The Distinction Hotel Dunedin is a refurbished masterpiece. A classic building occupying an entire city block, this former 1937 chief post office sat empty since the 1990s.
Now restored with elegance, it reflects the heritage of this New Zealand city.
Distinction Dunedin opened in 2015 and is a 4.5-star luxury accommodation. It is part of the 100% New Zealand owned and operated Distinction Hotel Chain.
Their goal “is for every visitor exploring the beauty of New Zealand’s most captivating regions to stay in comfortable, quality accommodation with the highest standard of service.” For us, they met and exceeded this objective.
Ideally located, incredibly comfortable, and a quiet escape, the Distinction Hotel Dunedin is the perfect South Island choice.
Here’s why …
Our family suite
Travelling as three people, we opted for a family suite.
It was huge, with two sleeping rooms, a kitchenette, a modern bathroom, and plenty of sitting space. The cosy pillow-top mattresses on our king bed made staying awake to watch the big TV a bit difficult. Our teen had no complaints in her own bedroom, which featured two twin beds and a second large flat-screen TV.
There is nothing quite like waking up in a bed so comfortable that for the first moment of the day, I forget I am away from home.
Donning the slippers and plush robe provided by Distinction Hotel Dunedin, I had the choice of making a quick coffee or tea or taking a shower to wake me. Normally, I would reach for the coffee, but not here. The shower was a splash of pure happiness.
Our room also featured plenty of USB ports, free and unlimited internet, a laundry washer and dryer, a microwave oven, a toaster, and triple glazed windows.
It is the attention to detail that I really enjoyed. We have had washing machines in other hotel rooms, but this is the first time a hotel went the extra step of providing a sachet of pre-measured laundry soap.
And, of course, it had all the personal toiletries one would expect in luxury accommodation.
Like what your reading? ⇒ Check prices for your next stay in Dunedin at the Distinction.
There is more to the Distinction Hotel Dunedin than just our room
The 24-hour reception area presented an elegant simplicity. Neither overstated nor unrefined, it offered a bit of art nouveau fun.
The friendly, knowledgeable staff instinctively knew the right amount of conversation to keep each visitor happy; from the all-business client to our chatty family, they met the mark.
Utilizing an entrance from the original building, the restaurant is named Parcels. It’s a clever name for a restaurant in an old post office.
Similarly, the bar is called Post Bar. The mesmerising illuminated top-shelf display changes colours.
The decor is welcoming and comfortable. The Post Bar and restaurant overlap a bit, again with friendly, attentive service and, importantly, good coffee.
We ate at Parcels one morning for breakfast and were pleasantly surprised by the affordable pricing and huge meals.
And then there is the gym. Run by Air Fitness and located on the third floor, it is open 24 hours a day for hotel guests. One of the most impressive gyms I have seen in New Zealand. It has it all and more.
Location, location, location
We couldn’t have been happier with our location.
The hotel is at 6 Liverpool St, Dunedin, a short walk to the Octagon, the Dunedin Chinese Gardens, the Dunedin Railway Station (New Zealand’s most photographed building), and many other cool things to do in Dunedin.
Basically, it’s central to everything we wanted to do, we only needed our car to enjoy the wildlife on the Otago Peninsula.
The hotel offered both valet and self-parking at a nominal additional fee. We opted for the extremely efficient valet parking. We simply left our key, and everything was done for us.
Like what you see? ⇒ Check prices for your next stay in Dunedin at the Distinction.
Final thoughts on the Distinction Hotel Dunedin
If you are looking for a touch of luxury around every corner, we believe the Distinction Hotel Dunedin is a winner.
They exceeded our expectations on every level from the room to the location, we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.
For me, sleep ranks high in importance, and it was easy at this hotel.
If we had to find a negative, it would only be that the refurbishment wasn’t fully completed when we stayed and there were areas that were off-limits to us. However, that should be fully resolved by now.
Overall, we highly recommend the Distinction Hotel Dunedin and plan to stay there again whenever we are in Dunedin. You can check availability and book your room at the Distinction Dunedin here.
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Will you stay at the Distinction Dunedin on your next visit?
More from the South Island you might also like … or check out 18 Extraordinary Things to Do in the South Island.
Disclaimer: As media guests of the hotel we were provided with a few extra benefits. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
And such a good nights sleep.
Hello.. lovely hotel ..
sometime we book hotel online and not get good service . prefer to go for hotel with review or blog post
A renovated old post office – that’s all one got to know about Distinction Dunedin. Blending history with modern luxury makes it an amazing hotel.
The suite is quite a spacious one with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.
Specially like the look of the bar with changing colours and the intricate restaurant setting. I’ll be sure to check it out when I make it to NZ.
