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Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

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Phoenix
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Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

We're coming in late June or early July for 3 nights before a cruise and trying to decide which hotel is better. Looking for opinions and why you like one better than the other. Will air conditioning be important? I think I read somewhere that Empress doesn't have air conditioning.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

The Empress is the Grand Old Lady of Victoria, built in 1904-1908, renovated in 1966 and 1989, but the infrastructure will be close to the original re: plumbing, small rooms, etc.

The Grand Pacific was built in 1989.

'nuff said

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

The Empress is an icon, maybe not the best in town but some of the 100 year old NYC hotels aren't the best and they're worth staying in just because they are icons. I don't know about A/C but the windows open and Victoria's July sea air will be better than A/C.

Merida, Mexico
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3. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

And the afternoon tea and/or curry buffet are a lot of fun too.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

Coming from a hot climate, you're probably used to living in constant air conditioning, but the air in Victoria's naturally as cold and breezy as air conditioned air, so it's quite rare to require air conditioning. You're more likely to turn on the heat than need the air cooled down.

Edited: 15 January 2010, 07:24
Comox,British...
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5. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

Acura

I have stayed in both and has been said the Empress is a great building and with the right room is a great place to stay,IMO.It is centre stage of the inner harbour.Grand Pacific isnt far off in all categories except nostalgia,it really depends what you want and like.

The Bengal Lounge in the Empress is nice for the same reasons.It has a nice indoor pool and spa.Exspensive shops and restaurants

Grand Pacific has a much better gym facility and a good spa

Quebec
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6. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

Easy - stay in the Hotel Grand and make the 2 minute walk to the Empress and stroll thru it.

Stayed at both and my opinion is this - Empress is a name. You get a shoe box room (not kidding, it is super tiny). HGP - much more room, better amenities, better service, and rooms are at least a standard size.

Vancouver BC
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7. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

Empress: Minimum room is 250 sq feet (23m2) and many are larger. That's 14'x18' equiv...nice size. You can stay at a 'new" hotel anytime, anywhere.

Edited: 15 January 2010, 22:27
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

I've stayed in a small room at the Empress and I've also stayed in a larger room at the Empress: the sizes vary.

Whether or not somebody will enjoy the Empress I think comes down to keeping your expectation aligned properly. You're staying at a landmark building; a Victorian-era hotel in Victoria. Stay at the Empress for its history, its architecture, and the role it in plays in Victoria's identity. The service there is top notch.

If you don't appreciate architecture or history, staying at the Empress will be lost on you. The focus of the Empress is not actually its rooms - it's its public spaces, the Bengal Lounge, the Rose Garden, etc. You don't have to stay there to appreciate these areas, but staying there is sort of like the icing on the cake, even just to say you did it.

Edited: 15 January 2010, 22:36
Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

I have stayed in both,, even though I live here.Both nice. I do find I feel more special at Empress, for goodness sake I saw the Queen there as a child,, LOL The Empress has character, the HGP is like any big hotel in any big city.

Perhaps just lucky, but we had a lovely room at Empress, fixtures and bathrooms ARE modern,, geesh,, how long ago was poster actually there,, .,, they do remodel you know,,

Anyways,, both are nice.

Seattle
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10. Re: Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific?

When I stayed at the Empress the service was terrible. I cannot recommend it for that reason, especially given the rates they usually charge compared to other hotels. I've heard similar stories of poor service from other travelers, so I really don't think my experience was unique. The room was fine otherwise, we were in one of the rooms up under the eaves which was kind of cool.

However, since service is a hot button issue for me, the only way I would consider staying there again would be if I were to spring for the concierge level (Fairmont Gold) where I understand the service is much better.

I do like the Bengal Room for the curry buffet. My preference is to stay elsewhere (my favorites are the Laurel Point and the Magnolia) and go see the Empress.