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The Fairmont Empress
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Reviews (4,109)
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3,841 - 3,846 of 4,109 reviews
Reviewed November 29, 2004

My wife and I tried to fulfull a romantic fantasy by staying at the Empress for two nights Thanksgiving week. We decided to flee within hours. I had booked a $169 king with garden view. My wife inquired about an ocean view and was rather abruptly informed that would be $60 more. (We declined). The room was dated, cramped, and remote. The Bengal Lounge attempted to charge us Cognac prices for a brandy (almost double) and was very defensive in their stammered explanation for the mixup. The hotel charged $22 (!!!) a night for parking and as we were leaving the lot I noticed the maximum rate for 24 hours was $15.75. Once we had decided to leave we inquired about the ferry schedule to the US and the conceige told us there was one sailing at 5 PM. A walk over to the ferry office confirmed our previous information of sailings at 1030 AM and 4 PM. Moreover, three rooms in the middle of the main floor had rather inconveniently been given over to a production crew shooting a television series. We might have our afternoon tea here on a return trip but will stay elsewhere where hopefully we will not be treated like carrion.

7  Thank SDMarcoPolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
portland, or
15
Reviewed October 26, 2004

A beautiful old building from the outside. Moldy and decrepit inside.

Dining room experience was bizarre. I didn't check my coat and the maitre'd came over and jammed it down over the back of my chair. My husband was sitting with his back to the orchestra and he turned around a couple of times to look at one of the musicians that I pointed out to him. A woman sitting nearby complained to the maitre'd that my husband kept turning around to stare at her. She had been drinking.

I don't think we'll go back.

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Portland, Oregon USA
111
Reviewed October 25, 2004

I whisked my wife to Victoria on the sly to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. I had booked our stay at the Empress well in advance. However when we went to check in a stony faced pale redhead at the Check In desk argued that the rate I had been promised was a mistake and that I would have to pay much more for our two nights as she could not honour it (which I later found out to be a lie). I inquired for her to get her manager and the whole mess was cleared up with my owing just a few dollars more. However, adding insult to injury, the Rude Red Head refused to give me back my change of 7 dollars which she saw as her tip! No kidding. I asked for my change back and she just glared at me as if I were trash for asking. It was a strange and deeply surreal experience. Creepy, even.
We stayed in room 532, a lovely and very confortable room. My wife, a writer, felt truly inspired by the hotel and actually said that out of all the places we've been in the world this hotel was the most beautiful. The doorman, Mark, was a dream and more than made up for the debacle we had at Check In. He was helpful and friendly and even saved us from missing our Ferry. The food was great, the rest of the staff superb...but that Red Head does not belong in the Hospitality Field. In fact, if she worked for me I'd have fired her long ago as this could not have been an isolated incident.
Beware of the icy Red Head at The Empress.

11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2004

On a visit with my wife to Victoria, we were told that a "must do" tradition was Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
The price seemed high for tea and sandwiches, but since this was a once in a lifetime trip we booked
anyway.
We were served small sandwiches and pastries
( one each ) and tea of our choice.
All on fine china, but would you believe the tea was
poured from a tin pot ! Not the matching china tea pot.
All this for ONLY.. $121.50, including tax and tip.....
I guess as long as there are suckers ( like me )
willing to be fleeced, the Empress Hotel will continue to take our money.


My advice... DON'T DO IT. I repeat DON'T DO IT...
You can visit the tea room for free, look around and
spend your money on something of value.

18  Thank GodfatherToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2004

Tea at the Empress is expensive, but its an experience never to be forgotten. The food is fancy and tasty, the service is attentive, the surroundings are elegant. I really felt pampered and it was worth the cost.

4  Thank lvanderbloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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