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Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin Enviro-Silver Award Rating4 Star Plus Qualmark Rating

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross is Dunedin's largest and most established hotel. Located in the heart of Dunedin, this hotel has been extensively refurbished and now provides guests with modern style, exquisite quality, convenience and exceptional service.

Hotel Southern Cross  Carlton Restaurant, Southern Cross Superior Dunedin Hotel Accommodation

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation, giving the convenience of having entertainment, shopping and restaurants close at hand. Just a short walk from the Octagon, railway station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago university, it is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Whether you are staying for business or pleasure, it is hard to go past the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.

Dating back to 1883, this landmark building now blends Dunedin’s distinctive charm and heritage with modern styles and comforts. Your every comfort is well provided for, with 178 attractive rooms and suites, extensive hotel facilities, and a very high standard of service. This has earned the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross a 4 star plus Qualmark rating, as well as the Enviro-Silver award.

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Location


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Lat: 45° 52' 39.8856" S
Lon: 170° 30' 4.1544" E
GPS: 118 High Street, Dunedin

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Facilities

For your convenience the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross has...

Carlton Hotel Restaurant Ports O’Call Grill Café D’Oro 24-hour Room Service Two Guest Laundries Valet Laundry & Dry Cleaning Services Gym

Wireless Internet Access Conference Facilities Valet & Self Car Parking Tourist Information & Booking Services Internet Kiosk


*Extensive On-site Car parking is available - at a minimal fee of $12.00. Alternative public parking is available in surrounding areas.

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Room Amenities

The hotel has 178 rooms and suites with special access rooms available.

Rooms and suites include:

Sky TV Fridge Ironing Facilities Hair Dryer Tea and Coffee Making Facilities Mini Bar Wireless Internet Access

Balcony Desk Space 

*Some facilities may not be available in all room types.

Dunedin Local Attractions

Often referred to as the Edinburgh of the south, Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and traces its history back to its Scottish settlers. As such it has a rich history to explore but also has many other activities to interest and thrill visitors. Just a few to consider include:

  • Albatross colony
  • Historic architecture
  • Penguin & seal colony
  • Larnach Castle
  • Marine Studies Aquarium
  • Olveston Historic House
  • Surf beaches
  • Otago Settlers Museum
  • Glenfallock Gardens
  • NZ Sports Hall of Fame
  • Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Dunedin Art Gallery
  • Monarch Harbour Cruises
  • Speights Heritage Centre
  • Dunedin Casino
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Forsyth Barr Stadium
  • Cadbury World
  • University of Otago
  • Theatre
  • Shopping, including boutique fashion
  • Trout fishing
  • Saltwater canoeing & kayaking
  • Cycling & mountain biking

Something for everyone

As Dunedin's oldest and most established hotel, the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross appreciate that people like a selection when deciding where they would like to enjoy a meal or a quiet drink. With four wining and dining establishments throughout the hotel, not to mention the Dunedin Casino that is within the original hotel building, there are options to suit everyone's tastes from light cafe snacks to brasserie style full meals.

Opening hours

Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner are available in our cafe and restaurants including the Carlton Restaurant (open for breakfast from 6am until 10am and dinner from 6pm until 10pm); Café D’Oro (more casual options from 7am until 6pm Monday-Sunday) and Ports O’Call Bar (bar snacks and drinks from 4.30pm until late all week).

Central Otago on a plate

Local meats and produce feature heavily on the menus at all of the eating establishments in the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross. Look out for specialities such as Otago Queen scallops, Otago lamb cutlets and Oamaru Whitestone cheeses.

See below for a sample of the wining and dining options we have on offer:

Carlton Restaurant Breakfast Menu
Carlton Restaurant Dinner Menu
Ports O'Call Bar Menu
Ports O'Call Wine List

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Please click on the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross image to enlarge.

Our Hotel History, Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

In 1880, James and John Watson leased land in High Street from Mr John Sidey for an annual rent of ₤1965. The brothers had previously owned and operated the Royal Hotel, the Empire Hotel and Watson’s Commercial Dining Rooms/the Commercial Hotel between them. The site on the corner of High and Princes Street was to become their greatest, and grandest, investment.

Designed by Italian born architect Louis Boldini, the Grand Hotel cost over ₤40,000 when it was completed in 1883 and was lauded as one of the most well appointed establishments in the Southern Hemisphere.

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross was designed and furnished to provide the ultimate in hotel experience with only the highest quality of materials used. Mosaic inlaid floors, glass domes and majestic pillars gave the entrance a true sense of grandeur. Modern Otis elevators and Shacklock stoves further set the hotel apart from its contemporaries.

Luxuriously appointed and “…furnished with a degree of luxury and taste seldom seen except in the leading hotels of Europe.*” the hotel has hosted many famous guests. Yehudi Menuin, Sir Lawrence Olivier and several members of royalty have ascended the grand staircase and crossed the intricate Minton Tiles, as have many of today’s top sports teams and personalities from across the globe.

The Watson brothers successfully operated the hotel for ten years until 1893 when they were forced into bankruptcy as a direct result of escalating rent increases. While the brothers owned the hotel, the land remained subject to an annual rental. Due to a ‘ratchet clause’ in the lease, the rent charged was directly linked to the profitability of the establishment. The Watson’s good fortune was, ironically, their downfall. Legislation was later reviewed and changed to prevent such activities as a consequence.

*Excerpt from Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1901

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Contact us

118 High St
Dunedin 9016
Ph: +64 3 477 0752
sthx@scenichotels.co.nz

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