Enough room to spread out
Dunedin’s Victoria Hotel is comfy, and the location is prime, writes
The executive suite at The Victoria Hotel in central Dunedin offers spacious accommodation with minimalist, modern styling for visitors looking for utility rather than luxury.
The hotel underwent a major expansion which was completed late last year, increasing its capacity from 42 to 72 rooms, including the high-end executive suite, and upgrading to a four-star standard. Studios, twobedroom apartments and a gym were among the new additions.
There’s a bar and two restaurants on the ground floor, a self-service laundry, and car parking available for $10 a night, with two Tesla chargers for electric car owners. The hotel has free wi-fi, and guests can use a desktop computer in the lobby.
The Victoria Hotel is located on a main vein of Dunedin’s central street network, a short hop from the Cadbury factory, two supermarkets (including Centre City New World, a cherished institution in my student days), and the Octagon, where some of Dunedin’s best eateries and nightlife can be found.
The executive suite, built to accommodate two people and perhaps a child, has a generous footprint, with a kitchenette and lounge area. The kitchenette has a toaster, microwave, fridge and element; the lounge is furnished with an L-shaped couch and 60-inch wall-mounted TV.
Coffee and dining tables mean you can enjoy room service from the hotel’s Well Manor restaurant (at no extra charge) or perhaps takeaways from Nando’s downstairs. Balconies off the lounge and bedroom overlook a carpark.
A heat pump in the lounge and another in the bedroom ensures you’ll be tropically toasty even on the coldest winter night. Double-glazing and blackout curtains ensure the heat stays in and the noise and street lights stay out. With eyes closed, you won’t even know you’re in the central city.
The bathroom has a full bath and automated lights, which are a tad disconcerting. In the bedroom, an enormous king size bed will give you a good night’s sleep and a perfect vantage point for another wallmounted television – this one is a slightly smaller 49’’. Both have Sky TV.
Worth stepping out for
The space is perfectly comfortable but it’s the location that makes this hotel worth staying at. Central Dunedin’s inherent walkability means you won’t need much convincing to skip breakfast in the hotel restaurant in favour of venturing slightly further afield to sample Dunedin’s fab cafes.
Head north to Stuart St and the Octagon, where new establishments sit comfortably beside the old in glorious gothic heritage buildings. Try Dog With Two Tails, which won Cafe of the Year in 2016, or settle in at Morning Magpie – try your hand at the vintage arcade games. Nearby, Best Cafe serves locally caught fish and chips. The business was recently taken over by Jess Marks, whose great-grandfather opened it in the 1930s.
Or, you can head south to the Warehouse Precinct, a new favourite destination of those who appreciate gentrified cool. Among places to eat are Precinct Food which has an innovative menu that changes daily, and Vogel St Kitchen, a barn-like space where you can sit upstairs or down. Afterwards, check out street art by international and local artists in the area, or head to Toitu¯ Otago Settlers Museum in Queens Gardens.
There, you’ll be afforded an interactive glimpse into the hardships and triumphs of Dunedin’s earliest Pakeha. If you’d rather stretch your legs a little further, wander through town to the university campus, stopping in at Dunedin’s homegrown fashion boutiques along George St, or in the other direction to New New New Corporation, a local craft beer producer that’s had the town talking since it opened in late July.
A relaxing space with room to spread out, the executive suite would suit those staying in Dunedin for a few nights at least, whether on business, visiting family for a birthday or graduation, or simply there to discover a city whose charms, once you scratch the surface, are undeniable.
Staying in the executive suite per night costs $800 for one to two guests; an extra person can be added for $30 a night; a child under 12 can stay at no extra cost; and another child stays at the extra person rate.
Central Dunedin's walkability means you won't need much convincing to go exploring.
The hotel is about a 15-minute walk from Otago University/north Dunedin, a seven-minute walk from the Octagon, and a 25- to 30-minute drive from Dunedin International Airport. I’d recommend taking a Super Shuttle – it’s a flat fee of $25 versus an $80-ish taxi fare.
The writer was a guest of The Victoria Hotel.
The bedroom is decked out in a modern palette.
Precinct Food is a cafe, catering kitchen, and event space in Dunedin’s Warehouse Precinct, 125 Vogel St.
The kitchenette and lounge area offers room to spread out and make yourself at home.
Dog With Two Tails is an award-winning cafe and bar in Dunedin’s Octagon, 25 Moray Pl.
New New New Corporation, in Crawford St.