Ohtel’s official mouthpiece. News, information and opinions straight from the source, also garnered from other places.

Selling the Dream

Selling the Dream is the first dedicated and extensive celebration of tourism posters and other publicity that helped promote New Zealand – both locally and to the world – until the 1960s. This was a pivotal period in the history of New Zealand publicity – before television and colour photography changed the publicity landscape forever – creating not only a tourism marketing proposition but a sense of national identity as well. The imagery is some of the finest graphic art ever produced in New Zealand, and as arresting and impressive today as when it was first created.


love hotel.

Love Hotel is the collaboration between two sisters, Ella and Harriet Garland-Levett.

They both have a passion for creating feminine and flattering pieces that bring an element of romance to a woman's wardrobe, fashion that can be worn with a sense of timeless style and confidence.

Ella recently used Ohtel to shoot her new range of lingerie with stunning results.

Love Hotel is made in New Zealand.

New Zealand landscapes - time lapse

New Zealand is often listed among the most gorgeous places in the world, and for good reason. With a population of less than 4.5 million people, the natural wonder of this island nation which stretches from wet and temperate in the south to sub-tropical in the north lays beautifully preserved bush...


wellington on a plate.

New Zealand’s largest and tastiest food festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate, is set to serve good times and great deals from 9 - 25 August 2013.

The festival centrepiece is DINE Wellington, a fortnight where some 100 of the region's finest eateries offer lunchtime set menus and delectable dinner deals. Wellington's best also take part in the battle of the burger, with Burger Wellington, and the Wellington On a Plate Award for the menu most reflecting the culinary capital’s flavour.

Visa pre-sales go live at noon on June 17, so be sure to pick out your favourite Festival Events before then!

Lock in the dates and your accommodation to plan a feast of experiences to please every palate and budget and be sure to go back for seconds.


Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor has recognised Ohtel with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence.

This prestigious award, places us in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is only given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travellers.

Thanks to all of our guests, and my staff - Alan

Wahine Sinking

The ferry Wahine, with 734 passengers and crew on board, was en route from Lyttelton to Wellington when it fell victim to one of the most ferocious storms in New Zealand’s recorded history. With the loss of 52 lives (a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck), this was our worst modern maritime disaster.

A shocked nation watched in disbelief as the events of 10 April 1968 were beamed into their living rooms via the then relatively new medium of television....


Wellington Fashion Week

Wellington Fashion Week is New Zealand’s first trade and consumer fashion week that has had its inaugural event in April 2012. The fashion week is all about providing opportunities for national and international designers to engage with buyers, media and consumer markets in a way that allows them to get a tailored return that is directly beneficial to their business. With this, it also gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy their favorite designers and the chance to come along, support, and get in amongst the excitement!

Kapiti film-makers win in Berlin

A jury of teenagers have awarded Kapiti film-makers Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland the Grand Prix in the Berlin International Film Festival. Their film Shopping won the Grand Prix for best feature film in the Generation section of the festival - voted on by a jury of three teenagers.

Known as the Berlinale, the film festival is one of the world's most prestigious, with about 400 films shown each year across seven sections. The three jury members said the film, which is set in 1981 Kapiti, was an "extremely compelling" tale with a fantastic lead actor in Kevin Paulo. "We loved watching him on screen and felt a deep empathy with him," the jury said in its notes. "Sharp editing, strong visual choices and a complex, painful and loving portrayal of family."


7's Weekend in the Capital

Beautiful weekend here in Wellington for the Rugby Sevens - keep an eye on proceedings via the link below...



Friends of Ohtel, directors Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland created an instant fan base with their 2009 short The Six Dollar Fifty Man, and their work creating our short pre-opening viral videos. The duo has just completed their debut feature, the Sundance selected comedy-drama Shopping.

