Hot Hotel: QT Museum Wellington, NZ

Spice Magazine heads to New Zealand's windy capital to experience the quirky vibes at QT Museum Wellington.


The hotel features a roaring hippo at its entrance


Wellington, New Zealand’s creative capital, is a city that surprises you at every turn.

Its main drag Cuba Mall –named after an early 1840 settler ship – is an inner city treasure trove of vibrant street art; funky cafes (complete with mostly bearded and tattooed baristas); and world class dining establishments.

There’s a vibe here that is electric. As if something completely unexpected but delightful could happen at any moment. And after spending just a few short moments wandering its many hidden laneways, it becomes clear almost immediately why Lonely Planet described Wellington as the “coolest little capital in the world” back in 2011.

While Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and Sydney its iconic Opera House; the unpretentious Wellington is the proud owner of a bucket fountain, a kinetic sculpture with a design flaw that sees pedestrians and onlookers splashed with freezing cold water on an almost daily basis.

It is a landmark that is both equally beloved and despised by locals, but one almost unanimously respected because: ‘hey – It’s Wellington. What else do you expect?’


An inviting lobby at QT Museum Wellington

The quirky vibes continue along the waterfront, where QT Hotels and Resorts opened their first New Zealand location earlier this year.

Formerly the Museum Art Hotel, the iconic four-storey property was relocated approximately 120 metres down and across Cable Street in the early 90s by way of rail by former owner Chris Parkin, to make way for the construction of Te Papa Museum.

Weighing in at almost 3,000 tonnes, the move was regarded as a feat of engineering at the time, and remains one of the largest tackled in the country to date.

High tea at Hippopotamus restaurant, QT Museum Wellington’s signature dining establishment

Today, QT Museum Wellington blends effortlessly into the Wellington landscape.

Eclectic and daring, there’s a certain energy about the place that makes you want to explore every nook and cranny.

Think you’re going to want to rush through check-in to raid the mini bar? Think again. The lobby walls are pretty much made of art, with its bricks and mortar serving as more of a vehicle to highlight the pieces rather than hold up the structure.

Eclectic styling in the rooms

You’ll find yourself wanting to take in every painting, every sculpture, and every print.

There’s also a life sized bull fashioned completely out of corn beef cans at the entrance, which serves as a premium spot for a quick selfie.

The guest rooms also echo QT’s signature style, and it’s apparent that there has been a huge amount of attention to detail committed into the fabric of the design.

The mini bars are choc-filled with artisanal treats sourced locally from the around the city. And the amenities are well suited to both leisure and business travellers alike (can we get a ‘hell yeah’ for rooms with Nespresso coffee machines?).


Hot Sauce is the latest addition to the QT Museum Wellington dining and drinking precinct

Hot Sauce, which officially opened September this year, is the latest addition to the QT Museum Wellington dining and drinking precinct.

Inspired by the hustle and bustle of its sister venue of the same name in Melbourne, Hot Sauce boasts a menu bursting with contemporary twists on traditional Asian cuisine think Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai).

With executive chef Wylie Dean at the helm, the new venue is set to serve up everything from baos (Chinese buns) to sashimi; to dumplings and other oriental delicacies.

“We wanted to create a space that paid homage to the various Asian cultures that have inspired the menu, whilst bringing in a sense of intrigue, intimacy and vibrancy. The contrasting textures; polished concrete, intricate fabrication and timber create a dynamic space that is bold but beautiful and honest.” Dean said.

The new venue is intended to be a casual place to relax, meet friends or shake of a long day.



A deep plunge bath to relax and unwind in
  • There are four room types to choose from: Superior King, Deluxe King, Executive King Suite, Junior Suite.
  • Access to an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and spa pool to warm you up after a day of exploring windy Wellington.
  • An in-house fitness centre
  • Both harbour and city views are on offer
  • A plethora of private dining rooms and seven event spaces are available for conferences and board meetings

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