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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing location. Be sure you have a room which enjoys it.”

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 11 more sites!
The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
ottawa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Amazing location. Be sure you have a room which enjoys it.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2014 via mobile

The Hotel is splendid on the exterior. Inside is a very mixed bag. As one of the great hotels from the early days of tourism in Canada it has some of the grand public spaces which went with those more social times. Rooms range from dark and poorly furnished - to truly beautiful, generous, fine furniture and amazing views. As part of a conference, the range between colleagues rooms was very surprising to see. Tea is well known and costly . As long as you are going for the entertainment - not just tea - it is worth a look for some. It was more fun when it was in the lobby ( the original front doors were closed some years ago so people no longer are coming and going through the foyer which served as the tea room ) Try the Bengal Room for curry and martinis. The new entrance lobby is good for buses,cars and groups, but is very ordinary. Certainly a great place for a conference . If you like some character and are inclined to be a bit forgiving, the location could not be better for a visit to Victoria.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 5958sookerd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

3,455 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,848
    880
    428
    197
    102
See reviews for
776
1,478
122
546
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (925)
Date | Rating
  • 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
Castle Douglas, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
77 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2014

The imposing building has great views over the busy harbour area. Normally a concierge sometimes two are situated outside the main entrance to meet, greet and offer advice. The hotel restaurants prices are on a par with the restaurants around. Try the curry restaurants buffet for great value there was also live music the night we ate there. A must is a drink on the balcony overlooking the harbour just relax and watch the world go by. Our room was clean and well appointed and was large with a large bathroom. Only downside was having to pay for wifi. It is close the parliament which is well worth a tour. The open top tour buses leave from the road just in front of the hotel.

Room Tip: Get a room overlooking the harbour
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Duncan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2014

Stayed for seven nights with my family (there were four of us) while I attended a convention.

First the good:
- Location is perfect.
- Afternoon tea was memorable (just don't fall for ordering the "lovely" special teas your server tells you about which are $10/pot whereas the price of tea is included if you choose one off the menu).
- Free bicycles available to guests, includes helmet
- Green initiatives, your choice to re-use linens and towels recycling, etc.
- Fairmont President's Club gives you free WiFi and local phone calls
- Very friendly staff, I was never treated disrespectfully.

And now the not so good
The hotel felt weary and tired, a stark contrast from the Fairmont Olympic Seattle where we stayed and were wowed in March.
- Public spaces: hall carpets grayed where people walk, marks on the walls. Brass railings and doors were dull, glass on many public tables is cloudy underneath, badly in need of cleaning.
- Our tiny room: the arms of the stuffed chairs were torn, bathroom curtain torn, bathtub grout around tiles stained, plastic lined tub, plastic shower curtain hooks, glass over tables and desk cloudy underneath and often didn't get cleaned.
-There was no available plug near the bed, called for an extension cord for my CPAP machine, they didn't get it until the third night (three calls).
- cream wasn't replenished in the fridge, had to call three times to get it refilled, two mornings without cream.
- fridge stopped working overnight and spoiled some food we had stored there. Replacement fridge didn't fit in the cabinet so took up the sparse space in our room
- There were four people in our room, and many days, there were only three facecloths, or towels, we only got three bathrobes, one roll of toilet paper. I got tired of calling for everything that was missing.
- Women's changerooms in pool/recreation area: just towels and a blow dryer. In the men's, my son found razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail files, cotton balls, Q-tips. Why weren’t these in the women's change room? Seattle was luxury, included fruit-infused ice water, only a lukewarm water fountain here.

Bottom line: The room felt like a cheap motel. Don’t let them rest on their laurels, relying on the reputation of a historic and storied landmark to keep the rooms filled. This hotel does not live up to the Fairmont brand. If you need a place to stay in Victoria, give the Fairmont Empress a pass until they clean up their act.

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

Helpful?
7 Thank Theresa 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, 28 August 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I sincerely apologize that your family stay with us 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 about your comments regarding your room, and the ladies changeroom in the pool area. I shall also be speaking with our Executive Housekeeper regarding the insufficient towels and amenities in your room each day. We are currently working with our new owners regarding room renovations and air conditioning in the near future which is very exciting. Thank you again for sharing the feedback whcih is very valuable to us. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should you wish, so that we may one day welcome you back to The Fairmont Empress.

