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“Sumptous”
Review of Merchant Hotel

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Merchant Hotel
Ranked #2 of 45 Hotels in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Sumptous”
Reviewed July 10, 2008

My husband and I spent a weekend in the hotel, from Friday check-in unitl Sunday 12pm check out. When we arrived on Friday shortly before 3pm to check in, our room was not ready so we had to go into town and while away some time shopping! This was our second time in the hotel and on the first occasion I thought I had gone to hotel heaven. However, on this occasion we had spent the previous night in the Culloden Hotel outside Belfast and I saw The Merchant from a different perspective. The Merchant is a beautiful, sumptious, tasteful, grand hotel but the basic rooms are on the small side (the same could not be said about the bed, it was astonishingly enormous). There are no tea/coffee making facilities, very little toiletries (enough for one person to have one shower per day), there is only one bottle of drinking water per person supplied per day, we had a single wardrobe between us to hang our clothes (and considering we were spending a long weekend away from home we had quite a lot with us). Also you have to pay £10 per night for the liberty of parking your car in a yard with the hotel.

In our room, 106, the windows faced a pub called the Spaniard and as it was the weekend there was alot of noise coming from it and other surrounding clubs, especially at closing time. The windows seemed to let the noise straight in, even though they were double glazed and closed.

There are currently no SPA facilities on site, although we were led to believe this is changing in the future. As residents of the Merchant you are entitled to free use of a SPA in the Holiday Inn which is a short drive across town and in my opinion is about a 3* facility.

If you like to have a tipple, be prepared to pay for it. There are no draught beers and I think the cheapest bottle of beer was £4. The most expensive drink was a shot of dark rum at £700.00 per shot!

On the plus side, the staff seem very friendly and obliging, especially the concierges. The building itself is amazingly beautiful, especially the Great Hall. Breakfast here is an experience in itself. It's worth going to see the hall on it's own even if you don't stay in the hotel. There was also an arrangement with the night club down in the basement which entitled residents to free entry and preferential treatment when inside.

This hotel is definitely worth staying in but I would not like to pay the full rack rate for a basic room (currently about £240 per room per night). Whilst I appreciate the building is a listed building and therefore limited to the amount of space available, if you don't like petite rooms then you will have to fork out for a suite of rooms which are either £350 or £450 per night.

Overall, a gorgeous place to stay if you are willing to pay for the upgrade. If not, be prepared to be a wee bit cramped. Breakfast in the Great Hall is a must. The restaurant in the hotel is lovely (also in the Great Hall) although expensive. The Cloth Ear is a pub next door which is owned by the hotel and serves lovely food for a smaller charge, and gives preferential treatment for hotel guests. The area around the hotel is buzzing with loads of pubs, restaurants etc so as far as location goes the hotel is well situated.

  • Liked — The gorgeous, sumptioous, luxurious building
  • Disliked — Small rooms, no SPA
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank raffoIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (447)
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English first
Newry
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2008

A group of us stayed in the Merchant and had a fabulous experience, the staff were welcoming, warm and extremely professional. Food was wonderful although a little extravagant flavours wise for me, breakfast divine and the whole ambiance was first class. We have booked again! Totally recommend it here

  • Liked — Wonderful beds!
  • Disliked — Very dull interior
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tillylamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

Stayed at the Merchant with my husband for my birthday, we live in belfast so we just stayed at the merchant as a treat. We were not disappointed, its a lovely hotel and the staff were really helpful. Although the hotel is newish it has an antique feel about it.

  • Liked — everything especially the turn down service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank berniemck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2008

Following my disappointing visit in October I went back to the Merchant earlier this month.

My room was far away from the nightclub and up a few floors and it made such a difference. It was another lovely, sumptous room. Love the beds.

The staff were lovely and welcoming and were able to reserve a table for us in the busy restaurant at the last minute. Had a delicious meal and would go back again for the food alone.

The only problem during our overnight stay was the fire alarm going off just before 7am and having to evacuate and stand outside in the street for about 30 minutes. It wasn't the hotels fault, someone vandalising it seemed, and everyone was pleasant and apologetic about it.

A lovely breakfast afterwards before heading back to bed for an hour (to recover from the jolt out of bed earlier than planned) and then a swift and pleasant check out.

Would go back again for sure and would recommend it for a great place to stay. Would also recommend the restaurant for a meal, even if staying somewhere else in Belfast as it seemed good value for the quality.

  • Liked — Bed and food
  • Disliked — Nothing that was their fault, see my review about the fire alarm
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LuxHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2008

The twin room we were allocated was absolutely great, with two very large comfortable beds. The bathroom was stocked with lovely toiletries.
The hotel has retained a lot of the ornate furnishings of its previous life as a bank and the dining room is absolutely splendid. Our dinner was exceptional - flavour, presentation and service all superb. In fact is was so good that we kept eating and drinking and spent a lot more than originally intended!
Overall this is an expensive hotel but for a special occasion would be well worth the cost.

  • Liked — Luxury of the bedroom and the dining room
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barcardi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2008

We stayed on a Friday night, arrived late after 10PM but staff were friendly and helpful, the valet moved the car for us as we were parked on the busy side street. Room was gorgeous and clean, quiet too with no noise from outside or other rooms. Checkout was at 12PM so we had time to lie in and have a big delicious breakfast in bed for no extra charge (unless you want a cooked breakfast). Only complaint was that freeview would have been nice! Would definitely stay there again, only wish we had got there earlier to try the bars downstairs.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hcas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coleraine
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2008

I was very excited when we booked the Merchant Hotel for our 20th wedding anniversary but was extremely disappointed with the experience. Before departing we rang the hotel to enquire about parking as we had already pre-paid, and were told that on arrival to pull up and the valet would take care of our car, however on arriving we had the option of double yellow lines or the footpath. There was no valet present so I had to abandon my car (which was blocking the street) and enter the hotel to look for him,(not his fault as he is also the Bell boy and was showing people to their room).The room itself was dark, dingy and dirty. We had no drinking water, no tea/coffee making facilities, no iron, no shower gel, only enough toiletries for one person and no face cloths. We found sleeping impossible with the music coming from the hotel bar and the noise from surrounding bars. When we raised our concerns regarding the noise with the girl at reception she told us that as its a city centre hotel we should have expected that.
Worst hotel I have ever stayed in.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Peadarodoc
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 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 (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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