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“Historic hotel” 4 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
London
Level Contributor
41 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Historic hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

The Empress is a good hotel - we enjoyed both the afternoon tea and curry buffet. The atmosphere is great and the location can't be bettered.

It's true the rooms (particularly bathrooms) are small compared to modern buildings, but that is what you expect in a historic building. The pool was a little disappointing and that area could do with some modernisation.

Overall, a good place to stay in Victoria, which is a really interesting and lively place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AlexBalham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,424 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 (906)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Grande Prairie, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

The tea service is a lovely experience! My dear friend treated me to tea at the Empress for my 47th birthday! Our server made me feel like we were the only table in the very busy tea room. The food is wonderful and the ambience is even better.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rita f
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, August 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Grande Prairie,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your wonderful Afternoon Tea experience. I was very happy to read that your server made you feel so special and that you enjoyed the food as well as the lovely ambience. 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 you return to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

My first impression of this castle in front of the Victoria harbor was a WOW. The ocean in front and the vines climbing up its towers give it an enviable look, and unbeatable location if you are a tourist wanting to be in the center of the action.

Everything is close by: hop on hop off tours start or pass by the front of The Empress; float planes, water taxis, and harbor tours dock across the street; the Visitor Centre is also across the street. There are several bus stops along Douglas street at the back of the hotel, as well as 2 car rental offices (Budget and National). If you aree driving to other parts of the island, it is good to know that Douglas Street turns into Highway 1 which will take you to Ladysmith, Nanaimo, and other places in Vancouver Island.

Parking is not included at the hotel, and it is not cheap. There is overnight street parking for a couple of dollars on streets nearby.

There is interesting history in the hotel, and a bee hive that produces over a thousand pounds of honey every year. This honey is used at the hotel.

My boyfriend and I shared a standard king size room. Our king size bed was fantastic: neither hard nor too soft. It was simply perfect.

Other than the bed, everything else in the room is quite ordinary and in need of some renovations and a fresh decor. It is clean and spacious though.

A safety deposit box, a mini fridge, and bath robes are available for your use. There is no air conditioning and we did not feel the need for it, since Victoria has a lovely mild climate. I was told that only a couple of days in the summer would you feel the need for air conditioning there.

In general, I believe the hotel is a good option, specially if you are traveling for leisure and want to explore the city.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ana Maria F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

This hotel was the perfect place to base our short stay in Victoria. We upgraded to a suite which was worth the extra expense as it was immense and had fabulous views. We have 2 teenage children who ended up thoroughly enjoying the stay and visiting the museum of British Columbia which is a stone's throw away. The museum is fabulous and a must see! The staff were perfectly charming and the history of the hotel adds to the sense of staying somewhere really special.

Room Tip: Well worth the price of a suite with harbour view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 suzanne k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
339 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

Very pleasant experience. The tea was $65 per person plus optional $30 per person for the royal tea service where the sous chef comes to the table with a special cheese plate which includes honey from hives from the property. The chef actually brings the hive tray table side and serves chunks of honey and honeycomb. It was a nice extra. Get a table with a window view and enjoy a nice relaxing afternoon.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank etan92612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

The history associated with this place and its location are enough to bring u in--at least once.

We stayed two nights. First one in a 'Gold king suite' which had a great view of the harbour as anticipated and requested. The problem was that the suite is on the small and cramped side. The layout wasn't most user friendly.

In the middle of the summer u would hope the place would be air conditioned. Yes, the nights were comfortable but one would like to have the option of a/c for the amount that you pay. Only my relatives and friends with whom I stay for free get to me tell me to do without the A/C ;).

The second night was in a another king suite without a harbour view. This suite was more open and had two baths and was cheaper than the Gold suite. You don't get access to the lounge though which was well-stocked and worth the Gold upgrade.

The location, interior and exterior of the hotel are iconic. As I said, it's worth a try at least once. Make ur own opinion after u have stayed here.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank quattromd
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, August 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Brampton,
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 stay in a Fairmont Gold Suite as well as one of our non-Fairmont Gold Suites. Both suites are great options when you are selecting a room that suits your needs. From your comments I can see the second suite you stayed in was the better fit for you. I am happy that we were able to find a room that you were comfortable in. I hope you enjoyed your time in Victoria and had the opportunity to enjoy 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
94 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

in the middle of enjoying our three day stay in the Empress Hotel. Our seventh floor suite gave us box seat views of the annual Splash event held on Sunday in Inner Harbour. Victoria Symphony entertained us for hours with fireworks lighting up our room @9pm. Sensational views compensate for a little street noise below but it's all part of the tourist bustle so no complaints. Love the rose scented toiletries and four poster bed. Happy with open windows and fans instead of aircon. Only missing bathrobes and slippers which SHOULD be in these particular suites, and the mattress needs replacing I'd say. Hardly dealt with any staff but pleasant enough. Don't spend your whole stay here. We're off to the Oak Bay resort for 2 nights, then Abigail's which travellers say is a must!
The High Tea is expensive but worth it as it is a once in a lifetime experience in this grand old dame.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boheme9
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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