Encompassing the very essence of Wellington, CQ Wellington exudes character and charm alongside cool and chic in the heart of vibrant Cuba Street. On this lively street sits Wellington hotels side-by-side (Comfort Hotel Wellington and Quality Hotel Wellington) catering for guests with different budgets and bringing them together under the one roof as CQ Wellington.
Both hotels share a common reception area, restaurant, cafe, pool, spa & conference centre; Both hotels share the same welcoming experience, attention to detail and personalisation of service.
This site first belonged to Major James Paul, an officer of the British Army. His daughter, Annette Paul, was a well educated, compassionate and strong-minded woman who was attracted by the work of the Salvation Army. She joined their ranks in 1889 and quickly rose to Staff Captain. She worked extensively with those in need throughout Wellington and NZ.
When the premises that the Salvation Army used to accommodate the needy women became overcrowded, Annette made a donation worth over £ £3,500 to help - this was a great fortune in the late 19th Century.
The generous donation of the site (where the present hotel now is) allowed for the building of a refuge called Paulina Resque Home in 1894. The building served its purpose for over 10yrs (until 1907) when the Paulina Resque Home was transferred to Owen St. and new plans were devised for the property. The new plans were in answer to the growing demand for affordable yet safe and pleasant accommodation for travellers. Hence “The People’s Palace” This name was used throughout the world for the Salvation Army's many affordable and liqourfree hotels.
It was the intention of the Salvation Army to utilise the profits raised from the operation of the Hotel for those in need throughout NZ. To preserve it’s image and carry it’s message The People’s Palace was run by Salvation Army officers and workers.
This new building built within 9 months of the demolition of the Paulina Resque Home was a magnificent three-story building worth over £15,000. This was equipped to the latest standards with electricity and hot water throughout. It had 96 bedrooms, slept 134 guests, and fed 180. The Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward (Liberal), opened the hotel in 1908 in a magnificent ceremony. Two more wings were built along Dunlop Terrace in 1917 bringing number of rooms to 288. The Peoples Palace was later called “The Railton” and operated for 78 years.
In 1986, when the hotel required a major refit, the Salvation Army, sold the property to Presbyterian-Support Services. They rationalised this and the neighbouring sites and on-sold the property within a month to Burrell Wilkinson. They spent about $7m refitting the hotel and renamed it Trekkers Hotel. They made fewer, but larger rooms with their own bathrooms.
On Tuesday, 20 Oct. 1987 the stock market crashed spectacularly and the consequent downtown of 1989 put Burrell Wilkinson out of business. The property was purchased by two of the current owners, Rex Nicholls and Phil McGaveston, trading as Port Nic Properties Ltd in 1990.
Classified as an earthquake risk in 1995 (brick structure) major renovations took place in 2002/2003 which added a floor, a stripped shell to floor joists, earthquake strengthened whole structure, replicated the original stairway, and built 114 new rooms all with private bathrooms facilities. The rebuilt hotel was officially opened May 2003 by Prime Minister, Helen Clark. With the new rebuilt Wellington hotel came a name change to Chancellor Wellington and 12 months later a new name, Hotel Wellington Ltd.
In 2005, we joined the global chain Choice Hotels who have more than 6,000 hotels in 30 countries. Their portfolio includes the brands Econo Lodge, Comfort, Quality and Clarion.
In 2008, the building of the Quality Hotel Wellington and CQ Conference and Function Centre was completed to an award-winning standard of architecture. This luxurious side of the complex sits right alongside the Comfort Hotel with the CQ Conference and Function centre in the middle. The conference centre can hold up to 220 people in highly adaptable spaces that can be divided into five flexible sound-proofed rooms. With 62 spacious, well appointed suites, 6 Executive Apartments and a heated indoor swimming pool, spa, fitness room and a roof top sun deck this hotel offers everything that the discerning guest expects.