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“What a beautiful and friendly place to stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Empress

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The Fairmont Empress
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada   |  
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Ranked #17 of 58 Hotels in Victoria
GreenLeadersGold level
Broomfield, CO
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“What a beautiful and friendly place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

This hotel is gorgeous! Yes, it's old but updated where it needs to be. The beds were comfy although the two double beds were small for my 11-year-old son husband and myself. Might try for a king plus a rollaway if we are lucky enough to again.

The people who work here were lovely. Everyone from the front desk personnel to Brian, the waiter in The Bengal Lounge were so friendly and genuine.

My son and nephew had a great time at the pool but commented that there was a LOT of chlorine. They had really red eyes. That is kind of common at hotels and we usually bring goggles but forgot them.

The location is ideal, right on the harbour and in easy walking distance of so many sights, restaurants and shopping.

Would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Broomfield,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your time at our hotel and in Victoria. Thank you for sharing your comments about the chlorine in the pool. I have shared your feedback with our Chief Engineer who will have the chlorine levels checked. It was wonderful to hear that the front desk personnel and waiter from the Bengal Lounge provided you with the service that we are so well known for. I will personally be sharing your comments with them. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,018 reviews from our community

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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 (578)
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Ontario
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

A grand hotel in the classic style. The Empress is old-style elegant. If sleek chrome, glass, and techno background music (a la W Hotel) is your style then this may not be your cup if tea; but if you want to step back in time and experience a piece of history then you will be very pleased. Ideally located in the downtown core facing the harbour (ask for a harbour view room). It is attached to the conference centre and almost everything you want to see in Victoria is within walking distance as are many many great restaurants. Gorgeous elegant interior. Rooms are on the small side as are bathrooms. Suites of various sizes are available and recommended. I was surprised that rooms did not have AC but then equally surprised that it was not missed with a wonderful cool breeze coming in off the harbour. The Willow Stream Sp, located on the main level a was, according to my wife, excellent. Buffet breakfast offered great variety and quality choices. Throughout the hotel service was first class and friendly. A great experience. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Harbour view and larger room
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

They have an above average indoor pool area with large windows and natural light. There is a baby pool less than 0.5 m deep, and a lap pool equivalent to 3 lanes wide, about 13 meters long, and depth slightly less than 1.5 m. There is also a hot tub. The room with exercise equipment is quite small, but with relatively new equipment. I could not give the hotel a high review because the rooms are noisy. The room doors have no padding and you can hear slamming doors all the time, the walls were thin enough that I could hear every word from my neighbor's phone conversations, and the plumbing was also loud. Nevertheless, this is an impressive and interesting place to spend some time in.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augusta, Georgia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

This is a beautiful old hotel, steeped in tradition. If you're looking for modern, sleek, urban, and huge--this isn't for you. But if you love Victorian 'style', a great location with easy walking to major points in the city (shopping, restaurants), and a cozy, historic ambiance, you'll enjoy your stay here very much. We had a king-bed room, and we had plenty of room--the toiletries and the Keurig coffee machine were quite nice. The staff were friendly and professional. We also enjoyed the spa and pool facilities. The restaurants and bar are nice, but very expensive--my suggestion is to try them out for a cocktail or dessert and coffee. We would love to stay here again!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Augusta,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased to hear that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. As well, it is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the amenities that we offer in our guest rooms along with our spa and fitness facilities. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chilliwack, Canada
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at The Fairmont Empress for our anniversary. It was our second stay there. We had a nice room overlooking the harbour. The hotel is older but quite well kept up. We usually stay at a Fairmont if possible because we love the service. Checking in was easy and pleasant. The staff was helpful. We had a beautiful view to watch Canada day from! We really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Moody, BC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Great location, and beautiful grounds, but in need of a face lift. Room was small, bathroom was tiny, beds were very comfortable, no AC in room, relied on windows. Furniture was worn and scratched, and needed some modernization. Hallways, and common areas were very dated, some areas of the hotel smelled like moth balls. Pretty much paying for the location.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lambertville, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

What a wonderful hotel. We had the opportunity to upgrade to gold status, which was wonderful. Our own concierge, lovely sitting area, with drinks, snacks and buffet breakfast ( not one of those ordinary continental breakfasts either!) The room was elegant and the bathroom spa like. The room had a fabulous view. And, a must.....tea at the Empress! What an enjoyable experience

Room Tip: Room 362, corner room, large and sunny.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
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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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Victoria
#8 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#11 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#11 Business Hotel in Victoria
#14 Romantic 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 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Empress
Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Victoria
Victoria Fairmont
Fairmont Empress Hotel

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