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Best places to stay:

Last updated: 03 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Nicola Brady

Every city has that one hotel – the place where you meet to mark a special occasion, whose name is synonymous with serious luxury.

In Belfast, that’s The Merchant. Right in the middle of the city, the listed building is an Art Deco masterpiece, with plush rooms draped in heavy velvets and furnished with glossy antiques.

The only nod to the modern age is a state-of-the-art gym on the roof, complete with a swish spa and rooftop hot tub.

Despite its historical status, there’s no air of formal stuffiness – instead, it strikes the perfect balance between luxurious and laidback.

The main draw is the cocktail bar – a sleek and elegant room with leather banquettes and bowtied waiters, a tipple here feels like a trip back to 1930s New York.

On drizzly days, a seat by the smouldering open fireplace is the most coveted spot in the city.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Kids club
Parking: Not available
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Belfast’s Street Art

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.1 miles]

Discover Belfast’s vibrant and fascinating street art, and the stories behind them, on tours led by local artists.

Best for ages: 8+ | £15 | 1 hour

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Titanic Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[1.3 miles]

Standing where the Titanic was built, this moving, interactive exhibition tells the story of the giant cruiser’s construction and sinking.

Best for ages: 4+ | £20

Crumlin Road Gaol

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[1.4 miles]

Belfast’s imposing former prison offers a haunting peek into the city’s tumultuous history, from famous inmates to infamous riots.   

Best for ages: 13+ | £12

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

Inside the Duke of York bar in Belfast

Duke of York Pub

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.1 miles]

One of the oldest pubs in Belfast, the Duke of York is a traditional boozer found down a cobbled alleyway, with well-worn seats, antique memorabilia and an old printing press in the corner. On sunny days, people take their drinks out to the flower-lined courtyard.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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External view of the cathedral during the daytime

Belfast Cathedral

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.3 miles]

This Romanesque cathedral is one of the city’s finest architectural feats – take a tour to admire the stained glass, and the 40-foot glass spire, named the ‘Spire of Hope’.

Best for ages: 18+ | £5

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Side view of the city hall during the day

Belfast City Hall

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.6 miles]

Take a free tour of Belfast’s baroque City Hall, dating back to 1906, with impressive interiors to match the elegant, Edwardian frontage.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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St George’s Market

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.6 miles]

This historic Victorian market is filled with local crafts, the best Belfast produce and a jostling gaggle of local food-lovers.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay


Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

Northern Ireland’s capital makes for a surprisingly arty city break, with convivial and cosy pubs, elegant architecture and cutting-edge cuisine.

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