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“21st Century Step Back in Time”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 31 August 2014

It was great to stay in this historic hotel, which keeps the integrity of the past while ensuring guests have amenities of today's world. We loved our room overlooking Victoria's inner harbor. There was something to see all hours of the day and night. The room was extremely clean and the hotel staff wonderful. We loved our stay on the concierge floor, which gave us access to breakfast, tea and evening appetizers. Traditional tea in the Empress tea room was also a wonderful step back in time experience...

Room Tip: We enjoyed an inner harbor view room on the concierge floor.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Stephwall
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 22 September 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for writing a review on TripAdvisor of your recent stay with us. I am pleased that you had an enjoyable time on our Fairmont Gold floor. The Harbourview rooms are spectacular and you are so right that there is always something going on in the harbour. I am also happy that you experienced our Afternoon Tea which has been served in the tea lobby for over 100 years! Thank you again. We look forwarding to welcoming you back again one day soon.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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2,085 - 2,091 of 4,006 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2014

The Empress is a beautiful hotel. Impressive is an understatement when describing the building. Check in was a breeze and staff was most professional. The common area is as grand as they come. The lifts were fine and then we got off the lift. The halls are truly Victorian in style and that is part of the experience. Our room was also Victorian, with muted colours which was fine but the fact there was no venting in the room was not so fine. The only air movement in the room was the ceiling fan over the bed. If you wanted any air flow you needed to leave the window open, which faces a busy noisy street. There is not even a fan in the bathroom so after a shower the room is full of steam which takes a while to settle. You can imagine how stuffy the room can get with no moving air all night. I know the building was built around 1905 but there have been many renovations including installing fire sprinklers throughout the building so why a venting system could not be installed/established leaves me clueless. The pool is on the small side for a hotel of this side. The location is ideal, right on the waterfront close to restaurants et al. The Empress offers free use of bikes for Fairmont President club members and that club is free to join. WiFi is also free for Fairmont President club members.
I would choose to stay at another hotel in Victoria when my travels take me back there.

Room Tip: See if your room has any forced air venting otherwise it is only a ceiling fan and an open window.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank get_with_it
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 12 September 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Ottawa,

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. Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding your room and shower. We are currently working witih our new owners on plans for renovations which will happen quite soon and which is very exciting. I am glad that you enjoyed our wonderful central location wtihin walking distance to so many different venues. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review and providing feedback. I certainly hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back again one day when you travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 August 2014

Convenient and optional trip arrangements were made for us. The only negative was one bell hop who seemed put out by having to wait for me to change shoes and put a jacket in my suitcase. They were accommodating getting our room ready when we arrived by an early Ferry.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
1  Thank Judith L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2014 via mobile

My wife reserved the high tea a couple of weeks prior to out arrival in Victoria. We were glad that we had a reservation as the afternoon guest filled the restaurant.

We were served tea and all the accompaniments in fancy English China, they had princess tea for my daughters.

It was a great experience, and I feel that it is a must in Victoria if you have a british background or simply like fancy tea.

Stayed: August 2014
1  Thank Ranga_72
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 September 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Mississauga,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor about your recent Afternoon Tea experience with us. I am glad that your daughter enjoyed her Princess Tea experience as well. As an interesting tea fact, 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. One could now technically say "you are eating off the floor!" Thank you again for writing a review. We look forward to welcoming you back when you travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 August 2014

It's a classic and grand old hotel. The public areas like the lobby are impressive. Now, keep the classic part in mind when you see your room. Because the rooms are old skool too. It's a part of the Victoria experience, so immerse yourself in the history and enjoy the atmosphere here.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank axs666
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 12 September 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Seattle,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us. I was very happy that you liked the lobby as well as our public spaces. The history of this grand hotel is impressive and wonderful. Some of our guest rooms are in need of renovating and we are presently working with our new owners on plans for these 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2014

To celebrate my Girlfriend's birthday we stayed at the Empress in May for two nights. When checking in we got complementary drinks due to the birthday, which made for a nice start to the stay. We got a bay facing room a few levels up near the elevator that was clean and quiet. The bathroom was nothing special and in fact needed some maintenance but it was also clean.

The Breakfast room service was delicious, well presented and provided a nice selection. Getting both national and local papers was a nice touch.

In the afternoon we went for High Tea - a must if staying at or near the Empress! The food and experience was beyond fantastic. The service was near exemplary - our server even noticed my left-handedness. The clotted cream, scone and jam combination is quite literally worth killing over.

Months later, my girlfriend still has yet to find a better dinning experience than the one we had at the Empress Lounge. The food was scrumptious, well presented and our server was both professional and friendly.

The hotel is in a great location, providing a short walking distance to most of downtown Victoria's main attractions and restaurants.

One tip, if driving, you can save some money by parking at one of the nearby parkades instead of using the valet service.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the bay for a fantastic view
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank PirateBGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2014

Excellent service and beautiful room.
Good location when you want to see "Splash" concert of Victoria Symphony in the harbour.
The Veranda is the place to be for lunch or dinner
Bengal Room is great for the music and India food



  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank BibiCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#10 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#14 Family Hotel in Victoria
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: £147 - £375 (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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