Willis Wellington Hotel | Review

So as you know I’m in the process of settling down in a new city in a new country and that doesn’t allow me enough time to film my hotel review videos, as I did before. Whilst I still want to keep doing hotel reviews and travel tips, I think presenting them through my blogs will be a better option for me. It’s a win-win situation really. For those of you who regularly follow my hotel reviews and travel tips etc, you’ll still get them, only thing is that I’ll be writing them and if I do manage to gather some footage, then I’ll try making it into a short video which will probably be unlisted, but I’ll link to it and you can get visual representation too. In other words, there will be some changes and some experimentation till I find my rhythm again. Thank you for your understanding. Now that we have that out of the way, in this blog I will be reviewing the hotel I stayed at when I went down to Wellington. It is called Willis Wellington Hotel. If you’ve seen some of my more recent hotel reviews, you’ll know that I try and categorise the review into 3 parts – the good, the bad and the ugly – or at least try and give you the good and bad experiences that I had in the hopes that it helps you make your decision about staying at that particular hotel. Without further a due, let’s get started.

The good:

As I was travelling with a friend, we wanted to stay at a budget accommodation that wouldn’t cost us a lot. Essentially this accommodation would literally be a place we kept our luggage and went to sleep. Both my friend and I are past the staying at a backpackers stage in our lives, and regardless of the rating we prefer staying at a proper accommodation i.e. hotel, apartment, motel etc. Anyway, this time she was in charge of looking up all the costs etc, and she spotted a deal online and we booked a twin room for two nights that cost us a total of $195 ($97.5 each). It is a 3-star hotel and given that we had gone down during school holidays, the price was not bad at all.

Secondly this hotel is situated on Willis Street, which is one of the longer roads in Wellington CBD. The location works great as you’re not too far from anything really. Wellington CBD is really small, with really long roads that connect with each other. It is hardly a 5-minute walk down to Cuba Street from this hotel. Cuba Street is a street full of restaurants and it is what I would call ‘the hub’ of Wellington. Plus there are a couple of restaurants along Willis Street, which are less than 2 minutes walks from this place.

Thirdly, the staff at this hotel are very friendly. They assisted us a lot and gave us tips on where to go, things to do etc. There’s a small dairy (convenience store) across the road from this hotel, in case you need to go buy yourself some supplies. Also, if you need to find transport to get to the airport on the last day of your trip, this hotel has deal set up with a local cab company, that picks up guests and drops them off at the airport for a flat rate of $20, provided you pay cash. This, believe it or not, is actually cheaper than calling the shuttle, if there are a number of you travelling together in a group. Continuing on, we were given a room on the 6th floor and we got a really good video f the ANZAC War Memorial from our room.



The bad:

There’s no signage outside, so it is really hard to spot this hotel especially if you plan on making your own way in a hired car or so from the airport. In fact there’s another hotel with a similar just across the street. We weren’t aware of this fact but thankfully these two hotels are right next to each other and we didn’t have to go find our hotel.

Let’s talk about the room. We were in a twin room, therefore two beds and two bedside tables next to each bed. One of the lamps had no bulb in them and therefore it wasn’t working. In general their room was very dimly lit. Plus with lamps not working, the ambience in the room just felt rather dull.

There’s no wardrobe in the room. There are hanging racks by the windows but no wardrobe per se. Even in the bathroom, there’s no place to hang your clothes when you’ve gone in for a shower. Speaking of their bathroom, it was an oddly designed bathroom. As you enter you first have your toilet, then a bathtub that also has a shower and then the sink. There is no water pressure in the shower i.e. when you turn it on hardly anything comes out and you really have to squeeze in.

The ugly:

Wellington is a cold city, whether you go in summer or winter. Needless to say that your room can get rather cold without the right equipment. There was a very old wall heater in the room, which under no circumstance would you want to keep turned on in case you’ve fallen asleep. It didn’t work properly to begin with, as we adjusted the temperature but the room didn’t really get warm. We had to somehow convince ourselves that the room was warm enough in order to turn off the heater and fall asleep, walking in Wellington is no easy feat. Turn off the heater and pull the blanket over to fall asleep and the next battle begins. As soon as you turn off the heater, whatever little warmth there is disappears and you have to constantly toss and turn to find that warm spot.

Next on the list, on each floor there’s one room that’s located in the fire escape by the staircase. We had got this room on the 6th floor. This sort of creates a divide between this room and the other rooms in case of an emergency. I suppose it would make it easier for us to escape in the case of a fire. This also sort of gives the hotel a bad look. It makes it seem like they are trying to squeeze in as many rooms as possible and given that there’s the on room on the fire escape route on each level that’s 6 extra rooms.

The lock is the next issue. You have to make sure you put the chain lock from the inside when you’re in the room. Otherwise it is quite easily accessible from outside. We weren’t carrying a lot of valuables and thankfully they were all okay. I don’t mean to scare you, but just give you the facts.

Last but not the least, when we were booking we were told that there’s free Wi-Fi available. Upon arriving we soon realized that it was only in the lobby and that to for a duration of 30 minutes, if I remember correctly. We felt this was a little unfair as we’d gone prepared thinking that we’d have connectivity. The only other option was to pay for connectivity at exorbitant prices.

To conclude this review, we were looking for a budget option and we got just that. It was relatively cheap given the time we went and after the initial shock we seemed to settle in. If you were to ask me if I’d stay at this hotel again, my answer would be no but that is because I’d like to stay at another hotel located closer to areas such as Lambton Quay or possibly even Courtenay Place and we didn’t get to explore Courtenay Place a lot on this trip. Wellington’s tourism is growing on a rapid scale, and now with Peter Jackson’s opening up Weta Workshop for tourist visits, I think Wellington will definitely become a must go to place. It is also a city to go to if you want to purely for gastronomy purposes. By gastronomy I just mean food. There’s so many restaurants that you want to go and try. If you’ve been to Wellington, where’d you stay? What did you do? Any tips? Leave them all below!

Until next time,