The Merchant Hotel
In an age of stripped-down modernism, the new Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a glorious throwback to well-appointed comfort. While the five suites and 21 rooms feature giant plasma-screen TVs, rain showerheads, and beds big and deep enough to get lost in, the hotel also shipped in 17 containers of antiques and accessories from Paris to put some French polish on the Victorian decor. The main Dining room and lounge occupy the Italianate Great Hall of the former Ulster Bank, but guests tend to congregate in the sleek bar, the cozy pub, or the hip nightclub, the latter of which is sealed within the five-foot-thick walls of the bank’s old vault. Accommodations When booking your reservation, you may tailor your stay to your exact preferences, including pre-ordering drinks, dinner, flowers, and even requesting the temperature of your room upon your arrival. Dining The former main banking hall has been transformed into the Great Room Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, traditional afternoon tea, and dinner and featuring a classic French, British, and Irish menu. A private Dining room is available by reservation. Concierge Recommends Book the hotel’s chauffeured in-house Bentley Arnage to take you on a tour of Belfast, or simply go out for a drink on the town in luxury. Rates From about $440 to $1,200.