We generally skip The Empress when we go to Victoria due to the high cost and many great, more affordable options in the same area of the city. The location is obviously excellent, being on the Harbour and within a 2 minute walk of shops, museums etc. But there are many really good options that cost a lot less. However, last year my daughter was doing a history project on this hotel for school so we booked in for two nights to experience it first hand.
The space is majestic and incredibly well maintained for it's guests. The rooms are old and small by today's hotel standards but offer the charm of yesteryear! The staff were very professional and welcoming at every turn. We asked the concierge for a bit of a tour to help with my daughter's project and he connected us with a hotel manager who spent nearly an hour with us offering many tidbits on the hotel's history and offering interesting stories about past guests and hotel folklore! Wow! In the basement there is a hotel archives that is accessible to all but I'll bet many never discover. It was so interesting!
Food was excellent - we ordered room service one night which was top notch and we also enjoyed Afternoon Tea that, while very pricey, was very good. I'd likely not spend that amount again for afternoon tea, but the views and service were excellent and food was more than we could possibly eat. I'd see this as a special treat rather than something to enjoy each visit.
Only complaint is that parking on site is limited and allows no vehicles higher than about 6 feet. So we had to have our car valet parked in another lot a couple of blocks away and wait for it to come to us each time we needed it. I wasn't sure if our car was watched overnight but I assume not. And, having to have our car brought up necessitated us offering tips each time we went out which we had not expected. Still, a small detail for a great weekend.
- 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