After many years of being an occasional hotel guest of the Empress Hotel. I decided that it was time to right a review. I tend to only write reviews on OUTSTANDING experiences and disappointing experiences, and the Empress Hotel has earned the OUTSTANDING review category.
First of all, there is no place like FAIRMONT GOLD at the Empress Hotel. The Fairmont Gold Manager and the entire team at Fairmont Gold treat you "GOLD". Always a happy "hello Mr. W.", "Glad to have you again on the Gold Floor", "We managed to get you your favourite room", "Would you like another cappuccino" , "Let me make a dinner reservation", "That's no problem!", "Let me clear that for you", "yes, the boardroom is free and I have blocked it for you", and the list goes on.
I will capsulate in one short phrase my experience of the Fairmont Gold at the Empress Hotel - "it is home, it feels like home, and I feel welcome!". I always look forward to going to the Fairmont Gold at the Empress (I now only stay at Fairmont Gold at all Fairmont Hotels).
Like all hotels, not everything goes right every time. I had such an issue in the hotel and I wrote a letter to the General Manager to point out my observations (and disappointment). The General Manager was all over it quickly. I heard through the grapevine that same day that my point of view was already brought to the attention of the Management Staff. I was assured that my comments were being looked at seriously.
During my last visit (September 2011), these issues had been rectified, and the Empress Hotel met my expectations of a FIRST CLASS hotel. That is the sign of excellent management, and a team of employees who obviously want to make sure The Empress remains FIRST CLASS even for an occasional repeat client like myself.
Now about my experience in the rest of the hotel:
The Front Door Staff, thank you for taking care of my car - always appreciated. Always feel welcome by one or more of the Front Door / Front Desk Area staff, saying "Hello", "Welcome Back again", and sometimes actually remembering and acknowledging me by name (that is a big welcome to any guest).
The Empress Room, it is a pleasure to dine there, Chef, please keep on producing that kind of tasty cuisine, Sommelier, keep on matching good wines to the various courses, and to the waiter & staff, the service was EXCELLENT - thank you all.
The Bengal Lounge, it is a "must" experience. The energy is amazing, the staff quick, efficient and engaging (how do they do it?), the Bengal Management Staff - among the best, and last but not least the Curry Buffet - AAA+ (My second visit I had tried to practice restraint by not going back the third time.)
The Spa, cozy and always pleasant and welcoming. The Spa mineral bath is always on my list of "must do", and they are always kind to accommodate me when I ask for a favour.
Fairmont Gold, one more time - TOPS !
In ending this review, one of the most rewarding experiences at the Empress Hotel is that the staff is very friendly, often recognizes me as a previous guest, and Management seems genuine to want to make sure I have the best experience reasonably possible. Thank you to all, you have earned my loyalty.
One very last comment, on my previous trips to the Empress Hotel, there was a "Outlet/Restaurant Duty Manager" who often saw me in various parts of the hotel, who always came up to me with a genuine "Welcome back Mr. W, I saw you were coming back, great to see you". I was sad to see him go to Fairmont Newport Beach (or so I heard) and he is sorely missed, the good news, his replacements are just as engaging and welcoming. There are good people at the Fairmont!
This hotel gets a FIVE STAR rating from Me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Regarded as a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel, and honoured with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel, the Fairmont Empress graces Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour with an iconic presence. The Fairmont Empress, Victoria B.C.’s most iconic hotel, has just unveiled a $60 million dollar restoration.This luxury hotel offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre. Located on the picturesque West Coast of Canada, this is the ideal location to explore all the natural beauty of Vancouver Island. ... 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