James Cook Grand Chancellor Wellington: Hotel Review

With only one night in Wellington on our recent New Zealand adventure, we had to make the most of it. We therefore checked in to the James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, right in the heart of the city.

Here are our thoughts on this convenient Wellington city hotel.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a booking, I earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Check in and service

We arrived around 7pm in pouring rain, exhausted from driving from Auckland. The check-in staff were so friendly and accommodating, and careful to make sure we had all the right information.

We were able to park our car in the entrance valet area to unload our luggage and check in before needing to move it to the car park.


We stayed in a Deluxe Twin Room. The room was reasonably spacious – not the biggest we’ve ever stayed in, but certainly not the smallest. There was plenty of space for two double beds, room to move around, and space to store all our luggage. Powerpoints were conveniently located.

Deluxe Twin Room, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

The bathroom was also roomy with a large shower (with wonderful water pressure). I would have liked a bit more countertop space but it was adequate.

Sky TV (New Zealand cable television) meant we could relax after a big day with plenty of entertainment to choose from – for us this is a big plus when you know you’re going to be exhausted and just need some chillout time!

The view from our room was underwhelming, but this can be expected in a CBD hotel. Thich blackout curtains allowed us to get a good sleep.

If you upgrade to a King Suite, you do get a fantastic view of the harbour.


I think the location of the James Cook Grand Chancellor was the biggest selling point. Located on The Terrace, the hotel backs onto Lambton Quay. This meant we were metres away from the Cable Car (which is a must on any Wellington itinerary) as well as plenty of retail shops.

James Cook hotel is also a mere five minutes’ walk to Te Papa (another Wellington must-do) and Taranaki St Wharf, where you’ll find great places to eat and drink.

All in all, we were really happy with the location.

Dining and room service

It was after 7pm when we arrived at the hotel, and pouring with rain. Given we’d driven all the way from Auckland on only a couple of hours’ sleep, we were absolutely exhausted! This situation definitely called for room service.

Ordering was easy and the service was efficient. The food was okay – definitely not amazing but yes it was edible. I ordered the potato and leek soup with garlic bread, Mr. Winter had the fish and chips, and the kids shared a burger.

Room service at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Breakfast is available for $33NZD per person (children are half price). This was not included in our room rate. As we were only in Wellington for one day, and we had already ordered room service the night before, we chose to find somewhere else to eat that was a bit cheaper and would allow us to explore more of the city.

However, Whitby’s, their on-site restaurant, does have a beautiful view of the harbour so if you stay more than one night, give it a go.

Car parking

Car parking is available on-site for 30NZD per day. It’s not possible to make a reservation in advance so we were worried about availability coming in late but there were plenty of parks.

Overall impressions

For one night, the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor met our expectations. It was clean, comfortable, and friendly. Like the rest of our experience in New Zealand (particularly regarding accommodation) I wouldn’t say it was brilliant value for money, but the location was brilliant and thus a great decision for a one night stay.

Ready to explore Wellington? Book the James Cook Grand Chancellor here.

Disclaimer: We booked and paid for our room in full. That being said, regardless of booking methods, we will always present our honest views on all hotels and products on A Winter Escape.

Header image courtesy of James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington.

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