We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Dickens Christmas” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Empress

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save
You added The Fairmont Empress to your Saves list
The Fairmont Empress
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Save 20% on Room & Dining
Ranked #17 of 58 Hotels in Victoria
GreenLeadersGold level
seattle
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Dickens Christmas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

We went to Victoria for Christmas 2011. The Empress was more amazing than normal. Strolling carolers, Festival of Trees; gingerbread houses; Mrs. Claus telling stories. You could tell that locals made bringing their children to The Empress a Christmas tradition. Christmas morning carolers came to our room to sing. Dressed in full Dickens period garb. Christmas socks with candies, fruits and gingerbread men were hung on the door. Chrstmas day buffet was elegantly presented with helpful staff at your beck and call. THe hotel was full, both with overnight guests and folks visiting for the day. Through it all, the staff was excellent. Handled everyone with courtesy and professionalism. Best Christmas ever!

Room Tip: Never had a bad room. Some are smaller than others, but the web site gives you square footage on al...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 24, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Seattle,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review of your recent stay at The Fairmont Empress. What a wonderful compliment to hear that it was your best Christmas ever! We have created a lot of traditions here at the hotel over the holiday season to truly make our guests feel like they are celebrating at ‘home’! I am delighted to hear that you found the staff to be so professional. We look forward to welcoming you back again, perhaps to celebrate another festive season with us.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,172 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,148
    567
    276
    121
    60
See reviews for
465
900
82
370
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (618)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Clinton, British Columbia, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

Spent our honeymoon here and were treated like kings and queens. Excellent food and super service in the empress room. Special thanks to the front deck , you were so helpful. We will be back next year for our first anniversary. MICHEAL DIER

Room Tip: Sixth floor was wonderful and quiet
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 24, 2012
Dear Michael,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review of your recent stay at The Fairmont Empress. Congratulations on your wedding! I am delighted to hear that your thoroughly enjoyed your honeymoon here with us and we most certainly look forward to welcoming you back again to celebrate your first anniversary.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

Classy, beautiful, historic, and centrally located. Spent New Years in Victoria and stayed at the Empress. Our room was small but very pretty and beds comfortable. Loved the warm swimming pool! Entire hotel was decorated for Christmas with the tree festival. Rates are very reasonable in the winter. The Empress is just a short walk from the Black Ball ferry.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 24, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Seattle,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review of your recent stay at The Fairmont Empress. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your time at our “classy, beautiful, historic, and centrally located” hotel. It is great that you were able to ring in the New Year with us. Thank you again for taking the time to share your opinion. We look forward to welcoming you back again to The Fairmont Empress for another getaway.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

A short review since our experience was extremely positive and echoes many of the others.

We stayed for 2 nights (12/29 & 12/30) and had a GREAT time. My one big surprise was the level of upgrades that we got just for joining the Fairmont President's Club. Our original purpose in joining was simply to avoid the daily WiFi charge.

The "free" membership (if you don't mind additional spam) got us:
a) A no-charge upgrade to an absolutely beautiful room (#480)
b) Complimentary hot breakfast (Gold lounge breakfast buffet)
c) Complimentary hors d'oeuvre
d) Complimentary soda/coffee throughout the day
e) etc., etc., etc.
f) Oh.... and complementary WiFi

The decor was pleasing, the staff was great, the atmosphere of this marvelous building was fantastic.

I would consider the hotel restaurants (Empress & Bengal) to be a little less pleasing --- A fairly high price gets you a lot of pomp but I would consider the food only "good" for this price point. But the atmosphere was worth every penny.

So much better than our stay at the Seattle Westin (which is another review)....

Room Tip: a) Room 480 was wonderful. Top floor, great view to the south (several windows facing towards the s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Seattle,

Thank you for taking the time to share such a wonderful review of The Fairmont Empress. I am delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay on our Fairmont Gold floor and all of the amenities that it offers. It is lovely to hear that you found that “the staff was great, the atmosphere of this marvelous building was fantastic.” We look forward to welcoming you back when your travels bring you to Victoria again.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office

On behalf of
Edward Roe
Director of Operations
edward.roe@fairmont.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bothell, Washington
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

We decided at the last minute to spend a couple days in Victoria between Christmas and New Year's. The Fairmont Empress proved to be the most pleasant hotel experience we have had in a long time. The hotel is beautiful and the service excellent. I would certainly recommend it to anyone wanting a perfect way to appreciate Victoria. Dinner in the Empress Room and Tea the next day made the stay so very enjoyable and memorable. The costs were higher than we usually go for but the luxurious ambiance was worth the price- at least to us. Fairmont Gold really was golden!

Room Tip: Fairmont Gold gave us a view of the city and of the harbor. Join the President's Club for a lot...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Washington,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review of your recent stay with us. I am so happy to hear that you decided to join us during the holiday season and found your stay to be “the most pleasant hotel experience we have had in a long time.” Our Fairmont Gold floor is a wonderful experience and it is so great that you also had a chance to enjoy the Empress Room and Afternoon Tea. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon when your travels bring you to Victoria again.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office

On behalf of
Edward Roe
Director of Operations
edward.roe@fairmont.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

Lots people moving through this place to view holiday trees, have tea, etc, as clear "grand dame" of Victoria, however as guest in two rooms (with kids and grandparents), this was a very average experience. Rooms were very dated with mattresses that were too soft from overuse, a mini bar with nothing in it and few plugs for the over tech enabled (us). The staff was all very courteous (especially check-in desk), as the went out of their way to make sure we had rooms near each other, as well as assembling a lunch spot for us when no restaurant was capable of accommodating children upon afternoon check in (only tea available). Food was fine, however the staff is clearly geared to keep you in the hotel to eat (and produce revenue), as they have an entire desk to schedule the two restaurants in the hotel, with no true "concierge" recommendations of anything else nearby (even at the other "concierge desk"). The pool and health facility were the most updated (as the spa appeared to be as well, however we did not schedule), as the pool was clean and was plenty warm for the kids (with bare necessary chairs and tables around it). The Bengal Lounge was the highlight of the place, as cool environment, however "no kids" allowed, combined with closing of family hotel restaurant Kiplings (several years ago apparently), made it only accessible after kids were in bed. Overall, would not go back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012

We stayed at the Fairmont and it is certainly a 5 star hotel. The rooms are spacious and the staff were very friendly and helpful during our stay. It is a short walk to the city centre and the scenery was beautiful. We would certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Toronto,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a great review of your recent stay. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay, rrom our central location, to engaging guest service, to room accommodations. We look forward to welcoming you back again to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to the West Coast again.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office

On behalf of
Edward Roe
Director of Operations
edward.roe@fairmont.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to The Fairmont Empress? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Fairmont Empress

Address: 721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Victoria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#17 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Empress 4*
Number of rooms: 477
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Empress sits majestically at the cornerstone of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour. This landmark hotel features turn of the century architecture, classic beauty and an unrivaled location on the water. It features the highly acclaimed Willow Stream Spa regarded as one of the best spas in Canada. Food lovers can sample the English ritual of Afternoon Tea, savour the famous curry buffet in The Bengal Lounge or sample award-winning food and wine in The Empress Room. The Fairmont Empress offers wireless internet access in all guestrooms, and it is complimentary for our Fairmont President's Club members, free to join. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, EasyToBook, getaroom.com, Agoda and Jetsetter so you can book your The Fairmont Empress reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Empress
Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Victoria
Victoria Fairmont
Fairmont Empress Hotel

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Fairmont Empress, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.