Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Zealand December 2011 - InterContinental Wellington

***This post is part 13 of a full trip report. The index can be found here*** 

We checked in at the InterContinental Wellington after taking a quick five-minute taxi ride from the ferry terminal. I had booked two rooms using Priority Club's cash and points redemption (20,000 points + $60 per room). Although we were only staying for one night, we decided to make the most of our time at the hotel since our anticipated tour of Wellington was scuttled by the foul weather outside.

The lobby, while not grand by any means, was beautifully adorned with Christmas decorations, including a nice gingerbread house. There was also a bar/lounge area near the entrance with plenty of comfortable chairs to relax in.

As a Platinum Ambassador member, we were upgraded to two "premium" rooms on the 7th floor of the hotel upon check-in. I suppose the higher floor and better view constituted a one level upgrade, which was fine by me. A welcome gift of some cookies and a chocolate-dipped strawberry along with a bottle of still water was promptly delivered soon after. While nothing extraordinary, these simple gestures made the overall experience more pleasant. Unfortunately, WiFi and local calls weren't complimentary, as we later found out since we needed to make a couple calls to cancel a tour booking.

Not-so-spectacular view from the room

The room itself was simple and tastefully decorated with all the amenities a guest would need. This was definitely a welcome change from all the backpackers lodges we had been staying in for the past week! And the soft and comfortable bed felt absolutely amazing for my still-aching body. In fact, I promptly passed out and ended up napping for about an hour or so.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to go for a quick workout while my friends went for a swim at the indoor pool. I was surprised that the gym actually had a decent amount of treadmills, machines, and free weights. The pool was a little on the small side, but perfectly fine for a hotel this size. There was also a dry sauna for guest use.

After a quick shower and change, we headed down to the concierge desk to ask for dining suggestions close by. I must say, the concierge at the InterContinental Wellington was definitely top notch. The gentleman helping us whipped out an iPad and promptly brought up two or three different restaurant suggestions around the area along with their dinner menus. We considered just eating at the hotel since it was still pouring outside, but ultimately decided on one of his other suggestions, Dockside Restaurant, on the edge of Queen's Wharf. Take a look at my previous post for some food porn. Before leaving the hotel, the concierge provided us with large umbrellas to help us stay dry, although with the rain literally coming down sideways, it became an exercise in futility.

After a great night's sleep, we packed up in the morning and headed downstairs for checkout. As we were leaving, the concierge noticed that I was holding a number of post cards and asked if he could mail them for me, which I gladly accepted. This was a very pleasant stay at the InterContinental Wellington and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to come back again in the future.

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