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Merchant Hotel in Belfast receives prestigious industry award

The Merchant Hotel in Belfast has been named the best hotel in the UK at a prestigious industry awards ceremony held this week at one of the most famous hotels in London, the Savoy. The five-star Belfast hotel received the accolade at the first edition of the International Hotel Awards run in association with Bloomberg Television.

The Merchant Hotel, which this week was also named in Fodor’s guide ’21 places to go in 2012′, went on to another level in the International Hotel Awards in which the regional category winners from all over the world went head-to-head to find the ultimate Best International Hotel, with this award ultimately going to the Palm Hotel in Dubai.

The Merchant Hotel was opened in 2006 in Waring Street after Bill Wolsey, a County Down businessman, reportedly spent around £10 million to transform the former Victorian Ulster Bank building in Belfast into one of the most lauded and well-known hotels in all of Northern Ireland. Since opening the hotel has received many awards for its accommodation, food and drink as well as for its design.

The general manager of The Merchant, Adrian McLaughlin, said the award is a reflection of the excellent work of the entire team at the Belfast hotel. “I am absolutely delighted to receive such a prestigious award which reflects the depth and strength of our luxury offering throughout the hotel,” he said.

The Northern Ireland Tourism Minister was quick to congratulate the Merchant on being named the UK’s Best Hotel at the International Hotel Awards. Arlene Foster said: “Northern Ireland’s reputation for a first class hospitality offering continues to be enhanced, not least by the Merchant Hotel’s success. Last night was a great evening for Northern Ireland. While the Merchant was being named the UK’s best hotel in London, I was also in the city to officially launch NI 2012 ‘Your Time, Our Place’, a memorable programme of events that celebrates everything Northern Ireland has to offer as a place to live, work and visit. We have a real opportunity to spread the word that Northern Ireland is a truly remarkable tourist destination and this international recognition for the Merchant Hotel in Belfast is a further boost to those efforts,” she said.