The current hotel was built in 1917.The site was part of Bellevue Gardens.The hotel replaced a larger one that was set back from Woburn (originally known as Waiwhetu or Waiwetu) Road. That hotel burnt down in December 1916.
Alfred Ludlam (1817-1877) established the original gardens in the 1840’s. They were known as ‘Newry’. The gardens extended from White’s Line West to Woburn Road and covered about 35 acres of land. The gardens were known throughout New Zealand for their beauty.
After Ludlam died in 1877 the gardens were bought by James McNab, a gardener from Thorndon. McNab turned them into a public attraction, charging for admission. They were very popular with Wellingtonians, who visited in their hundreds every weekend.
The gardens were purchased by the Ross family in 1896. In 1900 they subdivided the lower part of the estate to form what is now Nikau Grove and Wai-iti Crescent. This was marketed as Ludlam Park.
In 1900 the remaining gardens were sold to Arthur Lodder and John Orr, hoteliers from Wellington. They enlarged the house to accommodate more guests and obtained a liquor license. They renamed the gardens Bellevue.
In 1905 and 1906 Lodder tried to sell the gardens. Both attempts met with considerable opposition from locals. The government was approached about buying the property. They declined both times.
After Lodder died in 1911 the gardens were administered by the Public Trustee. In 1922 the gardens were subdivided and the sections sold.
The Te Omanga Hospice at 136 Woburn Road and Camperdown at 99 Ludlam Crescent were built on land that was part of the gardens.
Some trees from Bellevue Gardens remain, including:
- 140 Woburn Road – Pohutukawa. Planted in the 1840s Bellevue Gardens Hotel by Alfred Ludlam.
- 154 Woburn Road – Tulip Tree. Planted by Alfred Ludlam 1845-60.
- 160 Woburn Road – Kauri tree. Bellevue Gardens.
The motel was added in 1971.