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“The Fairmont Empress is beautiful but not worth the price” 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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The Fairmont Empress is beautiful but not worth the price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

I loved the Empress. It is a beautiful regal hotel with impeccable service however....the room we stayed in was average at best. We had a view of the back of the hotel and some rooftops and the room was small and the wallpaper was peeling. The bed was extremely comfortable. I have much higher expectations for a $450+ per night rate. My suggestion is to definitely visit the Empress and be sure to check out all of the old hotel logs and old menus, etc. Wander around the grounds then go stay somewhere less expensive and get more value for your money.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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2,019 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 (579)
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Nanoose Bay, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

The service one receives on the Gold Floor @ The Fairmont Empress is always superb.
Duane LaChance and his team always go the extra mile --not only advising great restaurants and local attractions but hadling reservations such as The Clipper ( passenger ferry service to Seattle ) and reservations in other Fairmont locations.
Oh and did we mention that the food at the Gold Floor lounge far surpasses any other lounges we have been in over the years.

Book a suite or a deluxe room--bathrooms; bedding and decor are updated. And ask for a view !!
Inner Harbour view is wonderful especially at night.

Centrally located-- we walk everywhere and enjoy every minute of our stay.

Bengal Lounge is pricey but one has to at least have a drink there to "soak " up the ambiance.

Room Tip: ask for a harbour view and realize you will need to be higher up if you do not want street noise...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

During a business trip, I stayed at the hotel for a week. Our conference took place in the adjacent Conference Center, so it was very convenient. The hotel and gardens are very beautiful and centrally located, but the rooms need to be renovated. The chairs were old, with the fabric even torn at places. We had to call a few times because of problems with the room. It was missing the refrigerator, the iron, very little water in the bathroom, problems with the toilet, etc. Despite all this, I enjoyed my stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Florida,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I was happy to read that you enjoyed our lovely gardens as well as the location being so convenient to the Conference Centre. I am sorry however to hear that your stay was not as memorable as we would like due to your room. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. We are aways very happy to move you into a room that is more comfortable. Please do not hestitate to ask in the future. Thank you again for sharing your feedback.

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.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed here Aug. 16 (after a 30+ year absence) and were very sadly disappointed. The rooms are not air-conditioned, and the one window would only open about 4 inches. Our room was shabby and missing a chair in the sitting area. Bathroom and closet were miserably small and outdated. Entire hotel is coasting on its long-ago reputation. We had just come from the Relais et Chateaux Hastings House on Salt Spring Island where we had a complimentary upgrade to a very large suite, ate very fine food and received royal service. The Empress cost us more than the Relais et Chateaux!

Room Tip: Choose one in another hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Adelaide, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

We recently stayed at the Empress on the final night of our Canadian/Alaskan holiday as a special treat for our mother, we were disappointed with our room, overlooking the roof and air con ducts of buildings over the road, We were given another room when we requested a change with a slightly better outlook, but found the hotel and staff unfriendly and overrated. We booked in for an afternoon high tea and whilst the selection of food was lovely to be honest we have had a better high tea in Australia. The morning of our departure was raining so we thought we would have a coffee on the verandah, The service was terrible, coffee undrinkable but we were charged $36 for 3 latte's (double shot) and 1 cup of tea, when we queried the bill we were given a patronizing answer as to the difference between coffee in a hotel and a cafe ??? The bill was halved but was very disappointed in the attitude of the staff. I loved Victoria and hope to go back again one day but will not be staying at the empress.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the bay
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Sydney
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Spent two glorious nights at this majestic hotel enjoyed and enjoyed all facets of the hotel. The rooms overlooking the harbor are spectacular. The location of the hotel is very central to all amenities.
The afternoon teas are legendary.

Room Tip: Enjoy you book a room with a harbour view
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  • Stayed May 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
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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, October 4, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Sydney,

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. It’s wonderful that you were able to enjoy the Afternoon Tea experience. During the centennial restoration in 2008, the hotel's original Tea Lobby floor was replaced and the wood of the original floor was transformed into delicate Afternoon Tea tables that are used today. I hope that you were able to enjoy a city tour of Victoria and see all that our city has to offer. 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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Huntingtown, Maryland
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

The internet connection is one of the worst. Lost connectivity four times during this review. Had the curry buffet for lunch in the Bengal Lounge - good but pricey. $30 for four protein selections and some sides and tiny desserts. Pint drafts are 7 and 8 dollars. Great location on the water. Large hotel with connection to the convention center. A must with the rainy weather in the area.

Room Tip: Six floors. The best rooms are on floor two where there is gold service with a private lounge. The...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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
#10 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#13 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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