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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
We booked a 4 day 3 night quick trip to Victoria and used Kenmore Air to get there from Seattle. It was a fantastic way to go - so convenient and right across the street from The Empress. We chose the Gold level, harbor view room and was so pleased we did! The room was wonderful, the service top notch and the breakfast and other amenities that go along with the Gold level were well worth the money. We had High Tea on arrival and drinks in the Q Bar. Both wonderful experiences. There is so much to do, that is walkable and there are car rentals right behind the hotel. We chose to rent a car the for the day to visit Butchart Gardens and drive around the island. All in all it was a fantastic get-away. I highly recommend The Empress - Gold level rooms and service.
A good stay at the Fairmont in Victoria BC Canada. Best location in the city. A great pity the Bengal Lounge is still closed, this was a place we always looked forward to dining in. The room was fine but could use a better cleaning in the bathroom. The bar and restaurant we had wanted to dine in however it was extrememly noisy both evenings with someone singing live and using far too many amps. You could hear it outside. Unplugged would be better in such a small place where people like to socialize.
I loved my stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. All the staff were very kind and helpful. Winston, the yellow lab, was in the lobby, having some fun with some kids. My room was beautiful with a gorgeous view of the wharf and the parliament building, which are beautifully lit at night. The bed was so comfortable. I did not want for anything in my room. There were bicycles available to use, which was a great opportunity to view some of the city and get some exercise at the same time.
The view was spectacular from our small room, and I kept trying to say you couldn't, but the Empress clearly had. Good service, overpriced food and room service (but free bottled water, thank goodness). Everything you want to see is within walking distance. The room did not utilize the space well, and the counter space in the bathroom is almost nonexistent. But the tea was marvelous, and I don't regret staying there.
Stayed 4 nights amazing staff and location and loved Winston. Great indoor pool and gym pool was great for relaxing each afternoon after a big day out. Breakfast in the restaurant is a grea way to set you up for the day. Thanks