Living in New Zealand in 1981 amid high racial tension, Willie, a half-Samoan teenager, is coming into his own. With an unpredictable father, Willie spends most of his time working at a department store or taking care of his little brother, Solomon. A chance encounter at work with an eccentric and charming "shopper" named Bennie lures Willie into a world without rules. As Willie begins to find a place in Bennie's reckless nest of criminals, Solomon grows increasingly vulnerable to their father's violent tendencies.


Insider's Guide

The differences between Wellington and Auckland are a bit like the differences between Melbourne and Sydney. While its flashy northern sister is preoccupied by looks, Wellington is a thriving bohemian city filled with tiny cafés who take coffee so seriously its become a religion.


Cuba Street

Cuba St's long and exciting history began in the 1840s. It was named after the ship Cuba, which arrived on January 4 that year, bringing some of New Zealand's earliest European pioneers.

The Tonks family was one of Wellington's earliest families, and has had a long association with Cuba St. Family members arrived in 1842 on the Birman and established themselves in upper Cuba St. Tonks Gr, formally Tonks Ave, is where the family resided and where son William Tonks established numerous brickyards in 1847.

In 1866, he became known for the first major harbour reclamation work....


Merry Xmas Everyone !

Thanks so much for all of your support this year - hope you are getting some well-earned time off with family and friends. See you in the New Year ! Alan

Coffee Set

Just bought this wonderful Vintage Coffee Service made by Susan Williams-Ellis in the 1960's for the Portmeirion Studios of Stoke on Trent in England.

Hobbit premiere screening dazzles

"It was amazing"; "It was fantastic"; "The clarity was amazing"... Those lucky enough to see The Hobbit's premiere last night were effusive.

Those spoken to after the screening praised the beautiful New Zealand sceneries, the captivating story and were dazzled by the special effects featured in the first movie to be shot in 3D at 48 frames per second (fps).


Hawker Street Monestry

St Gerard's church and monastery are Hawker St's crowning glory.

The concrete and brick church was built in 1908 for the Catholic Redemptorists, and the three- storeyed monastery followed in 1932. Funds were raised by public subscription, though it was at the height of the Depression.

Overlooking the harbour and Oriental Bay, the church and monastery form one of Wellington's most distinctive landmarks. The Redemptorists sold the property in 1988 and the International Catholic Programme of Evangelisation now uses it as a training centre/retreat. The building was heritage listed in 1993.

Hawker St, one kilometre long, links Majoribanks St with Moeller St and the roads higher up Mt Victoria...


Kerr goes Kiwi

Miranda Kerr was 18, just out of high school, a girl from the Australian countryside curious about what the rest of the world had to offer, when she first visited New Zealand. Along with a close friend from Gunnedah, the pastoral town where she grew up, Kerr set out to experience what for many is the draw of New Zealand: to escape and explore, to get a little lost and, in the process, get a little found.


New Neighbours

Te Papa's new chairman has thrown his weight behind building a $100 million art gallery to house the museum's formidable - but rarely seen - collection.
Sir Wira Gardiner, appointed to the top job a fortnight ago, says a standalone gallery is high on his personal agenda as the museum does not do the collection justice.
Te Papa has been criticised by the art community, politicians and the public since it opened in 1998 for not displaying more of the 15,000 artworks in its collection.
Sir Wira said yesterday that he supported Te Papa board member Chris Parkin, who told The Dominion Post he "would really like to leave Wellington with a new national art gallery".
Mr Parkin said he wanted to see the national collection housed in the proposed "transition building" next to Te Papa. The building was designed for the WCC by Amsterdam-based UNStudios in 2005 but the council has said it is unlikely to go ahead until at least 2014.


Bear Grylls

Ohtel was pleased to host Bear Grylls during his recent flying visit through New Zealand. The charismatic star of 'Man vs Wild' with the support of many generous sponsors helped to raise money speaking at 2 charity events earlier this month.

