Fairmont Empress

Victoria, Vancouver Island

The hotel

Over 100 years old, this legendary hotel is the symbolic centrepiece of Victoria and exudes regal grandeur in abundance. Beneath the ivy-clad walls and chateau-style architecture, however, you’ll find only the most modern of amenities, ensuring an extremely comfortable stay. A lavish afternoon tea is served in the magnificent Tea Lobby, surrounded by handcrafted tapestries and polished hardwood floors and is a local tradition not to be missed. The Empress Room serves classic cuisine with an eclectic twist which will tantalise even the most discerning of taste buds. For a delicious curry buffet, head to the Bengal Lounge, which takes inspiration from Queen Victoria’s role as the Empress of India. There’s also an impressive martini menu, so enjoy! The Veranda overlooks the Inner Harbour and is the perfect place to relax with a drink and a light lunch before embarking on more sightseeing. Other amenities at the hotel include a lovely indoor swimming pool, a children’s wading pool and fitness centre. The Willow Stream Spa is an oasis of peace and serenity with treatments galore to leave you feeling truly pampered and in the peak of health.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Babysitting service
  • Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Close to City Centre
  • Restaurant

Where is it

In Downtown Victoria overlooking the spectacular Inner Harbour.

Hotel information

464 rooms and suites in 1 building. All with air-conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, WiFi access*, tea/coffee-making facilities, safe, bathrobes, hairdryer and iron and board. Fairmont Rooms have views of the city or inner courtyard and either 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size bed, 2 double beds or 2 twin beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Fairmont Harbour View Room with 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Deluxe Room with city or inner courtyard views, 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size bed or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Deluxe Harbour View with stunning views of Victoria's inner harbour, 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size bed or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Signature Rooms are particularly spacious with 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Signature Harbour View Rooms are recently renovated with spectacular views of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Fairmont Gold Rooms are located on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the hotel with views across the city and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults. These rooms benefit from private check-in and access to the exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge which offers Continental breakfast, tea and coffee and complimentary evening canapés.

Fairmont Gold Spacious Rooms are newly renovated with exclusive services including complimentary breakfast, cocktail canapés, private check-in, and access to the harbor view Fairmont Gold Lounge. 1 king-size bed or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Fairmont Gold Harbour View Rooms are newly renovated, offer spectacular views of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour along with exclusive services including complimentary breakfast, cocktail canapés, private check-in, and access to the harbor view Fairmont Gold Lounge. 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Q at The Empress (oen for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Q Bar (open from 11:00am–1:00am). Afternoon tea in the Tea at the Empress. Fitness centre with indoor heated swimming pool, children’s wading pool, indoor heated whirlpool, sauna and gym with cardio equipment and free weights. Willow Stream Spa* and nail boutique*. Bike rental*. Gift shops. 24-hour room service*. Babysitting* (reservations required). Concierge. Laundry/dry cleaning service*. Overnight self-parking CA$0 per day (payable locally, subject to change).

Wheelchair accessible rooms available on request. Please note that these rooms are subject to availability and may be restricted to specific room categories and bedding arrangements. Rooms and facilities vary between hotels so please check at the time of booking. For more information and contact details please check out our Special Assistance page

*Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (2640)
  • Very good (1234)
  • Average (564)
  • Poor (274)
  • Terrible (144)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible Staff, Incredible Experience

Aug 8, 2020 TheLadyLevine Vancouver, Canada

I have had the pleasure of staying at the Fairmont Empress several times over the years, and the one constant is the exemplary service from the amazing staff. This recent stay was special, as my Mom and I were celebrating my 50th birthday. It has also been a challenging year for us both concerning a family member’s health, so suffice it to say,… Read more
I have had the pleasure of staying at the Fairmont Empress several times over the years, and the one constant is the exemplary service from the amazing staff. This recent stay was special, as my Mom and I were celebrating my 50th birthday. It has also been a challenging year for us both concerning a family member’s health, so suffice it to say, we both were looking forward to the break. From the moment we arrived, we were so well taken care of. Carlos ensured that we had the perfect room, Raymond, Adam, and Cecilia took care of us for our meals on the Veranda and went above and beyond (the Veranda is spectacular by the way), and it was a pleasure to see Shindi each morning at breakfast, who made sure we had everything we needed and more. Last but not least, Ramon—this gentleman helped us with so much while we were at the hotel—he is truly a gem of person, and his genuine caring went way beyond the call of duty. The hotel and the staff have measures in place for distancing and sanitation, and not once did we feel uncomfortable. I will suggest to the hotel that it would make good sense to consider adding back to the staffing compliment given the current staff looked a little stretched in trying service the guests. I will be back in November and truly cannot wait to spend time at this amazing hotel, and to see those lovely smiling faces of the incredible staff there. Thank you. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Not 5 Star

