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“The grand old dame of the inner harbour”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Fort Langley, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“The grand old dame of the inner harbour”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

The Empress is a beautiful, imposing presence on the inner harbour and well worth the splurge for at least one night. We were there for Canada Day and had ring side seats for the day of festivities and fireworks. The hotel's rose garden is beautiful, although the lawns for extremely crowded with festival goers. Our room was comfortable and clean; the bathroom was quite small, but well appointed. In any other hotel the room decor would have seemed dated, but here it was in keeping with the style & history of the hotel. The only complaint I have (the same one I have with other Fairmont properties) is that the wi-fi is not provided free of charge. In a hotel of this stature and price, there really is no need to nickel & dime guests with wi-fi charges.

Room Tip: If possible, opt for a harbour view room. Although more expensive than other rooms, it's worth i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bridget 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, July 18, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Fort Langley,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor of your recent stay with us. The firewoks on Canada Day are spectacular and are a favorite of visitors and locals. Our hotel grounds are kept in pristine shape by our very dedicated team of gardeners. Our Wifi service is complimentary to our Fairmont Presidents Club members. This preference program is free of charge to join and in addition to free wifi gives you the option to make preferences that will be honoured during your stay such as pillow type, use of our BMW bikes, newspaper preference etc.
Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress again sometime soon.

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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3,484 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (932)
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2014

Like all the old Canadian Pacific hotels I've stayed in, the Empress is designed like a European palace. Under Fairmont management, the hotel has retained all of its original charm and the rose gardens and other features on the grounds may be better than ever. The style is maintained not only in the public spaces, but also in the rooms. Even though I enjoyed an inexpensive, conference rate, my room was a decent size and nicely appointed. Staff were friendly and helpful, even on occasions when I encountered one in a corridor, obviously heading some where, and asked for directions or information. One even changed directions to walk me to where I needed to go. While this was a business trip, I would definitely consider the Empress for a romantic getaway. My only negative comment was that the bed was too soft for my preferences.

Green Features: Seem to be sincere. For example, I noticed several beehives tucked away behind some hedges and got to see the bee keeper at work.
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LeRuse
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, July 18, 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 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 enjoyed our beautiful rose garden and grounds. We have a very dedicated and hardworking team of gardeners who ensure that all of our grounds are kept in pristine condition. 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.
Southwick, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
79 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2014

We did not stay at the Empress but went there for their afternoon high tea. While it was expensive, it is something that should be experienced at least once. The sandwiches, cakes, and other offerings were tasty and the tea was smooth and flavorful. We still order tea to be sent home from the Empress today.

The building and grounds are beautiful and worth browsing through. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Empress.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff 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, July 10, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Southwick,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent Afternoon Tea experience with us. I was very happy to read that you enjoyed everything and that you order our special Empress tea to enjoy at home as well. Nearly 100,000 guests are served tea annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea. Our grounds are beautiful and we have a dedicated team of gardeners who work very hard all year keeping them in pristine shape. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

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.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 8, 2014

I would not normally stay in such a Luxury Hotel due to the cost but on this occasion, I was able to share the cost with my daughter and her family.

As we could do this, we felt we would treat ourselves and we weren't disappointed!!!!. We were made to feel like Royalty and as important as anyone else that was staying there. The experience of breakfast in the Empress Room was lovely as were the rooms. The location was the absolute BEST. If you travel and can afford yourself a special treat then staying at a Fairmont is the way to go. Although I only stayed at Fairmont Empress in Victoria, I was lucky enough to visit The Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise and Fairmont Banff Hot Springs. They also looked amazing.

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

Helpful?
Thank Lisa_RockingRod
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, July 10, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Melbourne,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent family 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, and made you feel lke royalty. 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.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
222 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

We have heard about this hotel for years. Paying more than $400 a night you would expect more. It is tired, hot and crowded. The lobby is full of tourists who are obviously not guests of hotel. It is a gathering area for tourists. They should monitor the door. The room was small, old, worn and hot. Had to keep curtains closed to keep cool. The bathroom was not clean even after I asked housekeeping several times to clean certain things. Upon check out I told the receptionist about our dirty room, broken toilet and inability to get Internet after paying for it. She just said she was sorry. She didn't record anything. She also said she would remove the Internet charges off the bill, she didn't and we had to go through that twice. They really shouldn't charge for Internet for hotel guests. The concierge didn't have a clue about the E Sooke hiking. It's only 30 miles away and some unbelieveble hikes. The hotel is convenient, but our room had no view at all and no real breeze. The breakfast was good though. We enjoyed dinner at Matisse. If there is another hotel that your considering, don't choose this hotel. It is not worth it and needs a total redo. We visited the Best Western in Sooke and it seemed much better and quieter.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank cjg2901
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, July 9, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Dallas,

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 will personally be following up with our Executive Housekeeper regarding the cleanliness of your room. I also apologize for the problems upon checkout removing the internet charges and will be following up with our Front Office Manager regarding this as well. Hiking in E Sooke park is very enjoyable and we should have been able to provide or find out information regarding this for you. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should you wish.

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.
San Marcos
1 review
Reviewed July 8, 2014

It is amazing. The grounds are breathtaking. Conveniently located
The Staff is helpful , friendly & genuine. all of them from the Bell hop to the concierge were knowledgeable about places to eat and sightseeing adventures.
Ambience is wonderful
Charming hotel even though it is a large hotel

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Ellen A
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, July 10, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from San Marcos,

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 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.
Ottawa
2 reviews
Reviewed July 8, 2014

The Fairmont Empress is an institution in Victoria. Great location, a destination in itself, with lots of character and amenities. We loved the spa experience, and the beekeeping hives on the grounds were a really cool idea.

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

Helpful?
Thank James 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, July 10, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Ottawa,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor of your recent stay with us. I am happy to read that you enjoyed the character and amenities of our beautiful property. I was pleased to read that you took some time to visit the bees on our property. The honey which they produce for us is delicious! I hope that you had the opportunity to try some. 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.
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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):
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 
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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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