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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Denver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great”
Reviewed April 24, 2014

Perfect location! Was close to all activities. Good meeting! What more can I say???? Our group enjoyed all of the facility. Beautiful flowers. Wonderful view of the harbor. Good drinks in the Bengal Lounge







  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
1 Thank Cheryl S
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, May 5, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Denver,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased that you enjoyed our location which is so close to many of Victoria's wonderful attractions. I am so happy that you enjoyed our beautiful gardens and flowers, as well as our wonderful views of the Harbour. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when you visit Canada 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.
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Fountain Hills
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 23, 2014

My husband and I had the pleasure of checking off a "Bucket List" item after our youngest daughter was married in Seattle. I have always wanted to visit Victoria and stay at the Empress. So, instead of a Honeymoon, we went on a "Parentmoon" with the Groom's parents. We had a remarkable time at the Empress - from check in to beyond check out. The staff was amazing...always friendly and helpful, and our room was fabulous. We love hotels with history , character and central locations, the Empress hit all marks. Not only would I love to go back to the Empress, but am looking forward to visiting the Fairmont Hotels in Quebec City and Montreal as well. Also, a big thank you to Thania, the housekeeping manager, for finding my jacket, which I forgot in my room, and sending back to me. Now that is special service!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pamela 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, May 5, 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 read that you found our staff to be helpful, friendly and amazing. The history of this hotel is truly amazing. 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.
Las Vegas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Classic Canadian Railroad hotel, Great location and you must do the afternoon tea. The fairmont empress is part of the history and fabric of Victoria and is a great place to stay. We stayed two nights because of the history of the hotel are glad we did.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
1 Thank Chris D
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, May 5, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Las Vegas,

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 read that you enjoyed the history of this hotel. I hope that you had time to visit our Archives section to see some of the amazing historical photographs and facts. I am also pleased that you were able to enjoy our wonderful Afternoon Tea experience. We have been serving in the tea lobby since 1908. 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

The Fairmont Empress delivers on service and ambience, as expected from a quality brand like Fairmont. I have consistently had good experiences with the chain and I highly recommend giving this hotel serious consideration when choosing a place to stay in Victoria, British Columbia.

Pros:
-the hotel is picturesque, beautiful, and the grounds are well manicured and green
-the location is great; it is centrally located within the city, and positioned between the Main Street and harbour
-I loved the antiquity of the room, as well as the charm (such as the wood beam ceilings, accents, 15 ft ceilings, faux fireplace, and other decor)
-the bed and pillows were very comfortable &
-the service was generally friendly

Cons:
-the counter service was slow when we arrived
-the valet parking was passive vs proactive
-the bathroom was a bit outdated and small, but well laid out
-the refrigerator was placed in an unusual place

Overall, the hotel was well worth the time and effort. It was a wonderful experience, and a great way to see Victoria.

If this post was helpful to you please give me a helpful vote.

Thank you.

Room Tip: There seem to be a lot of different types to choose from. See what's available.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael 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 review, April 24, 2014
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 read that you enjoyed the beauty of the hotel as well as our beautifully manicured grounds. Our location is wonderful and within walking distance to so many attractions. I hope that you were able to enjoy a city tour while you were visiting to experience all that our city has to offer. There are so many interesting and historical facts about the hotel. The Empress Room, our formal dining room, has beams that are actually done with horse hair and plaster! I apologize for the length of time it took for your arrival experience. This feedback is very important to us so that we may move forward to continually improve our service commitment. 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.
Galveston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

A truly special hotel with ambiance and charm. The High Tea experience is a must as the atmosphere, food and the tea were all delicious! Near the ferry from Washington, a easy walk with wonderful views

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia B
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, April 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Galveston,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so thrilled to read that you enjoyed the ambiance and charm of the hotel and that you were able to enjoy our wonderful Afternoon Tea experience. I am glad that you were able to enjoy our location and walk and enjoy the beautiful views. I hope that you had a chance to enjoy a city tour 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.
Vancouver
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

This is a difficult review to write not because it is mostly negative but because this is my favourite weekend getaway hotel in Victoria. I should perhaps say it was.

I booked our 15th wedding anniversary/Easter weekend stay months ago through Signature Travel (whatahotel.com) and booked a deluxe king package.

Valet and porter services were very good and swift (as usual) thank you!

When we checked in the front desk agent said we were upgraded although we did not know to what extent until we got to our tiny room with a harbour view (albiet tiny) where we found yes we had received a view we had lost the bed size from a king to a queen. To some folks this is not critical but to us it is. We said we were unhappy and the front desk said they would move us, however, the room we were being moved to was on the ground floor and was not ready. We are patient travellers and always try to go with the flow but the bed was important so we decided to wait and wait and wait. Finally, as 5:00pm neared we decided our trip was wasting away so we said we would stay in our room and we unpacked and headed out.

