Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada

Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada

Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural Buildings
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  • Laurie
    67 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You must stay here
    Only place I stay in Victoria. Gold Floor is great, except the loyalty membership amenities were the worst ever. FYI the Scottsdale Princess and San Francisco are the best Platinum amenities ever. Tracy on Gold Floor—Shout out as phenomenal!!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Rockiroads
    Oshawa, Canada1,311 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful historic place, a must see day or night.
    A beautiful historic place, a must see day or night. We managed to walk in from many directions day or night. At night, lit up like a Christmas tree. Inside, we went to many shops, some affordable and some not. We got kicked out of the tea room. lol. A nice bar out front at night. A place you would love to stay at in the midst of all the action.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 12, 2023
  • DCMRDH1979
    San Jose, California38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One night at the Victoria Empress hotel
    Top notch hotel. Excellent staff that are very attentive and knowledgeable. Our concierge, Deborah Sleno, was great. She arranged two excursions for us, one to the Butchart gardens and the Malahat skywalk. She further made sure we would be able to finish the tour to the skywalk and make it to the ferry returning to Vancouver on time. We were made to feel well taken care of. The hotel was well appointed and the rooms were very clean and comfortable. Well appointed and updated.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 7, 2023
  • Tansay
    Calgary, Canada158 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lovely place to be on a rainy day
    We were in Victoria for 2 nights at The Empress. I last stayed there...55 years ago! I can't say I recall much of that stay :)) This one was fine. We took advantage of the offer by email to be on 'standby' for a 1-bedroom suite overlooking the harbour and were successful. Good choice! The one full day we were there it was raining much of it. We were quite comfortable and content to sit in the living room and read for much of the day. The bedroom, other than the bed, was less comfortable. To get past the foot of the bed to the bathroom was a bit of a squeeze and the window very small. There wasn't good air circulation and the bedroom was stuffy at night. Staff were excellent - everyone we spoke to was most friendly and helpful.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 13, 2023
  • valeriesimon1
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    High Tea was wonderful
    We stayed here about 15 years ago. It was great....close to everything, gorgeous view of the harbor. The high tea was excellent for the kids....the last stop of an Alaskan cruise and the perfect ending along with the Butchart Gardens.
    Visited November 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written October 22, 2023
  • Rainee E
    Seattle, Washington124 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely stay over the holidays
    Really enjoyed our stay that the Empress. Spacious and clean room with a view of the Parliament. The hotel Christmas decorations were lovely and made for a festive feel. Be sure to stop at the Empress bar to enjoy the famous Empress Gin or a non-alcoholic beverage.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 1, 2024
  • Travel25346533585
    893 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    True Canadian Excellence
    Truly Magnificent Old World Dining. We enjoy visiting the "Empress" whenever we have been in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada It is on Vancouver Island, strangely Vancouver is NOT on Vancouver Island.. The Hotel is 1800's Class back when people travelled in High Style by Raiway. The Food was excellent and the servers were professional. So tired of Canadian servers saying "No Worries" like the just stepped off a Crocodile Dundee Movie.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 25, 2024
  • Jacqueline S
    Qualicum Beach, Canada5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very pretty city to visit.
    Our daughter and her husband live in Victoria. Mostly we stay with them but we have stayed at The Empress, The Embassy Inn and also The Grande Pacific. The loveliest place of course is The Empress but for a more reasonable stay The Embassy Inn is very, very nice.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 14, 2024
  • Amy E
    Greensboro, North Carolina599 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful afternoon tea
    My husband and I did the afternoon tea yesterday as part of our cruise port day in Victoria. So much fun! Yes, very pricey, but probably a once in a lifetime experience. The food and tea were wonderful! Highly recommend the Emoress Blend! Our server, Brad, was great as well! We had a fabulous time reminiscing for almost two hours about a cruise we were finishing up. Highly recommend if for nothing else than the experience!
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 17, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,324 reviews
Excellent
1,232
Very good
700
Average
283
Poor
77
Terrible
32

Ray M
Bellows Falls, VT77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
If you want to put a real shine on your stay in Victoria, choose the Empress Hotel. It is pricey, but the accommodations are truly 5 star, world-class.

From the exceptionally gracious and receptive front desk personnel to the bell captains to the doormen [no doorwomen in sight during our visit] to the entire staff we encountered, it felt warmly welcoming. Even Winston, the house dog, was friendly.

We were a family of three generations, and felt like part of the family there.

Look up at the 250,000 hand-cut Czech crystals, 4000 pound "cloud" chandelier for your first "Wow!" moment.

The furniture and furnishings, the interior architecture, lighting, window treatments, etc. are all exquisite.

High Tea is an absolute must, of course. We dressed for the occasion, but there is no formal dress code. My 9 year old grandson, himself a world traveler, was impressed and drank almost his entire pot of tea. The personal attention makes you feel like royalty for an hour or two.

The Q, the Bengal Lounge are both excellent dining experiences. Be sure to try the PNW oysters and the signature Empress Blue Gin & Tonic.

