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“Top Class Hotel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Merchant Hotel

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Merchant Hotel
Ranked #3 of 43 Hotels in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
87 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Top Class Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

We have visited the Merchant several times and have enjoyed our stay on each occasion. The location is great, within reach of most of Belfast's attractions.

We have only stayed in the Victorian rooms and have not experienced the newer Art Deco rooms yet. The Victorian rooms are nicely decorated, though they are not necessarily very big rooms. They are actually poorly lit, which makes reading very difficult. Be warned that you may experience noise problems either from the Spaniard pub nearby or from the nightclub. Make sure you have earplugs, which may be supplied in your room.

The staff have always been very friendly and efficient, and very eager to help, so absolutely no complaints there.

One of the best things about the hotel is the wonderful Great Room the dining room with its fantastic ceiling and sculptures. Afternoon teas are very nice, though to be honest, the evening food is not really 5 star quality. The bar in the older part of the hotel is also very nice and comfortable. It has apparently been voted best hotel bar in the world, though it is pricey.

At first, the £15 daily parking charge seems steep, but you will pay that in other city centre hotels anyway (if not more) and you do get valet parking.

Overall, the Merchant is a top class hotel. It is expensive, but you do get what you pay for.

Room Tip: If you are not supplied with earplugs, make sure you get them, as there can be noise problems.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rover022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (421)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
146 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

If I ever stay in Belfast I stay here. It is a fabulous hotel and truly the only five star, in my opinion, in Northern Ireland. The service is outstanding as is the food. The decor is stunning and true to its origins. Have dinner in the Great Room and sit surrounded by cherubs and sample the amazing cuisine, have cocktails in the bar and relax or go to the Jazz bar and listen to some great music. The hotel has two sides, the modern chic which was recently build as an add-on; Spacious comfortable rooms. The older side is in the original building full of old world comfort and charm. Heavy drapes and bedding, sumptuous antique surroundings and retro fitted bathrooms. This can be a romanic hideaway in a bustling lively city and/or a high quality business meeting venue. You will not be disappointed. The hotel is within a half a mile of the shopping centres and restaurants and a fifteen minute walk to the Titanic Quarter (or £3.50 in a cab) I wish I was there now..

Room Tip: Rooms are dependent on taste. If you like old world charm ask to stay in the old part of the hotel...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CMC777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
107 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

Just back from a weekend stay in the Merchant Hotel Belfast. Having read all the reviews I had high expectations and these were generally met but some small things bring it in under what I would give a 5 star rating to.

Firstly, this is the best hotel in Belfast in my opinion (I popped into a few for a look!). The hotel is very nicely decorated. The victorian and new art deco areas are very different and almost like two seperate hotels. Most of the rooms seem to be in the new area which also has the spa and reception as well as Bart's jazz bar. Staff were friendly and the bedroom was very well appointed and a good size. The bathroom was particularly large and nicely done. The location of the hotel is good, just one street away from the main shopping areas and within walking distances of all sights.

The reasons for holding back on the five stars are as follows - our package including two nights B&B plus dinner in Bart's jazz bar. Earlier in the day we looked at the menu posted outside the door but found that the menu presented to our table was a lesser version than other diners. We also felt that service to our table was less attentive and slower. At the time of booking there was no suggestion that the package menu was restricted and no option to upgrade it (which we would have done for a supplement if asked). I felt a little cheated on this. Breakfast in the main hotel restaurant was good.

The hot water in the bathroom took about 10 minutes to warm up everytime we took a shower. The roof top hot tub closed at 6 pm in the evening during our stay - surely that is the time most visitors would avail of this facility having returned from sightseeing and before preparing for dinner?

The entrance to the hotel that you see in the pictures is very nice and old victoria style. We arrived by car and found that entrance but could not see any place to stop or drop off. After doing the block again we beckoned a staff member outside the hotel who directed us to the side street. This door seemed more like a side entrance rather than the main entrance and did not suggest a main hotel door.

