lashings. As an added drawcard, you can forgo the kennels and bring your beloved pooch with you. The Intrepid Hotel have set aside a special room, complete with a designer dog bed, to accommodate you and your furry friend.
MARTINBOROUGH HOTEL, WAIRARAPA
A self-proclaimed "beautiful old girl", the Martinborough Hotel is the perfect place to stay once you've braved the sketchy Rimutaka Hill road from central Wellington. This hotel began as a way station for prosperous travellers travelling from South Wairarapa's huge isolated sheep stations back in the 1880's.
The hotel was restored in 1996 to become a food and drink hotspot for both locals and tourists. In the heart of the town centre, this is an idyllic place to crash after a few too many glasses of Pinot Noir on your tour of the local vineyards (via crocodile bike of course!).
On the larger scale of boutique, QT Auckland boasts 150 rooms nestled amongst the corporate buildings and apartments in Auckland's Viaduct. QT challenges the norm in hospitality, even hosting complimentary yoga and meditation classes you can stream from the comfort of your room.
Like its sister hotels in Wellington and Queenstown, you can expect nothing but the best at QT Auckland. With interiors loosely based on the ocean, this hotel is as much a work of art as it is a place to eat, drink and rest.
THE HOTEL BRITOMART, AUCKLAND
The striking brick-clad Hotel Britomart was officially the country's first 5 Green Star hotel when it opened last year. That certification marks a commitment to sustainability during the build and the use of eco-friendly materials.
It offers 99 guest rooms and five suites — three of which have lush sky gardens and front-row seats overlooking the Waitemata Harbour. Smaller touches include hand-made ceramics, bronze-and-paper table lamps and minibars full of locally sourced treats. You don't have to walk far for a first-class meal, either. The ground floor is home to much-loved seafood-focused restaurant Kingi.
THE BOATSHED, WAIHEKE
If you're wanting a piece of laidback island time luxury then The Boatshed on Waiheke Island is the place for you. This 5-star boutique accommodation is tastefully nautical and there are a range of modern sea-themed rooms to choose from. Each room boasts magnificent panoramic views of the ocean.
Looking to celebrate a special occasion? Opt for the Owner's Cottage (sleeps four). Here, stretching across a generous 210 square metres, you will find three fireplaces, a full chef's kitchen, BBQ, heated pool and to top it all off; a grand piano.