Experience Wellington's History With Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers

Experience Wellington's History With Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers
| 3 min read

Looking for a short stay in Wellington on a budget? Wellington’s Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers is one of the top choices for budget travelers on the go. Designed by Wellington’s architects Mitchell & Mitchell, this Art Deco hotel has opened its doors to guests since 1937. The hotel is full of character from its outer appearance to its interior décors, refurbished back in 1991. A stay at Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers will make you feel like you are a part of Wellington’s history.

Conveniently located

experience wellington's history with hotel waterloo & backpackers | conveniently located
Source: Booking.com

The hotel is located on an intersection between Bunny Street and Waterloo Street, right opposite the Wellington Railway Station. Across the road to the west of the hotel is the Bluebridge Ferry terminal. There is also a stop for the bus company, Naked Bus, right on Bunny Street. With all of these transports at your doorstep, the Waterloo Hotel & Backpackers is a great place to stay if you plan to travel onwards from Wellington or if you do not want to walk far after your arrival in Wellington.

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The hotel

experience wellington's history with hotel waterloo & backpackers | the hotel

The hotel’s entrance opens up to a spacious lounge with a reception, a travel desk, luggage storage room and a sitting area. The travel desk’s staffs can help you book day tours or help you plan your stays and trips in other parts of New Zealand. There are two charming vintage lifts with wooden interiors that will take you to your floor.

The rooms are scattered in between the long corridors that are lined with carpet. The hotel offers dorm rooms and private rooms with shared or ensuite bathrooms. Female-only dorms are also available. Towels and additional bed linen are provided. The beds are creaky and there is some musty smells in the building, to be expected from the hotel’s age, however the rooms are comfortably warm and quiet. Some rooms are equipped with televisions and Sky TV. For those who need to use the internet, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in the lounge area.

The check-in time is 3pm but you can always leave your luggage in the storage lockers next to the reception desk and go for a walk downtown until check in time. Locker storage service is also possible, even if you have already checked out from the hotel. The storage service is 2 NZD per six hours. With the reception desk being attended 24-hours, you can be sure that your belongings are safe inside the lockers.

If you don’t feel like eating out, Waterloo Backpackers has its own bar and café, which caters a reasonable menu of food and drinks with sound prices. The café is opened seven days a week. It is accessible via a set of stairs from the lounge area. If you’d rather cook your own meals, there is also a guest kitchen, equipped with utensils and gas cookers. The guest kitchen is open all day. As for the bar area, it is open to public, a chance for you to meet some locals. There are pool tables and happy hours is usually between 7pm to 9pm.

For guests planning on longer stays, you might find the board in the communal area rather useful. You could sometimes find job advertisements from locals or messages from other travelers looking to get rid of their travel gears or finding a travel companion. There is also a guest laundry facility on the top floor of the building.

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The surroundings

experience wellington's history with hotel waterloo & backpackers | the surroundings

There is a branch of New World Supermarket inside the Wellington Railway Station where you can stock up on food and other necessities for your stay. There is also a pharmacy on Bunny Street just two minutes walk from the hotel.

If you want to eat out with a view, the Wellington waterfront area is just about ten to fifteen minutes from the hotel. There are many cafés and restaurants to choose from, whether you are after a light lunch or a hearty dinner. Last but not least, your visit to Wellington is not completed without a visit to Te Papa Museum. The museum is located at the end of the waterfront and has extensive collections and exhibitions from wildlife to Maori culture. One of the museum’s highlights is a very well preserved colossal squid body.

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Why stay at Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers

Practically located with great facilities at a budget price, friendly and helpful staffs, one possibly couldn’t ask for much more. Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers is great for those who plan to transit in and out of Wellington but it also has what you need for longer stays. If you like staying in buildings with old style charms, look no further.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A bit of a globetrotter, Natsha has spent many years living in a number of different countries. Her love for travelling and photography grew over those years. After finishing a BA in Iceland,...Read more

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