Latex \hline spacing


How do you add spacing after an \hline in a tabular? I can add spacing before it using \vspace, however if I try to add spacing after the \hline, the spacing will come after the next line of text. Here is what I have so far:

\multicolumn{2}{Hello!} \vspace{4pt} \\
\hline \textit{Hi!} & \textit{Ho!}

I don't want to add a line break after the \hline and do something like \vspace{-xxpt} or use \rule because the generated HTML document from Hevea will be ugly.

Best Solution

Create a new row with \hline and trim it with negative spacing:

\multicolumn{2}{c}{Hello!} \\

\hline & \\[-1.5ex]

\textit{Hi!} & \textit{Ho!}