The former British Army officer took us through an insight into his epic adventures around the globe including conquering Mt Everest and his experiences on his hit TV show on Discovery Channel, Man vs. Wild. This was an amazing charity event to benefit the Wellington Childrens Hospital and the people of Christchurch.

One year on from the big snow - Wellington 2011

It was one year ago that a ‘‘once in a generation’’ storm moved its way up the country, dumping days of snow and hail on the capital on its way.



Westpac Stadium - August 16 & 17 2012

The beers represented at Beervana are carefully selected by our Festival Director to give visitors a broad selection of styles and well and lesser-known brews to sample.


wellington on a plate.

Aug 10-26

Do your taste buds need awakening this August? Get yourself to Wellington for Visa Wellington On a Plate, serving gastronomic goodness to the world!

Three years ago, Wellingtonians looked at all the talent surrounding us and an idea was cooked up. After just six weeks of compiling the ingredients, the concept was prepared and ready to serve.

This year we have DINE Wellington, where 109 of the region's finest eateries offer lunchtime set menus and delectable dinner deals.


rebel with applause.

Celebrated architect and non-comformist Ian Athfield is back at the drawing board after a brush with cancer. Regular Ohtel guest and renowned photographer Simon Devitt recently completed work on a major book about the 71 year-old's work and life.

"Something has to happen when you get older," muses Ian Athfield, and cancer is what happened to the celebrated architect whose stream of creativity and extraordinary white house on a Wellington hill both looked as if they might go on forever.

Obviously, the reminder of his mortality has distracted him a little. "Time gets faster," he says. "When you're a kid, you wait for the day to end."

When you are the country's most famous architect, you want it to go on...


Echoes of the Future

As food, clothing and home goods have skewed toward an old-timey vibe with a focus on handmade, locally crafted wares, so too has graphic design turned back the clock to the pre-digital age. Gestalten's latest release, Echoes of the Future, profiles emerging designers that mix current technology with letterpress printing, vintage imagery, dated photographic processes and hand-lettered type—or at the least the illusion of it. There are nods to modernism, abstract expressionism, futurism, retro color palettes and the birth of the gridded layout.


Comedy Festival

All the usual suspects are back for this year's NZ International Comedy Festival - you know, guys like Irish charmer David O'Doherty, our own Aotearoa charmer Rhys Darby and country crooner Wilson Dixon - but there are some Kiwi comedy circuit virgins on their way here too.

These new acts include Australian musical comedy trio The Axis of Awesome, Irish comedic rock'n'roll group Dead Cat Bounce, and British sketch show troupe Idiots of Ants.

Apr 29 - May 20, 2012


Ans Westra

Ans Westra’s "Washday At The Pa" is to be republished after 47 years. {Suite} Publishing in Oriental Bay has launched a new edition. The book includes images made for the 1964 first and second editions as well as images made by Westra in 1998 as part of a subsequent project: Washday at the Pa Revisited. Accompanying the images is text by Mark Amery, which chronicles the Washday chapter of New Zealand history.


Modern in the past tense.

The New York school of Interior Design recreates the seminal show "What Modern Was" in a new exhibit and discussion

When the traveling exhibition "Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was" opened in 1991...


Flying Nun turns 30 !

It's the start of November - but this year in New Zealand it's to be known also as "Nunvember"

Yes, you probably know this already but this month's cause for celebration is the 30th anniversary of iconic Dunedin record label Flying Nun Records.

A full programme of events can be found at http://www.flyingnun.co.nz

2012 International Arts Festival

Fancy a taste of what's to come at the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival?
To make real savings and secure your Festival seats now purchase a Season Ticket or Friends of the Festival Membership today.

eat, drink, shop and play in key host city Wellington, make the most of any downtime.

