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“Extravagant but lovely”
Review of Merchant Hotel

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Merchant Hotel
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

This is a beautiful hotel in my home city so I've been here many times for drinks but have never stayed overnight before.

The hotel is modern but is opulent Victorian in style and decor. The staff were very pleasant and helpful, from reception at check in, to the staff in the cocktail bar and the restaurant at the back.

The bed was super kingsize and extremely comfortable. The only minor criticism of the room was that the glass on the mirror was thick with dust - at £240 per night I expected it to be immaculate. The carpet in the dining room was also badly stained but again just a minor criticism.

The breakfast was well worth paying for - everything was fresh and delicious and I would recommend it.

The only problem we encountered was with the room. We were across from The Spaniard pub and the noise went on long into the early hours; I last checked the time at 2.45 am before eventually falling asleep.

I found out the next morning that the staff were aware of the noise problem but were unwilling to move us as all the deluxe rooms were full and this would have meant upgrading us to a suite. It was extremely disappointing to find out that this was their attitude after such an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank Adele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,432 - 1,438 of 2,534 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2013

I have previously enjoyed afternoon tea in the incredible Great Room and fabulous cocktails in the bar but this was my first overnight stay. The Merchant is in a superb location right in the heart of things, with great bars and restaurants right on your doorstep. We walked from here to the Titanic Exhibition which is a little further but manageable. It goes without saying that this is one of the grandest buildings in the city and for anyone who loves Victorian architecture it's a real treat.

The service in the hotel was superb throughout, with friendly and informative staff. Our room was a good size and the dark, heavy Victorian decor was just up my street. The lights were a little temperamental and one lamp was damaged but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the room, which was beautiful, with heavy fabrics, lots of brocade and a super comfortable bed.

I asked to see an Art Deco room in the new section of the hotel for comparison and can confirm that these are larger and brighter (same category) but completely different in style so really it comes down to personal taste. We had lunch in the Great Room, a very good deal and excellent food. The a la carte breakfast the following day was excellent in all regards. We loved playing snooker in the old bank vault whilst sipping martinis from the bar! We also saw a celebrity in the rooftop jacuzzi! Staying here is a fantastic experience and well worth the price.

The only reason I have marked this as a four and not a five star rating is that our room was not completely perfect. It was a wheelchair accessible room which means the bathroom had been modified - this meant no bath and the extra handrails and anti-slip flooring did detract from the aesthetics of the room. I think it's great that the hotel has this facility but I think we should have been advised of this in advance so we could have set our expectations as to the necessary modifications to the decor appropriately.

Being picky, I also personally don't much like those giant showerheads as it means poor pressure and it's almost impossible to keep your hair dry if you don't want to to wash it. In the shower in our room, anyone much over 6 foot 2 would be wearing it as a hat - it is quite low. I do know other people love them and they do look in keeping with the period whereas a shower on a rail might not. Otherwise the bathroom was decorated beautifully, notwithstanding the red emergency cord next to the toilet and the specially raised toilet seat.

The other slight disappointment is that the room had a view over a collection of bins and scrap metal and whilst I didn't really mind that, the following morning at 7am a truck came along to load up with junk and there was a huge amount of banging and clanging. This is obviously outside the hotel's control and one has to expect a certain amount of noise in a central city hotel. However as I have two young children at home I had really been looking forward to an uninterrupted lie-in so was a little disappointed by this! It might be worth asking when you book to have a room facing a different way if you are sensitive to noise, I'm sure the reception staff will be very helpful.

In all other respects the hotel was wonderful and I would certainly book it again, and recommend it to friends and clients. I am sure they would have been happy to move us to a different room had we asked - we didn't ask because we knew the hotel was completely full and we had got the very last room. I hope this review doesn't sound too negative - we really had a 95% positive experience over all.

Room Tip: Check out the website to view the two styles of room before choosing one as they are very different...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alicethetravelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Lovely choice for a romantic getaway. Staff were very helpful and friendly. We opted for an art deco room which was very spacious and clean. The hotel is excellently located and it's interior is beautiful. Both the food and service were to a very high standard. I particularly recommend the Long Room for evening dining. The spa was also very good and the professionalism of the therapists was impressive. We also really enjoyed the entertainment provided by the Jazz bar. However we were disappointed to have to pay additional charges for parking at the end of our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Yasser and Laur... A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

This was our second time at The Merchant and were not disappointed again. It's a beautiful building in a very central location. One of the highlights is sitting in the rooftop jacuzzi looking out over Belfast, another highlight is the restaurants. We love dinner in the Jazz Bar always delicious food and good service and breakfast in the amazingly grand dining room. The breakfast is fantastic a good selection of food and large quantities, nice that its not a buffet.
The rooms are large, clean and very comfortable. The bathrooms are great and very good room service.
Look out for offers last year we got a meal voucher which we could use in any of their restaurants. This made the whole treat of staying there much more affordable.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gabrielle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Large clean room. Staff very hospitable. Food good. Pub lively and enjoyable. Upstairs dining and bar fabulous. Good location for City Center. Stayed one night in August. Group had wonderful over all time in what historically has not been my favorite city on the Island. Missed rioting by a week which is always a plus.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JEC351650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Our travel agent booked this one, Good Job Travel Center Boise ! We were welcomed at the door, car swept away to the carpark, doorman showed us our room, he WALKED us to pubs or restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, making sure we had good seating and service. The room was beautifully done, clean, crisp sheets, good jazz in the bar. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank IrishEwes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Took my mum here for a birthday treat and was very impressed with afternoon tea. The staff were friendly and very professional. They catered well for vegetarians (and other dietary requirements) and they have a fantastic choice of unusual teas. I chose the 'Red berry' tea which I found delicious. The staff were very attentive and were happy to refresh the tea pots. The selection of sweets was also great. The decor is beautiful and it really added to the experience. Overall a very enjoyable day out.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Emma T
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
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Belfast
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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: $205 - $466 (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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