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“Never Again” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fairmont Empress

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Toronto
Level Contributor
59 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Never Again”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

Good location, but any positives of this hotel are overshadowed by the cons.

Pros:
-Location cannot be beat, right in the cente of Victoria and close to the main attractions. It is by far the best located hotel in the city.
-Old world charm

Cons:
-The hotel is old and worn out. Some things have been upgraded recently but much of the hardware and furniture inside and outside the rooms is worn out. The floors creak everywhere you step. The hardware in the bathroom did not work as it should.
-On a Saturday night there was a wedding reception taking place, the noise was over the top and I could not sleep until around 1am, I had important meetings the next morning. The front desk manager offered me a free breakfast which I thought was less than adequate. The noise from guests walking up and down the hotel is disturbing and woke me up on numerous occasions.
-The food is genrally ok but breakfast is weak.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NorthernCDNTraveller
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, 6 March 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Toronto,

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 was happy to read that you enjoyed our location and hope that you had a chance to enjoy a city tour of Victoria and see all that our city has to offer. I apologize that you found your room to be inadequate, and I will be personally following up with our leadership team about the furniture comments. We are always very happy to move you into a room that is more comfortable. Please do not hestitate to ask in the future. I would be happy to discuss your stay further if you wish. Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback, and I sincerely hope we will be able to welcome you back again in the future.

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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3,420 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (904)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

The service was impeccable, the rooms were freshly renovated and top notch. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Empress. I was especially impressed with the Fairmont Gold lounge. They had an amazing buffet of appetisers for guests. The lamb rack was particularly tasty. This is the only hotel I will stay at when I am in Victoria.

Room Tip: Upgrade to enjoy the full glory of this grande dame.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yaletownboi
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, 6 March 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so happy to hear that you especially enjoyed the Fairmont Gold Lounge and its wonderful array of appetizers. We have truly amazing staff here and I love reading that you found the service immpecable. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review and share your experience. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress on your next visit to Victoria.

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
Ancaster
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

For anyone looking for great food, great service and warmth...Head West. I would highly recommend the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. Sitting right on the mouth of the marina, this hotel offers historical perspective as well as modern conveniences.

You will be greeted at the front by one of the amiable Doormen and once inside the lobby Nathan Bird and his Team take over. Actually, Nathan called my home a few days in advance of our stay to let me know everything was all set and did we need anything. I got Nathan's Team to arrange a limo to met us at teh airport at a very reasobable price.

Throughout our stay, both business and pleasure, Nathan cintinued to check in with us setting up a dinner (Pescatores!) as well as arranging a 'box' breakfast as we had to leave early to the airport.

You will not be disappointed by this magnificant hotel and their amazing Staff...you have to check it out!

Room Tip: We had a room facing the marina...great view!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

This was my 15th annual stay at The Fairmont Empress and it was as superb as ever. I have gotten to know the staff over the years and I am treated like family. The rooms are wonderful, comfortable and quiet. I have always enjoyed a restful sleep. The housekeeping staff are wonderful and accommodating. The location in Victoria's Inner Harbour is perfect. The grounds are amazing, now including bee hives! The chef made available non-dairy items for The Afternoon Tea. The selection was brilliant! The Bengal Lounge is a statement in ambience. The drink and food options, including healthy choices, make The Bengal Lounge a destination itself. The staff are accommodating, professional, and the epitome of excellence. Willow Stream Spa was heaven. I book a hot rock massage every year and am never disappointed. The health club and pool are clean and we'll maintained. I simply do not have one negative thing to say about The Fairmont Empress. I highly recommend staying at The Fairmont Empress and will be returning for many years to come.

Room Tip: Every room is wonderful, but if you have the opportunity, stay with the Fairmont Gold. The Gold loun...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura U
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, 6 March 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Regina,

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 the staff treated you so well and that the Housekeeping staff were so accommodating. I was also happy to read that you were able to enjoy Afternoon Tea, the Bengal Lounge, as well as a massage at Willow Stream Spa. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress for many years to come.

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
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

If you're heading to Victoria, BC and are looking for THE place to stay while there, do yourself a favor and choose The Fairmont Empress. It is a hotel that blends the incredible luxury and quality that Fairmont is known for with an amazing location that is second to none. The property itself is pristine and the rooms within are just as great. It doesn't stop there either - the Bengal Lounge is a must-see in Victoria for its atmosphere, comfort and staff. Did I mention the first-class Indian buffet? Incredible.

Although the hotel itself will be what draws you in, it will be the staff that will keep you coming back. Although all staff were courteous and focused on their guests, one in particular has been a big part of why we return to the Empress each time we're in Victoria - Nathan Bird. Nathan goes out of his way to ensure that everything is taken care of from accomodations to dining reservations to transportation. He must have a great reputation in Victoria, as he was able to get us into some quality places!

Again, if you find yourself in Victoria, make sure that you take advantage of one of the country's top hotels and experience life of a king or queen at The Fairmont Empress.

David

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

During our stay my pet dog Suzie was treated like a first class citizen at The Empress with treats and doggy bed. And she was allowed to walk thru the main door unlike other hotels...Great food at The Empress room as well at the Bengal Lounge.. The staff were all so courteous and helpful....and made us feel special even my Suzie.....

We look forward to our annual short break at The Empress even though we are local...We love the architecture and beauty of this great hotel... A must for anyone visiting Victoria...

Room Tip: Harbour front view is a must......Breath taking view....
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Suzie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

Besides the fact that the view was spectacular and the location perfect, the true mark of the hotel's excellence were the people working there. My stay was very brief, but anyone that I came in contact with addressed, me by my first name. At first that seemed odd to me, but I greatly appreciated the extra care and comfort it provided. The food was fantastic, and I strongly recommend the Asian hot pot. in a nutshell, the hotel was massive, but they gave the special type of hospitality that you would get at a B&B. I can't wait to return with my wife, who is ready to experience the High Tea experience.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Edward G
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, 28 February 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Mississauga,

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 with extra care and comfort. I was also happy to read that you enjoyed our Asian hot pot . 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 and hope that you will then have a chance to enjoy our Afternoon Tea experience.

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:
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
#8 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
The Fairmont Empress Victoria, Vancouver Island

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