Merchant celebrates a decade of decadence

The owner of the Merchant Hotel, Bill Wolsey, front row, second left, pictured with his wife Petra, centre, and staff who have been with the hotel since it opened in Belfasts Cathedral Quarter 10 years ago
The owner of the Merchant Hotel, Bill Wolsey, front row, second left, pictured with his wife Petra, centre, and staff who have been with the hotel since it opened in Belfasts Cathedral Quarter 10 years ago

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, welcoming demanding guests from across the world.

In just 10 years, the hotel has become synonymous with decadence and luxury and has put Belfast City on the map as a leading travel destination.

Having accumulated over 100 accolades, including their recent AA Five Red Star Rating, the UK Hotel Awards Best UK Hotel and World’s Best Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards. And, in 2015, The Merchant’s owner, Bill Wolsey, managing director of Beannchor Group received an OBE for services to business and the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland.

The 10th anniversary celebrations are the pinnacle of a decade of hard work for everyone at the hotel.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating 10 years of The Merchant Hotel,” said Mr Wolsey.

“Since our arrival on Skipper Street in 2006, we have gone from strength to strength and I am so proud of everything that the hotel and our staff have achieved in this time.

“Our success is not just because of our incredibly elegant venue; it comes as a result of constant hard work from our talented team and support from our loyal guests.

“Northern Ireland, particularly Belfast, is a wonderful place to do business and with our next hotel venture Bullitt planned to open shortly, we hope to be here for a few decades more.”

At a special ‘Decade of Decadence’ gala event at the hotel on Friday 29th April, staff that have been with the hotel for 10 years were awarded with a long-service pin, commissioned to mark the 10th anniversary.

Alice McKenna will be one of more than 10 employees to receive the pin. “I have been with The Merchant Hotel since April 20th 2016. We had a great induction week which included standards, personal grooming, how to iron shirts properly, tie a neck tie and polish shoes, all of which set the precedent for the very high personal standards expected of anyone who was fortunate enough to become a member of The Merchant family.

These very high standards translated through to what was expected from a Merchant staff member in our everyday work and these standards are what I strive to uphold in the housekeeping department on a daily basis.

“There have been many highlights in my Merchant career including Sir Ben Kingsley switching on our Christmas lights to hosting MTV’s drinks party through to making special moments for guests who hopefully will remember them for a very long time.”