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“Excellent stay, amazing service, a must!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fairmont Empress

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent stay, amazing service, a must!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012 via mobile

I stayed there for three nights during my business trip to Victoria. The hotel in itself is a must-see, beautiful building overlooking the wharf. The visitor centre is right across the street and the area is full of restaurants. The Royal British Columbia museum is a two-minute walk from the lobby.

Service was perfect from beginning to end. I had just arrived from Vancouver where my hotel was quite average, and after mentionning the tinniness of the room I'd just spent my last two nights in, the lafy who did my check-in upgraded my room to a deluxe room free of charge. "Hopefully this will make you feel better!" She said.

And indeed it did! Room was spacious, the bed amazing! Decor is old fashioned but it suits the place very well. Staff was Also very helpful when I asked for a lunch and breaffast box to be delivered to my room at 5 am. As a vegetarian, I was very pleased to see that they included a delicious grilled vegetable sandwich in my bags.

My stay at the Empress was flawless. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to spend a few days in Victoria.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank M_robert0
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 17, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Gatineau,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor regarding your recent “flawless” stay with us. We have many wonderful colleagues and I am so pleased that the Agent provided you with an upgraded room when she learned of your experience in Vancouver. I am happy that you enjoyed your delicious take away lunch and breakfast. We are always pleased to provide for any dietary preferences, and also feature dietary specific Lifestyles Plus menus in our outlets. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when you return to Victoria.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,423 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (905)
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English first
Mission, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at the Empress immensely. The room was clean and luxurious, and the bed was very comfortable. All the staff treated us as if we were their only guests - from the doorman offering us umbrellas, to the housekeeping staff greeting us with a cheerful "good morning" every day.

Exceptional value for the spend! I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Be sure to check the specials - the Fairmont Empress offers excellent value for the cost!! We were a...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank karateblackcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

The Empress Hotel is a fabulous place to stay. Not only is it gorgeous and historic, the rooms are very comfortable and the service is fabulous. I loved the online check-in ability and everyone should experience afternoon tea at the Empress at least once. The grounds are beautiful, the location central and scenic. It is close to shopping, the Royal Museum, the parliament buildings and there is plenty of other things to do all within easy walking distance. Overall, it is the best place to stay in Victoria and I will make it my go-to hotel every time I am in the area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn B
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 9, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Salmon Arm,
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 you enjoy our hotel and grounds as well as the city of Victoria. We truly do have the best location with shopping and local attractions within walking distance from our front door. 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.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

I was in Victoria a few days ago on business, and stayed at the Fairmont Empress. I've stayed there before, so I knew full well what I was getting myself into. And I'm pleased to note that once again, the Empress exceeded my expectations in every possible way.

I like staying at Fairmont hotels - mainly for the exceptional service, but also because they are often historic properties with an unmatched charm and elegance. No hotel better exemplifies this than the Empress. From the minute you step out of the cab upon arrival, the friendly and helpful staff do everything in their power to make you feel like royalty.

You can read all about the hotel's rich and colourful history on the Fairmont website. What the website doesn't tell you is exactly how wonderful this place makes you feel. The service really is top-shelf. The staff are all smiling, they all greet you by name, and you really are made to feel like you're their best customer in the world. I used Fairmont's I'm On My Way service to check-in via my Blackberry while still en route, and shortly afterward received a confirmation email that my room was ready and waiting, and the doorman would give me my keys. Upon arrival, I gave him my name and voila - he had everything ready, and I was upstairs in the room in a few minutes, with no line-ups or waiting at all.

The room was gorgeous.

The Empress is an old building, but it has been impeccably cared for all its life, and it really shows -- it's in amazingly beautiful condition. My room was larger than I had expected, with a king bed facing two large windows that opened. M view was straight out the front, overlooking the beautiful Victoria harbour. To the right, a large fireplace with a gorgeous wooden mantle. To the left, a large walk-in closet and the washroom (with excellent water pressure in the shower, something you sometimes take for granted). The carpet appeared to be fairly new (as did the carpet in the hallway), and the room was spotlessly clean. The bed was firm and comfy, with four pillows to choose from. I like having a choice of firm and soft pillows, and not all hotels offer this. Talk about a nice touch.

I was still a bit wound up from traveling, so decided to hit the hotel's gym. Wow - it was really nice, with a wide range of new equipment, and a fully stocked towel rack and beverage area. I didn't try the pool, but could see it while I worked out, and it looks great.

I did not have time to treat myself to enjoying high tea (an Empress tradition) on this trip, but did so a few months ago on a previous trip to Victoria, and strongly recommend it to anyone - whether you stay at the hotel or not.

My trip was very short, only two days, but I was genuinely sorry to have to leave. The Empress is a bit more than just a hotel, it's an indulgent experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. If you're reading this and considering staying there, just do it. You won't regret it.

Room Tip: If you can score a room overlooking the harbour, you'll enjoy amazing sunset views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Craig1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
108 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

My wife and recently spent three days in Victoria, BC and stayed at the Fairmont Empress. The rooms are beautifully appointed, large and comfortable. The complimentary breakfast and afternoon appetizers in the the President's Club lounge were delightful and delicious. We enjoyed a nice evening meal in the Bengal Lounge and received personalized treatment by the concierge at the gold-level desk. We were there for a large education conference so the hotel was packed...but it certainly didn't feel that way at all. It felt like we were the hotel's only guests, at least from how we were treated by all staff members. The somewhat higher rate for the Empress is well worth it except for one possible exception: You will feel so pampered that your next stay in a non-Fairmont hotel pales in comparison. Prepare to be spoiled by the Empress!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tghiemstra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanoose Bay, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

We know the Empress very well so were very disappointed after being let down this weekend. Friday evening was fantastic, we enjoyed cocktails and a leisurely dinner in the Bengal Lounge, it was a wonderful evening. Saturday morning breakfast was wonderful and we went out early to enjoy Victoria. By 3PM my wife was ready for a nice relaxing bath and we were amazed to discover that our room had not been attended to. After requesting our room be serviced it was almost two hours before we could return. If we return to the Empress we will certainly request our room be serviced sooner rather than later.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rkm774t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontEmpress1908, Director of Operations at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Nanoose Bay,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your cocktails in The Bengal Lounge and breakfast in The Empress Room. I am sorry to hear that housekeeping did not service your room in a timely manner. I will be sharing your comments with our housekeeping management to ensure that this does not occur in the future. 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

This is a lovely hotel and the rooms are gorgeous. We were lucky to get a harbour view, which was well worth it during the 'Zombie' invasion and the marathon!
The pool and sauna are great - although it can get busy with families.
Dogs also seem welcome.
I am sure you can get cheaper, although this hotel is well worth a look first.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank harleegirl
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#9 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#16 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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