After a year closed due to a fire, we check out the reopened Sofitel Wellington hotel.
The hotel is on Bolton Street, which is just off The Terrace at the Parliament end. Good location, and I’ve been surprised about how residential it feels. Across the road is a little church, old cemetery, trees that hide a motorway, and green hills that surround Wellington.
The hotel itself looks fantastic. There’s no room to park your car itself but there is valet parking, which was painless.
We checked in for a special event, a pre-opening of the hotel for Accor Plus members. We paid $160 for one night for two, including drinks and canapes, then a two course dinner with wine, and finally cooked breakfast in the morning.
I described the hotel to a friend as fancy and not fancy at the same time. The service is pretty exceptional, though with a couple of hiccups. They mixed up our steak orders so I ended up eating Kathryn’s medium steak, and she had a go at my medium rare steak. She’s not a fan of red steak so she gave me her leftovers. Also fancy hotels have this weird thing called turn down service where they come into your room, restock things like towels, and turn over the corner of your sheets in bed and give you slippers. Weird eh. Anyways these places normally do it when you’re out to dinner, but not this Sofitel, it was going to be 8.30pm! Heck, that’s my bedtime!
The room itself is very nice. Everything clean, nothing worn, and here’s a tip – try the lower floors. We were in room 210, and the views of the greenery were nice, but not high enough to see the motorway which was nice. Amenities were good with French Lanvin soaps and shampoo smelling good. TV lots of channels, nice and clear. And fast fast internet!
In terms of the hotel, other Sofitel hotels have baths in the room, Executive lounges for cocktails, and pools for swimming. Not this Sofitel.
But these are not big deals to me. The general service is excellent. The room 210 is a massive corner room. Highly recommended. We went for a walk and they offered us water bottles and face cloths when we walked back in. The gym is brand spanking new, with fancy fancy machines and nice air conditioning.
I understand the appeal of this Sofitel. It’s clearly not like Queenstown for relaxing, it’s basically an upmarket business hotel for people on government business. It’s fancy and Wellington needs a hotel like this.