First, let me say we are glad we got to stay here for 3 nights. I have wanted to for some time. So, here are the good and the bad, in my opinion.
Ideal location, right across from the harbor. You can walk to just about everything...Chinatown, Parliament Building, BC Museum, Fisherman's Wharf and many restaurants and pubs. It is close to the bus station(around the block), where we got dropped off from the ferry from Vancouver. We enjoyed the Bengal lounge and their buffet. Nice to be able to come back after a long day off sightseeing and be able to enjoy a cocktail or two in your own hotel. Afternoon Tea is served and I will rate that separately. Hotel room was quiet. Closet had a safe. The hotel did acknowledge our special anniversary and comped a nice dessert. Nice photos on the wall from past guests...Queen Elizabeth, etc. We enjoyed looking at them.
The service thru out the hotel was nothing grand. All were friendly but better service could be given. One night in the Bengal Lounge, the service was nonexistent...as in NO service.
The lobby itself is small and really just the check-in desk and the bellhops. No action. The furniture thru out the whole hotel, restaurants and the rooms are beat up and very worn. It needs to be replaced and should have been years ago.
Then, there was the room we had. No a/c in the rooms. And, it was pretty hot. There was 2 windows we opened but there were no screens. Some bugs got in. It would be a REAL safety hazard if you had little ones with you. There was an oscillating fan too, but it was noisy. The room was small and really had too much furniture in it for it's small size. No place to move around. The carpeting was stained. A small piece of paper was in front of our bed...and was there 3 days later when we left. So, no vacuuming. ALL the furniture was worn and beat up(just like all over the hotel). The 2 chairs were upholstered but were so dirty looking we did not venture to sit in them. Small refrigerator and a small coffee/tea pot. Closet had minimal hangers. Bathroom was dark and the tub/shower combo was small.
We were able to book a govt. rate(discounted) so the price came down. Normal rates here are too high for what you get. This is not a Fairmont Hotel as we know one. Really, I am surprised Fairmont has their name on this, as it is really a beat up hotel. The tea room and Bengal Lounge get a lot of foot traffic, not necessarily from registered hotel guests, just other people coming to have tea, drinks, dinner, etc. This hotel makes a tidy sum from their afternoon tea.
So, all in all, I think this hotel was really grand some time ago. But, it should not be just living off it's legendary past, as people are expecting a lot more when they stay here.
I know we were.
- 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