When we came back to have showers, we noted there were NO towels in the bathroom nor robes - we did call for them and they arrived quickly.

We ate in the Bengal room and had a nice time with good quality bar food and a good waiter - no complaints.

When we arrived to back to our room we received a card from Signature Travel saying something to the effect that they hoped we enjoyed our Westcoast welcome chocolate. Too funny - we never received it! In addition, the package was not the same as we purchased as when we arrived. hmmmmmm....

The next morning we ordered room service and were treated to burnt pancakes. The person who brought the breakfast was very nice - and our fault I guess for not inspecting the food and allowing her to remove the lids.

Things really fell apart Sat night.

We had a lovely dinner out at Nautical Nellies and returned to our room to relax. The evening was somewhat warm and our room very stuffy so we had left the teeny tiny windows open only to come back to find the room smelling like cigarette smoke. Turns our there was a wedding event directly below our room and all the drunken, loud and noisy wedding guests were smoking and the noise and smoke went right into our room. It got worse from there with the wedding's LOUD dance music booming into our room. Yes, I did call to the front desk after trying several times being on hold for what seemed forever. Finally, after 10 minutes I got through and the young lady I spoke was very nice and offered to move us. It was 11:30pm and that was not a solution. She said she would send security and it seems as she was true to her word as the noise, booming music and smoke vanished around midnight.

The next morning I called to the front desk to find out why we were placed over a wedding amoung other mistakes and miss-haps made by hotel staff. I dealt with Nathan Bird (who thank fully moved quickly to salvage our weekend) by arranging to move us, took care of items on our bill and a few other things that were appreciated. The last hiccup was a slow transition from the existing room to the new room. We were still maintaining our patience. We did stop by at the front desk to check on the status of the new room (it was being cleaned for us) and the front desk agent (a young lady) did not take the time to look at what had happened or even bother to ask and she went up one side of me and down the other about the hotel check in policy, wedding guests checking out late and that I should not expect to check in until at least 4:00pm. What a foolish thing to say given that we had been guests all along.

The new room was lovely and we had a good nights sleep and a good evening of room service and again room service for breakfast. Although it was clear it was hastily cleaned. The only weird thing was housekeeping banging on our door first thing in the morning asking us when we were checking out and then if we wanted cream.

Sadly, this was one of the worst hotel stays I have had and is made worse by the fact I love this hotel.

Yes, we did experience some good service by some of the staff, however, it felt like the hotel pulled a fast one by putting us into the queen room above the wedding dance party. And there was simply far too many mistakes made and the stay ended up being far more stressful then it should have been.

While our weekend was not entirely ruined, we met lots of lovely hotel guests, enjoyed shopping and dining around the city, and had a wonderful time walking everywhere with our dog. The weather was pretty nice too!

While they say a person should never say never....I will never return to this property again.

We were going to book back for the Christmas holiday but we are not willing to risk another botched stay.

If you are booking into this property - make sure you find out if there is a wedding dance party booked near your room.

Room Tip: Avoid room 160 it is noisy and cramped. Also, if there is a wedding in the area underneath request...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 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 review, April 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your stay with us for your 15th Wedding Anniversary/Easter weekend was not as memorable as we would like. We always strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels and it appears that we have fallen short of accomplishing our service commitment to you, and for that, I would like to apologize. The miscommunication regarding your room and then the fact that your new room was not ready is unacceptable. The towels and robes should have been present and I will be discussing this with our Executive Housekeeper for further follow up. I was happy to read that you had a great experience in The Bengal Lounge. My apologies for your in room dining meal not being wonderful and this feedback also is very important for us. Your room being directly above the music and smoke from the wedding being held downstairs must have been frustrating and I am so happy to read that Nathan was able to help you the next morning with room move, items on your bill etc. I am glad that you enjoyed walking around the city and also that you were able to enjoy some shopping and dining. Your feedback in all these areas is important for us in order to keep improving service and I thank you for taking the time to let us know. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss your recent experience, and in turn, hopefully, to restore your confidence in our hotel so that we may welcome you back once 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.
Bozeman
1 review
Reviewed April 21, 2014

We celebrated our Mom's 87 birthday at the Fairmont Empress. We stayed in a fabulous 2 bedroom suite on the club level and it was very memorable. The service, staff, spa and food were top notch! Would highly recommend for any special occasion. Felt pampered the entire stay.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Robyn E
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, April 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 happy to hear that you had such a wonderful stay celebrating your mother's 87th Birthday. We have truly amazing staff here and I love hearing that staff, spa and food were all top notch and that you felt pampered during your entire stay. 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 back 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.
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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
#7 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):
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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