Luxury Water Menu
Luxury hotel The Merchant in Belfast has curated a new water menu that includes a £26 ($41) bottle called Iceberg, sourced from the Canadian Arctic. The hotel has also appointed two new water butlers to advise guests on the tastes and attributes of the different brands.
The new menu contains bottles from 10 different countries including Iceland, Finland and Fiji. The cheapest bottle on the menu is Speyside, a sparkling water from the Glenlivet Estate in Scotland costing £4.95 ($8), while other offerings include Toronto-based premium water brand De L'aubier's maple-sap water priced at £15.50 ($24) per bottle.
Iceberg is the most expensive water on the menu due to its origins. The water is collected from icebergs that have become separated from glaciers in the arctic before being melted down and bottled. Many of the icebergs were formed around 10,000 years ago, before pollution levels could affect their cleanliness, making the water extremely pure.
Gavin Carroll, general manager at The Merchant, thinks water can be just as highly sought after as wine. "It's a very rare, special water. It's a very unique product – no different, we would say, than any of our high-end spirits or unique wines that we have on our list."
Hotels and restaurants are moving beyond traditional concepts of luxury and are upgrading everyday ingredients and services into premium products and experiences. See Elevating the Everyday for more.
Due to increased pressure on the world's natural resources thanks to increasing populations and rising temperatures, the United Nations predicts that 1.8 billion people will be living in regions suffering from water scarcity by 2025. This will lead to water becoming a luxury commodity, as explored in Reframing Rare.
Brands are also developing healthy water-based bottled drinks containing items such as coconut, birch and artichoke as their main ingredients as reported in Charting New Waters.