The Fairmont Empress
What We Love
- Bengal Lounge’s signature cocktail, which features locally distilled Victoria gin
- Afternoon tea on the hotel’s veranda
- The hotel’s bike share program provides instant access to the famous Galloping Goose cycling trail
What To Know
- The hotel is a popular tourist attraction
- WiFi costs extra
- Pets are permitted, but fees apply
- While stately, the hotel feels a bit dated
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Fairmont Empress rules Victoria’s majestic Inner Harbor as grandly as the adjacent British Columbia Parliament buildings. The interior decor is just as stately, with leather wingback chairs, heavy golden curtains and an exposed timber lattice etched on the high ceilings. Potted palms, wood paneling and a tiger pelt accent the clubby, British Empire ambience.
Bed and Bath
The 477 guestrooms offer plush rugs and chairs, vase-style lamps, walnut writing desks and neutral walls adorned with framed floral pictures, while a pastoral watercolor palette casts the bedrooms in a traditional motif. All rooms have views of the city, garden, courtyard or Inner Harbor. The bathrooms feature marble and porcelain touches.
Bengal Lounge executive chef Morgan Wilson creates dishes such as south Indian chicken biryani and cassoulet of seasonal vegetables. The Fairmont’s signature Willow Stream Spa pampers guests with more than 85 treatments. Sip an afternoon tea (such as Fairmont Earl Gray or Kea Lani orange pineapple) on the veranda and enjoy the vista of the Inner Harbor (the view is best during the late spring and summer). Elsewhere, there’s a fully equipped gym, a heated indoor swimming pool and a Jacuzzi.
In the Area
Victoria has grown out of its “wee bit o’Britain” reputation, adding local spirits, chic shopping districts and great culinary style to go with tearooms and brewpubs. Still Life, Addiction and North of Wednesday represent three of the brightest boutiques lining Johnson Street, in the trendy LoJo district. Tea lovers can relax along shopper-friendly Government Street at Silk Road, a local purveyor of interesting, organic green tea blends such as Moonlight on the Grove and Angelwater. The Empress’s apiary provides the honey for the popular Summer Haze Honey Hefe, crafted by Hoyne Brewing Company, one of four Victoria breweries.
How to Get There
The valet offered to charge my electric car when we arrived. The check in service was very courteous and and helpful. Overall the service was excellent. The building is older but in good repair for the age of the building. The beds were comfortable and the room was quiet. We got a good night sleep and the staff made sure we knew how to work the climate control so we'd be comfortable. We enjoyed our midweek visit
Our 5 day conference was held in the hotel meeting rooms so we spent many hours on property. Our rooms were lovely and the beds comfortable. The amenities of coffee and tea were welcome. We had breakfast each morning in the cafe and received cordial service along with our yummy food. All hotel staff in front of house and the shop keepers in their shopping arcade were very welcoming. They even provide a computer alcove for guests to use. The hotel is situated on a harbor and the beautiful fall colors and exquisite landscaping made our stay magical.
Perfect - starting with the greeting, the room, the service and the ambiance. Our room was ready by 10 am, the staff were very friendly and the valets are awesome! They drove us to the restaurant where we had reservations.
The room itself was clean and comfortable, although noisy (thin doors and walls,) and while the staff was very good the service for items was very slow and required call backs after waiting for 2 hours. Having stayed at many high end hotels, I found the Empress to be overblown, with an out of date reputation. the famous high tea was also lacking when compared to other places around the world. Lots of people jammed into a small area; noisy, not relaxing as a result and wait staff running from place to place to meet the demands. $75/ per person for not much food and only 1 type of tea. For some reason they do not serve Earl Grey - currently the world' s favourite type of tea. For the cost of this establishment, I expected the world class experience that they say it will be. You're better off going somewhere else for an equally enjoyable room and having a high tea at one of the tea rooms in the city.
We stayed again for we had our Christmas party there. Check in was perfect with valet parking. Room was perfect and well laid out. Very nice venue.
Only issue is when we left it took 45 minutes to get my car. They did not seem overwhelmed but had to talk to a few people to finally get my car. I asked one couple how long it took them and it was 10 minutes. Not sure what happened but put a damper on things.