Press Releases

Olivia Mahood: 2015 Scholarship Recipient

26th February 2015


C scholar


Second year acting student Olivia Mahood has been awarded the prestigious Museum Art Hotel Scholarship for 2015.

"This scholarship is all about celebrating excellence and as I am a dedicated supporter of the arts, I want to give young, home-grown talent the opportunity to devote their time to developing their craft and ease the strain of trying to meet course costs. Over the past 14 years I have seen recipients go on to do some amazing things both at home and overseas and it’s really satisfying to be able to help them develop their career further" - Chris Parkin

You can find the full Scholarship Alumni from the past 14 years on our page 'Giving Back'.



Swimming Pool and Spa Refurbishment

18th February 2015

The Museum Art Hotel pool, spa, gym and sauna will be undergoing a major refurbishment during the month of February.

The refurbishment will involve the complete re-tiling of the swimming pool and spa pool using a combination of deep blue tiles and white glass mosaics. We will also take the opportunity to refresh other aspects of the space with new lighting, window treatments and a repaint.

While the refurbishment is underway all guests will have complimentary access to Freyburg Pool, a short walk down the road from us.


Stage Two of Refurbishment Complete


24th September 2014

Stage two of the Museum Art Hotel's 2 million dollar refurbishment is now completed.

Experience the refurbished Grand Deluxe, King Deluxe and Classic Deluxe rooms.



Stage 3: the remaining 25 harbour view rooms will completed in Autumn. In the meantime the lobbies, hallways and other public areas will be refurbished. 


Vogue's guide to the Coolest Little Capital in the World

18th September 2014

Vogue released an article this week outlining its top 15 absolute must-see spots in Wellington. Described as a luxury boutique establishment, we took the #2 spot with our large collection of contemporary art, cosy lobby and experienced Hippopotamus Restaurant bartenders mixing up delicious cocktails.

You can see the full article here

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Parkin Drawing Prize Winner 2014: Douglas Stichbury

10th September 2014

Stichbury was announced on 6th August as the winner of the 2014 Parkin Drawing Prize with his entry 'Observer' - charcoal on paper. Congratulations to Douglas and finalists: John Ward Knox, Ruth Cleland, Nicola Donna, Taylor Wagstaff and Dominic McElwee.

The Parkin Drawing Prize is valued at $20,000 and is Aotearoa New Zealand’s premier award for drawing. It promotes drawing in all its forms – as discovery, a testing of ideas, and decision making.



Hotel owner Chris Parkins feature on Sunrise

8th July 2014

Last Saturday morning Chris Parkin was featured talking about his wonderful art hotel. Watch the full story here -

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Museum Art Hotels feature in Freckle Magazine

9 July 2014

Take a look at Museum Art Hotels has featured in the beautiful Freckle Magazine  -



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Judges announced for prestigious Parkin Drawing Award 


24 February 2014


The judging panel consisting of recognised art practitioners, arts commentators and academics have been selected for the Parkin Drawing Prize for 2014.

The award, attracting a major prize of $20,000, was launched by Chris Parkin, arts patron and owner of MuseumArtHotel in Wellington last year.  This year, for the first time, five highly commended prizes worth $500.00 each will also be awarded. Entries for the 2014 competition are now open to anyone who lives permanently in New Zealand or has New Zealand citizenship. 

An advisory panel, consisting of Associate Professor and Head of the School of Fine Arts at Massey University, Heather Galbraith, Senior Lecturer in Painting at the University of Canterbury Roger Boyce and Senior Lecturer at the School of Fine Arts at Massey University Simon Morris will select the finalists for the exhibition at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts (26 July to 25 August 2014).

The winning submission will be selected and announced by Judge, poet, essayist, art-writer, book-illustrator and artist Gregory O’Brien, on 25 July 2014 at the opening of the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition. 