From the first mesmerising haka - the Maori war dance that heralds the start of any game by the All Blacks - Rugby World Cup 2011, in New Zealand, should have sports fans gripped. Following the spectacular opening, rugby's global heavyweights get down to business, with hotly anticipated clashes between Australia and Ireland & New Zealand and France, following SA - Wales & Eng. - Argentina on the opening weekend. Group stages will be held around the country, with knock-out rounds in Auckland and Wellington before the finals in Auckland on 23 October.
If you're in NZ to see the show, here are some top tips for Smith-approved places to eat, drink, shop and play in the key host cities, Auckland and Wellington, to help you make the most of any downtime.

Lloyd-Wright Hotel Reopens

Wright's landmark Park Inn Hotel restored in Mason City

The 20th century’s most famous architect designed six hotels in all, but this is the only one that remains. It has reopened for business after decades of neglect and will be the site of a weeklong celebration that includes a ball on Saturday — 9/10/11 — exactly 101 years after its doors first opened.

The project took a lot of work, and it shows. Original art-glass filters light into the lobby. Mahogany trim covers every corner in sight. A refurbished pool table stands in the billiards room, with a Prairie Style pool rack hanging on the wall nearby.


...surrounded by so much gorgeousness...

I mean just look at it! The photo speak volumes. I'm not usually excited at all about hotels when traveling but it was so nice to come back to this room in the evenings and be surrounded by so much gorgeousness. Not to mention the spectacular view over the bay, a great music selection, free wifi and a gorgeous, deep, non-guilt inducing bath. (NZ is definitely not a country in drought!) ... http://kirinote.blogspot.com/

Wellington Cool with a capital C

Move over London, Rome and Paris – Wellington is the world's coolest capital city. Lonely Planet has named our capital the fourth best city in which to travel in the world, behind New York, Tangier and Tel Aviv.

It is the first time a New Zealand city has made it into the annual Best in Travel publication – a collection of the world's best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences. In the sixth edition, released today, the publication refers to Wellington under the banner of "coolest little capital in the world". Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive David Perks said sharing the top five with cities such as New York and Tel Aviv was priceless recognition. "To have Lonely Planet – a global brand respected for frank opinions and having its finger on the pulse – come out and refer to Wellington as the `coolest little capital in the world' and among the top 10 cities you must visit for 2011 is quite simply incredible."

It is perfect timing for the city as businesses prepare for an action-packed calendar in 2011. About 85,000 international visitors are expected in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. Other highlights include the third Visa Wellington On a Plate in August and an extended season of the Montana World of WearableArt show, which will lead into the World Cup kickoff. In November, the city is hosting hundreds of writers for the Society of American Travel Writers conference. Prime Minister John Key said Wellington was a great place to live, and even put a positive spin on our notorious wind. "Actually I thoroughly enjoy going around the harbour when it's blustery and windy. It has a kind of New Zealand feel to it. "For all the hard time Wellington gets about its weather, I think it adds to the dimension of the place that it has quite a good feel to it in that regard." However, asked if he preferred it to Auckland, he replied: "That's a big stretch."

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who moved to Wellington from Britain in 1983, said she thought Wellington's strength lay in the combination of "wilderness" and city living. "You don't have to choose arts or sports, or between culture or wilderness, because it's all there." Lonely Planet, the world's biggest travel guide company, has sold millions of copies of hundreds of titles since it began in 1972.


Kiwi artwork fills Time Square

A group of New Zealand graphic artists displayed their work on the big screens in Times Square NYC.


Buddy Bid

Friend of Ohtel - Webb auction house's Neil Campbell has a new venture that is finding it's feet... fast !

Rather than take on Trade Me head-on, they've created BuddyBid, social auction app for Facebook. The platform is ready-made. And while other Trade Me wannabees are pretty much limited to NZ's borders, BuddyBid has the world - or at least the 1 billion souls on Facebook - as its potential market.

You can use BuddyBid to auction an item to your Facebook friends or, if you've a company, use a white-label version of the app to run an auction under your own brand - as Cruise Sale Finder just in BuddyBid's first largest BuddyBid auction of its type so far (a $A9000 cruise sold for $A7000).


Book a room