Fairmont Empress Review: Best Luxury Hotel in Victoria

If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury hotel experience in Victoria, BC, look no further than the Fairmont Empress.

This place is the real deal – think grandeur, elegance, and a touch of whimsy that will make you feel like royalty.

From the moment you step inside, you’ll be transported to a world of opulence and sophistication.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into this historical landmark and discuss why the Fairmont Empress deserves the crown for being the best luxury hotel in Victoria!

Is It Worth It to Stay at The Fairmont Empress?

Let’s discuss the facts. The Fairmont Empress Hotel is located in a pretty sweet spot – Victoria, right on the Inner Harbor.

What’s even sweeter? It’s within walking distance of some of the city’s top attractions, like the Royal BC Museum and the Parliament Buildings. You can take in all that gorgeous-ness without having to break a sweat.

But what about the hotel? Is it worthy of its price tag? Absolutely! This historic gem has been around since 1908 and because of that, there’s an air of grandeur to it – you’ll definitely feel like royalty while there.

This top-class hotel features luxurious rooms boasting all the modern amenities you could desire, but the real star of the show at the Fairmont Empress is the service.

The staff is friendly, attentive, and always willing to go the extra mile to make your stay unforgettable.

Did we mention they have a resident pup, Winston? He’s always hanging around the lobby and ready to greet everyone walking through the doors. If that’s not a selling point, we don’t know what is!

So if you’re looking to treat yourself to an experience above and beyond the norm, book your stay at The Fairmont Empress – it’s what royalty would do.

History of the Fairmont Empress luxury hotel in Victoria
historic photo of the Fairmont Empress

History of the Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress Hotel is no stranger to fame and luxury. This historic site, located in the heart of downtown Victoria, traces its roots all the way back to 1908 – when it was first built by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a destination for wealthy travelers to visit.

The hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury, a prominent architect who also designed the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

It’s safe to say that over its more than century-long tenure, the Fairmont Empress has seen its fair share of worthy guests – from members of the royal family and celebrities, to politicians galore.

In fact, the hotel’s most famous guest was Queen Elizabeth II, who stayed at the hotel during her first visit in 1951.

Waterfront View at Fairmont Empress daytime
Waterfront View at Fairmont Empress

Accommodations at the Empress

Let’s start with the basics: the Fairmont Empress Hotel has several room types to choose from.

If cozy and comfortable is what you’re after, then you’ll love the Fairmont Guest Rooms – stunningly furnished with a contemporary design inspired by Vancouver Island’s nature.

And the views? Oh, the enviable views! You can choose from a city view, a view of the hotel’s inner courtyard, or even a view of the harbor.

Sip a warm cup of tea while admiring the city skyline or revel in a romantic sunset while watching to boats pass by.

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, you might want to check out the various suites available at the Fairmont Empress.

The Junior Suite is the perfect combo of cozy and spacious, with a separate sitting area and a king-sized bed. Some rooms are even split-level with sunken living areas.

But if you really want to treat yourself, you’ve got to go for the One Bedroom Harbour View Suite.

You get a separate living area with a sofa bed (hello, extra guests!), and an extra sitting area and two luxurious bathrooms.

And let’s not forget about the stunning inner harbor views; it’s like having your own personal postcard right outside your window.

Amenities at the Fairmont Empress

When it comes to amenities, the Fairmont Empress Hotel has everything you’ll need to relax and unwind at your fingertips.

The hotel’s fitness center features state-of-the-art equipment, and the hotel’s spa offers a range of treatments designed to soothe and rejuvenate.

For those looking to explore, the hotel’s prime location in downtown Victoria also makes it easy to explore the city’s many attractions.

You can go as far to say that the city was built around this historic landmark!

Cocktails at Q Bar Fairmont Empress
Cocktails at Q Bar Fairmont Empress

Dining at the Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress Hotel knows how to set the mood when it comes to dining – and you don’t need to be heir to the throne to enjoy it.

Indulge in a delectable meal at Q at the Empress, where the culinary team creates modern Pacific Northwest dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Not to mention the impressive views of the harbor adorning the elegant atmosphere.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always head over to cozy Q Bar for a craft cocktail and small plates.

Don’t forget to indulge in their award-winning Afternoon Tea, an iconic ritual at this luxurious venue!

Soak up the majestic view of Victoria’s harbor while sipping English Breakfast tea and sampling fancy cakes that look almost too pretty to eat.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel has something for every foodie – no wonder it’s always a hit.

Parliament Building Victoria BC on a nice clear day
Parliament Building Victoria BC on a nice clear day

Location & Nearby Attractions

Why walk miles when you don’t have to? Stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and you can literally hop across the street to the Royal BC Museum.

There, you can explore the range of exhibits that delve into British Columbia’s historical and cultural past.

And when that’s done, cross the street to the Parliament Buildings. It won’t cost you a dime but is sure to be full of interesting sights!

With the Fairmont Empress Hotel located right in the heart of the inner harbor, exploring it all is a breeze.

Another must-see attraction in Victoria is Butchart Gardens, which is easily accessible by taking a shuttle across from the Empress.

The gardens are a stunning display of floral beauty, featuring over 900 varieties of plants and flowers.

Fishermans Wharf Colorful Residences
Fishermans Wharf Colorful Residences

Things to Add to Your Victoria Bucket List

There’s so many things to do in this vibrant city; it’s dizzying! Sign yourself up for a Hop-on-Hop-Off bus and make sure you tick these attractions off your bucket list:

Visit Fisherman’s Wharf: Take a water taxi and spot sea lions along the way. Grab some fish and chips; it’s a great spot to take in the sights and sounds of Victoria’s waterfront.

Take a Walking Food Tour: Join a walking food tour and explore Victoria’s culinary scene. From fresh seafood to artisanal chocolates, there’s something for everyone.

Go inside Craigdarroch Castle: Step back in time and explore the grandeur of Craigdarroch Castle. This Victorian-era mansion is a must-see for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Take a Seaplane Tour of Victoria: Get a bird’s-eye view of Victoria with a seaplane tour! See the city’s stunning coastline and surrounding islands from above.

Visit Victoria’s Chinatown: Immerse yourself in Victoria’s vibrant Chinatown! Explore the shops, restaurants, and historic buildings that make this neighborhood so unique.

Go Whale Watching: Get up close and personal with these majestic creatures on a whale-watching tour. Keep your eyes peeled for orcas, humpbacks, and more!

Go Small at Miniature World: Take a trip to Miniature World and experience a world of tiny wonders. From miniature castles to bustling cities, it’s a fun and unique way to spend an afternoon.

Go to the Victoria Bug Zoo: Get up close and personal with some creepy crawlies at the Victoria Bug Zoo. From giant walking sticks to hairy tarantulas, it’s a fascinating and educational experience.