 “We were thrilled with the incredible wide range of drawings submitted for the inaugural competition and eagerly anticipate the innovative, creative entries in this year’s award.  The Parkin Drawing Prize expresses a commitment to the art of drawing, highlighting its essential importance to the practice so it is imperative we have an advisory panel and judge who are respected and recognised nationally for their expertise,” said Chris Parkin.

The competition, in association with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, will promote excellence and innovation in drawing in all its forms (processes, materials and ideas) and aims to play an important role in fostering New Zealand drawing practice. It is also marks the establishment of a unique collection of New Zealand art through the acquisition of the winning drawings.

“The inaugural edition of The Parkin Drawing Prize attracted several emerging and established artists, which submitted an extensive variety of works. Some of the works used traditional and depurated techniques; others challenged the frontiers of what is generally regarded as drawing by using video or installation. The Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition lights up the significance and diversity of interpretations of drawings within contemporary culture,” said Claudia Arozqueta, Director of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts.

Entries close 5pm 21 June 2014. Forms and full details are available at


Museum Art Hotel undergoes luxury refurbishment

Monday 27 January, 2014


A two million dollar refurbishment of the Museum Art Hotel has begun, with an extensive renovation of the boutique art hotel’s 68 rooms. The essential quality of the original build will be retained while the outward appearance will be totally transformed with design elements befitting one of the world’s leading art hotels, and will match the level of appointment currently available in the hotels 100 apartment style rooms.

The renovation will see 68 rooms totally recreated with ‘Coco Chanel inspired’ lush gold and mirror interiors intensified with the use of wall art to add a splash of colour and richness. All soft furnishings are being replaced and much of the joinery. King-size or super-king beds feature individual Dolmeo reading lights. Rich gold curtaining complements the chocolate and gold European carpeting. Mirrors have been widely used to create a sense of space as well as achieving a Kaleidoscope effect from the brilliantly coloured wall coverings and quirky designer lamps. Even the espresso machines and the 'objet d'art' have been selected with this effect in mind. Bathrooms retain the classic white tiling and marble features while the floors boast a charcoal grey stone tile and mosaics. The classic, large porcelain Villaroy and Boch bathtubs have been retained but complemented with new tap ware including a new rain shower head.

“Our goal has been to bring these rooms into the current art design idiom of the rest of the hotel. It’s all part of our desire to continue offering our guests an inspiring point of differentiation from the traditional hotel. We are really delighted with the rooms that have been completed and look forward to welcoming new and loyal guests through the doors to experience the updated rooms first hand in coming months,” said Chris Parkin, owner of Museum Art Hotel. 

The luxury boutique art hotel has been working with Angela Foster from CGM+Foster architects on the refurbishment. The Wellington based architect has been involved with the design and development of the Museum Apartments since 2003 and is now providing expertise for the hotel room renovations.

“Angela has been instrumental in all our architecture for the last 6 years, she is much more than an architect and is very much a key part of our design family,” said Chris Parkin. 




The annual Wellington Receptionist of the Year Competition

The competition involved an interview with a panel of five Wellington Hotel representatives. During this interview Candidates were asked a series of questions testing their   

knowledge of costs, profits, revenue/yield management, staffing levels, structure, promotional ideas etc.

Then they were required to demonstrate their abilities (customer service, selling skills, problem solving etc) in a Reception desk role play.  The role play is described as a “typical shift at Reception, when one never knows what to expect next”! The outline scenario brief was sent in advance to finalists to familiarize themselves – especially knowledge of the fictitious hotel and situation described.

After competing, Candidates, family and their hotel managers were invited to attend the Awards Presentation.  We are proud to announce that the winner was Greer Birkinshaw from the Museum Art Hotel and the 1st runner up was Marissa Walmsley ALSO from the Museum Art Hotel. Our girls will go on to represent Wellington at the National competition in Christchurch on Friday 27 September.  The overall winner from that competition goes to represent NZ at the international competition in Germany in January 2014.

 Reception comp