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“What a Grand Old Lady”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Modesto, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“What a Grand Old Lady”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Was able to mark off a couple on things on our bucket list. !. Staying at the Empress in Victoria, BC and 2. having High Tea at the Empress.
They were all wonderful. Staff, accommodations and amenities. Wonderful location had picked a wonderful time of year, flower, especially tulips were in wonderful bloom.
As an aside, if you are in, near, around 100 miles away of Butchart Gardens GO. VISIT, it is outstanding. We hit the tulip time and say million and I do mean millions of tulips in bloom. All sizes, shapes, colors. Unbelievable.........
Only problem I had, was at breakfast I ordered the cornbeef hash. I think I got the porkham hash. Question them but was told the package said cornbeef. Meat tasted like ham, it was smooth in texture not the stringyness ribbon texture of corn beef brisket. Since Canadian Bacon is more ham maybe Canadian corn beef is different too.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PapereFoster
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Modesto,

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 that you were able to enjoy our Afternoon Tea experience. During the summer, The Fairmont Empress serves afternoon tea to up to 1,000 people each day. The fine bone china used for the Empress tea is exclusively produced for the hotel by Royal Doulton and was first used during the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. I am pleased that you also enjoyed our beautiful gardens which are full of tulips in bloom at this time of year. I will definitely pass along your comments regarding the cornbeef hash to our Chef as feedback is very important to us. 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.

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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Guilderland, New York
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Debarking from the Victoria Clipper, we walked and saw this magnificent hotel come into view! It is truly spectacular to see its turn of the century architecture in full glory! We were immediately welcomed at check in, and had the opportunity of upgrading to the Fairmont Gold Experience for a small additional charge. We were so glad we did! The concierge level is on the second floor with a private, beautifully decorated room for relaxing; and the "Gold" guests are also served a delicious free buffet breakfast in the mornings. Later in the day, canapes and drinks are also available for the "Gold" guests.It is well worth the additional cost! The view of the inner harbour from the second floor rooms are amazing! Our room was perfect, and it had quite the Victorian charm to it!
If you stay here, indulge in the English tradition of taking "Afternoon Tea." The whole atmosphere of the room, the wait staff's grace at serving and the food itself is an outstanding experience! The tea, of course, is wonderful! We only spent one marvelous night here, but we hope to come back again soon!

Room Tip: Go for the Fairmont Gold Experience if you can!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MaryEllen22
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, 20 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from High Point,

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. I am happy to read that you had a wonderful experience staying on our Gold floor and that you were also able to enjoy our Afternoon Tea Experience. During the centennial restoration in 2008, the hotel's original Tea Lobby floor was replaced and the wood of the original floor was transformed into delicate Afternoon Tea tables. Nearly 100,000 guests are served tea annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea. 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.

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
Winnipeg
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We hosted our wedding at The Fairmont Empress with 70 guests, then stayed for another week to have our honeymoon in Victoria.

I cannot say enough great things of this hotel.

By far the best hotel experience I have had with any hotel, let lone a Fairmont. The staff is all extremely personable, very professinal and courteous, and will do all they can to accommodate you. The rooms are lovely, great linens, great amenities. The food & beverage was wonderful. I am gluten-free and they accommodated this in the best manner I have seen yet. The restaurants all had great selections. The bar was well served. The room service was quick. The banquet staff was lovely. The location was ideal.

I honestly do not have a poor thing to say about this venue. Absolutely worth the price and I will return again and again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Melissa H
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Winnipeg,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor regarding your recent wedding which you hosted here at The Fairmont Empress. First and foremost, congratulations! I am so pleased to read that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. I am very happy that we were able to accomodate your gluten free needs as well with an assortment of great selections. 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 again soon.

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
Ipswich, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

The glorious Empress is set at the end of Victoria Harbour. It has all the expected facets- excellent staff, easy checkin with a lot of history and elegance. The rooms are large with ensuite and we have a closet (or dressing room) room as well. The full length mirror was hard to find hidden behind the closet door. The in room sound system (Bose) is excellent. The Empress is set central to everything in or happens in Victoria. The grounds or gardens are beautiful as well as the hotels speciality rooms eg Afternoon tea room. I would prefer less chunky fitting in the room (maybe original), but more delicate lights and bath fittings would add to the elegance which it has loads of.

Room Tip: Ask for a Gold Room (costs more) and have special add-ons and harbour views,but it is worth it. Samp...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lawrence D
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Ipswich,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so thrilled to read that you enjoyed the history and elegance of the hotel. As an interesting historical fact to share, The Empress Room, our formal dining room features ceiling molding that is actually done with horse hair and plaster! I am also happy to read that you enjoyed our beautiful grounds and our wonderful location. I hope that you had a chance to take a city tour and enjoy all that our city has to offer. Thank you for your feedback regarding the bathroom lights and bath fittings which I will share with our team. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

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
Palo Alto
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Had give a speech the morning after I arrived at the Empress. I arrived, my suit did not. Front desk staff found a sports jacket in my size within minutes of my arrival, & would not accept a tip. That's service.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Ronald C
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Palo Alto,

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 read that we were able to solve the problem of your suit jacket in time for you to present your speech. We have truly amazing staff here and I am so pleased to know that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. 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 when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

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
Avon
1 review
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Beautiful hotel and very warm, friendly staff. The rooms are small, but comfortably appointed. The only downside is limited number of electrical outlets that are easily accessible and no air-conditioning. The grounds are lovely, and the location can't be beat! It feels like quintessential Victoria.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Brandy F
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Avon,

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. We offer 477 different rooms, all with unique configurations which is one of the features of our historic property. Thank you for your feedback regarding the electrical outlets which will be shared with our team. I am glad to read that you enjoyed our beautiful grounds and also 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. 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.

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
Maple Valley, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Whenever we visit Victoria its hard to think of staying anywhere other than the Empress. I know there are many wonderful hotels in the area but they just can't compare. The grandeur of what used to be the old lobby - now the tea room, the incredible service and friendliness of the staff, the wonderful bar tender at the Bengal lounge bar, the beautiful atrium and oh yes, the wonderful tea and small sandwiches, an incredible experience at any time of the year!!!! Beyond the above you have the wonderful rooms, we like to save up and stay on the suite level in a room with the view of the harbor but on the top floor there's also a room that's a favorite of me and my husband, its window is one of the ones you see from outside near the top with an A-frame structure over the window. While the room may be considered small by some, I call it quaint with views that are spectacular!! The history behind the hotel is so very interesting as well and the historical pictures hung on the walls throughout the empress make walking through it an incredible journey back in time!! Whether you go for just the day, have Tea and explore the hotel or go for a stay, its something everyone should experience, I hope you truly enjoy it as I do each time we go for a visit!!!

Room Tip: If you can, stay on the suite level rooms are large and comfortable and the breakfast ism wonderful...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan M
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, 9 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Maple Valley,

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 read that you enjoyed the Bengal Lounge and our wonderful Afternoon Tea experience. Nearly 100,000 guests are served annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea. It sounds like you were able to visit our archives and enjoy the wonderful historical photographs and menus from days gone by. 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.

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
#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):
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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