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“Grandest Hotel in Victoria”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Sheffield, England
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Grandest Hotel in Victoria”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

The Fairmont Empress is perhaps the most famous building in Victoria. Located near the seafront the exterior resembles a large victorian palace. The hotel features full Valet services for vehicles. Upon entering the reception area you will notice the victorian style furniture is found throughout, from paintings to chairs. The elevators and stairways are located nearby and the restaurants are found on the upper floor.

The rooms come fully furnished with beds ranging in size from single to king/queen. Bathrooms come complete with bath/shower and sink with toiletries. Rooms also come with a large TV, mirror and clothes storage. Wifi is available and payable upon checkout, all rooms and cleaned daily.
The food available in the hotel is excellent and a wide variety is available, the hotel is also located close to downtown Victoria which also features many restaurants and bars, and of course stores.

The location of the hotel is excellent as it is near Victoria's harbor, making views from the rooms good, the downtown area is also close-by, this makes shopping easy however the traffic leaving and entering may become a problem.
Overall the Fairmont Empress is definitely the nicest place to stay in Victoria and perhaps the whole of Vancouver Island.

Room Tip: All rooms are pleasant and offer great views.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Natonstan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (932)
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2012

We had a few nights at this great hotel to celebrate New Year Eve.
Just a great, memorable stay.
Room was not huge, but wonderfull fit out, comfortable bed.
Great to have extra chairs and desk.
Plenty of storage room for cases, and hanging space fo clothes
Calming view to the harbour. And even better at night with all the lights.
Excellent Hotel service from front door, check-in and staff throughout.

And just great to brouse through the shops down stairs.
Very good location and a few minutes walk to eating places.


December/New year time they have the "christmas Tree" parade/exhibition.
A huge tree in the lobby and many more above--just take the stairs or lift.


The New years Eve function was well worth the effort, great food, service and entertainment.
We were on a combined table and all mixed well.

Room Tip: Aim for a harbour view. End of hallways would most probably be quieter as many people forget about...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Aussie066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Australia,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on Tripadvisor of your recent stay at The Fairmont Empress. I am delighted to hear that you feel experiencing our property is “bucket list material!” It sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed your New Years celebration amidst the festive decor along with the hotel’s central location. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back again when your travels bring you to Canada. Thank you again for sharing your review.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2012

stayed in a two bedroom suite with my sister and Mother over the Remembrance Day weekend. The suite was very oddly planned out and I wouldn`t choose to stay there again. Huge entry way, two large gorgeous rooms with beautiful views of the harbour, two big bathrooms and one tiny cramped sitting room with a couch facing a fireplace and a desk and chair and a bit gloomy. Mom insisted on the pull out couch as she`s the night owl and she said it was the most comfortable and she never complains. Gold Floor lounge was great, very attentive staff, good choice of food although I do have to say that I`m at the Waterfront right now and the food here is much better than the Empress. Beautiful, beautiful hotel in an amazing location. Rained solid for the three days we were there though. Ate in the Bengal lounge a couple of times, had a really poor first attempt but subsequent visits were great (I`ll post a review over there). Took the bus to and from the airport and it was great, pleasant driver. One other little peeve was that one evening most of the lounge was taken up by a wedding party not actually staying on the gold floor which made it difficult to get a table. They were also being served all sorts of lovely looking appetizers which we didn`t get. I think they should have put in a private room.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Geordie_calgarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Calgary,
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us on the Fairmont Gold floor, though I feel badly that the layout of the two bedroom suite was not quite to your liking. We want our guests to be as comfortable as possible when they stay with us. Thank you for the feedback around the wedding party in the lounge; I will certainly pass your comments along to both our Catering Team and our Fairmont Gold Manager. I am glad that you were able to enjoy our historic property and its central location. Thank you again for taking the time to share your review. We look forward to welcoming you back when your travels bring you to Victoria again.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 February 2012

Phenomenal location for this wonderful historical hotel.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
1,211 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 513 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

We arrived at the airport at 5:30 pm, took a taxi for $60 and arrived at the hotel in 25 minutes. We checked in online in the morning and the doorman welcomed us and provided us with our room key and the directions to our room. We recommend splurging for the Fairmont Gold Harborview King room. Be sure to sign up for President's Club - it has many perks like free internet in your room. Mention the special occasion on your booking and they spoil you. We enjoyed having access to the Gold Lounge for breakfast and pre dinner appetizers along with a great view. We highly recommend afternoon tea, the Willow Stream Spa, the Bengal Lounge for drinks and dinner, and the Empress room for brunch. Our room was spacious and we appreciated the turndown service, the robes, the slippers, ice in the ice bucket and complimentary bottled water. The amenities in the large bathroom included mouthwash, good quality shower gel and body lotion as well as Q-tips and cotton pads. Walking into our room to a Bose stereo playing from a selection of CDs was also a plus. If you want to impress someone, book a weekend stay here in a Gold room.

Room Tip: Book online and be sure to sare info on the speak occasion
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kpatters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Edmonton,
Thank you for taking the time to share about your stay with us on the Fairmont Gold floor. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed all the amenities in your room and also had a chance to dine in our outlets. We look forward to welcoming you back again when your travels bring you to Victoria.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

I stay fairly often at Fairmont on business and also pleasure. As an Alberta resident, JPL is our favorite weekend getaway. We also stayed at Mayakoba Mexico, for a few days on our Honeymoon, first week in January 2012. As always, the service and attention to detail is incomparable.

That is, until we talk about Room Service. My flight was late in arrival in Victoria...at 0100...so i ordered room service, only to be told there was little available. I opted for the curry...which was a microwaved congealed mess. I sent it back and settled for the "Ploughmans' sandwich. I ended up with 6 slices of dried bread. Several slices of dried Italian ham and congealed sauce. No butter...what am i supposed to do with this?

No attention to detail. An afterthought...i could have got a cab to 7-11 and had a better experience. I find it ironic that the general experience is let down by such an 'easy area to get right!

People don't like paying $$$ for bad service!

PS - i ended up with bread and jam...only 4 hours till breakfast :(

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank stuabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this review, 8 February 2012
Dear Valued Guest from Edmonton,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Tripadvisor. I sincerely apologize for the experience you had with in room dining upon your arrival at the hotel. After such late travel I can imagine you certainly just wanted a satisfying meal. What you describe is certainly not in keeping with the level of service that we strive to provide. I have shared your comments with our Director of Food & Beverage so that he may look into it further so we can prevent this from happening again. Thank you again for sharing your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.
Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern New Jersey
Level Contributor
70 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

This hotel, like most of the former Canadian Pacific hotels, is a taste of old elegance with all the modern conveniences. Right on the water with gorgeous views, updated rooms, elegant dining and terrific meeting facilities, this is the be-all, end-all, particularly at the "low" time of year when it is also affordable.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank NJGIRL
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:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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