Aug 7, 2020 steing1111 Vancouver, Canada

This iconic hotel is terrifically located. The staff are excellent and totally service oriented. We had a small room ovetlooking the harbour, definitely a great view. As it is an historic hotel the room sizes do vary and the recent renovations updated the room decor. Too bad they couldn't combine two rooms into one so the room size would be a… Read more
This iconic hotel is terrifically located. The staff are excellent and totally service oriented. We had a small room ovetlooking the harbour, definitely a great view. As it is an historic hotel the room sizes do vary and the recent renovations updated the room decor. Too bad they couldn't combine two rooms into one so the room size would be a decent size with a large bathroom (that would be an expensive renovation but otherwise the Empress can't be a 5 star hotel). As it is the bathroom is tiny with a sink that is lower than standard. The water flow from the shower is poor. At the very least the hotel needs to upgrade the toilet paper and Kleenex which are industrial rather than deluxe hotel standard. Going cheap on that is really cheeky given the room rates. I suppose guests don't think to comment about that so the hotel gets away with it. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A taste of BC history.

Aug 4, 2020 KJElmer Vancouver, Canada

Thanks to a B.C. special, I decided to pull the trigger on this extravagant hotel and I wasn’t disappointed. The special included a discounted rate, an upgrade, free parking and late checkout. The Q was perfect for breakfast while we waited for our room to be ready, and the picnic on the lawn was the treat we didn’t know we needed - it came in a… Read more
Thanks to a B.C. special, I decided to pull the trigger on this extravagant hotel and I wasn’t disappointed. The special included a discounted rate, an upgrade, free parking and late checkout. The Q was perfect for breakfast while we waited for our room to be ready, and the picnic on the lawn was the treat we didn’t know we needed - it came in a basket and was plentiful and DELICIOUS! I believe this is new to accommodate more people during indoor restrictions, but I hope they keep it! The Signature Harbour View room was lovely and spacious and the view was worth it. While everyone can appreciate the exterior, it’s still worth noting their lovely gardens and bee keeping. The staff was extremely friendly and thoughtful and the Covid protocols were clear and appreciated. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Reflecting during Covid lockdown on a wonderful experience

May 27, 2020 Barbara M Ireland

As I sit here in Covid isolation I was recalling past holidays. One that hit the high spot was my trip to Victoria, Vancouver Island during October 2019. I had enjoyed my stay so much that I decided I should top it all with a farewell visit to the Fairmont Empress Hotel and try their renowned Empress gin - I deserved it, it had rained a lot! … Read more
As I sit here in Covid isolation I was recalling past holidays. One that hit the high spot was my trip to Victoria, Vancouver Island during October 2019. I had enjoyed my stay so much that I decided I should top it all with a farewell visit to the Fairmont Empress Hotel and try their renowned Empress gin - I deserved it, it had rained a lot! What a fantastic idea that turned out to be! I was brought to one of the best seats in the bar, with a view out to the harbour, as well as being able to see everything that was happening around me - perfect! While I was sipping the delicious purple gin, my waitress asked me if I'd like to have an Empress chocolate cake, courtesy of the bar manager - how could I refuse such a kind, generous offer? It was sublime - the real icing on the cake and made my visit to the Fairmont Empress such a memorable one. A big thank you to the bar manager and also to the staff for making my visit so wonderful. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Outstanding

Mar 22, 2020 344jeannal Wichita, Kansas

What can I say! The outside of the hotel was simply breathtaking, flowers everywhere beautifully groomed gardens, the hotel itself was amazing the majestic exterior has old world charm on overload. Originally when we were looking for a place for an overnight stay I referred to reviews here on TripAdvisor, with several that said it needed updating… Read more
What can I say! The outside of the hotel was simply breathtaking, flowers everywhere beautifully groomed gardens, the hotel itself was amazing the majestic exterior has old world charm on overload. Originally when we were looking for a place for an overnight stay I referred to reviews here on TripAdvisor, with several that said it needed updating and there wasn’t working air conditioning, but I was willing to give it a chance, we were certainly glad! We had a room that had amazing views of the government building, and the harbor, and can’t describe how beautiful it was all lit up at night. The room was on the small side, as well as the bathroom but it was totally modern amenities. I definitely recommend to anyone making a trip to Victoria Read less