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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Of course this is the symbol of Victoria.

As expected, from other visits to other Fairmonts, the rooms are small and everything comes with a price tag. But it is still annoying to pay 500$/night to be right over the kitchen fans and the odors that comes with it.

As you may know, for 500$/night nothing is included so open your wallet for everything.
• No breakfast
• No 24 hrs tea/coffee station
• Need to pay the bellboy to carry your luggage
• Parking and valet costs
• No fridge in the room to keep your beverages cold
• If you are younger than babyboomers, the front desk staff doesn’t necessarily treat you the same way old folks are welcomed – even if I have the Fairmont President Club card.

Since I asked for a microwave (not a common appliance in this type of top-tier venue), as I wanted to heat up some leftovers and save a few $$ – they delivered it for free to the staff deserves a tip of the hat for that.

But this is what those emblematic hotels are all about: you do not get a good bang for your buck, but rather the privilege to sleep there.

Room Tip: facing the harbor are pricier on the back the rooms are cheaper, but we were above the kitchen fans...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank johnnycalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,374 - 2,380 of 3,839 reviews

Reviewed September 14, 2013

This is unheard of at our house. A return to the same hotel twice in one year.

We stayed at the Fairmont Empress in February with our dog during their quiet time. The hotel was quiet, dark and we had a wonderful relaxing time exploring the halls and reading about the history of this hotel. In fact, we had such a good time that we had to come back.

I just love this hotel.

So we came back with our dog when they were at peak occupancy, during I understand a sold-out hotel also during a heatwave. Call us crazy - but we had a wonderful time, but a completely different time. The hotel was busy, packed and full of all types of guests. There were tourists from all over the world and a convention or two. Everyone we met from the staff to the guests were polite, super friendly and all made our stay an excellent one.

We had a wonderful room on the first floor (Room 132) with windows on both sides of the room that could be opened for a cross breeze. This was most helpful and we set up a fan to keep the room cool. The weather was very warm and there is no a/c so be prepared if you are travelling during a heat wave to consider this. We were perfectly comfortable in this room and I will add that a/c is usually a must for me.

Before we came to stay - we shopped around for a deal and after trying several different websites and travel agents the best deal was actually on Fairmont's website - so be sure to check this out for your next stay.

If you want to stay at a beautiful old historic hotel (remember it is old and not perfect!), with wonderful and kind staff, EXCELLENT food, delicious room service food, top notch service, in the best location in Victoria then I highly recommend this property. You are close to everything and the food is so good that you can eat everyday at the hotel.

A big thank you to the bellman/porters, valets, doormen, front desk, room service, chef, shops, and housekeeping for ensuring our return stay was excellent. And, for spoiling us rotten (again!)

And, a very special thank you to everyone who made our dog Madeline feel special - which in turn made us feel special - which of course we are not!



We'll be back soon!

Room Tip: Rooms with a harbour view may be more noisier as the harbour while gorgeous is a working harbour. T...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank RomanVancouver
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 September 23, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,

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. It is wonderful to hear that you were welcomed warmly upon your arrival and our staff was able to assist you throughout your stay. I was happy to also read that your dog Madeline was made to feel so special. 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Our family of 4 stayed here for 2 nights in mid-August. It is a gorgeous, classic old hotel with lots of history and charm. The location absolutely could not be better, right in the center of Victoria. We knew what we would be getting, and felt it was worth paying a bit extra for the charm and history, and giving up a few modern conveniences (A/C in particular). The lobby feels like more of a tourist / bus stop, but outside of that it is a wonderful, old hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank traveller4224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We had been to the Empress some years ago and always wanted to return, but like so many places it's not the same the 2nd time around. We looked around the lobby and areas where you are allowed if you are not a guest, and we thought it was not kept as well as we remembered. We did make a reservation for "high tea" and enjoyed that, but the price is a little steep for what you get. It has become very commercialized and not the treat it should be. It is still a landmark in Victoria and worth a visit if you are ever there. The grounds are wonderful and it is a snap-shot you must take back home. Everyone knows and loves the Old Empress.

Room Tip: Have not stayed there lately. There are dozens of better hotels in town now, more worth the price.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jriley7531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Spent a couple of nights here over New Years 2013, on our way to Hong Kong, Australia & New Zealand. Reception was warm, room was excellent and the service up to the usual Fairmont standard, i.e. high. This is an old railway hotel, but it is maintained with care and exudes real charm. It is also situated at the centre of the city. The staff carry themselves with pride and demonstrate that pride in their delivery of service. Breakfast was delivered quickly and was excellent. A happy start to our extended vacation. PandD, Ottawa.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank pdbermorgan
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 September 10, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Ottawa,

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. It is wonderful to hear that our staff was able to assist you throughout your stay. 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed at the Empress as part of Princess Cruise tour to Alaska. We stayed extra time to visit Victoria and Vancouver. In Victoria, we visited the Butchart Gardens, which were beautiful. The hotel is right across from the bay/port and provide a great view. The Empress is an older, but classic CP hotel. The hallways were large enough to drive a car. Our room was a standard type, but very comfortable and clean. The outside of the hotel has a number of unusual trees and plants.

Room Tip: Great location for visiting Victoria.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank garbermb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Beautiful surroundings & gardens. We loved the sculptured greens, especially the whales... Had a problem with the toilet being too close to the tub. Personnel was very helpful in changing our room. The lobby area was lovely. Internet access was free in the lobby...charge was high for room access.

Room Tip: Check out the bathrooms and location of Toilet next to tub (some are very tight)
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank pnovetsky
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
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#17 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $253 - $492 (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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