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“$22/day parking”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“$22/day parking”
Reviewed February 8, 2005

This hotel charges $22/day for parking for hotel guests! Insane

9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,485 reviews from our community

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English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2005

The impeccable service, the magnificent Victorian decorated rooms, afternoon tea facing the inner harbor or enjoying a quiet tea before bedtime in the peaceful lounge on the gold floor. Everything about the friendly and accommodating staff and this elegant hotel conspired to make our second stay at the Fairmont Empress as wonderfully memorable as the first.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank XtallTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 23, 2005

My husband (then date) bought me a pair of gold/jade earings there.
1. The actual amount charged was many times of the displayed price. (The sales lady said the price displayed was wrong, and since we were only dating at the time, either of us wanted to argue or back out in front of the other.)
2. After a few months, the 'gold' began to show green rust.

6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2005

One thing you can guarantee about Fairmont Hotels is a consistency of
location, amenities and a grandeur of setting and elegance. If comparing
the Empress to the 'grand dames' such as Banff Springs or Fairmont
San Francisco, then perhaps you will notice a slight downgrade in overall "impressive-ness" ..... But the Empress is a very special place,
and I think an experience at this hotel is only limited by your budget and
your personal taste. If you wish to be swept away by the quiet elegance,
romantic lounges and dining rooms, the impressive view over the Inner Harbour, and the unbeatable location in downtown Victoria, then the Empress is highly recommended. If you are expecting the Four
Seasons quality for $150 per night, then perhaps you shouldn't be staying in quiet Victoria, B.C, anyway, and perhaps you should review your expectations of value for money. Yes, some rooms within the Empress are tiny. Some rooms are older in style and decor, and a considerable number have no view. But then there are magnificent and elegant rooms which have commanding views of the harbour (and more than one picture window), and all manner of amentities and luxuries.
In the off-season you can secure fantastic savings, sometimes with bonus High Tea, or breakfast included. I have stayed at this hotel 3 times in recent years (including my honeymoon) and it has never failed to impress me. The Empress remains in my heart a special, unpretentious, quiet gem in one of the prettiest coastal cities in North America. The absolute highlight of a stay here is without a doubt, the
'Bengal Lounge' .... Don't go past the Indian banquet and the cocktails.

7 Thank starcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crescenta, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2004

What a great hotel! The layout is a little difficult, and I had to traverse a labyrinth to get to my room, but once I got there I was suitably impressed. The room was beautifully appointed and decorated, and I had an amazing view of the Inner Harbor -- which I certainly didn't expect for the less than $150 US I was paying! The bathroom was beautiful and had great products, breakfast was delivered quickly and was delicious, and the hotel staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.

I indulged in the legendary afternoon tea, and was not disappointed! The tea was wonderful, as was the food. My server was very friendly and attentive, the setting was beautiful, and in the spirit of the season the hotels had carolers periodically singing during the course of the tea. In fact, one of them performed one of the best, most moving versions of Ave Maria I have ever heard.

All in all, staying at The Empress was a terrific, if too brief, experience.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank Brian_K_B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
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.
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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
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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