The Empress is on the harbor, and a 12 minute walk from the Victoria Clipper, our transportation from Seattle. It makes a great headquarters for all Victoria has to offer.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ManitobaNic
Manitoba403 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
My favorite experience st the Empress is the house dog on site. ALSO we saw hummingbirds in the flowers. Our group went for high tea priced at 90$ per person. It was incredible. The environment was noisy and the piano player added to that. Great service. Water taxis and sea planes across from the hotel.
Went for a conference. We stayed at a condo downtown.
The food served at conference was ok.
Lots of salmon. Desserts were good.
Written December 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rjdreyer2018
Calgary, Canada21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Family
My family looked in and around the Empress Hotel and we were pleased with what we saw. There was a blend of classic and new displays that were interesting to look at.I would recommend visiting this location when you’re in the Victoria Harbour area.

Ron Dreyer,

Calgary, Alberta
Written April 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Professional-Pilgrim
Alberta, Canada1,350 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
As a historic site, you will have to look hard to see much history. The restaurants (on the Upper Lobby level) are attractively decorated, though. One thing you can do is go to the back of the main floor, and check out the black-and-white photographs of the building being erected 100 or so years ago.
Written December 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChicGiGi
Indianapolis, IN12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
We spent one night in this beautiful hotel last week. It is situated close to the inner harbor. The grounds and lobby are breathtakingly beautiful. We ate in the Q Restaurant there for breakfast, and the Q bar area for lunch. In both cases, the service was pleasant, and the food just okay.

We had a suite on the sixth floor with a western exposure overlooking the inner harbor; this is one of their best and most expensive rooms. The suite had two windows and the shades were up when we entered. The space was very hot, and registered 78 degrees. We turned the thermostat to 68, and lowered the shades, but the room never got any cooler than 74. The cleaning crew had just cleaned our room before we entered (per management), so they had to know how hot the room was. We lowered the temperature the first time just before leaving for an afternoon at the Buchart Gardens, and the second time just before leaving for an early dinner. We had a very limited time in the room each time because of our schedule. Each time when we returned, the temperature was in the mid-70's. It never got below 72, and that was in the morning when we checked out. The only bedding was a thick duvet for covers, so I wore shorts all night and used no covers. I complained upon checkout and was not given any accommodation. I thought this response was not in keeping with a hotel of this stature, and the price I paid. They said I should have called management when the air-conditioning did not work, but then I would not have been able to go to the gardens or make our dinner reservation. By the time we retuned to our room for the evening, we were too tired to call management.

The rooms had been updated and they had Labo Rose 21 toiletries in the room which were fabulous. However, the bathroom doors were very awkward and inconvenient, colliding with the closet door. We had the bathroom fan on all night to draw the hot air out. We aren't sure that we would stay here again, and were happy that we were only there for one night.
Written August 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tansay
Calgary, Canada158 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We were in Victoria for 2 nights at The Empress. I last stayed there...55 years ago! I can't say I recall much of that stay :)) This one was fine. We took advantage of the offer by email to be on 'standby' for a 1-bedroom suite overlooking the harbour and were successful. Good choice! The one full day we were there it was raining much of it. We were quite comfortable and content to sit in the living room and read for much of the day. The bedroom, other than the bed, was less comfortable. To get past the foot of the bed to the bathroom was a bit of a squeeze and the window very small. There wasn't good air circulation and the bedroom was stuffy at night. Staff were excellent - everyone we spoke to was most friendly and helpful.
Written October 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BubbaFromAlberta
Alberta62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Great location, great service, and a grand hotel to explore…but won’t go back.

Main issue is the tiny bathroom which includes a rainfall shower screwed into where a regular shower head would go. The result is a dribble of water that requires you to hit your knee on the water spout to get under.

Pool area won’t land well for families with kids that enjoy pools.

Written August 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bkbak
Tempe, AZ1,390 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
This hotel has had two additions to it from its original building. However, all has been done to match its original style which is beautiful. We wandered through the building and grounds in order to get some perspective of its history. It has great ballrooms to peak at. We even got to see the resident dog, Winston. He wasn't very interested in meeting people.
Written October 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katie H
50 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
This is a beautiful old hotel in the heart of the city. It’s part of the Fairmont chain so quite expensive. The location is incredible. The rooms are fine but the bathrooms quite small. We just got off from a week long yacht cruise and the bathroom at the hotel wasn’t much bigger than the one on our boat. My husband went to dry off from a shower and his ‘luxury” towel literally ripped almost in half. No bottled water in the rooms or in the vending areas. You have to call down and have water sent up. Three hours after checking into our room we still had no luggage. Then the bell stand could not find my husband’s luggage. First, they brought up the wrong ones, and then we had to call down three times trying to find out what the issue was. My husband finally went down and his luggage was sitting RIGHT THERE in plain sight with people standing around. We had waited almost 90 minutes by this time. Not what you would expect from a hotel like this. The bar is very nice and we had a great experience there and Lunch on the veranda was nice as well. So 3 out of 5 stars due mostly to service.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DCMRDH1979
San Jose, CA38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Top notch hotel. Excellent staff that are very attentive and knowledgeable.
Our concierge, Deborah Sleno, was great. She arranged two excursions for us, one to the Butchart gardens and the Malahat skywalk. She further made sure we would be able to finish the tour to the skywalk and make it to the ferry returning to Vancouver on time. We were made to feel well taken care of. The hotel was well appointed and the rooms were very clean and comfortable. Well appointed and updated.
Written October 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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