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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We went to the Empress to savor their curry in the Bengal restaurant. Great disappointment that it was in fact closed for good. Reason given ranged from needing new kitchens to political correctness.

A big piece of the charm & character gone. Inside the bars and dining areas are remodelled but frankly lack that old charm. We switch to just having coffee and were directed to the bar as they had just started high tea,

Service was terrible. Went to the bar as instructed, directed by the bar tender to sit down and a waitress came, we ordered. Then asked a passing waitress for some additional croissants. Very indignant look from a second server who begrudgingly took order and then a long wait to have coffees, kid milk and cookies plus those croissants delivered.

We call over a manager as it really was not representative of Fairmount service. He handle the situation perfectly took notes apologised an left us feeling our feedback was valued and will be taken seriously.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Grandad_Sticky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for providing your feedback. Our apologies for the service not being up to standard for your visit. We do take our guests feedback very seriously and will be following up to ensure our high standards are being offered to our valued guests. We do hope we shall have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empress one day soon and enjoy the service we strive to provide to our guests.

Kind regards,

Indu Brar
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Enjoyed our brief stay in Victoria and wouldn't consider any other hotel if we returned.

Pros:
- The renovated rooms were what I like in hotels in terms of interior designs. The rooms felt luxurious.
- The bathrooms were small compared to the size of the room/suite but so well done it didn't matter.
- In-room dining was consistent and actually really good. The people delivering the food were friendly and pleasant. I was able to order a scone with clotted cream for breakfast before we left and it was DELICIOUS. I can only imagine how good Afternoon Tea must be.
- Great location. We like to walk long distances and from the Empress we walked to Fisherman's Wharf, down to the cruise ships and back up the coast and though it was 3 miles, we enjoyed the scenery. It was also nice to be right next to Cycle BC to get a scooter, right next to the main touristy street, and on the harbor.
- The view from our room with a partial harbor view was nice.
- The grounds are so lovely with lush green grass and gorgeous florals everywhere. There was a bush of hydrangeas that was so full in bloom people gravitated to it.
- Seems like a safe area. I saw many people strolling around at midnight to see the Legislative Assembly building or along the harbor.
- Suite was generous with space. There was a living, dining, and study area along with two full bathrooms and plenty of closet space.

Mehs:
-The view was okay. I was hoping with a suite we'd have a more direct view of the harbor but we got a slice of it.
- Because of the excellent location, it gets fairly busy/packed at times. I didn't mind this.

Cons
- From the lobby we walked down about five long halls. The halls gave me a creepy feel like maybe a set of twins would be at the end of them when I turned the corner. There's a darkness to the hall that's drastically different from the lightness of the rooms, though it's consistent with the design. It's still nice but gave me haunted vibes, and reminded me of how old the hotel was. Aside from the creepy look, nothing to report on that front. Back to my point, it took a long time to walk from the lobby to our room (I think it was 598), which was at the opposite end of the building.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank peg c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for the very detailed account of your recent stay with us at the Fairmont Empress. I thoroughly enjoyed your notes and I am very happy that you were able to provide many more pros than cons. It is true that our location cannot be beat and I am happy again to read that our staff provided you with a high level of service that you deserve. During your next visit to Victoria and the Empress you MUST indulge yourself in our High Tea experience and we will ensure that your room is a little closer to the lobby.

Kind Regards,

Indu Brar
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I am going to admit, this is a hard review to write. As you can see from other ratings even disappointed people give it a four. Most of this is due to the hotel's beauty, history and location. Yes, it is amazing to look at and ideally situated. And herein lies the problem: the staff is overwhelmed with people just in for a look or maybe a beverage.
We stayed three nights. Many only stay one or two. We got a pretty good sampling of what is going on. It's a zoo out there quite frankly in the season and they do not have enough staff to cope with it.
We were told our room would be ready hopefully at four (we checked in at 2:30). After receiving no word by 4:30 we texted. No luck. We waited until after 5:30 to get in our room.
The room is lovely and overlooks the harbor. Beautiful view, but you all expected that.
After all the hassle, we went to the bar for drinks. We sat at a table for four and ordered a round. While waiting for our beverage which took awhile, another couple sat down at the other two chairs. They never asked and did not look at us. The server returned with our drinks finally and told them she would be back. Luckily for us, they left after waiting a fair bit. Another delightful couple came by asked to share our table and we had a delightful conversation with them, so maybe the wait is best when sharing the table with friends.
Other issues, the concierge was always busy when you called. Always a line.
Room service slow. And people everywhere.
One afternoon we walked in the front door and the line to check in was 30 people strong and out the door. They have two (sometimes three) weary people trying their best to get it done, but if you're expecting a five star experience or want your 600.00 per night room rate to be justified, don't hold your breath.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank SirenaDives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to write this very detailed account of your recent stay with us at the Fairmont Empress. I am so sorry to hear about the issues you experienced as it is not what we aim for. I have been following up with our department leaders using this feedback as a way for us to improve and hopefully if and when you return to our hotel you will find a much more pleasant stay awaits you.

Kind Regards,

Indu Brar
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 July 2018 via mobile

Stayed in a harbour front room. Room was incredibly large with an open fireplace, sofa, coffee table and a large walk-in wardrobe. Did read that there had been a huge renovation and certainly they have created a very desirable hotel, in one of the best locations. The niggle that we had was the tiny bathroom with for some reason very low basins. I am average height and found it irritating to keep bending down and little surface space. Maybe the original design of the building wasn’t compromised, but a larger bathroom would have made this a 5/5 score.
The design of the dining rooms and gardens were beautifully created.
Can say check-in was easy and efficient.
I would love to stay again, should we ever find ourselves in the wonderful city of Victoria

Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank GSD250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Thank you for your recent review of the Fairmont Empress. I was happy to read the many positive comments within your review concerning the room, our hotel design and location, and your arrival experience. I am sorry to read however that the size of your bathroom did not suit your needs and I hope that this did not cause too much of an inconvenience during your visit. I am very happy that you will be choosing to stay with us again should you ever visit Victoria in the future and if/when this occurs I am sure that you will find your experience every bit as memorable.

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Reviewed 14 July 2018 via mobile

Firstly this hotel is absolutely beautiful. It has a very imposing presence at the heart of Victoria. There is a lovely garden to walk around and the upper lobby area where the lounge’s etc are is stunning.
Having read some of the other reviews I have to agree with their comments.
I feel that for a hotel of this standard (and cost) to charge for WiFi is poor considering most of the restaurants in town can provide it for free.
Additionally I think It is poor of Fairmont to charge exorbitant rates for the car park.
I found alternative parking for less than half what Fairmont wanted to charge nearby.
I really don’t think this is a fair way to treat your guests.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Darrendazler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Thank you for your recent review of the Fairmont Empress. We appreciate your kind words concerning the beauty of the hotel and we hope you choose to stay with us again during your next visit to Victoria. However, I am sorry that you were disappointed with the rates for our parking and Wifi access. We take this feedback very seriously as we continue to discuss ways to improve our offering and ensuring that guests receive the best value for their dollar.

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