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This Five-Star Belfast Hotel Thinks You Need a Dedicated Water Butler

In the future, it won’t be our trusted eco canteens that we look to for hydration, but smartly dressed, roaming water sommeliers sporting CamelBaks fastidiously filled with the artisanally filtered water made out of the tears of trapeze artists and...

by Alex Swerdloff
Jul 24 2015, 9:00pm

Photo via Flickr user kstepanoff

Screw bottled water. Take tap out back and force it to death march à la Miller's Crossing.

Water fountains? Let just get this over with finally and install some urinal cakes. We won't be needing them anymore. In the future, it won't be our trusted eco-canteens that we look to for hydration, but smartly dressed, roaming water sommeliers sporting CamelBaks fastidiously filled with the artisanal filtered water made out of the tears of trapeze artists and evil twins alike.

At least that's what the fine folks from Belfast's The Merchant Hotel seem to be betting on. The hotel, which touts itself as being "Belfast's only 5-star hotel," has just launched its very own luxury water menu complete with over 13 skillfully curated waters. Suck it, Criterion Collection!

As stated in the Belfast Telegraph, the newfound water menu contains numerous rare and vintage waters sourced from locales like Fiji, France, and Newfoundland. This list will leave you saying "Evi…who?" The cheapest faring on the menu starts at £4.95 (about US$7.50). It then rises all the way up to a staggering £26.45 (about $41) per bottle.

When asked about the reasoning behind the hotel's new addition, general manager Gavin Carroll had this to say: "The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience."

Don't know how to choose your bespoke water? Don't worry if you just happen to be some sort of classless heathen, more used to sipping puddle water than discerning the intricacies of meticulously crafted hydrogen or impish oxygen atoms. The hotel now employs two dedicated "water butlers" to walk customers through their now plentiful choices.

Carroll went on to say that, "Our water butlers can help customers decide on the type of water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey." But just how good can this water be when we are talking about the literal impetus behind the figurative wet blanket?

Pretty good, evidently: "The brands featured on our new menu are some of the world's best and have been sourced from a range of global locations including glaciers, tropical islands and mountains."

So what kind of water costs 40 bucks? That would be something called "Iceberg, Still." It's from the Canadian Arctic Shelf in Newfoundland. As the water menu will tell you, we're talking about water from "enormous glacial walls, sheltered from all impurities from the outside world." For God's sake, this water has been frozen for thousands of years and "is considered to hold the purest water on Earth."

Not a purist? Like your water a little more, well, dirty? Maybe you'd like to go for the "Basalt Sparkling," which comes from the "remote and pristine" Faroe Islands. These islands are apparently just seeping with basalt and so the water's alkaline flavors, "combined with zeolitic fractions"—whatever that might be—will blow your mind, for just 5.45 euros. A bargain!

Looking for something more exotic? How about "De l'Aubier Maple Sap Water" from Canada? That's right. It's "a still water of vegetal origin" made from the sap of maple trees. Through the "phenomenon of osmosis, it rises to the tree's branches during the night and flows back to the roots during the day." Only 15.50 euros for this Canadian goodness.

But what if you're a cheapskate? What if you want to blow your bucks in Belfast on beer, not water? Rest assured that the hotel says they "can still offer a glass of 'Belfast water,' free of charge." Phew.

All things considered, though, I'd rather down a tall glass of overpriced nothing rather than its Rubenesque, oil-emulsified cousin.

Can you send over the water butler please?