Belfast’s only 5-star hotel and Northern Ireland’s only five AA red star property, The Merchant Hotel celebrated ‘A Decade of Decadence’ this weekend as the landmark hotel marked its 10th anniversary.

Since opening in the Cathedral Quarter in April 2006, The Merchant Hotel has breathed new life into the city centre, delighting guests with first class service, unrivalled luxury accommodation and an unparalleled food and drink offering. In just 10 years, The Merchant Hotel has become synonymous with decadence and luxury and has put Belfast City on the map as a leading travel destination.

From the World’s Most Expensive Cocktail to its Krug Champagne Afternoon Tea and a multitude of other luxurious experiences, The Merchant provides a haven of indulgence and splendour right in the heart of the city centre.

So in honour of a decade of decadence, we’ve counted down our top 10 favourite things about The Merchant Hotel:

Sipping something nice:

1. Cocktails

French Martini

As featured in 8 Seriously Good Summer Cocktails You Have To Try, a trip into the city centre is not complete without visiting Bert’s Jazz Bar for a French Martini.

For £9.95 you’ll have a little taste of heaven in the form of Absolut Vodka, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Fresh Lime Juice, Cane Syrup and Fresh Raspberries. We’ve found it goes well after a day of shopping.

Cheat day breakfast:

2. Breakfast

What better way to start your day than in the splendour of The Great Room Restaurant? From healthy options to indulgent choices, The Merchant’s a la carte breakfast menu has it all.​ Breakfast is served in The Great Room Restaurant from 7am to 10am Monday to Friday and 7:30am to 10:30am on weekends and Bank Holidays for both residents and non-residents.

With everything from healthy to more indulgent options, we’re big fans of the delicious Full Irish Breakfast – complete with Eggs of your choice with cured back bacon, local sausage, Ballinwillin black and white pudding, field mushrooms, tomato, potato bread and soda farl.

Spoiling yourself?

3. Champagne Lounge

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Anywhere with a Champagne Lounge immediately has our attention.

Allowing us to make pretend we’re in The Great Gatsby era, the lounge is designed to reflect the iconic signature brand colours of Veuve Clicquot Champagne,with bespoke wool carpeting, decadent black velvet sofas and chairs as well as a stunning antique fireplace, ormolu tables and ornate gilt mirrors. A fully stocked bar makes this the perfect self-contained space for intimate and elegant private events.

The Veuve Clicquot lounge and bar is open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings and for Afternoon Tea from Friday to Sunday.

Pubbing it up:

4. The Cloth Ear

No visit into town would be complete without visiting a really good pub! In Belfast you are spoilt for choice, but we recommend you start your odyssey in The Cloth Ear, which offers an exceptional range of craft beers, ales and stouts both bottled and on tap as well as a range of lagers and beers from around the world.

This popular pub also boasts an extensive range of liqueurs and spirits including a fine portfolio of Irish and International whiskies; a diverse range of new and old world wines; and mouth-watering cocktails.

Decadent lunch:

5. Afternoon Tea

Because every once in a while, we all deserve a treat.

The ideal birthday present (we usually start hinting three weeks before); The Merchant’s Afternoon Tea is quite simply one of the most pleasant ways to spend an afternoon.

With a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, mouth-watering cakes and sweet breads as well as fresh scones, warm from the oven; all gracing a silver tea stand. And of course no afternoon tea would be complete without the tea itself! Enjoy the extensive menu of teas including the hotel’s bespoke Merchant blend.

Relaxing:

6. The Spa & Gym

Where else can you soak up the bubbles in a delightfully warm rooftop hot-tub complete with a glass of bubbly and the sights of the H&W cranes?

We also seriously recommend the Hydrotherapy Pool – a definite must visit if you’re de-stressing or preparing for an important event!

Special occasions:

7. Getting Married

The Merchant Hotel is one of the top wedding venues in Belfast, with a strict one wedding per day policy ensuring that you and your guests are our sole focus. The Merchant Hotel offers a range of wedding packages to cater for all wedding needs. For more info, check out themerchanthotel.com/your-wedding/wedding-packages.

Stay in bliss:

8. Rooms

Rich in glamour and timeless elegance, from elegant lounges to four poster beds, lavish 5 star luxury awaits those who stay in one of these stunning suites. Named after Irish writers, poets and playwrights, all The Merchant Hotel suites are both beautiful and unique and all include an array of antique furniture and art complemented with subtle 21st century technology.

Party with a difference: 

9. The Roof Garden

The beautifully landscaped Roof Garden is unique to the city and available all year for private events. Espaliered apple trees, box hedging and seasonal planting make this space a charming city oasis.

Overlooking both Skipper and Waring Street, The Roof Garden offers wonderful views over the Black Mountain and Cave Hill. The distinctive “profile” of Cave Hill somewhat resembles a sleeping giant and is said to have inspired Jonathan Swift to write “Gulliver’s Travels”. A fully retractable roof allows flexibility to cope with whatever the weather conditions may be, with the hotel becoming renowned for its whimsical and wonderful seasonal themes. Drinks and finger food can be provided for parties of up to 70 people.

Shopping in style:

10. Fashion Teas

Guests are treated to a weekend of sensational style with five Fabulous Fashion Teas presenting the must-have looks from cutting-edge local designers and leading designer boutiques – complete with a Champagne Afternoon Tea, and a goodie bag brimming with our favourite things; from tan to alcohol. We’re excited for the next event already.

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