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“Fun and historic”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #21 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We enjoyed our stay at this historic hotel on the waterfront of Victoria on Vancouver Island BC. The exterior is ivy-covered and there is a lot of wood panelling indoors. Our room was comfortable; not exceptional. We did not eat meals here, but did have the famous Empress Tea and also visited the Bengal Lounge for a drink and snacks. Both were fun. There is a great trail for running just across the street and along the waterfront. Walking distance to main shopping area and many restaurants.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank travelinjep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,305 - 2,311 of 3,888 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2014

Nice weekend at The Empress, public rooms were lovely, location awesome, breakfast was filling, service was good. Room small but well equipped, bed - not what we're use to in a Fairmont Hotel - very small!! Room was harbour facing and was noisy at night with outside noise and inside. I know it's an old hotel however I knew the names of the neighbours because of poor sound proofing. There was also a convention on and it appeared the attendees liked to party - thank goodness I had ear plugs!!

Room Tip: Ensure you confirm your bed size - deluxe rooms are a small queen!!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Snowbabies1
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 reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Whistler,

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 enjoyed our wonderful location. I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy a city tour of Victoria and see all that our city has to offer. I was however sorry to hear that your stay was not as memorable as we would like due to the fact that you found your room too small. We are aways very happy to move you into a room that is more comfortable, so please do not hestitate to ask in the future. I apologize also that your evening was disrupted due to outside noise. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels next bring you to Victoria.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty

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Reviewed 8 March 2014

Had a wonderful stay in the hotel. After growing up in Victoria, it was fun to return and stay at the Empress as a treat. I asked for a room overlooking the harbour and was not disappointed. The location cannot be more perfect, and our room was exquisite with a fabulous view and lovely furnishings (the beds were amazing), but there are areas of the hotel that need to be refreshed. The hotel is 100 years old so some signs of age are to be expected, but they need to spend a little money on the back hallways and the hallways leading down to the parking area to spruce it up. Since the Fairmont company took it over, they have made it a little too "corporate" with putting company heads pictures up in the hallways - like we care about recent people when the hotel has such a great local history? We chose not to dine at the hotel because the prices in the restaurant were unreasonable for the average person, and I rented a movie for the kids before bed and after dropping a large sum of money on the room, being charged $17 for a 90 minute movie rental was a bit much. The staff were cheerful and professional. Overall, it is a lovely old lady and it's lovely to stay there.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Hilary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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
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Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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

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
#6 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: £163 - £325 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Empress 4*
Number of rooms: 477
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Regarded as a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel, and honoured with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel, the Fairmont Empress graces Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour with an iconic presence. The Fairmont Empress, Victoria B.C.’s most iconic hotel, has just unveiled a $60 million dollar restoration.This luxury hotel offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre. Located on the picturesque West Coast of Canada, this is the ideal location to explore all the natural beauty of Vancouver Island. ... 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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