FOR guests at the five-star Merchant Hotel in Ireland, ordering a glass of water is a difficult and expensive decision.
This isn’t a still or sparkling kind of place — the hotel has launched a luxury water menu featuring an exclusive range of 13 bottled waters priced between £4.95 ($AU10.50) and £26.45 ($AU56.30).
Sound intimidating? Don’t freak out, because two new water butlers have been employed to help guests choose a water to suit their palate. If good old Mount Franklin doesn’t do it for you, why not try a drop from the Canadian Artic ice shelf or the Fiji Islands Rainforest?
“In the Canadian Arctic, the snow froze and compacted into enormous glacial walls, sheltered from all impurities from the outside world,” reads the menu description of Iceberg still water, which costs £26.45 ($AU56.30) for a 750mL bottle.
“Thousands of years later, the ice is considered to hold the purest water on earth. The water has the lowest mineral content of any bottled water, resulting in a smooth and neutral taste.”
Fancy a sparkling water from France? Why not try the Chanteldon, at £8.45 ($AU18) for 750mL.
“This naturally carbonated water is slowly filtered through the rocks of the Chateldonnaise mountains in France and emerges from the spring at a constant temperature of 6˚C. Chateldon has been continuously bottled since 1650 when King Louis XIV brought in barrels by mule to Versailles,” the menu states.
Or if you’re on a #cleanliving health kick and what your water to be extra pure, try the SNO Glacial still drop from Iceland for £7.15 ($AU15.20).
“From the 20,000 year old Eyjafjallajökull Glacier in Iceland, completely unaltered with nothing added or taken away. 100% Natural,” the menu assures diners.
“SNO comes from a time when the world was unspoilt and unpolluted, where it is filtered naturally through layers of volcanic lava rock. It is naturally high in Oxygen.”
Just like wine, the location where water is produced will impact on its taste and flavour, says the hotel’s general manager Gavin Carroll.
“While experts can differentiate between the mineral content and PH balance of different types of water, discerning consumers are also increasingly demanding a wider choice of waters,” he told The Belfast Telegraph.
“Our water butlers can help customers decide on the type water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.
If you’re not all that keen on shelling out $50 for a bottle of water, the hotel still offers patrons a free glass of ‘Belfast water’.