The Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress

9.234 reviews
Ranked #1 in Victoria hotels
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  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 8.3
    Luxury Travelers
  • 7.9
    Family Travelers
  • 7.0
    Art & Design Lovers
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721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
1 (888) 271-2681Edit info
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 ... Read more
attraction is Thunderbird Park.

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 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.

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.


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


Swimming Pool
Spa Services
Fitness Center
Internet Access
Laundry Services
Meeting Rooms
Business Center
Airport Transfer
Pets Allowed
Air conditioning

Member Reviews(34)

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Having opened in 1908, this hotel is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. With 477 rooms, a gorgeous luxury spa, world class high tea, and a view of the inner harbour that can’t be beat; this famous and historic hotel is worth the visit.

Recommended for:History Buffs

Awesome location as always by the Fairmont chain of hotels. Good service. I was expecting slightly more than what I got in terms of the wow factor and hence its 4 stars from me.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory Buffs
Sydney, Australia

The Fairmont Empress Hotel is the grand old lady of Victoria BC. Opulent empire decor in the public spaces and newly renovated modern rooms.

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesLuxury TravelersHistory Buffs
San Marcos, California, USA

What a historical building. Tall, brick with ivy growing up the front of building. Weeping willow trees along with the surrounding beauty and a easy access location makes this a top hotel to stay at. Great service and clean rooms with a view.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers

Strategically located in the heart of downtown Victoria. Very impressive building too!

Recommended for:Luxury TravelersHistory BuffsArt & Design Lovers

Just stroll the grounds and see the shops inside. Join for afternoon tea, the traditional English way or enjoy Indian food at the Bengal lounge or simply sit on the terrace for a cocktail. Stroll the gardens and smell the roses.

Seattle, Washington, USA

So – everyone has been – ho hum. Not true. First time visitors owe themselves a lengthy visit – even high tea (a bit pricey – but everyone should do it at least once). Then there is the over padded and overstuffed ambience, and all the high end shops – and the Bengal Room (tres cool) unafraid to keep the slightly shabby tiger skin over the fire place mantel. And for the salty visitor that’s already been – again – what’s not to like about the Bengal Room?

Recommended for:Business TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsTrendsters
Port Moody, Canada

Afternoon tea is one of the most elegant and relaxing rituals life has to offer. This luxurious indulgence deserves an equally luxurious setting and there is none better than The Fairmont Empress. Located in the provincial capital, this grand dame has been offering afternoon tea for more than a century. Enjoy delicious scones, sandwiches, and sweets in a room that that takes you back in time. Choose from various teas, including the exclusive Empress Blend. At $50-$60, the experience isn’t cheap, but it’s an afternoon tea that you’ll never forget.

Austin, Texas

721 Government St. Have "high tea" at the Fairmont Empress, a special experience & a good break from the tourist frenzy. Service is good.


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

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
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

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.

Pleasant Hill, California, USA

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
Calgary, Alberta

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.

Napa, California, USA

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.

San Ramon
First to Review

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!


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.

San Francisco

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.

Yorkton, Canada

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

Maple Valley, Washington, USA

A must in Victoria: Afternoon Tea at the Empress!


Photo Gallery


Internet Access
  • WiFi (surcharge)
Dining & Drinks
  • Bar/lounge
  • Breakfast available (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea in common areas
Fitness & Recreation
  • Tours/ticket assistance
  • Concierge services
  • Picnic area
  • Shopping on site
  • Video-game console
  • Garden
  • Indoor pool
  • Spa tub
  • Sauna
  • Full-service spa
  • Spa treatment room(s)
  • Health club
  • Airport transportation (surcharge)
  • Limo or Town Car service available
  • Ferry terminal shuttle (surcharge)
  • Cruise terminal shuttle (surcharge)
  • Self parking (surcharge)
  • Valet parking (surcharge)
  • Long-term parking (surcharge)
  • In-room accessibility
  • Accessible bathroom
Traveling with Children
  • No cribs (infant beds) available
  • Pets allowed
Services & Conveniences
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • Elevator/lift
  • Safe-deposit box at front desk
  • Multilingual staff
  • Designated smoking areas
  • Wedding services
  • Conference space
  • Porter/bellhop
  • Gift shops or newsstand
  • 24-hour business center
  • ATM/banking
  • Private bathroom
  • Free toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • Bathtub or shower
  • Designer toiletries
  • Premium bedding
  • Hypo-allergenic bedding available
  • No rollaway/extra beds available
In-Room Dining
  • Minibar
  • Room service (24 hours)
  • Coffee/tea maker
  • Electric kettle
Media & Technology
  • Phone
  • Cable TV service
  • Flat-panel TV
  • Pay movies
  • Daily housekeeping
Other Room Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • Slippers
  • Bathrobes
  • Portable fan
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Desk
  • In-room safe
  • Free newspaper
Property Info
  • Total number of rooms - 464
  • Number of floors - 8
  • Year Built 1908
  • Express check-out
  • Express check-in
The Fairmont Empress

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