The Fairmont Empress
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Travel Blogs from Victoria
We drove down from Whistler via Shannon Falls to North Vancouver to board the ferry to Vancouver Island. It was a long wait for the ferry and about an hour and a half across to the Island and then another two hours bus drive to get to Victoria and the Fairmont Empress but it was definitely worth the trip.
Checkout the photos to see why :)
Our Air Canada flight took off at 1020hrs which meant breakfast at the airport. I am not fond of these morning long haul flights since as you know they give you a meal then expect you to sleep. I am not used to going to sleep at just after midday but it is surprising what a couple of glasses of wine will do. It is about 14hrs …
Our spare day, not likely. A really good sleep, refreshed and ready to go, so after breakfast at 0930 we were off, all 39 of us, and with our trusted, and for the last time driver Zed, he drove us for 1/2 hour out to Butchart Gardens, just out of the city of Victoria, we were the third bus, so we were nice and early to get in and start our look …
Today we went out into the sea just off the USA coastline to sea orca whales.
The sighging was not too bed as we did get to see about a dozen whales but only from a mandatory distance. In the afternoon we went to the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The gardens spread over 55 hectares and was established by Jennie Butchart many years ago. The …
Finally arrived at our Hotel in Victoria.....wow looks just as elegant live as it did in photos. After a 14 hr flight from Sydney to Vancouver, another 1/2 hr flight from Vancouver to Victoria and a 40 min bus ride, we are ready for a shower and a beer (maybe not in that order ! )
Have our Welcome dinner tonight.
The start of the …
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TravelPod Member ReviewsThe Fairmont Empress Victoria
super experience on gold level...great room...better service!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews The Fairmont Empress Victoria
No Tell Hotel
Yes the Empress is glorious and wonderful but somewhat remiss on their declaration that the rooms have no cooling!! Granted the whole northwest portion of North America was having a heat wave at the time of our visit but nowhere in booking discussions nor upon check-in are you advised of this missing "amenity". When the staff was asked why this isn't mentioned they deferred to management through their comment card system. At these prices the traveler should be advised not only what the hotel offers but also what they lack. I will report back what the hotel management staff has to say when and if this glorious event occurs!
Empress does not care about clients
My husband and I travelled to Victoria on May 20, 2002. On our second night at the hotel, I slipped and fell in the bathub causing severe soft tissue damage. The hotel manager was extremely pleasant and did not care I injured myself and ruined my vacation. This hotel has recently been under scrunity for numerous accidents which they are ignoring. I advise anyone staying at this hotel to think twice! There are other grand hotels in the Victoria area to stay at.
What a grand hotel.
When my father found out we were going to Victoria he insisted we stay at the Empress. I called 3 times and got different rates all 3 times and I finally ended up with a low package rate for one night. We spent the night elsewhere for 2 other nights and now I wish we hadn't. The Empress was beyond my wildest expectations. Not only was it beautiful (though getting around the hotel can be arduous and confusing) the service was OUTSTANDING. The staff couldn't do enough for us and made us feel like royalty. We loved it so much, we added on an extra night.
The first night, we stayed in a beautiful, well-appointed room. The bathroom was nice and the beds were so comfy. They even provided free bottled water next to the beds and in the bathrooms. (Every hotel I've stayed in the US charges for bottled water!!) We upgraded our room the 2nd night in the Empress Gold and were placed in a room on the 8th floor. The Empress Gold is like a hotel within a hotel...we had our own concierge where we could check in and out, along with our own dining area where breakast and lavish evening snacks were served in a beautiful room. We were slightly surprised...the room, which was 3 years new, was beautiful but problematic. Dirty sheets on the sofa bed and a bathtub that was dirty and didn't work properly. And though this is nit picky...we were given more bottles of water and towels in the less expensive room. But, the hotel knocked off 50% from our Empress Tea bill to make up for the inconvenience of the dirtiness and broken tub.
One of the real perks was the view and the location of the Empress. And again, the hotel is so beautiful. But I really think what sets this hotel apart from others is the service of the staff. It is absolutely incredible and I can't say enough about it.
We've already decided we're going back to Victoria and there is no way we would ever stay anywhere else other than the Empress...it was worth every extra penny we spent.
The Beautiful Empress
I traveled to Victoria on a ferry about a year ago, and had a wonderful experience at the Empress Hotel. I was booked at a different hotel, but upon arrival, instantly changed my mind. As we landed in the harbour, I couldn't take my eyes off the Empress. I inquired about rooms, and was cordially given a nice one on the fourth floor. The interior of the hotel is lovingly restored to its original Victorian elegance. It also retains many of the graceful features one would expect of such a hotel, like the decorative but functional brass mail chute travelling from the top floor to the lobby. There is also a beautiful solarium complete with plants and glass ceilings. I did not go to the Empress' High Tea, but I still want to take my mother for her 60th birthday. It would be the perfect thing. The hotel staff were genuine and friendly, allowing me to leave my bags at the front desk until my ferry came on my departure date. The hotel is convenient to the (extremely) neat and clean downtown area--I don't think I saw one piece of litter! Overall, The Empress made a wonderful stay even better. It was the perfect accomodation to make my historical tour complete.
Classy and elegant
We stayed at the Fairmont March 7 - 9 and found it one of the best hotel experiences we've had. The staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly. The hotel is beautiful and historic. The food was excellent and we can't wait to go back.
My husband and I visited Victoria's Empress March 2002 and was simply amazed by the architecture and beauty of the hotel. The lobby areas are have all the features of a five-star hotel. We had a beautiful view from our room of the Parliment, which is lit up with white lights at night. Beautiful and romantic. The hotel sits right in front of the water. Don't miss high tea here, you really feel like you are in England.
I recommend this hotel for anyone. It is wonderful!
The Fairmont Hotel
The hotel is beautiful. It will take you back in time to the Victorian era and is well worth the trip, especially if you can get a package deal. The only drawback is--they put smoking rooms right next to non-smoking rooms. It would be the same as putting a non-smoker at a dining table right next to a smoking table. Not good for an asthmatic.
The Empress Rules!
My sister had recommended the hotel to me, but when we booked our trip to Victoria for September, 2001, there was no availability. After the September 11th disaster, however, bookings were cancelled in large numbers. So we were able to walk in and get a "distressed rate" at the Empress. It wasn't cheap, but it was below the usual rates. I found the rooms to be very comfortable and the views of the Inner Harbor fantastic. But we spent most of our time out and about in Victoria, which is a beautiful city, and in the hotel itself, which is amazing. The bar, which looks like a British Raj bar in India from the last century, is dark and full of comfortable couches and a large fireplace. It's a great place to spend time and enjoy the atmosphere. I highly recommend the afternoon tea as well, which is quite a luxury and is held in a beautiful room with windows looking out to the harbor. This is one of those "must stay" places for people who like these sorts of places, because there just aren't that many places like this around.
A Must Stay
The Empress Hotel is a must stay in one's lifetime. It brings you back to an era way gone by.
Guest rooms are very nice, albeit small compared to newer hotel rooms. But it was well worth the US$100 spent per night.
I have never received finer service than in The Empress. The staff made me feel like I was someone really special, even though I was staying in one of the more economically priced rooms.
Even though I recommend The Empress as a must stay at least once in a lifetime, it is my hotel of choice if I ever have the chance to go back to the great city of Victoria.
Once is enough
Service was excellent, but the accomodations do not warrant the extravagant price. Clean but certainly aged. The hallways were dim and the carpets well-worn. A historic landmark to be visited perhaps, but not stayed in