As we move around Ireland looking at some of the best hotels this island has to offer, we take our first trip into the North to visit The Merchant Hotel in Belfast.
You'll be taken with this stunning hotel the moment you walk into the huge main room, which used to be an old bank and still has many of its original features. The building itself is split into Victorian (old) and Art Deco (modern) parts and the two styles are married beautifully.
Located in the city centre, The Merchant is an ideal base to explore the city and Northern Ireland in general — although with its bars and restaurants, as well as stunning service and friendly staff, you may not even want to step foot outside.
For many, the main attraction of staying in a top end hotel is your room. The big beds. The views. The privacy. As soon as you step foot into any of the rooms in The Merchant, you'll feel like a million miles away from your own home. They're classy, cosy and make you never want to venture back out into the real world again.
3 things to do while staying here
Belfast is a city that has been reborn over the last decade and there are so many great things to do in the area. While the list is endless three great places to start are...
The most famous ship the world has ever seen was built right here in Belfast and the Titanic exhibition is something else. A must visit.
Belfast Black Taxi Tour
Belfast does of course have a very storied recent history and there's no better way to get the backstory than in the back of a taxi with an expert local guide.
Jump into your car or hop on a tour up to the coast of northern Antrim and enjoy not only the Causeway itself, but some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
World Class Cocktails
With one of the world's 10 most expensive cocktails on the menu, you expect the drinks to be pretty good in here — and you'd be right. Cocktails are all made with flair and taste spectacularly good.
The food is to die for
The focus here is on fine dining and the food tastes even better because of your surroundings. Diners all sit there looking up at the huge space and the ornate design of the high ceiling.
There can't be many dinner settings in the country that look as dramatic as this.
Fitness, rest and feeling good
While there are plenty of things to do in Belfast, sometimes the best thing about staying in a hotel is feeling content to do nothing at all.
At The Merchant there are indoor and outdoor hot tubs, as well as a sauna, for you to luxuriate in. Those of you feeling slightly more active can jump into the fully kitted out gym.
Feel like a rock star
The thing about staying in The Merchant is that the standard is so high and the surroundings so glamorous that you automatically feel like a rock star. With the fittings and rooms being undeniably plush, simply walking around the building is a charm.
The Merchant Hotel
A truly quintessential hotel in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, The Merchant perfectly blends grandeur with the stunning elegance of art deco.
With a luxury spa, a rooftop gymnasium and a fabulous jazz bar, The Merchant Hotel is the ideal place to relax and indulge.