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The Fairmont Empress
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Reviews (4,078)
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2,176
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2,190 - 2,195 of 4,078 reviews
Reviewed 17 August 2014

My husband and I stayed at the empress as part of a package tour. From the moment we arrived we were treated as special customers. Our room was well appointed. The toiletries were of good quality and the bed was very conducive to a good sleep. You can ask for a firmer pillow if the regulation soft hotel pillows don't suit. The sooner is winter weight so may become a little hot. The room wasn't air conditioned so it can get hot in the afternoon. As we were in a front room we made sure that we closed the curtains and then opened the windows at night. The room was very quiet. The Empress is a historic building and so has some eccentricities of age and design but this adds to the charm. The buffet breakfast was exceptional. We chose to eat out for main meals as Victoria has the full range of dining options. The gym was well equipped and the indoor pool and spa heated. These May have been better if ventilated better.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LynnMtIsa_Qld
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 28 August 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Mt. Isa,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor 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 pleased to say that we are currently working with our new owners on retrofitting our century old building with air conditioning, and we are making very good progress in this regard. I am pleased that you enjoyed the historic charm of this iconic building which is so abundant with history and stories. 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

1920´s ambiance, staff very kind and rooms, just perfect! tea on the afternoon a must, and The Bengal restaurant..just delcious...this hotel kept the spirit of classy stay and knows how to make you feel just perfect!

Room Tip: view is a must, all good
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Natacha T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Lovely old grand hotel but oh so faded.I thought Fairmont hotels were supposed to be good but this one needs a complete refurbishment, from the dirty tired looking wall- coverings in the "grand Empress room" to the unbearably hot non- air conditioned rooms with Windows unable to be opened more than a couple of inches.
Luxury no. Staff are helpful but stymied by the poor state of maintenance. We arrived on Wed
13 Aug on the early clipped & after initially being delighted that we could check in early we found it was mostly all downhill from then on. Firstly the electronic room key system wasn't working so when we tried to get in we couldn't, OK we thought this happens sometimes no worries, down to the lobby wait in line again and a staff member came with us hmm it doesn't work (really?) so he used his master key. Next time you come in check at the desk and we'll fix it then.Right so off we go for 4 hours, check in at the desk and it's still not fixed so escorted to our room by staff, decide to have a swim in the pool as the room is so hot my asthma is acting up & I'm having trouble breathing. Return to room, no joy won't open so downstairs again, wait in line because this is affecting everyone we find out and has been since the evening before the 12th. So why we're we initially not told when we first checked in, I know all about plausible deniability but really! Everyone on staff kept apologising but still it went unfixed for over 18 hours!! Unacceptable in a hotel of this supposed stature.
Slept badly with the ceiling fan on yes they know it gets hot, they just prefer to do nothing about it.
Breakfast buffet was pedestrian, no omelette bar,no local produce except I assume the fruit.
Again so so unbearably hot, needed 2 staff to get the window open but it didn't help much, we were glad to leave & get outside. Checkout was slow & lobby was full of bored, tired looking people. We did get a phone message that the e-key issue had been resolved at 8:25am & our new key was delivered to our room shortly after which meant after breakfast we could grab our bags & go without an escort which saved some time so curls to staff for that but when we arrived at the breakfast room & staff asked how we were I told them ( tired of the key issue remaining for so long the day before & hot) both of which were apparently a complete surprise to the Maitre D or she was a very good actress! Don't staff have an issues brief each morning?? So not impressed again.
Returned that afternoon for the Grand Afternoon Tea experience with low expectations but surprise surprise it was fabulous! I am pleased to say that here they got everything right, the tea was delicious, staff were attentive & you even get to take anything remaining home with you packed in a box along with a packet of the hotels special Empress tea. The room was warm but bearable they did open the Windows more as the afternoon wore on but you really need to open them early to cool it down "before" it gets hot.
So in summary Hotel C, Staff B, Room C, Afternoon Tea A, Pool C, Gardens A.
Could do much,much better.

Room Tip: Don't get one on a high floor during a hot spell like we did.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nomadsjandp
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 25 August 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Brisbane,

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. When you were here we were experiencing an issue with the key locks however all staff should have known about this and been sympathetic to your needs. I will personally be following up with our teams about your comments. In regards to air conditioning, we are currently working with our new owners on ways to retrofit our century old building and I am pleased to say that we are making good progress in this area and that one day soon we will be better able to control the temperature in our rooms. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our Afternoon Tea experience. Thank you again for sharing your feedback which is extremely valuable so that we can continue to move forward. We look forward to welcoming you back again one day soon to The Fairmont Empress.

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 15 August 2014

My wife and I recently stayed at the hotel for two nights during the holiday weekend in early August. We traveled over via the Victoria Clipper and were pleased when our room was ready for check in at 11:30am. This was extremely helpful and an added bonus. The hotel is classic. We enjoy staying at hotels with character and this one has plenty. We enjoyed looking at pictures in the hallways from the hotel's past. All staff were friendly and helpful. Our basic Fairmont room was small, however it did not bother us. I can agree with some reviewers that the hotel could use an update with a newer shower and bedroom carpet however everything was clean. It was warm in Victoria the weekend we were there, however the room was comfortable with the breeze coming through the window during the day and night. The location is the best in the city if you plan on seeing all of the local sights and is an easy walk over to Chinatown or breakfast spots such as Jam or Blue Fox, which I highly recommend.

Overall, it was a great experience however a couple small things we picked up on. There were still rubber gloves on our bathroom sink when we arrived to the room. However, we checked in very early so I wasn't really upset about that at all. Other things were small, like the vacuum that stood in the hallway outside our door for almost 24 hours. And the tea kettle and pots from room service that no one picked also for around 24 hours. It's not that they were understaffed. Almost every time we were in the hallway we saw a housekeeping attendant or supervisor walk by us. It's small attention to detail that could be improved. The hallways are beautiful, so these items are eye sores when going to and from your room.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Thomas 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 19 August 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Santa Monica,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed the hotel and its character. I hope that you had a chance to look at our archives in the lower level where there are some very interesting photographs and menus from many years ago. We are currently speaking with our new owners about air conditioning and room renovations which is very exciting. Thank you also for your feedback regarding some details which were missed. I will be speaking with our Executive Housekeeper regarding the gloves left in your bathroom as well as the vaccum left in the hallway. Your comments regarding the dining trays left in the hallways for 24 hours is something that we appreciate being brought to our attention for further internal followup. Thank you again for taking the time to write this reviews. 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 15 August 2014

When I choose to stay at a grand hotel such as the Empress I expect the building to be stunning (which it is!), filled with history (which it totally is!), rooms to be clean and orderly (as expected) and the staff to be welcoming and accommodating (within reason).

I don't expect the latest technology, the best wifi or anything like that. You are staying at this hotel because it is stunning in its own right.

Now let me get down to my personal review. We arrived and were greeted promptly and given our room which was a Harbour view room... the view was stunning. The room was clean and had the charm an old hotel should. It was also in a great location that we didn't really need to drive to get around the area which was nice.

While I would normally give a place like this a 5 star, I will knock one point for the upkeep. Windows were a mess (a little cleaning goes a long way) and the sheets should be rotated out if they are starting to see some wear.

Room Tip: If you are going to stay here, I really recommend the harbour view, its stunning.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Vixia
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 19 August 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Baltimore,

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 so pleased that you enjoyed your harbourview room with its stunning view. Thank you for providing your feedback regarding the cleanliness of the windows, as well as the condition of the sheets on the bed. These comments have been shared with our leadership team for follow up. 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
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