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“A worn out old "lady"”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #21 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Remember the hote[ is not air conditioned. My room was very "tired"..furniture old, banged up, linens worn out...sheet was ripped.Plus, housekeeping failed to clean our room!
The manager's response," we will send you a pot of coffee tomorrow morning".

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Robin 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 reviewResponded 17 July 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Denver,

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 Executive Housekeeper regarding the furniture in your room; the torn linens; and the lack of cleaning to your room. All of these are unacceptable. I apologize also for the response you received upon sharing your feedback and will also be following up on this. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should wish.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager


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2,030 - 2,036 of 3,803 reviews

Reviewed 14 July 2014

We spent 3 days at The Fairmont Empress for our 25th anniversary(it was surprise for my wife). The Empress made it extra special by placing a small treat with "happy 25th anniversary" when we checked into our room. I did not request this nor expected.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Tony K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We stayed at the Empress for four nights the first week of July. We booked the Gold floor because it was our 40th anniversary. We don't typically book this level of comfort. The Gold floor has it's own check-in counter on the 2nd floor of the hotel. The counter is staffed all hours of the day and night with wonderfully friendly staff who will help you do anything from reservations, directions, tours, boarding passes, etc. We had ordered flowers for the room which were awaiting us upon our arrival.

The lounge area hosts a full buffet breakfast with 4 hot dishes along with fresh pastries, cereals, juices, coffee, tea, etc. From 1-3 PM they host a scaled down version of high tea which the Empress is famous for. We are not High Tea people, so it was fun to just partake of the delicious offerings. From 5-7 the lounge offers hot and cold appetizers with complementary wine and beer. Cocktails are on an honor basis and are half the price of the restaurant offerings in the main hotel.

We stayed in a king suite which by modern standards was not really a suite. We did have 2 upholstered chairs and two other chairs, a desk, lamps and a lovely marble bathroom. The room was very clean and the draperies were so new you could still see some of the creases in the fabric. The ceilings were 10 ft. high which made the room feel so much bigger than it was. The hallway was exceedingly quiet. Room service was fast and efficient if not pricey.

We faced the harbor and enjoyed the activities from a far. If you don't like noise or funky music, don't stay on the harbor side in the summer. Please note that they do not have air-conditioning in the hotel. The main street is very quiet after 10 pm.

The grounds around the hotel are beautiful and carefully manicured. The hotel makes quite a grand display as you gaze at from street level. We recommend going to the archives on the lowest level to see the hotel in its original form.

We have decided that once we went Gold we would never go back. It was a truly elegant and lovely experience.

Room Tip: Avoid the harbor side in the summer if you don't like noise or funky music. There is no air-con...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Karen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Had afternoon tea here 07-07-14. Although very expensive, this is the quintessential British tea experience. Wonderful sandwiches-cucumber, egg salad, chicken curry, smoked salmon. Delicious scones, complete with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. Pastries to die for-shortbread, chocolate cups, cheesecake bites. The Empress tea blend is perfect for the meal. The setting is something directly from the Victorian age. Discreet knowledgeable staff.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank K W
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 18 July 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Tulsa,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us and of your Afternoon Tea experience, which I was thrilled to read how much you all enjoyed. Nearly 100,000 guests are served tea annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea. The Empress Tea Blend comes from six estates, including Kenya, Tanzania, South India, Assam, Sri Lanka, and China. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back again one day soon.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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Reviewed 14 July 2014

This is a great hotel with beautiful grounds in the heart of Victoria. Beautiful rooms with views of the city and harbor. The staff were beyond helpful and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Kevinisnotmyrealname
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 18 July 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Portland,

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. 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Fantastic location and the deep history of the Empress made for a memorable stay. Nice and quiet no TV or voices from adjacent rooms. Easy parking but at buffet breakfast had to keep asking for more coffee; strange as we serve our self so waitress has little to do.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Gallaxie
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 18 July 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor of your recent stay with us. I was happy to read that you enjoyed the wonderful history of our beautiful property. Thank you for your feedback regarding having to ask for more coffee. Feedback is important for us to improve upon our service to our guests. Thank you again for taking the time to write. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

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
Reviewed 13 July 2014

I think this is a property you might want to stay at once, but I would not stay here twice. We arrived on July 1 only to learn the hotel had NO air conditioning. It was a hot, balmy day and the air conditioning in the room was "open" windows and a big fan. Wi-Fi in the rooms was not free unless you are a Fairmont member (which we joined at no cost). Most five star hotels I've stayed in just automatically provide Wi-Fi these days. Also, while a lovely, historic hotel, this hotel is is HUGE. It took us 10 minutes to walk to our room. While we indulged ourselves in the Tea, we could have had an equally nice tea at Butchart Gardens for almost half the cost. On the positive side, the hotel is located in a great place, and is within walking distance of many interesting sites. We also had ring side seats for Canada Day, which is hard to beat.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Thank Maureen A
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 21 July 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Phoenix,

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. Regarding air conditioning, we are actively looking for ways to retrofit our century old building. I am pleased to say that we are making very good progress in this regard, and I am very optimistic that one day soon we will be able to better control the temperature in our rooms. I am pleased to read that you enjoyed our wonderful central location within walking distance to so many different attractions and venues. Canada day is such a wonderful event here in Victoria and the hotel really is the most amazing place to watch the fireworks from. Thank you again for sharing your valuable feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress again one day.

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

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: £193 - £423 (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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