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
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed at the Fairmont in August 2013. Large hotel worth exploring. Make sure to have High Tea. If you like Indian food you MUST eat at Bengal Lounge. Concierge was very helpful in all respects from dinner reservations to the Adrena zip line. Try for room in main building.

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank maryANDlarry1
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, 28 August 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

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 you enjoyed our Afternoon Tea Experience and our curry in The Bengal Lounge. I was also pleased to read about the helpfulness of our concierge. 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
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2014

Hotels outdoor view and appearance is beautiful. Tea time was lovely and public areas were fitting but rooms are very dated and not modern enough to compensate price per night. Some rough looking finishings and hallways dark and closed in feeling.

Room Tip: Rooms are somewhat dated, beautiful but don't look for modern.
See more room tips
Green Features: I think this hotel was average in their practices.
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandy R
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Regina,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor of your recent stay with us. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our outdoor appearance. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful hardworking team of gardeners who keep our grounds in pristine condtion. I was happy that you experienced 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 which are the tables used in the tea lobby today - one may say you are actually "eating off the floor"! Thank you also for your feedback which is valuable for us in order to move forward with improving our service and product. We are currently working with our new owners on plans for renovations in the near future which is very exciting. 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
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

We stayed at this hotel for one night in the fall of 2013. Of course the hotel is iconic and the location is fantastic. I enjoy the history of the hotel and the region so it was nice to tell our kids we stayed at the Empress. Staff were efficient but not overly friendly. The room was very small and had few electrical outlets to use. Lighting was also sparse. The TV service was basic. Bed was nice, There was no view. You have to pay dearly for the opportunity to see anything good outside. Speaking of price, the cost was significant even for their basic room. There are hotels that are worth the price within a couple of blocks of the Empress which provide better bang for the buck

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hospitalcop
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Edmonton,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our wonderful location and history. 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. Thank you for your feedback regarding your room which we value. We are very excited that we have started working with our new owners on plans for room renovations as well as the implementation of air conditioning into our century old building. I hope that you had a chance to explore our beautiful city. Thank you again for taking the time to write and provide feedback. We would sincerely love to welcome you back again to The Fairmont Empress when you next visit Victoria.

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
Marietta, Ga
Level Contributor
73 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

We have travelled alot over our 43 years of marraige but our stay at the Empress was by far the best experience we have ever had. Mistakes were made but the warm Empress personnel always corrected in the best way possible. It is well worth the small increase to book a Gold room; access to personal concierge and lovely breakfast daily; also nice tea and later hors d'ouvers. We were pampered. Our windows looked out over the beautiful harbor. The hotel is located within walking distance to most everything. This is a grand old property with architectural history. We could easily have stayed for weeks. We will return.

Room Tip: Worth the splurge to go Gold & also get a view of the harbor. The suite was very roomy, cool &am...
See more room tips
Green Features: No air conditioning but the ceilings are high and have fans. The windows open to cool breezes.
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 5sandyhook
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

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 team on the Gold floor are outstanding and I am so pleased that you had such a wonderful experience. Our central location is wonderful as it is within walking distance to so many venues and attractions. I hope that 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
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Victoria hotels
Fairfield
Abigail's Hotel
Abigail's Hotel
#1 of 52 in Victoria
5.0 of 5 bubbles 978 reviews
Magnolia Hotel And Spa
#2 of 52 in Victoria
5.0 of 5 bubbles 2,520 reviews
Hotel Grand Pacific
#14 of 52 in Victoria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,951 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
#3 of 52 in Victoria
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,133 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
#8 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):
The Fairmont Empress sits majestically at the cornerstone of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour. This landmark hotel features turn of the century architecture, classic beauty and an unrivaled location on the water. It features the highly acclaimed Willow Stream Spa regarded as one of the best spas in Canada. Food lovers can sample the English ritual of Afternoon Tea, savour the famous curry buffet in The Bengal Lounge or sample award-winning food and wine in The Empress Room. The Fairmont Empress offers wireless internet access in all guestrooms, and it is complimentary for our Fairmont President's Club members, free to join. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Fairmont Hotels, TripOnline SA, TravelUp, Traveltool, S.L.U., Cancelon 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