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“Outstanding decadence and well worth the treat...”
Review of Merchant Hotel

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Merchant Hotel
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 April 2012

My partner and I have stayed here twice over the past 12 months and we have loved it each time.

There are two types of room and we’ve been lucky to stay in one of the older type rooms and one of the newer art deco styles rooms and they are both excellent but we would have to give the ‘win’ to the newer art deco styled rooms.

The art deco room was huge with a massive luxury bed, 2 piece suite and flatscreen TV area and a huge bathroom with a walk in shower (with accompanying marble bench!) and huge bath.

I’m aware that I’m using the word ‘huge’ an awful lot but that’s simply because it was.
My girlfriend loved it even more because it had an old style actress make up/vanity area that was lit up by surrounding bulbs around the mirror.

And the wardrobes? Yep, you’ve guessed it – huge.

The older style original rooms are beautifully decorated and have a more 19th Century feeling and we loved it as well but it was smaller and didn’t feel quite as decadent or luxurious.

Ironically, the older style room cost more than the art deco styles room to stay in for the night.

The outside hot tub area is brilliant with a great view but I couldn’t tell you what the gym was like because we didn’t visit the gym; we were treating ourselves and didn’t want to ruin it by looking at people that refuse to ‘switch off’ when they’re away for the night and instead of going out and enjoying themselves, prefer to spend it on a treadmill.

The hotel bar is amazing – the amount of cocktails on offer will please anyone and yes, they are expensive but you get free nibbles all night and table service, you’re never left looking around to get someone’s attention to order a drink. The cocktails themselves are fantastic and really well made.

The jazz bar, Bert’s, is again very nice and rather than relaxing like the hotel bar, is more about chilling out and having some fun – again, expensive but you get what you pay for so it’s worth it.

But what makes a 5* Hotel a 5* star hotel? That’s right – the service.

A room could be the best room in the world but without staff delivering a quality service, it’s ruined.

Luckily the staff in the Merchant are outstanding and are trained to an excellent level of customer service and we couldn’t have asked to be treated better on both occasions that we stayed.

They were friendly, attentive and took an interest.

On one occasion in the hotel bar, one of our cocktails was around 8 minutes in arriving due to the bar being busy and there was no charge for it – don’t know if this is a rule for paying guests but we tried moving seats to fool them again but it didn’t work!

We didn’t eat in the hotel so can’t comment on the food I’m afraid and we didn’t eat there simply because there are 5 or 6 top quality places to eat surrounding the hotel and plenty of bars.

Overall, for a treat and something with a touch of class we can’t think of anywhere better in Belfast or the surrounding area and it will remain one of our favourite places.

Hope this helps give you guys a bit more information about the place – my girlfriend posted a review as well and posted up the pics we took so won’t bother reposting these.

Thanks,

Room Tip: - The newer art deco style rooms are bigger than the older original rooms - The older original ro...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank StephenMooney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,871 - 1,877 of 2,535 reviews

Reviewed 29 March 2012

Treated here for Valentines Day in the Cocktail Bar ...wonderful service cocktails ....everything What an experience!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jan1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

went for a meal in the merchant last night, starter: £10 - scallops, 3 tiny scallops luke warm at best - very poor; main course: £28.50 - beef fillet, could have been frying steak from asda, weighed approx 4oz. paid the bill (£520 between 9 people) - the waitress counted the money at the table and even checked a few of the notes. it was a disgrace. the food was ridiculously poor, the waitress was ignorant and the bill was outrageous. 9 customers who will never be back, a bad stink carries far.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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11  Thank ciaran f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

My party of four were in Belfast for the first time and had consulted Tripadvisor on places to visit and to eat (two of the four are professional chefs so places to eat are important). The Merchant Hotel seemed to rate as a place just for cocktails so we visited the bar on Monday afternoon - it is FANTASTIC! The ambiance, the service, the choice, everything a great cocktail bar should be. We saw the restaurant menu and very quickly decided we wanted lunch next day. We were not disappointed! Again; ambiance, service, choice and quality were all totally top notch.
It isn't cheap but you know the saying; "you get what you pay for" .. it sure is value for money. We hope to return to Belfast and definitely want to stay at The Merchant.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank LancashireVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2012

We travel extensively - nearly 250 days a year - and this is one of the (if not THE) very nicest places we've stayed. EVER. It's that nice.

We splurged and stayed in the CS Lewis Suite (just do it - you only live once - your spouse will be thrilled beyond belief : - ) and extended it from two nights to four. If we could afford it, we'd just move in.

Yes, it was expensive, but you'll be treated like Hollywood elite with impeccable turn-down service, bottled waters every day (real glass bottles accompanied by tall drinking glasses), bedside chocolates every evening, tea and coffee service, etc. The suite we stayed in is Victorian with beautiful fabric wall coverings, a separate living room with gas fireplace and sumptuous down-filled furnishings, elegant paintings and ornately framed mirrors, 18' high ceilings (perhaps higher), floor to ceiling draperies - right out of Architectural Digest Magazine. The separate bedroom includes a king-sized bed with luxurious linens, and the large bathroom includes a rain shower, heated towel rack, and a decorated tile floor. Breakfast can be included (do it!) and it's delicious. The entire hotel - including the staff - is as good as it gets. And that's coming from a very picky set of travelers. We'd be surprised if there was a nicer hotel - not just in Northern Ireland, but in the entire United Kingdom.

The location is also excellent. Located in the heart of downtown Belfast, (a terrific city) the hotel is a three-minute walk to the primary retail district, close to the new MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre), the Cathedral, and close to dozens of restaurants.

Parking is valet only, and the concierge service is excellent. Every single employee knows what it takes to make sure guests have a great time, and they deliver.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank RogerBrooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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 Business Hotel in Belfast
#2 Luxury Hotel in Belfast
#3 Romantic Hotel in Belfast
#4 Family Hotel in Belfast
Price Range: £153 - £349 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Merchant Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 62
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Merchant Hotel Belfast

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