- St. George Hotel (Wellington, New Zealand)
"For the historic hotel in Brooklyn Heights, New York, see
Hotel St. George"
The St George Hotel is one of
Wellington, New Zealand's most prominent buildings.
Located in the heart of the city, it was briefly the country's largest hotel. The hotel was designed by architect
William Prouseand built in 1929-30 of steel framed reinforced concrete at the cost of $100,000, and is one of the city's best maintained art decobuildings. The site had previously been the site of a building owned by early Wellington settler John Plimmer(after whom the suburb of Plimmertonis named).
The hotel was widely regarded as the capital city's top hotel, and has played host to many events since its opening. During World War II, it operated as a brothel for military officers. It played host to
The Beatlesduring their 1964 tour (when they stayed in what is now room 305), and was the first choice hotel for visiting dignitaries for many years, from royalty to international national rugby teams. ref|tophotel The hotel was also host to the inaugural New Zealand national science fiction conventionin 1979, and was also a venue for the convention in 1980 and 1987.
The hotel consists of 8 floors, with 84 single rooms with ensuites, 42 single rooms with shared ensuites, 80 single rooms with no ensuite and 26 shared rooms.
Festival of The Arts late night venue
In 1992 the third floor was used as an entertainment venue, for late night shows after the main performances around Wellington city. Many well known musicians from around New Zealand turned up to play in their own bands, or spontaneously created 'jam' bands. the television sets from all the unused rooms (the entire third floor) were arranged in an array, and computer graphics shown.
The Queen stayed at the Hotel when she was touring New Zealand whilst her son was being schooled in New Zealand at Wanganui Collegiate.
These days at at the Hotel
The hotel has been used since 1994 as a student hostel first for Massey University in Wellington and then (since 2006) for Victoria University for much of the year, and is that university's second-largest hostel, housing 232 students. It still serves as a hotel during the summer university recess.
The Hotel St George underwent major renovations in 2005 and continued to be upgraded well into 2006.
Renovations continued throughout the entire year of 2007, even though management had said at the beginning of the year that builders would be gone within two weeks.
In late September, the sewage pipes leaked, causing fecal matter to leak into room 309, and onto the balconies of most floors. As a result, 309 was unusable, and the carpet was stripped and the room unhabited for the rest of 2007.
In 2007, the hostel was managed by Mr Mark Tuohoro. The managing company, EdPac, underwent significant financial problems which at one point meant Victoria University of Wellington's Accodomation Services staff sent letters to 2007 residents telling them that they were unsure if the hostel would remain open until the end of the year. EdPac declared bankruptcy at the end of the year, and the management of the hostel was overtaken by the University itself to ensure the 2008 intake of students would have accommodation.
Hotel St George is currently the most expensive of Victoria University of Wellington's student hostels, with the cheapest rate (for a shared room with a shared ensuite) $225 per week, up to $270 per week for a private room with a private ensuite. There are eight floors in the Hotel, and three floors in the Annex. The eighth floor is solely a girls' floor.
St George Hall of Residence is now operated by Victoria University of Wellington. It currently has 2 office staff and 6 Residential Advisors.
* [http://www.feelinggreat.co.nz/arts/course/arts+and+heritage+walks/arts+and+heritage+walks/89.php Wellington Heritage Walk]
* [http://digital.natlib.govt.nz/get/16983?profile=access Turnbull Library photograph of the hotel, circa 1930]
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