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“Outstanding Historic Hotel”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 25 October 2009

If you are looking for an outstanding historic hotel in Canada, located a ferry trip from Seattle, the the Faimont Empress is the place to stay is the Empress.

The hotel is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, however you would never know except for the scafolding on the exterior and a closed portion of the floor. It is being done with the customers in mind.

The Bengal Room is an outstanding example of preservation of traditions with an Indian based buffet that is always kept fresh and current. The room has the decor of and old English parlor that is comfortable with old leather seating areas and attentive staff.

The location is central to walking areas, the ferry from Seattle and the sea plane.

I would highly recommend this hotel, just search sites like Tripadvisor for good rates.

Don't forget your passport, it is located in Canada.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beewacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,517 - 3,523 of 3,975 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2009

When my husband checked in we were told he could not use his Aeroplan card because we were getting a convention rate ($171.00 a night). Our room (356) was very small with the mini bar used as the only night table and one queen-size bed. There was one small upholstered chair with filthy arms and the lining of the skirt ripped and showing below the skirt. The small chair under the desk was filthy and the upholstery was ripped and the foam was sticking out. There were stains on the bed skirt and it was on the bed crooked. They must have replaced an armoire with a chest of drawers and there was a large imprint where the previous furniture had been and other stains on the carpet. In the bathroom the tub took forever to drain and the washbasin would not hold the water. There were stains on the wallpaper on the opposite wall.

When I checked out I told the clerk and he offered me a couple of drinks on the house but we were leaving. He said they are in the midst of refurbishing and would give us an upgrade next time we stayed. My husband is a member of the Fairmont frequent user programme, but we would certainly think twice about staying at the Empress again. Several people asked us what our room was like and it appears to be commonly known that some rooms are satisfactory and some are not.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled on business
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3  Thank jandablack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

Historical. Says it all. The place reeks of history! But it's not bad, is kept up pretty well, a bit snotty but decent service. My room in the back had a lot of sky but also a lot of noise from the trash compressor and some trucks in the morning. If I wanted to sleep with the windows open (which itself is nice to do, but needed only because there is no AC) I ran white noise on my laptop to cover. But nice and quiet from internal noise - they made walls solid back then!

Nice British touches like an electric kettle, god selection of teas in room, and both cream and milk in the in-room fridge.

The location can't be beat! Right on the most active part of the inner harbor, right next door to the awesome provincial museum.

As others have said, the restaurants are dark and formal but no need to eat there, lots of options very close by. Taking tea on the veranda in warm weather would be quite superb but I was busy with my conference and so did not.

In room Internet is wired. And costly. But here's a hint: sign up for the Fairmont frequent sleeper program and the 'net is free.

Room as fine but not overly roomy. Beds and linens quite comfortable.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled on business
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Thank mojave_ben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

The Fairmont Empress Hotel is a historical hotel in the heart of Victoria, Canada. We celbrated our 28th wedding anniversary there this June. We could not have picked a more romantic setting. .We had a gorgeous room overlooking the harbor , complete with an assortment of teas, and a down comforter. We had high tea in their library which was elegant , and ate exotic curry dishes in their wood panelled, Benegal Tiger Indian Restaurant. . We had a relaxing couple's massage in the Fairmont Spa , and lifted weights every morning in their exercise room. We rent bicycles for the week and rode the beautiful Galloping Goose Trail and picniced near two different lakes. The Fairmont Empress even stored our bikes for us daily. It was a magical week of rekindled love for us and we will always treasure our experience.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank CaliforniaBikingBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

My husband and I stopped here for one night to celebrate our 35th anniversary. We arrived at 10 am and were checked in immediately. We were given a personal note thanking us for choosing the Empress to celebrate and offering a complimentary dessert on our anniversary. ( I had noted the anniversary when I made the reservation.) We enjoyed that dessert on the Veranda overlooking the harbor and a beautiful sunset. (AMAZING home made filled doughnut holes.) We had massages and the spa was excellent. The negatives were a small bathroom and our room overlooked an alley but we were only there at dark so it wasn't offensive. Victoria is a great port city and if i go back I would choose the Empress again.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank DaveDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

This was my first trip to Canada, and I planned it so that we would be in VIctoria on Canada Day. The hotel staff was so friendly, and they greeted us withCanada Day pins and told us about the festivities in town. We were upgraded to a room overlooking the harbor with the best view of the incredible fireworks show. The hotel itself was spectacular, and the room was very quaint and the bed was so comfortable! We only stayed for one night, but I wish I could have extended our stay in this hotel. We did not eat at the hotel, but we did have cocktails and we discovered the best gin we have ever tasted made right there in Victoria. The waiter was kind enough to tell us where we could purchase it, since it is not sold anywhere but in that city. I will definitely go back and I would recommend others to plan around this holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TailorMaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2009

This was our first visit to Victoria and the staff was very helpful in advising us on what to see and how to get there. The hotel is grand and comfortable, everything one might expect. The dining rooms are elegant. Meals were excellent and service was nearly perfect. This hotel encourages staff to express themselves and engage with guests. This made our stay very enjoyable. We had a harbor view room on the 5th floor and the view was worth the extra expense.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank merlinslap
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
#9 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#14 Family Hotel in Victoria
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: £146 - £390 (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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