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 latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Service is great - as expected - but...” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fairmont Empress

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Service is great - as expected - but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

The building is old. Like ridiculously-old-for-the-price-point-they-charge. And we stayed in one of their nicer rooms... Also, we went for a special occasion. Mentioned it several times and yet no one acknowledged it. Guess I am a hotel snob for previously working in the industry at a luxury boutique hotel so I know what differentiates a hotel from appearing five stars and actually "owning" the guest experience... Everyone was professional and quick in their service though - much appreciated. It was my boyfriends birthday and I thought staying at this hotel was synonymous with visiting Victoria. Will never stay again. And don't bother with the afternoon tea. Overpriced for pastries. But I assume most people have the same thought I had - Fairmont Empress IS the true Victoria. So I would suggest do one or the other - stay at the hotel or get the afternoon tea. Or just don't, save money and be happier elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank itzelp86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,424 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,823
    876
    427
    197
    101
See reviews for
767
1,463
121
542
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
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

A true classic. Beautiful, nicely located. We walked to B.C. Museum, which was great. This hotel is expensive, and I felt like they could easily have internet included, which even most "chain" hotel/motels frequently have. Instead the $15 for the internet seemed petty.
The doorman was overly eager to move and park my car as I tried to make up my mind about going right back out and using it. He pretty much hounded me thru the lobby and made me self conscience about my cheap rental as some luxury cars sat unused. I cherished the experience as these minor complaints can't diminish my appreciation for where I was.

Room Tip: Ask for the bed and breakfast as the breakfast was excellent, very expensive, and included.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong
Level Contributor
97 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

Enjoyed a beautiful 'high tea' and an overnight stay with my daughter. The beds were luxurious and we both agreed that they were the best beds we'd ever slept in. Everything was perfect. The 'high tea' was lovely and I was introduced to Kea Lani Orange Pineapple fruit tea, which was amazing. The location, on the harbour was great :)

  • Stayed January 2014, 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?
2 Thank SusanWollongong
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, January 22, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. It is wonderful that you were able to enjoy our Afternoon Tea experience. The tea lobby has been serving Afternoon Tea since 1908. Nearly 100,000 guests are served tea annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea. I am happy that you enjoyed our wonderful location. 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.
Montreux, NV
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2014

I visited Victoria with my mother and 2 sons, age 6 and 3, January 8-10th. It was a birthday celebration surprise for my mother after a tough year in 2013 and we had a beautiful set of rooms. Clean, stately, spacious, soaring ceilings, beautiful views of the harbor and parliament buildings. The Gold Level was closed for annual maintenance, but the two bedroom suite with living room that we enjoyed (Suite 130) was spectacular. Some reviewers complain that the hotel lacks a certain shiny perfection of some more recently renovated luxury hotels... but I say there is a much more preferred sense of genuine history and artistry surrounding you everywhere at this old world style castle of a hotel. The staff were attentive, incredibly helpful and charming -- always smiling and even offered little surprises for the kids. My mother and I enjoyed reading about the architect, the CPR motivations behind this luxury hotel 100 years ago, and the stories of all those who've stayed here from the beginning... royalty, actors, politicians, entrepreneurs, and the like. The boys loved watching the sea planes and boats from the windows of our room. I splurged on a package that included breakfast in The Empress Room, which was an incredible start to each day. Beautiful carved wood beams, chandeliers, soaring ceilings and the food was delicious. Taking a ferry to Victoria and staying at the Empress (sometimes having tea with my mother and sisters) was an almost yearly tradition growing up in a small town in Washington. I had not been back in a decade, and I'm happy to say The Empress is as welcoming and enjoyable as always. A grand dame to be sure. I hope to be back much sooner for our next trip!

Room Tip: Choose a harbor view and splurge on a larger room if possible. Gold level is fantastic, if open.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, 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 MontreuxMom
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, January 22, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Montreux,

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. As an interesting historical fact to share, The Empress Room, our formal dining room, features ceiling molding that is actually done with horse hair and plaster! We offer 477 different rooms, all with unique configurations which is one of the features of our historic property. 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
157 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

The Empress is something very special. Located right on the harbour, it is literally steps from your seaplane flight from Vancouver! Built in the grand style of the Canadian Pacific hotels, this rambling place has been kept nicely authentic whilst benefiting from subtle modernisation. One thing, the hallways are l-o-n-g and wind their way through the various wings. There are probably a hundred different room types in this hotel. Mine was of a very good size and comfortable. Reception service was good as was service in the restaurant. Victoria is a delight to visit and this is the perfect hotel choice.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ashley G
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, January 22, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Brisbane,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. It was wonderful to read that you were pleased with your room and had a comfortable stay. We offer 477 different rooms, all with unique configurations which is one of the features of our historic property. 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.
oxnard
Level Contributor
30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

The Fairmont Empress did not disappoint! Beautiful, old elegance!!! The location is perfect. It is close to the harbor, the museum, shopping, and restaurants! I was treated to a lovely Birthday dessert! Impressive!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
Thank irene e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brownsburg-Chatham, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

I traveled here in March 2012, This was so beautiful, the rooms were very comfortable and very clean, we had a dog and even the dog was treated extremely well. The staff was very helpful and very nice. There is a very beautiful view on the water, it is very easy to get to and to get around. You can walk everywhere

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
Thank Jessica C
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, January 22, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

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 were so helpful during your stay and that your dog was treated as well also. 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.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Victoria hotels
Fairfield
Abigail's Hotel
Abigail's Hotel
#1 of 52 in Victoria
5.0 of 5 bubbles 965 reviews
Magnolia Hotel And Spa
#2 of 52 in Victoria
5.0 of 5 bubbles 2,473 reviews
Hotel Grand Pacific
#15 of 52 in Victoria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,917 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
#3 of 52 in Victoria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,112 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Fairmont Empress? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Priceline, Fairmont Hotels, Booking.com and Jetsetter so you can book your The Fairmont Empress reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Empress
Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Victoria
Victoria Fairmont
Fairmont Empress Hotel

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing