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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #21 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 15 March 2012

We got a great deal including flights and accomodations through WestJet Vacations. I've never stayed in a Fairmont before this so I can't compare to the others but this one was very nice. We enjoyed wandering around the hotel and exploring the history of the hotel. The Bengal Lounge was a nice place to stop in for a mid afternoon snack and beverage. The Spa was amazing!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank edmontonflygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,941 - 2,945 of 3,802 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2012

We loved our brief time in Victoria (be sure to read my clipper review to learn just how brief it was).
We booked a deal through fairmont.com for a fairmont king room, 2 afternoon teas at the empress, and 2 tickets to butchart gardens for 209! Lovely hotel, tea was definitely an experience, and the gardens were lovely too, even if we were a few weeks too early. Parking is pricey (30/day) but location can't be beat...we walked from the clipper terminal!
Concierge was extremely helpful and steered us to a great dinner and even gave suggestions for alternate travel back to Seattle.
Highly recommend!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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3  Thank Reaughstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2012

Dear Valued Guest Reoghstar,

I am delighted to hear that you had such a wonderful stay with us and were able to enjoy the hotel, Afternoon Tea. It sounds like our central location allowed you to enjoy exploring Victoria. Unfortunately we do not own the parkade as it is attached to the conference center. We look forward to welcoming you back again when your travels bring you to Victoria.

Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office

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Reviewed 8 March 2012

Love the gold floor at this hotel. The staff is very accommodating and caters to all your needs. Rooms are large, and great when you are traveling with children. Have stayed here many times and have always found it to be a pleasurable experience.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank jeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

Got a good deal with BC Ferries and spent two nights with a friend. I loved the old world charm, architecture & feel. The room was a good size & it had everything you needed. Had afternoon tea & dinner at the Bengal room which were excellent. The staff were friendly, attentative & very helpful with our inquiries. Location is supreme! Close to everything you want to see in Victoria.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Linda501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen B, Executive Office at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2012

Dear Valued Guest from Vancouver,
Thank you for sharing your review! I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed engaging guest service and had a chance to enjoy two of the dining experiences at our property. It sounds like you had a great time exploring all that Victoria has to offer from our central location. We look forward to welcoming you back again when your travels bring you to the island.

Colleen Bezeau
Executive Office

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Reviewed 7 March 2012

My partner and I are not rich. We're not even close to upper-middle class. More like lower-to-middle class with aristocratic aspirations (which will remain unrealised unless that lotto ticket pays off....). So why do we stay at the Empress? And when we do, why do we pay for upgrade to Gold? Well, because it makes us feel like royalty. We get to feel like the 1% for a couple of days.

We've decided we'd rather do two nights at the Empress once in a while, than go somewhere else for a week on a tight budget. It really is that special. We come home feeling relaxed and reconnected. We've been there 3 times now (it's not too far from where we live), and each time we have upgraded to Gold. You get a separate concierge desk, and most importantly a beautiful lounge open all day, with coffee, tea, snacks, games to play, complimentary appetizers from 5-7, and a complimentary breakfast buffet which is truly delicious, not the usual scary greasy eggs and stale cornflakes. The staff are genuinely friendly. None of that barely-concealed hostility which comes (understandably) from poor working conditions. Fairmont clearly looks after their staff; when they get a job there, they stay. The Fairmont Gold rooms are a bit more special than the regular rooms (which I bet are still quite fabulous), and if you're feeling extravagent you can splurge on a suite. You can take snacks and drinks from the lounge back to your room. There is a Bose iPod/iPhone dock in each room, free wifi, extra luxurious touches in the bathrooms, a separate Gold housekeeping staff who are always happy to help with special requests, free shoecleaning .... you could easily not leave the hotel for days. Especially as walking around the hotel is an attraction in itself - we spent a long time just poking around the different levels, the foyers, the reception/dining/tea rooms, etc. The health club is the best I've seen in a hotel.

One proviso - we've only ever been in the off-season. During peak season it might be more hectic and less relaxing, I don't know. Writing this has made me want to go again soon!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Louisa M
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
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#17 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $357 - $778 (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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