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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We were really looking forward to staying at this hotel, especially as we would not normally be able to afford such a place. The room, food and staff were excellent, but the add-ons were a ripp-off! Every other hotel we have stayed in has provided wi-fi free of charge - but not here! It cost $13.42 plus tax per day! on top of that was the charge for laundry - $74 (plus tax) for three tops and some underwear! If I had known in advance how much it was going to cost I would never have sent the laundry down (we couldn't find the form as it had been clipped to one of the hangers in the wardrobe, and so ended up underneath my husband's jacket! WE will certainly not be staying there again (even if we could afford it.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pam 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 reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Norwich,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your stay was not as memorable as we would like. I will personally be following up with our teams regarding your comments. Thank you again for sharing the feedback.
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.
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2,495 - 2,501 of 3,978 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2013

An old CPR hotel the Empress is a grand old hotel where customer service is on par with high end hotels. It has a great location in Victoria, and the staff go out of there way to make your stay the best; not to mention, the food is excellent. On the down side they do know how to charge for your room and meals and any other extra you may want. Once you stroll down the hall towards your room you'll notice the dated décor, and the slightly stale smell that comes with a building and rooms of this age. If you want the experience of saying you were at the Empress they will certainly take care of you, but there are better hotels in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BertEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Beautiful hotel with a great location. Beds are very comfortable. As I was there for a sales meeting, I got to see many of my colleagues rooms. The rooms do vary in size quite a bit. The lowest category room is quite small for two people. I was told my room was a deluxe and I did appreciate the extra room seeing as I had a roommate. Bathrooms are extremely small however, not much room for two women. I am happy to have stayed here and experienced it but I'm not sure I would pay from my pocket to do so again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Alanna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

I booked the hotel to attend an global conference, and although the price was a bit overboard, the impressive Empress made it a memorable experience for me! Ever since I checked in (earlier than 12 noon was allowed), I experienced a grand welcome ! The receptionist was very polite and courteous. The room was small, but well decorated, with good views. The VLC conference center was huge and well decorated. The location of the hotel could not be any better, stone throw distance from the ferry terminals, and hydrojet, as well as the gardens/walkways. Shopping complexes were next door too. I was pleasently surprised with the restaurant "Bengal Room" - a wonderful Indian dining opportunity (Bengal and Indian food)! I could walk around the hotel's greenery under the wonderful September sun. The check out was extremely efficient, even one night prior to my departure. I would recommend this to anyone who would like to revel in a little bit of luxury (and money).

Room Tip: All rooms are good, but if you chose the front panel, you will witness the charming view of the magn...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Sarbapi M
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 Kolkata,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so happy to hear that you had such a grand experience and that the staff treated you so well. I am glad that you had such a memorable experience in the Bengal Lounge and that you also enjoyed our beautiful grounds and our wonderful location. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review and share your experience. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to the West Coast 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 19, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful establishment, superior service, once in a lifetime experience! Definitely a return visit soon! We had an exceptional stay and have recommended as a must stay to all of our friends. High Tea is a must! The tea selections were amazing, the canapés were mouthwatering, and the service was outstanding. I can't say enough about our lovely afternoon.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Rosemary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

We recently had the pleasure of staying for 3 nights at this grand hotel. Can only describe the hotel as magestic. Very comfortable, lots of interesting features, overlooking harbour with plenty of eating places. (Bit pricy in restaurant though! The hotel has a charm that we have not experienced anywhere else,,,Highly recommended

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank WillWhiteTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This impressive and haunting relic of turn-of-the-century edwardian, chateau-style architecture proudly stands at the foot of Victoria's quaint and enchanting harbor, welcoming daily thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Wanting to truly relish in the experience of staying in this grand old dame, we opted to stay on the gold floor, in a Junior suite with harbor view.
What an excellent choice that turned out to be, as our junior suite was extraordinary.
Impeccable details throughout: beautiful crown molding, ceramic tiled fire place and mantle in the separate living room, beautiful four poster bed and most importantly: the view view view!
It was breathtakingly beautiful.
So much so, that each evening, we made sure we were promptly in our room at sunset, so that from the comfort of our own bed we could witness the elaborate sunset of Vancouver Island, spewing tones of fiery pink, orange and crimson across the clear blue sky.
Being able to watch the magnificent sunrises and sunsets from our room; having the luxury of peering out our windows upon the expansive Victoria harbor; viewing from above the thousands of photo hungry tourists captivated by the Empress's facade; we truly couldn't have had a better experience or room in this hotel.
The gold floor staff was beyond helpful, friendly and attentive. They suggested Victoria excursions off the beaten path: tranquil walks through varied eclectic neighborhoods in the city, kayak tours, and the best in locale cuisine. And each did so in a genuine and thoughtful way, even letting us into some of the hotel's lesser known historic corners, which made this historic hotel buff / nerd very happy.
The gold lounge itself was the only let down during this truly memorable stay.
The meat heavy selections left my vegetarian other-half hungry on more than one occasion, and there is an absence of really anything to eat in the lounge from 10:30 a.m. until 5p.m. I found the "honor bar" a little disconcerting, especially with domestic beer at $7 a pop. May as well drink downstairs in the bar with a better selection we thought, so in the end we did.
Had we paid extra for access to the Gold lounge only, we would have been more sore about it, I'm sure, but due to the awe-inspiring junior suite, the view and the remarkable Gold Floor staff, the sting from the lack of gold lounge selection and offerings really didn't last.
All that forgotten: I can't say enough about the haunting impression this beautiful hotel left on me: I plan on making the long journey to Victoria again one day soon, so that I may once more cross through her famous and ornamented doors.

Room Tip: Harbor view is a must. Gold Junior suite room 476 - breathtaking views!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bahstar1
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
#14 Family Hotel in Victoria
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $203 - $544 (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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