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“The finest hotel in Ireland...”
Review of Merchant Hotel

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Merchant Hotel
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 March 2012

My wife recently surprised me with a night in The Merchant to celebrate my birthday. Though we've stayed there a couple of times before and have always found the hotel absolutely wonderful, for this visit, we were really able to take in the extraordinary new wing and the amazing spa.

As it was my birthday, we arrived early so that we could go out in Belfast as my wife had some shopping expeditions planned. I pulled up to The Merchant, hoping they'd be able to accommodate us with parking even though we were there far too early to check in, and I was incredibly surprised when the doormen greeted me with recognition and then the reception staff greeted me by name, all wishing me a Happy Birthday.

It really meant a great deal to me and I was aware the staff at the hotel were more than attentive and had even done their research to make our one night stay memorable. It was certainly a great opening act for the rest of our visit!

Though we had arrived quite early and were not expecting our room to be ready, the reception staff made us feel completely at ease while they briefly checked and then quickly informed us that they had our room ready and then had the doorman standing by with our bags, ready to guide us to our room... In fact this all happened so smoothly, and I was so surprised they'd remembered us and taken the time to mark my birthday AND had our room ready early, that I didn't even notice my car being whisked away to secure parking.

I realise I'm going on a bit here, but seriously, it was such a well oiled machine and it all happened so smoothly.... It's just that nowadays, even in 5 star hotels, you just don't always see this Old World service.

Our Art Deco themed room was absolutely stunning, with loads of great touches like a separate sitting area, a small dressing room with a lit mirror, and a HUGE bathroom with both a rain shower and a large cast iron bathtub, perfect for a long relaxing soak. After going out into Belfast on foot as the Merchant is located right in the heart of Belfast, we ended up ordering some snacks from room service and a couple of drinks and enjoying one of the free movies available as part of the in room entertainment service before dinner... all of it so much fun and so very relaxing.

We went on to enjoy a wonderful time having dinner that evening at Bert's Bar, where the very talented jazz band sang "Moon River" instead of Happy Birthday for me as it's my favourite song, and the waiter brought me out a a lovely plate of sweets, personalised with Happy Birthday.

We got back to our room to find not only the room straightened and freshened as part of the turn down service, but also that the staff had left me balloons and chocolate for my birthday. It was such a nice and personal touch and it really made us feel special.

In the morning we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast, which room service quickly arranged for us in our room. We lounged around so much in fact that we needed to shift our spa time window, which was easily done. In fact, reception arranged our check out and took care of our luggage so we could easily visit the spa and then spend the rest of the afternoon in Belfast before we departed later that evening.

And the spa was fantastic... quiet, luxurious, restful and glorious. Seriously, you want this experience. Worth every penny and the spa taster package is well worth the money and a great way to dip your toes in what is available.

When we finally departed after spending the afternoon in Belfast, the doormen brought our vehicle around, took all our bags out and wished us well, while welcoming us back. We found some lovely candies left in our car from the Merchant as well, a great final touch to an extraordinary stay.

I've been travelling internationally for many, many years and have been fortunate to stay at some of the world's finest hotels. The Merchant not only deserves a place in that elite group... it actually sticks out as wonderfully delightful experience, catering to the individual while providing the service you expect from a top notch hotel.

We'll definitely be back. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The higher floors in the new section have wonderful views of Belfast and don't miss the rooftop...
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank tresheppard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,877 - 1,883 of 2,536 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2012

Had booked afternoon tea at the Merchant with my sisters and 81 yr old mother for St Paddys Day/Mothers Day. Arrived early to make the most of the experience only to be told that we could not have our table until the allotted time ie. 3pm. (even though the place was empty) Fair enough! Told that we would have to take a seat in the cocktail bar. Cocktail bar was busy but not overly busy for St Paddys day so waited for a seat. When a seat eventually became available it was commandeered immediately by a waitress who said it was being reserved! Told her we had been waiting (with 81 yr old and 6 yr old in tow) bad luck more or less. Some kind gentlemen at the bar eventually offered us their seats. My mum was quite embarrassed by this stage as the altercation with the waitress seemed to make up for the lack of entertainment on offer. Overall experience was boring and underwhelming much like the attitude of the staff. Have eaten here on a number of occasions in the great room and Berts buts have always been left wanting. As Einstein said "don't keep doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result". This could have been written for the Merchant. Never fails to disappoint ...sadly!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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3  Thank Mayg69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2012

Brilliant hotel very conveniently situated in the heart of Belfast. Facilities & room 5*. Rooftop Jacuzzi a very nice feature. Well worth paying that little extra for 5* service. Restaurant - diner & breakfast top quality.

Room Tip: Went for Victorian room - Enormous, comfortable bed.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tyrone_2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2012

I loved this hotel and would definitely stay here again. Beautiful decorated interior in what used to be a bank. I stayed in the "modern" section of the hotel and I was very impressed with the lovely room and beautiful bath in the room. It had everything I could possibly want and I very much enjoyed my stay! Sorry the review is so late, but I'm a busy girl!

Room Tip: The new rooms have a very sleek and hip feel to them. The older rooms are very richly appointed and...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank Echo711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2012

We have just returned home after a birthday weekend in The Merchant. Everything was just perfect and the staff were incredibly polite, efficient and helpful. There were many lovely little touches like a balloon and chocolates in my room to mark my birthday and after dinner the waiter brought us a plate of homemade sweets with Happy Birthday written in chocolate - lovely touch! Our room was one of the art deco rooms and it was magnificent. Anyone who wants luxury and attention to detail will not be disappointed. We would thoroughly recommend this hotel for a special treat. It is expensive to eat and drink in the hotel in the evening but it is worth it for the ambiance. A little tip is to have morning coffee or lunch in the cocktail bar as it is very reasonably priced. The gymnasium and spa are definitely worth a visit, so make sure to bring the appropriate fitness gear and swimwear. This is a magical place in the middle of a bustling city. We are already planning to return!

Room Tip: If you like old world ask for a Victorian room but if you prefer contemporary ask for an art deco ro...
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Brecht56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

My daughter and I went here for Afternoon tea today. Such a pleasant experience. The food was amazing and the staff were excellent and the general atmoshere was nice and mellow. I really enjoyed the ambience. The manager was also very helpful and friendly and the waiters could not be nice enough. The merchant Hotel has to be one of my favourite hotels ever and it's great that it's so close to where I live. I will never forget today.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank ToBandBornotoBandB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Nowhere like it in N. Ireland not even close! I don't think i've stayed anywhere in the world better. Rooms, staff and food and cocktails you can't find a fault.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank grahamhenry1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Merchant Hotel

Address: 16 Skipper Street, Belfast BT1 2DZ, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Belfast
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Belfast
#2 Business Hotel in Belfast
#3 Romantic Hotel in Belfast
#4 Family Hotel in Belfast
Price Range: £156 - £360 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Merchant Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 62
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Also Known As:
Merchant Hotel Belfast

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