A ‘New Chapter’ has — quite literally — opened up in the history of one of Belfast’s landmark hotels.
That’s the name for The Merchant’s £16 million extension that has doubled its original size, with even more to offer.
Customers will be able to enjoy the city centre’s first luxury hotel spa in five-star surroundings and its first rooftop garden.
There is a state-of-the-art gym on the roof and a jazz bar.
There are 38 new bedrooms in the annexe, which, at a minimum of 42 square metres, lays claim to being the largest to date in Belfast.
At yesterday’s launch, marketing director Petra Wolsey said: “The finish is absolutely spectacular and I am confident we have created a ground-breaking benchmark in luxury that the people of Northern Ireland can continue to take pride in and enjoy”.
Opulence comes at price — £19.50 per person for Saturday afternoon tea, £14.50 Sunday to Friday. The Great Room early evening menu is £16.50 for two courses, or £19.50 for three, Monday-Thursday.
The spa, in the underground section of the new building, incorporates five rooms including a hydrotherapy pool, rock sauna, aroma steam room, drench showers and ice fountain experience.
Apart from a unique rooftop garden, Bert’s Bar, an art deco-style creation on the ground floor, will offer both jazz sessions and a bistro-style menu.
The new ‘Deco Decadent’ bedrooms are in keeping with the lavish building, which was opened to the public in 2006.
Each room features bespoke furniture pieces by French architect Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, the Irish designer, and local talent Judith Cassidy, along with artwork by homegrown photogapher Gavin Miller.
In-room entertainment lets younger guests hear bedtime stories read by Broughshane-born actor James Nesbitt.
The New Chapter opens to the public this Saturday. For reservations, call 028 9023 4888.