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“A fabulous hotel but.........”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 47 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This fairmont hotel has that old time 'RITZ' as expected back in the forties when people like FDR stayed there. The ambiance is great and although the building was put up years ago, with lots of wood trim it has been redone and kept up very well. The service is as expected, and the people are friendly. You couldn't ask for a better location in Victoria, right across the street from the harbor. Loved the room and the bed was great, wish we had stayed another day or so. This hotel is expensive and generally worth the price. BUT, we had two meals there, pricy with good food and service, and at both dinner and breakfast, I has to send the glassware back since is was not properly washed. I was surprised to find this twice at such a fine hotel. Took a little edge off a fine experience.

Room Tip: Stay on floor 6 or below.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank peterstuart75
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 reviewResponded July 30, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Arizona,

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 we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. I was very happy to hear that you found the staff helpful, the ambiance wonderful, and the location enjoyable. I was unhappy however to hear that you had to send your glassware back at dinner and at breakfast. I will be sharing your comments about the glassware with our Director of Food and Beverage. 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.

Kind Regards,


Don Fennerty
General Manager

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2,533 - 2,539 of 3,915 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2013

Stayed here for a week for a conference and the location is wonderful - right across from the harbour, lots of evening activities going on and on the edge of downtown shopping. The hotel staff were very helpful and polite. The room (mezzanine level) was standard - very comfortable bed, plenty of room, overhead and desk fan (no central air), in-room coffee (decent) and tea (excellent variety and flavor). There is an in-room fridge but mine didn't really cool things. The in-room safe is great though. Shower was good, towels soft, toiletries good quality.

There is lots of interesting (and pricey) shopping in the hotel, food services were very good (what I had - which was minimal). It is a bit of a challenge to get around and find conference rooms or the connection to the Conference center but staff were very helpful - just a few times when it was hard to get around due to special events in the tea room.

Overall great service, elegant atmosphere and a nice place to stay - depending on price - tends toward premium - as expected.

Room Tip: Mezzanine room was noisy from the street level - bar across the street until about 11 pm, so a highe...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank muklukmary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

We stayed two nights in room 260, a Gold corner suite with a view of the harbour. The hotel has of course a wonderful position on the harbour in the centre of Victoria and lots of old character (though being a little over 100 years old is not so impressive when you come from England!), with prices that reflect this. Because of its fame and character, it is full of non-residents who wander around all the floors inquisitively: it would be better if the hotel made the elevators key access only for most floors. Our room was large and very comfortable with a great harbour view. However, there are some compromises because of the hotel's age: the window with the view is quite small, as is the bathroom. There is no air conditioning, just opening windows and a ceiling fan.

The Gold Lounge, restricted to those in the Gold rooms, has wonderful views. It has good food, and staff there were friendly and helpful. However, service could be a little sharper, in restocking food and clearing used plates; the Gold concierge desk also lost track of our restaurant request.

Room Tip: Room 260 on the Gold floor is a lovely room, subject to the compromises explained above
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Verulam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

The Empress is an old classic hotel. When I booked, I received an email offer to upgrade for another $90, so I thought why not. Sadly, I was placed in a room over looking the harbor. Which would have been nice, but the Empress manager thought it would be great to allow buskers with loud speakers to entertain on the lawn. So for the entire day, and up to 8:30 at night, it was like being at a county fair grounds.Certainly not the quiet and restful room I paid $600 for.

The staff are terrific. And the Gold lounge is beautiful if you don't sit by any windows. If you stay, ask for a room over looking the garden.

Room Tip: Ask if the buskers are performing on the lawn.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Johnny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

It is true that the hotel needs renovation,specially the rooms.
It is true that the rooms at the back have no view and sometimes have less charm.
It is true that the service sometimes fails ,even seriously.
But still this hotel remain the only real elegant choice in Victoria with the charm of an other time.
If you want to feel this ,stay at the Empress and try to book a front view room.
Even for a European ,as I,experienced on this kind of properties,was a pleasant discovery.
Specially surprised by the real good food on both restaurants ,the main and the veranda.
We did not try the tea service,as we have the opportunity to enjoy it in England,but ,looked to us,more as a touristic attraction for the Americans.
The whole hotel is a destination itself and enjoy the smallest details.
100 years ago,traveling was a limited pleasure,reserved to a handful of people ,that enjoyed well their lives..
Staying in this property is smelling this life.

Room Tip: Front view,high floor
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank PLSPG
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 reviewResponded July 30, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Greece,

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 we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. I was very happy to hear that you enjoyed your meals while staying with us in both the Empress Dining Room as well as the Veranda. I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy a city tour of Victoria and see all that our city has to offer. 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.

Kind Regards,


Don Fennerty
General Manager

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Reviewed July 24, 2013

I'll start by explaining the title. We booked three nights at the Empress and my wife asked for a room with a harbour view. The hotel allocated us a harbour view, but the window was the size of a postage stamp. Naturally, she had expected something bigger, and was disappointed when she saw the room.

After asking to see another room, she settled on 622 because apart from the small window the room is great. It is roomy, has a settee, a sitting area with two chairs., a good sized dressing table, more floor space than you need, and a big bathroom too. Added to this, the view of the harbour from the window is actually very good.

Had the window been a bit bigger I would have given 5 stars, and had the staff been less helpful than they were I would have given three. If you are offered this room, don't be too quick to turn it down, but be warned. It has a harbour view alright, but it's through an attic window.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Will1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013 via mobile

Old colonial building from an era gone by. A bit tired. But generally on the whole a decent spot.

The rooms were big but a little old. We enjoyed our couple nights there but would go elsewhere in the future.

A couple of the restaurants wouldn't accommodate us with our kids which I thought was a bit up themselves...

Next time
We're staying somewhere else

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Lemorte69
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

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
#6 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#9 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#15 Family Hotel in Victoria
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $203 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Empress 4*
Number of rooms: 477
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

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