I love this new movement with hotels to either go seriously minimalist or pay homage to the heritage. That being said, I love how the Parcels restaurant kept the entrance of the old building and has been named accordingly to honor the space’s roots as a old post office! Glad you had a great time!
I love how more and more cities are honoring their cultural heritage by preserving some of the most historic buildings into hotels. I’ve stayed at a hotel in Washington DC which was also a former post office building, and there’s such a sense of history in staying there. Which is unique in an age where I feel as though we have so many cookie cutter hotels.
The family suite looks huge. And so luxe and comfortable. I love the elegence of the interior and how refined everything is – but not over the top. Will definitely stay here when we jump over to NZ 🙂
It sure looks like a great place to stay, especially since it is close to the railways station. Yes, it is quite innovative to name the restaurant as parcels, reminding patrons of its heritage. The bar decoration is quite attractive.
This hotel is fabulous and with the amenities, it looks more like a condo to me. I was surprised to see that the rooms have a washer and dryer and the fitness center is huge!
Sandy N Vyjay
The Distinction Hotel Dunedin looks so elegant and spacious. I can see it blends in heritage with modern-day convenience in elegant style. Having a heritage post office refurbished into a grand hotel is in itself enough to draw one to the hotel. The views are another charming facet of this hotel. I am sure one can have a blissful night’s sleep here.
What a cool looking hotel. I really love the chairs in the lobby, they remind me of being a queen, with the high backs on them.
Bonus – washer and dryer in the room!!
Room looks really cozy! And the view is not bead either!
I was really pleased to find our room on the top floor, with such a lovely view.
that seriously looks like the comfiest bed ever. and that hotel room did not look like a hotel room at all but a super cozy bedroom. I will definitely remember this post and recommendation when I go to NZ!
It is a pillow-top that I could just sink into, the right amount. So comfy.
The rooms are well appointed. I’d love to stay there.
It definitely had everything we could have wanted, and more.
This looks like a wonderful place to stay.
Even the smaller of our two bedrooms seems much larger than the room we used to share.
This looks like a great touch of luxury in beautiful Dunedin. I love the way they incorporated the old use of the building. Great review.
The old building really stands out too. It looks better on a sunny day, but I didn’t take the exterior photo until the last morning.
Lydia C. Lee
That looks lovely!
It’s luxurious simplicity.
L. Diane Wolfe
Washer and dryer, too? Now that’s a nice suite.
I was so happy to open the “closet” door inside the bathroom and find them there.
It all looks wonderful!
It’s a perfect place to stay.
I would want that washer and dryer in my own bathroom at home! How convenient! I can imagine sleeping well on those luxurious bed.
LOL – At home, ours is in the garage.
Agness of Fit Travelling
Such a charming and cozy hotel, Rhonda. Next time I go to New Zealand, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay at this hotel. The gym has won my heart. 😉
There are several Distinctions throughout the country. This is the only one we have stayed at so far, and it set the bar quite high.
Wow quite some luxury there your room was lovely with a fantastic view too
I want some of that breakfast heheh!
Have an omelettetastic day Rhonda 🙂
The breakfast was good, and it had some nearby local cafe competition too. Eating in Dunedin is easy.
Julie Kemp Pick
Hi Rhonda! What a lovely hotel with extraordinary amenities! It’s so convenient having a washer and dryer, and
I like that they even provided pre-measured laundry detergent! Great view, and there was certainly enough to do at
the hotel on a rainy day, but I know a little rain would never slow you down.
A delicious restaurant, a friendly bar, and a massive gym; yes there was plenty to keep us busy. However, you are correct, rain wouldn’t keep us in.
It looks like a beautiful place to stay.
Our suite was so big and plush. It was really lovely.
New Zealand, and the whole South Pacific region, is on my short list of dream trips. My Grandfather used to tell me stories about how he went to the South Pacific during World War II, and he always wanted to return under better circumstances.
New Zealand is a fantastic place to visit or to live.
looks like a place I would love to visit. im totally putting this destination on my go to list (:
And when you get to Dunedin, you will know where to stay.
Very nice indeed. Comfortable beds are ever so wonderful when one is traveling. I’ve had many that were not. I would stay here in a heartbeat.
Have a fabulous day. ☺
This is a new hotel, and whoever shopped for the mattresses did an outstanding job.
A washer and drying IN unit is the ultimate luxury in an apartment. Now, that kind of feature at a hotel, amazing!
I agree. It was a fabulous treat that we didn’t’ get to use, as Dunedin was the first stop on our adventure.
Looks like a really nice place. I sure would love to visit AU & NZ some day.
Well, at least you know where to stay when you do get here.
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Impressive workout room! Looks like your room had a great view as well.
And you are seeing less than half of the gym. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. And, yes we had a lovely view of Dunedin harbour.