I always try to keep my reviews positive and upbeat and I would certainly recommend this hotel but I think the hotel could change a few small things to make it great.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

I was really excited about staying in this hotel having read all the reviews.
Firstly the cost of the weekend was taken from my credit card and couple of weeks before the stay and without any notification, not a good start.
We asked to stay in a 'Victorian' room rather than an art deco room, we were located on the 3rd floor down a side corridor, and the room was small..........well small for the price of our stay. The bed was wide but slightly short, there was a desk and two arm chairs in the room also and a small closet. The closet was cramped; there was a safe and tea making facilities in it which meant I couldn't hang my dresses easily. Huge bathroom with a lovely bath/shower. I'm not a big fan of standing in the bath for a shower and have stayed in other 5 star hotels where bath and shower are separate, just a small point. We had a huge wall of windows which was great but all the blinds had to be let down by hand. The room was slightly 'worn'. I noticed one side of the blind was held in place with black tape, the throw on the bed was bobbled and there was a big heating unit (?) behind the desk that was quite ugly.
I know this all sounds like I'm a crazy princess but it is an expensive hotel to stay in and is meant to be 5 stars. I have stayed in other 5 star hotels that had a nicer finish with bigger rooms. Maybe the interior was just not to my taste.
Another point was that there seems to be no 'sitting room' type areas in the hotel, rooms with big couches and fires where you can read the paper etc.........So while the hotel is nice I did not find it overly restful or relaxing but yes it is a city centre hotel.
One more negative, no swimming pool.........We had access to the gym which looked amazing, views over the city etc and my boyfriend did use it and really like the set up. It looked very modern and the staff was very nice. In the same area were the sauna, steam room and hot tub. To use the hydrotherapy facilities in the spa you had to book a treatment (as standard) AND pay a supplement of £15, I really think that is crazy.
On a positive note, the food was great. We had a snack in the bar on Friday and dinner in the great room. The great room is really atmospheric and my boyfriend commented that the food was the nicest hotel food he had ever had, I would agree. We had pate and smoked haddock to start, both delicious. I had duck l'orange to follow and was delighted that it was a really modern version of this dish. It was light and tasty with green veg and segments of blood orange in a light dressing, I loved it. Breakfast was amazing too. Loads of choice and no waiting at a buffet!
We had a few drinks after dinner on Friday in the cocktail bar which is nice but not much atmosphere, very friendly staff and cucumber added to my Gin which I love!
We were told on checking in that a paper would be left at the door the next morning and was there any particular paper we would like for Sunday, we asked for the Times and then were charged for both papers although I assumed they would be complimentary. You also have to pay for parking per day, it does say this on the website but it is £15 or £20 per day which just seems insane considering the price of the rooms.
Over all the stay was ok, not what I was expecting. I did not feel very relaxed in the hotel. Unfortunately I would not revisit this hotel. I did note most of these points on my feedback card to the hotel

Room Tip: Do not go for room 320
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Orlaith Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

Stayed at the merchant last night with my girlfriend and it was totally perfect. The art deco room was wonderful and you would be nit picking to find something wrong with our whole stay. We just wished it was longer. Highly enjoyable!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CobraKai82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guilford, null, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

I splashed out and stayed in a suite over Christmas 2011. The hotel is lovely and easily holds it own on the world stage of top class hotels.

The food is good, the cocktail bar is super awesome and the staff were outstanding. I love the location. The room was also incredible extremely sumptuous. In fact it was a heavenly piece of luxury in Belfast.

The reason I have marked it so low is because they have a nightclub in the hotel. If you stay on a Friday or Saturday night then there is a non stop, low frequency "boom boom" all through the night which stops you getting to sleep. I went out into the hallway and could hear it all over the floor.

I asked the lady in the help desk about this and she said the night lub was I the bank vault to try and eliminate noise.

I guess from Sunday until Wednesday I would rate truly five star. It's harsh to rate as terrible but I just thought the basic principle behind a hotel was to get somewhere to sleep. It just failed in this one area despite surpassing expectations in every other area.

If you are a deep sleeper though then this probably won't be a problem for you and I'd rate it as 5 star again. A real shame whilst I love the hotel I probably wouldn't stay there again.

Room Tip: I would avoid the suites, other rooms may be quieter on a weekend.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

I booked this as a treat for my parents retirement as I knew it was the sort of thing they wouldnt really book for them selves.
What atreat!!
Mum said the surroundings are so oppulant and ornate but the atmosphere is calm and relaxed.The choice of cakes and sandwiches were to die for and when they couldnt eat them all,their waiter boxed everything up for them to enjoy later!!
The icing on the cake though(excuse the pun!!!)was a little extra cake which had written (in icing)"Happy Retirement".

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SOPHIEDOFEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Merchant Hotel

Property: Merchant Hotel
Address: 16 Skipper Street, Belfast BT1 2DY, 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
#3 Romantic Hotel in Belfast
#3 Luxury Hotel in Belfast
#4 Family Hotel in Belfast
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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