No-one builds plain old "hotels" any more: they're always "boutique hotels". The cutely-named Ohtel opposite Waitangi Park sounds like it will be exactly that, however. The official website doesn't say very much, but there's an online news item (scroll down a few pages) that gives a few more clues. At 10 rooms it could never be anything but boutique (it wouldn't be possible to fit in any more on such a tiny site), and the description has all the expected buzzwords such as "contemporary-style" and "urban chic". There's no hint of what the hotel will look like from the outside, but I don't expect architectural theatrics given that the ground floor seems to be using pre-cast concrete to imitate weatherboards.
There's one part of the description that is either very confused copywriting or signs of a new nadir in new-age silliness: "on-demand digital audio and movies via state of the art flat screens and speakers will complete the extra-sensory in-room experience". Extra-sensory? What, are they offering psychics along with the room service now?
The news item also refers to a much more down-to-earth "boutique" hotel opening next month: the Boulcott Suites at 5 O'Reily Ave, off Boulcott St behind the old St George Hotel. There's nothing about urban chic or in-room ouija boards here: just suites that are "ideal for corporates looking for quality and space". The building (which has been chronicled by DeepRed) is a very conventional block, though with some attempts to enliven it through semi-random application of yellow and red. It might not look too bad once it's finished, and doesn't seem too out of place alongside the no-frills rear of the St George and the semi-industrial low-rise next door (formerly part of the journalism school, if I remember correctly, and once host to the "Naked Angel" dance parties, which I definitely don't remember clearly).
It's interesting that neither of these "boutique hotels" appear to offer restaurants, bars, conference rooms or any of the other facilities that one usually associates with hotels: they're little more than a collection of rooms. This seems to be a bit of a trend, and it may be that the Wellington market is suited to serviced apartments, given the number of short- to medium-term corporate and government visitors. That could all be good news for restaurants in the immediate vicinity.