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“Hospitality at its best!” 5 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 #18 of 58 Hotels in Victoria
GreenLeadersGold level
Manzanita, Oregon
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Hospitality at its best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

If your budget permits, the Fairmont Empress Hotel is the place to stay when visiting Victoria. This was my first visit since the major renovations and the property is larger and has lost some of its intimacy, but it still can't be beat for location, quality of the property and service, and its elegant charm.

Room Tip: We did not opt for a view room and were perfectly happy. The lovely harbor view could be enjoyed at...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,123 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 (605)
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Henlow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

During our stay in Victoria we indulged ourselves with champagne afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress.it was fantastic, the service was impeccable as was the ambiance.
Definitely a visit and treat not to be missed

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, November 1, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Henlow,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent tea experience at The Fairmont Empress. I was thrilled to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed it and found the service to be impeccable. As a matter of interest the portraits in the tea lobby are King George V and his wife Queen Mary, who originally intended to wed his brother, Prince Edward, who died of pneumonia. The portraits have been in place since the hotel opened in 1908. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review and share your experience. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to B.C. 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.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanoose Bay, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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
9 helpful votes 9 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
5 helpful votes 5 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
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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.
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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
#9 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#13 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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