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“Grand hotel, perfect location, can be had on the cheap!”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #19 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Grand hotel, perfect location, can be had on the cheap!”
Reviewed 29 September 2009

We took advantage of the Victoria Clipper package out of Seattle. The crossing and the room for 2 nights were included so it came out to be a pretty good deal. The hotel couldn't be more convenient to get to from the Clipper terminal, and from there, it was easy to walk to all the sights in the downtown area. We had a few tasty cocktails at the hotel bar (made with Cuban rum). Our room was posh. Not too big, but we like a cozy feel anyways.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SaritaSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (942)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2009

This is clearly a majestic hotel with great charms. However, you must be ready to accept what comes with it. There is no air conditioning in the building. If your room is badly located, off an air stream coming from outside, it can be pretty hot. The rooms may be small and the bathrooms even smaller. Rooms, like the hotel, are charming, well decorated and very confortable. The Fairmont beds are incredibly confortables. The common areas of the hotel have a lot of style and are charming.There is no wireless access in the rooms. And it may be complicated to get to your room because of the labyrinthine corridors and levels.

I attended a meeting at the hotel. The meeting rooms are clearly not up to the standard in. Our room was in the low level with no windows. We had trouble getting wireless access and the meeting room was incredibly hot due to the lack of air conditionning.

The afternoon tea, althought a great tradition at this hotel, is now simply a business and as such is clearly overrated. It's too expansive and you're pushed to finish quickly because more buses are coming. This is contrary to the concept of an afternoon tea.

The location of the hotel is the best in town. Life of Victoria revolves around the hotel. The staff, as always at Fairmont, is attentive, friendly and helpful.

In conclusion, I'm ready to accept consequences of staying at a Grande dame, like the size of rooms, bathrooms and the labyrinthe of corridors. The lack of air conditionning is a little more troubling. Other historic properties have succeeding in installing it. The lack of wireless access is more troubling. So is the tea business.

I'm not sure it worth more than the brand new Marriott.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sylvainautourdumonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mpls
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2009

Everyone said, you must stay at the Fairmont Empress, its the only hotel to be seen at. Believe me, if we go back, you will not see us here, we will be over one block at the Marriott. My husband had a conference here, we did have the luxury of staying here and not having to pick up the tab ourselves. If we had, I would have been extremely upset. We were promised a deluxe king size room ($330). We had to walk approx. 3 blocks of hallways to get to our "old, dusty room". There were brown stains on the curtains, and the top valance was broken, half of it just hanging off its rod. The dust on our two room fans was 1 inch thick. We were afraid to turn it on, fearful it would fall down on to our bed. There were stains all over the green old carpeting. The bathroom lighting was so dark I could hardly see to put my makeup on. There was spilled food all over our table next to our couch. Needless to say, our room was a dump. I do not recommend this hotel. While we did enjoy the Bengal Bar/Lounge, do not waste your money & stay here.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank maddiempls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level Contributor
88 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2009

This was my first trip with baby and the staff from the front desk to the restaurants, spa and cleaning staff all did their best to ensure that my entire family was well cared for during our stay.

You can't beat the location being right on the harbour and close to many of Victoria's great attractions.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Raj B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Death Valley National Park, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2009

My senior parents had not been to Victoria BC since the 1970's, so we booked this trip with that in mind. Staying at The Empress is something my family always meant to experience. My parents were very impressed, and the staff spoiled us rotten. The rooms are dated but charming, small but well appointed. We had two rooms in the original wing of the hotel, upper floor, with a view of the Royal Museum. The beds were soft and comfortable. Service is key at this hotel. We had breakfast in-room one morning and our food delivered quickly and at proper temperatures. The Bengal Lounge was a fun stop for drinks and appetizers. Front desk were able to obtain dinner reservations for us both nights without any trouble. Everything we had booked was within walking distance, even for my elderly parents. This is a trip none of us will ever forget.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pamnfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2009

My husband and my 12 year old daughter went to the Empress at the end of August.
I make my reservation directly on the hotels web site -www.fairmont.com and they give you choices- I usually choose the "Gold" level- We LOVE their lounge and you have drinks & snacks, games, newspapers, ect. and I like the option to give the first nights deposit for a better price (Thanks!) When checking in- tell them what's important to you-
Is it a fireplace? a more Historical character room? a shorter walk? a better view? And if you are checking into a gold room and the 2nd floor check in - step into the gold lounge and have a seat while they are doing their job- No need to stare at them while they are trying their best. Many thanks to "Dillon" for welcoming us again to my Empress.

The Smart Family

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Veroniqua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
64 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2009

Have been given and read very mixed reviews so was cautious. But the room was lovely, faced a back street but that made it quiet and who stayed in the room with so much to do anyway. The bed was super comfortable, room small but okay, bathroom small but nice. As in most hotels the number of front desk staff seems cut back, but once you got to the desk they were very helpful. Jennifer helped us on several occasions and always had great suggestions. Tea was very overpriced, but you really do have to do it once. Victoria is a great city and this is a great location.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank noworry
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

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 
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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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