A luxury hotel in Belfast is getting flack for their newly launched water menu that features dedicated water butlers and prices a single bottle of Canadian iceberg water at $42.
Last week, the five-star Merchant Hotel invited members of the press to sample Ireland’s first dedicated water menu, curated to feature ‘exotic’ waters sourced from Canadian glaciers, Fiji, France and Iceland.
The idea? To elevate plain old H20 onto the same plane as fine wine and spirits, with trained water butlers or sommeliers hired to help diners choose the right water for their meal.
MOST EXPENSIVE BOTTLED WATER AT SELFRIDGES
But with prices ranging from £5 ($8 USD) to £27 ($42 USD), the hotel has found itself the subject of ridicule and jeers on the internet, with critics lambasting the new service as “disgusting,” in light of water scarcity issues around the world, and insufferably “pretentious.”
Despite getting heat for its premium water menu, it’s not the first time a restaurant has tried to upsell water as a fancy elixir.
In 2013, LA restaurant Ray’s & Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art launched a 23-page menu featuring bottles sourced from 10 different countries.
Their most expensive bottle of water is a $20 brand called Berg, sourced from meltwater from a 15,000 glacier.