The Shrinking Violet Review: The InterContinental Wellington
From the moment I stepped through the revolving doors of the InterContinental my experience, from start to finish, was faultless. As someone who has only been to Wellington a handful of times, I can honestly say that the InterContinental showed off all of Wellington’s best assets.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted, our keys were taken and car valeted with an offer of taking our bags to our room. After checking in with ease, we made a quick pitstop in the hotel bar for a complementary wine whilst we waited for our room to be ready. A hectic few weeks moving countries, setting up a new house and jetsetting across New Zealand meant a little R&R was just what I needed; suitably kicked off by a toast to an exciting weekend project. There was ample choice and I was not let down by their selection.
Situated looking over the Wellington waterfront, our view from the 9th and top, floor was definitely special. I was also lucky enough to have the privilege of access the view from the Club Lounge on the 7th floor was even more expansive and had views right across the water to surrounding suburbs. Not only were we spoilt with the view, but the facilities in our room were also excellent. As you can probably guess from the cheeky cover image, their beds were like clouds. Fat pillows and puffy down blankets meant I could relax in comfort and a turn down service is always a detail I appreciate.
Their bathroom was well lit and well stocked; two huge comfy towels each, a robe and slippers and not to mention the walk in shower with waterfall shower head too! After settling into our room, we thumbed through their room service options and I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of gluten free options as well as a coconut yoghurt option for breakfast. We ended up eating breakfast in the club room daily however it was nice to know it was there.
When it came to the club room, no detail was overlooked. To say I felt special was an understatement. We were looked after by such a high level of service during our entire stay at the InterContinental, but there was just something so extraordinary about the club room. There was a spot in there for every mood; couches if you wanted something more laid back, a window seat in the corner for a chance to withdraw, a conference room for serious business and tables right next to the food for those that were ready to eat!
Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t choose the one right beside the breakfast buffet and opted for the window seat with an amazing view. In addition to having a morning buffet breakfast put on, which I must add had THE most amazing 60ºc sous vide eggs, they also had a dedicated chef with an a la carte menu where you could build your own omelettes or even order eggs bene! In the afternoons they served canapés and at twilight drinks (read: complimentary alcohol) they had another small nibbling buffet which included incredibly tender seared beef and delicious garlic prawns. I was so impressed at the effort they went to every time I mentioned gluten free, and each of the options in both the breakfast and twilight buffets were all labeled whether gluten free or not.
In fact even Chameleon, the hotel restaurant, had a designated gluten free menu. And boy was that incredible. I had two courses that could well have been the most incredible food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I started with their Chameleon Soup which was a brilliant Pea Soup finished off with a taste of smokey bacon. Following that, I had a Crayfish and Truffled Potato with Cauliflower Velouté main. The food was so well put together, perfectly portioned and every bite was well thought out. For me, the soup was definitely the star. It wasn’t too hot or too cold and you didn’t even need to think about salting it. I think I still have dreams about this soup.
The overall feel that the InterContinental gave me was that it was a place of relaxation – no matter where in the hotel you were. The whole hotel felt like it was doing its best to make you sit back, relax and just enjoy being there. Which quite clearly I did!
They had great facilities to compliment the rest of the hotel, including a full service gym (with a squat rack!) which I definitely would have used had I been there for longer and New Zealand’s largest hotel indoor pool. The pool was situated on level 3 which meant you could look out over Wellington as you swam.
Additionally, they also had a day spa which took me right back to my trips to Bali. On Sunday, I was booked in for their luxurious 70-70-70 treatment which was just what I needed to take the weight of the past few weeks off of my shoulders. I was given a robe to change into and a locker to store my personal belongings, then lead to a quiet sanctuary nestled in the hotel. My treatment started with body brushing and was followed by a delicious scrub application. I was then lead to a shower (you got it – with a waterfall shower head!) to remove the remnants of the scrub and finally a creme application which doubled as a mini massage. I left feeling ready to slide into bed and relax a little longer. Magic.
My stay at the InterContinental whilst short, felt like a retreat. A busy weekend of filming meant when I was at the hotel, doing nothing was high priority. The InterContinental gave me the opportunity to do nothing, whilst being productive in doing things to reduce my own stresses. From the staff at the concierge desk, to those in the club lounge and the check in desk – no task was too much for them and it was wonderful to see so many people who clearly enjoy their job.
From start to finish, it truly was a wonderful experience and I look forward to staying there again.