Reincarnated as a stylish luxury hotel, the 19th century Giffnock sandstone façade of the Merchant Hotel was once the headquarters of the Ulster Bank. Today, this Grade A listed building has been transformed (and recently renovated) to create an elegant and opulent space at the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, where the historic cobbled streets are lined with trendy restaurants and bars.
The Merchant’s 62 stylish rooms and suites are spread throughout the Victorian heart of the hotel and the recently added Art Deco wing. The lavish bedrooms are highly appointed, with luxury en-suite bathrooms and amenities. Located in the newer wing of the hotel, the Deco Decadence rooms ooze sleek, 1930s glamour with classic touches reflecting the Art Deco period and Carrera marble bathrooms. In contrast, the Victorian Splendour rooms occupy the original 19th century wing, with antique furnishings, opulent fabrics and lavish, travertine marble bathrooms, complete with roll-top baths. The larger suites, named after famous Irish writers, poets and playwrights, offer plenty of space in their luxurious surrounds, with high ceilings, antique furnishings and unbridled Victorian grandeur.
Located at the heart of the hotel, the Great Room is The Merchant’s main restaurant, serving up sublime twists on traditional classics and a sumptuous afternoon tea. Amongst the ornate columns and gilded, Italianate ceilings, sample the seven-course tasting menu and experience one of Belfast’s finest dining experiences. For a more informal meal, head to the 1920’s inspired Bert’s Bar, with its leather-banquette seating and parquet floors. Serving up French bistro style fare and expertly mixed cocktails, Bert’s transforms into a live jazz venue each evening, perfectly capturing the spirit of the Art Deco era. The Cloth Ear, the Merchant’s very own pub, offers up a tasty menu of classic pub favourites, whilst Ollie’s Club is a sophisticated, state-of-the-art nightclub within the confines of the hotel.
Hidden away in the tranquil basement of The Merchant is their state-of-the-art spa, with five private treatment rooms and an atmospheric feel. Indulge in a pampering massage or simply relax in the luxury hydrotherapy area. For a more high-octane break from exploring Belfast, the hotel’s rooftop gym is home to a fully-equipped fitness studio, steam room, sauna and outdoor hot-tub with a view of the Belfast city skyline.