Fairmont Empress Victoria

Our Verdict

We enjoy staying at Fairmont Hotels. They offer luxurious accommodations, excellent service and often times are historical properties. The Fairmont Empress Victoria was no exception. Recognized as a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel, and honored with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel, the location of the Fairmont Empress can't be beat along Victoria's Inner Harbour. Since 1908 the Empress has been a historical and iconic centerpiece of the Victorian Harbour. The Empress, which recently underwent a 60 million dollar refurbishment, has 446 guest rooms and suites.



When you arrive at the Fairmont Empress Victoria, you'll walk through a grand and luxurious lobby (albeit a bit gaudy). We were greeted warmly by both the front desk and concierge.



The front desk attendant informed us that the room we had booked, a standard king room, had been upgraded to a junior king suite. We definitely didn't mind the upgrade!

Our junior suite had a king bed, couch and small sitting nook. The junior suite was plenty big for a quick weekend trip. Our junior suite did have a small window that overlooked the Victoria Harbor which made for great views of sunset and sunrise. But the keyword there was small window, my only complaint about our room.

The bathroom was slightly bigger than most hotel bathrooms and had a nice walk-in shower with a rainfall shower head, large mirror and decent size vanity.

As you'll find in most Fairmont Hotels, the Empress had Rose 31 toiletries from Le Labo New York.


The hotel had several dining options including the Lobby Lounge, Q Bar and the Q Restaurant at the Empress. The Q Bar serves up more casual dining along with cocktails and martinis while the Q Restaurant is more of a fine dining experience.

While we only had a chance to eat breakfast at the Q Restaurant, it is worth noting that the Empress is famous for their Tea at the Empress which is served in the Lobby Lounge.

We had breakfast at the Q Restaurant and both of our meals were delicious. What really stood out was just how great the service was. The staff and service at the Q Restaurant was probably some of the best we've ever had at a hotel restaurant (or any restaurant for that matter). And that made our dining experience that much more enjoyable.


There was a decent size fitness center with treadmills, bikes and a handful of elliptical machines along with a set of free weights.

In addition to the fitness center, the Empress has a nice size indoor heated pool and hot tub.

Before we departed the Empress we did take time to enjoy the Willowstream Spa. Any spa appointments also include access to the Willowstream's Spa Ritual. The Spa Ritual consists of a steam inhalation room, Finnish style sauna and mineral pool. The spa ritual is recommended for our spa guests as a means of relaxing the mind and body prior to their spa experience.

We soaked for about thirty minutes in the mineral pool and it was an incredible experience. Overall we would highly recommend the Willowstream Spa at the Fairmont Empress.

Other amenities at the Empress include BMW bicycle rentals and complimentary BMW car service in the downtown Victoria area.


The Fairmont Empress Victoria is simply majestic. The service is nothing short of what you would expect at a luxury hotel. The Empress was a great addition to our stay in beautiful Victoria. The hotel itself is a destination with a resort like experience. We definitely would recommend this property and plan on staying here again on our next trip to Victoria.

Virtual Travel Gurus