We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Such a disappointment”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Trail
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Such a disappointment”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I had my secretary book this hotel as a special gift to my colleague from Toronto - what a bust! Rooms are small, staff let me down repeatedly and spa is expensive and not very good. Save yourself the disappointment and look around - Victoria is amazing; the Empress is not.

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

Helpful?
1 Thank Sue B
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, 8 July 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Trail,

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 will personally be following up with our teams regarding your comments. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should wish.

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
Write a Review

3,680 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,961
    940
    446
    218
    115
See reviews for
845
1,575
131
567
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (963)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Millbrae, California
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

When you stay here, you are staying back in time. Rooms are small, bathroom is cramped, but it is such a lovely area to view the harbor and people watch from your room. Don't go there expecting a "hotel chain" experience. Also, if you have the money, do the afternoon tea. That might have been one of the best high teas I have ever had! Just really expensive.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the harbor side simply for a spectacular view of everything.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kalenalily
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, 8 July 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Millbrae,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor of your recent stay with us. I was happy to read that you enjoyed your room. We have 123 different room configurations in The Fairmont Empress. I am also happy that you were able to enjoy our Afternoon Tea Experience. We serve over 100,000 people annually and 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 one day 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
Richmond, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

This hotel and it's location are a movie set. The hotel is a gigantic, ivy covered, brick building set at the foot of the inner harbor in Victoria, B.C. It is surrounded by beautifully tended gardens and walking distance convenient to the center of this bustling city. Public transportation and tour busses stop right in front. No car necessary here.

The staff are obvious experts and know how to provide friendly, superb service without being obsequious or snooty. Of course, we sampled the afternoon tea which is an experience in itself. I even drank the tea because I thought it would be a sacrilege to ask for coffee. The hotel restaurants are among the best in town although we only ate there once since we wanted to sample the rest of the city. An end of day scotch at the hotel's Bengal Lounge was perfect.

We arrived by passenger ferry from Seattle and found it an easy walk to the hotel towing our wheeled luggage. Once there, we dismissed the notion of a taxi to get around. The central district is compact and easy to walk.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone. We were there three days and could have easily made it much longer.

Room Tip: An upgrade to a room with a view to the harbor is pricey but may be worth it to some.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pete S
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, 8 July 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Beaverdam,

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 also happy to read that you enjoyed our wonderful gardens. Our team of gardeners work extremely hard to make them look as beautiful as they do. 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
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We recently stayed at the Lovely Fairmont Empress and also had the afternoon tea experience! The hotel reigns above the harbor and is just beautiful upon arriving. The staff are very accommodating. Well worth the trip!

Room Tip: we had a corner room, which had a little more space. Room 328
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa 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, 8 July 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Louisville,

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 glad that you were able to enjoy our wonderful Afternoon Tea experience where 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, British Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

The hotel is at a great location, with fantastic view of the harbor, garden, and it's very close to the Royal Museum, Conference Centre, City Center, etc. HOtel staff were all friendly and attentive. Hotel seems to be a bit dated though I think is due for an update soon. I had to use the power outlet in the bathroom to charge my electronic devices is a bit annoying..

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

Helpful?
3 Thank J S
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, 24 June 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 pleased to hear that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. Our location is wonderful and within walking distance to so many different venues and attractions in our beautiful city. With the support of our owners, we continue to address and improve upon our hotel product each year. The need for refurbishing our guestrooms is certainly an area we are discussing as we plan for future renovations. Your comments are helpful in this regard and allow us to confirm that we are investing in improvements that are most important to our valued guests. 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
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
334 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We have just had a very wonderful time staying at this hotel. I have always wanted to stay here and was so thankful that a business opportunity came up for my husband and this was the host hotel. Our room was beautifully appointed, freshly painted and with lovely furniture. Not too big but large enough for the two of us. Very comfortable mattress and pillows. We had a window looking out onto the harbour. It's a very busy harbour - always something going on so lots of fun to watch. Very clean room with all the amenities you'd need. It's a very historic property so we enjoyed touring around the hotel. I have been here many times for tea as a child so didn't spend the money on tea this time but did enjoy a nice after dinner drink and snack in the Bengal Lounge. Also a pre dinner drink and charcuterie plate on the Veranda one evening which was fabulous. The staff were warm and friendly. We were greeted warmly by Brian when we arrived by car. Check in was brisk and efficient but again friendly. We had the opportunity to have 2 meals prepared in the convention area and both were delicious, exceeded our expectations. Everything over exceeded my expectations and I was delighted from the time I checked in to the time I checked out! I would stay here again in an instant.

Room Tip: Get a room on the top floor with a view of the harbour
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deborahjune
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, 24 June 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Toronto,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on TripAdvisor of your recent stay with us. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your room as well as the view of the inner harbour. The harbour is always such a fun bustle of activity and our location is so great as it is within walking distance to so many venues and attractions. I am glad you were able to experience the Bengal Lounge as well as the Veranda with its spectacular view. It is wonderful to hear that you were welcomed warmly upon your arrival by Brian, and that our staff was able to assist you throughout your stay. Thank you again for taking the time to write such a wonderful 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
Canada
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The Empress is over-rated. The hotel is overpriced for what you get, and the restaurants are outrageously expensive for the quality of food. They seem to be relying on a past reputation and I found the staff quite snooty-especially the reception and the wait-staff. However, I must say that they have to deal with bus-loads of really obnoxious tourists all of the time, and so they probably are really tired of having to do that.

I know I was pretty much turned off by the tourists themselves- rude, pushy, loud. So I don't blame the staff for not acting as staff do in a smaller, less popular and busy hotel.

I switched to another hotel after one night- much nicer, about the same cost, plus just as close to downtown and the harbour.

The Empress is nice to walk through if one has never been to Victoria before-it's a beautiful building, and if you want to "play tourist" you can have their afternoon British Tea. But there are a myriad of nicer places to stay in Victoria.

My parents and I stayed at the Empress in the late 80s for their Christmas package, which was very nice if you like that sort of thing- carollers, huge Christmas dinner with middle ages/renaissance reinactors - a good show. But then again quite touristy. I would never do it again, but it was nice for my parents who have different tastes from me.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank traveling-family-o-4
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, 24 June 2014
Dear Valued Guest from California,

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 concerned to read that you found the staff "quite snooty". This is unacceptable and I shall be speaking with our Leadership team about this. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should you wish.

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
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Victoria hotels
Hotel Grand Pacific
#14 of 49 in Victoria
2,055 reviews
Magnolia Hotel And Spa
#2 of 49 in Victoria
2,735 reviews
Fairfield
Abigail's Hotel
Abigail's Hotel
#1 of 49 in Victoria
1,035 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Downtown
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
#3 of 49 in Victoria
1,213 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Fairmont Empress? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Fairmont Hotels, Ctrip TA, Agoda, Odigeo, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Cancelon, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Fairmont Empress reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing