We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The Fairmont Empress
Nearby Hotels
$248
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
Hotel Rialto(Victoria)
$174
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Restaurant
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites(Victoria)
$204
$198
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
$279
$261
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Restaurant
$441
$387
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
$244
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
$235
$214
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Restaurant
Abigail's Hotel(Victoria)
$263
$186
Abigail's Hotel
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Embassy Inn(Victoria)(Great Value!)
$184
$178
Hotwire.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$197
Travelocity
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
Reviews (4,103)
Filter reviews
4,103 results
Traveler rating
2,193
1,064
488
237
121
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
2,193
1,064
488
237
121
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsbengal loungehigh teaafternoon teagold floorbengal roompresident's clubcurry buffettea roomceiling fanold worldbeautiful hotelair conditioningharbor view roomsconesbutchart gardensbritish columbiainner harbor
Filter
Updating list...
2,589 - 2,594 of 4,103 reviews
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I stayed here during a fun Canadian weekend while visiting my mother. We had heard mixed reviews about this place, but thought the building to be so impressive, we gave it a try.

All I can say is that The Empress is a gimmick tourist trap from start to finish, and they do a great job of disguising what a disaster this hotel is from the street. The front of the hotel is spectacular- beautiful gardens, well-kept building appearance and even a BMW 7 series house car. All looks luxurious from the outside.

Inside, from the lobby on, I felt like this was all a joke. The front desk was understaffed by two people on a weekend the hotel was sold out. All of the public spaces were worn, tired and looked cheap. The men's locker room was disgusting and smelled like a used jock strap. Tip to Fairmont- visit a Ritz locker room before you try to play like you're a luxury property.

The room was a mess. The furniture and fabrics were 15+ years old, and the mattresses felt the same way. The sheets and towels were worn down just as bad as the chipped walls and wood furniture pieces. Our room had a mini bar fridge from the 1980s which was empty aside from some sad looking creamer for coffee and a sign that said to call room service for drinks and snacks. Well done Empress! You are both tacky and gross. The room's restroom had a YELLOW bathtub, cheap plastic counters and no space for anything. The only redeeming quality of the room were the upscale toiletries.

While having dinner at the fabulous Deep Cove Chalet near the gardens, we were told by several locals that Empress was a dump, and that a wealthy man on the island had purchased the hotel to gut the inside and turn it into condos and a smaller hotel. Maybe he can give this building the TLC it deserves. In the meantime, stay away. If Fairmont truly is selling, they are not going to spend a dime on upkeep.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ittessot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Stayed twice a couple of days at the hotel - enjoyed our stay very much. One notes that it is an "elderly English Lady" which needs a lot of care. We used the gym which was similar to other Fairmont hotels. The noise level is low due to carpets everywhere. The rooms we had were huge and clean. We certainly will return and can recommend the hotel.

Staff at the reception, bell boys, car park, etc. are very nice and helpfull.

Room Tip: Front view on a higher level would be nice - those in a side wing are quieter.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bariloche-61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

This old hotel has grown organically over time, but the new additions are smoothly integrated into the whole. We had a room high in the old section of the hotel. The hallways are as wide as galleries, and the rooms have eleven-foot ceilings. The much-touted afternoon tea (often misnamed high tea) was meticulously prepared and served in a comfortable atmosphere. We were fortunate to have a fine view of the harbor. The Bengal Lounge was the happening place to be--so much so that you must be willing to stand and wait 45 minutes for access, since they don't take reservations. [We didn't.] Every meal we had in the beautiful old dining room was excellent, as was the service. We've already begun preparations to visit again next year.

Room Tip: Top floor of the old wing have mansard roofs; rooms on the next floor down (don't remember the number) claim to be harbor view, but the stone balcony rail blocks the view. You have to stand on the window stoop to see the harbor.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ChrisK14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

The hotel rooms were very unimpressive. The property needs some updating, very dated. I realize this is a historic property, but having more updated interiors wouldn't hurt. The service was average. The front desk was very courteous and allowed for an early check-in. We had the high tea with our family and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It is worthwhile trying it. The location of this hotel is very central to all shopping and sightseeing. We were able to walk to most locations. We had taken the Victoria clipper from Seattle for our weekend in Victoria.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank born_to_travel55
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 November 1, 2013

Dear Valued Guest from Chattanooga,

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. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. I was happy to read that you enjoyed our afternoon tea experience. I will personally be following up with our teams about your comments. Thank you again for sharing the feedback.

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 October 15, 2013

We stayed 2 nights over the Victoria Marathon weekend, arriving mid-morning on a Friday. The front desk staff allowed us to check in many hours early, and were courteous to a fault. Enough cannot be said about the public spaces and exterior of this hotel. It is majestic to say the least, and I am sorry I did not have time to eat in the restaurants or partake in high tea.

The room itself was good but not excellent (hence the 4/5 stars). We were in a standard queen room, city views, on the 2nd floor - probably because I had a travel voucher for a discounted nightly rate. For my purposes of running the marathon and a short visit, it was perfectly acceptable. The bed was comfortable, coffee and tea were provided, and the internet (wired or wifi) was amazingly fast. However the furnishings are somewhat worn, and a renovation of these rooms is needed soon. I am all for the classic, regal furnishings, so this is not a dig on the style, but the actual condition of those furnishings was not first rate. I stayed in a similar level room at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary earlier this year, the room condition was excellent, and I was anticipating the same here.

Would I stay at this hotel again - absolutely. The location is unbeatable, the staff are excellent, and there is nothing that comes close to staying in the Empress when you are in Victoria. Were it for a longer stay, I might pay for the upgrade to a Fairmont Gold room, however.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Happy_Hobo_AB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews