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The Fairmont Empress

721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
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Who Likes This Place?

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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Luxury Travelers
  • 98%
    Family Travelers
  • 88%
    History Buffs
  • 70%
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 61%
    Local Culture
  • 60%
    Business Travelers
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Member Reviews (22)Write a review

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Ori Zaltzman
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Local Culture
    Foodies
    + 3
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Nov 07, 2013
    Recommended for:Family TravelersLuxury Travelers
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Oliver Hoffmann
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    Family Travelers
    + 3
    • Foodies
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Adventure Travelers
    4 Aug 22, 2013

    Very nice hotel. Everything was clean and staff was super nice and helpful. Perfectly situated in downtown, a close walk to everything.

    Recommended for:Business TravelersFamily TravelersLuxury Travelers
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  • The Fairmont EmpressPro 2014
    Eric Brink
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Business Travelers
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Green Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Spiritual Seekers
    4 Sep 15, 2012

    The Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. It faces the Inner Harbour and has become an iconic symbol for the City. It has also been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to its national significance.

    The Edwardian, Château-style hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury for Canadian Pacific Hotels as a terminus hotel for Canadian Pacific's steamship line, whose main terminal was just a block away. The hotel opened in 1908 and was to serve businesspeople and visitors to Victoria, but later as Canadian Pacific ceased its passenger services to the city, the hotel was successfully remarketed as a resort to tourists. Victoria emerged as a tourist destination beginning in the mid-to-late 1920s. Over the years, The Empress played hostess to kings, queens, movie stars and many famous people. On May 30, 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon at the Empress, as guests of the Provincial Government.

    The Empress (with 477 rooms) has undergone many changes throughout the year. Additional wings were added between 1909 and 1914, and in 1928. In 1965, there was much debate on whether to tear down what was becoming a faded, dowdy hotel, to make room for a more modern, functional high-rise hotel. Instead, under what was called "Operation Teacup", the Hotel was refurbished. In 1989, over $45 MM was spent in what was called "The Royal Restoration". The goal was to restore the Empress to its original pre-war elegance. And even when Gayle and I were walking the grounds of the Empress, there was major work going on at the newer wing of the Hotel.

    Gayle and I actually stayed at the Magnolia during our recent stay in Victoria, and it we both agree that it was our best Hotel choice. However, my good Calgary friend advises that for any of the Fairmont Hotels, the Gold Floor (a Hotel within a Hotel) is the place to be for that extra touch of luxury. What we did do here was take in Afternoon Tea (separate review), and wander around a lot outside and inside, and within the attached Victoria Conference Center (in Back). After all, this is a Signature property and a key piece of Victoria's history and identity. It 's a great ambiance to take in, enjoy and maybe toast its good fortune at the Bengal Lounge.

    Recommended for:Luxury TravelersHistory Buffs
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Scott Kennedy
    4 Oct 21, 2013

    The Empress is one of those bits of architecture that does its best to convince you that you aren't in Canada. Looking more at home in the old world this inner city castle is an iconic Victoria(n) landmark - high tea anyone?

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFamily TravelersHistory Buffs
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Fernando R
    4 May 04, 2013

    Ranked #16 of 79 attractions in Victoria by Tripadvisor. Have "high tea" at the Fairmont Empress. This might not appeal to everyone as it is a pricey experience, however with that being said it is a wonderful experience that might not have been posible a few years back if you are gluten intolerant. It is a special experience and a good break from the tourist frenzy. Service was good.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Barbara Peat
    5 Sep 15, 2012

    Barbara Peat (nee Reavill) I visited Victoria in 1961 and spent two nights at The Empress enjoying afternoon tea with the resident orchestra playing chamber music.- Wonderful.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Nverstop
    3 Jul 05, 2012

    Beautiful to look at. Wouldn't bother going in. Very crowded and touristy. Many years ago I visited for tea before the tourists found out about it. Now it is extremely busy.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Craig Kellar
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    Gorgeous hotel, and the location for a classic Tea service. Reservations are a must. You may end up sitting in the main room, or in a library-type second room.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Scott Daly
    First to Review
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    if your ever going to visit victoria this is the place you must see. sure it's expensive and i can never stay there but just the sight of the massive hotel is breathtaking. the ivy all along the brick walls is so stunning and one step inside and you feel like royalty.

    i have been to victoria many times and someday i will stay at the empress but until then i need to keep working and saving up the dough!

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Cindy Chen
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Business Travelers
    Foodies
    + 6
    • Luxury Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    3 Jul 04, 2012

    This is a must stop when you are visiting Victoria.

    The afternoon tea is one of the best on this side of the hemisphere.

    At night, twinkle lights illuminate the whole building in an outline.

    Very pretty.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Pam Beaton
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    I'll have to admit that I got a little spoiled during my visit here. It was my first trip to Victoria to visit my boyfriend, and he got us a sweet room....but I did feel like an empress. High ceilings, nice comfy bed, and a great pool to swim in.

    Staff was fantastic, and this is definitely one of those treats for special moments.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    aivez
    4 Sep 29, 2013

    This island makes me feel im at the streets of paris and europe!

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    James S
    5 Jun 23, 2013
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    albinoamy
    5 Sep 11, 2012

    A must in Victoria: Afternoon Tea at the Empress!

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Sveta Berlyant
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    Nice historic hotel in Victoria.

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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Mahnaz Dabbagh
    5 Feb 04, 2012
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Launa Aspeslet
    5 Jan 18, 2012
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Sandi Sala
    5 Dec 28, 2011
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    doodles
    Member of
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    Foodies
    Luxury Travelers
    Adventure Travelers
    5 Dec 01, 2011
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  • The Fairmont Empress
    Catherine Cluiss
    5 Jan 03, 2012
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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
22 members' reviews
Very Good! - 84% of guests recommend
  • Phone:

    +1-888-271-2681

Description

This hotel is close to the airport. Attractions in the neighborhood include Royal British Columbia Museum and Pacific Undersea Gardens, along with British Columbia Parliament Building. Another nearby attraction is Thunderbird Park.

Features.
Dining options at The Fairmont Empress include 4 restaurants and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an

... read more
indoor pool, a children's pool, a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services. This 4.0 star property has a 24 hour business center and offers secretarial services, a technology helpdesk, and technology support staff. High speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge) is available in public areas. This Victoria property has 85000 square meters of event space consisting of banquet facilities, conference/meeting rooms, a ballroom, and exhibit space. For a surcharge, shuttle services include an airport shuttle at scheduled times, a cruise ship terminal shuttle, and a ferry terminal shuttle. Business services, wedding services, concierge services, and limo/town car service are available. Guest parking is available for a surcharge. Other property amenities at this Edwardian property include a library, a coffee shop/café, and valet parking. Extended parking privileges may be offered to guests after check out (surcharge). The property has designated areas for smoking. A total renovation of this property was completed in January 2010.

Guestrooms.
There are 477 guestrooms at The Fairmont Empress. Guestrooms have city or water views. Beds come with premium bedding. Coffee/tea makers and minibars are offered. Bathrooms feature bathrobes and hair dryers. Wired high speed Internet access is available for a surcharge; guestrooms also offer phones, voice mail, and complimentary newspapers. Flat panel televisions have cable channels, video game consoles, and pay movies. Rooms also include ceiling fans, irons/ironing boards, and clock radios. Guests may request a turndown service, hypo allergenic bedding, and extra towels/bedding. Housekeeping is available. Cribs (infant beds) and rollaway beds are available on request. Guestroom renovations were completed in January 2010.

Notifications:

Additional fees and deposits may be charged by the property at time of service, check in, or check out.

Amenities:

  • Business Center
  • Fitness Center
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool
  • Pets Allowed
  • Data Ports
  • TV In Room
  • Hair Dryer
  • Sauna
  • Voicemail
  • In-House Bar
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Clothing Iron
  • In-House Dining
  • Wake Up Service
  • Family Rooms
  • Coffee & Tea Maker
  • Mini Bar In Room
  • Handicap Accessible

Reviews Summary

Very Good!858 reviews across the web.

  • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • Ambiance
    99% enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.
  • Location
    94% liked the proximity to sightseeing.
  • Service
    90% found the staff to be very friendly.
  • Hotel
    85% thought it was clean.
  • Grounds
    Pool was lovely, according to 80%.
  • Hotel Building
    Building is pleasant.