On a cold day in Wellington, the Gourmet Stay was just right for a warm, relaxed hotel stay. I was happy to be invited by Lucy and Mark to stay at their charming, family-run, boutique hotel on my trip through eclectic Wellington, New Zealand — and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
The Hotel Gourmet Stay felt about as local as it gets — in the heart of the city’s “Gourmet District.” Close to the city (5 min walk from Cuba St.) and the Harbour, a perfect location for foodies who can appreciate a friendly, chill, and comfortable atmosphere.
Vibe + Décor
At the Gourmet Stay, it’s all about the details. When I stopped to enjoy the soft subtleties that this locally rich boutique hotel had to offer, I appreciated them that much more. From the iron overlapped paneling on the walls, to the wood floors in the common area, to the cozy, modern rooms — the design perfectly capturing the cool vibe of the city effortlessly.
Waking up in the morning and walking into the common kitchen area, the smell of the fresh scones in the oven did it for me. Although the continental breakfast, at first glance, was not necessarily what you would expect from a ‘Gourmet’ accommodation, the freshness of each product truly exceeded my expectations. The bread, from the local bakery, was crisp and fluffy. The smell of freshly brewed coffee from Coffee Supreme was wafting deliciously through the air. The atmosphere felt incredibly easy going and comfortable.
For a modest, affordable, family-run boutique hotel, the rooms at the Gourmet Stay are as well-designed as they are airy and open. I was lucky enough to stay in the stylish family studio, despite traveling solo — so I have to say, I was a bit spoiled with space. However, after taking a look at a few of the other rooms in the main part of the hotel, they were even better than expected — one even had a deck with a hot tub! I can only imagine how perfectly inviting the Gourmet Stay is during the summertime.
Simple and clean, this minimalist bathroom offers everything you would need. Not to mention the toiletries, which were stylish and carefully laid out.
Mark and Lucy are wonderful — so friendly, so helpful, so laid-back. They offer guests their space, while still being available when necessary. Just by reading on their website (free wifi, late checkout, flexible booking, wheelchair access) you can see how accommodating they are for their guests.
Although the Gourmet Stay is quietly situated on a side street, it feels just far enough from the active city just a few streets away. During the day, there are plenty of places around to explore — I recommend heading over to Cuba Street for a bohemian-meets-hipster lunch at Fidel’s Café. It’s healthy, and oh so delicious. Afterward, make your way down the boutique-lined street and over to the Harbour for some incredible views.
* All photos by the author