Fairmont Empress

721 Government Street | Victoria, CA V8W 1W5  [SEE MAP]Victoria, CA  [SEE ADDRESS]

Courtesy of Fairmont Empress

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Completely renovated in 2017
Bathrooms are on the smaller side

A landmark in its own right, the Fairmont Empress Hotel is easily recognized by its old-fashioned facade. The elegant building (a National Historic Site of Canada) draped in emerald green ivy opened its doors in 1908 and was designed by the same architect of the Parliament Buildings nearby. Plus, a $60 million renovation completed in 2017 has restored the hotel's interior to its former glory. Accommodations are outfitted with king- or queen-sized beds and offer views of the city, courtyard or the Inner Harbour, though recent guests said the bathrooms are on the smaller side. The Gold level luxury rooms and suites include continental breakfast, free evening hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and access to a private lounge. During your stay, step back in time and embrace the Victorian tradition of afternoon tea at the hotel. For other eats on-site, head to The Q at the Empress, which serves locally sourced Pacific Northwest cuisine. After your meal, indulge in a relaxing Willow Stream Spa treatment, also recently renovated. And if you're a Le Club AccorHotels program member and choose to stay here, you'll be able to earn frequent flier miles.

Victoria, CA
Hotel Class
Property Type
Hotel, 464 rooms
Primary View
City center, Ocean, Bay
Traditional, Modern, Opulent
Best For
Business travelers, Families, Couples, Solo travelers, Groups


  • 4.0Hotel Class
  • EXCELLENTCritic Rating


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Critic Reviews

Other Awards

  • AAA/CAA Four Diamond Awards 2019
  • Condé Nast Readers' Choice List 2018
  • Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Awards 2018



Designed by Francis Rattenbury, who also designed the Parliament Buildings across the way, the solid Edwardian grandeur of the Empress has made it a symbol of the city.



The Empress has always been Victoria’s favorite meeting place and hangout, and you’ll find government staff from the legislature hobnobbing in the lounge and locals celebrating special occasions in the posh Empress Room.

Frommer's Exceptional

Condé Nast Traveler


Opt for a corner room with views of the harbor or the hotel’s manicured lawn, and don’t leave without having proper British-style high tea at their Bengal Lounge.

Travel + Leisure


Ivy-covered, British-inspired 1908 hotel (don't miss the traditional afternoon tea with scones and finger sandwiches) facing the Inner Harbour; one of Victoria's best addresses.

Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2018

Other Awards

  • AAA/CAA Four Diamond Awards 2019
  • Condé Nast Readers' Choice List 2018
  • Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Awards 2018

Guest Reviews

A hotel's guest rating is calculated using data provided under license by TripAdvisor. A total of 4497 have reviewed the Fairmont Empress, giving it a rating of 4, on a scale of 1-5.

TripAdvisor Travel Rating: 

TripAdvisor Travel Rating: TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 4497 reviews 4.0 (based on 4497 reviews)

Guest Rooms

Recently reopened in May 2017 after a $60 million renovation, the Fairmont Empress' guest rooms feature elegant, traditional decor with updated furnishings, including dark wooden furniture, gold and lucite light fixtures, beige and taupe walls with ornate wallpaper and crown molding. Amenities include beds with down duvets, marble bathrooms with hair dryers, coffee and tea making facilities, flat-screen TVs and terry cloth bathrobes. Views are either of the city or property's courtyard. The 65 new Fairmont Gold rooms and suites boast Inner Harbour views and come with exclusive perks like free breakfast, private check-in, detailed itineraries and more. Join the free Fairmont President's Club loyalty program to avoid fees for Wi-Fi service and earn upgrades and perks.
  • Wi-Fi is $14.95 CAD (about $12 USD) per day for non-members

Standard room size250 square feet

  • Internet (with fee)
  • Premium channels
  • Workspace/desk
  • Minifridge
  • Bathrobes/slippers
  • Minibar
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Separate shower
  • Separate tub
  • Wireless Internet
  • Guest rooms with patios and balconies
  • Adjoining rooms available

Location & Parking

The Fairmont Empress is located in the heart of downtown Victoria, just steps away from the area's popular Inner Harbour. Along with its prime location by the water, the hotel is also close to the Parliament buildings and is within walking distance of other top attractions, shops, restaurants and museums, including the Royal BC Museum and The Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Guests can also walk to the ferry, seaplane and Helijet terminals, as well as local transit.
  • Budget Victoria rental car across the street
  • Victoria International Airport is about 17 miles north
  • Valet parking and self-parking is available for $32 CAD (about $26 USD)
  • 24-hour valet parking ($32 CAD)
  • 24-hour self-parking ($32 CAD)
  • Airport shuttle (with fee)
  • Car service (with fee)

Within walking distance of:

  • Grocery store
  • Movie theater
  • Theater
  • Shopping
  • Bus stop
  • Train station
  • Subway/metro stop
  • Restaurants
  • Beach


The Q at The Empress is the hotel's main restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Q serves Pacific Northwest cuisine made with regional ingredients from local farmers and artisans as well as the chef's own vegetable and herb garden. The Q Bar serves drinks and coffee, as well as a bar menu with a small selection of tapas-style dishes. Guests can also take part in the seasonal afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., October through April.

    Number of restaurants1

    • Fine dining
    • Casual dining
    • Quick service cafe/coffee shop/marketplace
    • Bar/lounge
    • Room service
    • 24-hour room service
    • Free breakfast


    The hotel offers a heated indoor lap pool, an indoor whirlpool and a childrens wading pool.
    • Pool open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
    • Pool service available
    • Family pool
    • Infinity pool
    • Whirlpool/hot tub
    • Adults-only pool
    • Lap pool
    • Wading pool
    • Lazy river
    • Seasonal
    • Indoor
    • Outdoor
    • Indoor/outdoor combo
    • Pool bar
    • Lifeguard on duty
    • Poolside service
    • Waterslide
    • Deck chairs or cabanas


    The Willow Stream Spa reopened in April of 2017 after a renovation. It features more than 85 treatments, including an array of massage therapies, body treatments, facials and couples services. Signature treatments include the Coastal Retreat, which includes body exfoliation, a shower, massage, body wrap, hair conditioning and gel masque. Spa guests receive access the to the mineral pool, the steam room and the Finnish-style sauna. The spa also offers salon services, including manicures, pedicures, waxing, tinting and makeup application.

      Services offered:

      • Massage
      • Facial
      • Body treatments (i.e. scrubs, wraps)
      • Salon services
      • Outdoor treatment area
      • Steam room
      • Sauna


      The Fairmont Empress has several activities and amenities for its young guests. Children receive a welcome amenity at check-in and thoughtful touches like child-sized bathrobes are available upon request. Kids ages 5 and younger eat for free from the childrens menu and children ages 6 to 12 eat for half-price from the regular menu. The hotel offers a scavenger hunt around the property, complimentary bicycles and a childrens wading pool. Other activities include a Prince and Princess afternoon tea and in-room movies with refreshments (additional fees apply for some activities).
      • Babysitting services available for additional fee
      • Kids club
      • Cribs
      • High chairs


      The fitness center features two saunas, cardio machines, strength-training equipment, free weights and men's and women's locker rooms. The Fairmont Fit program provides complimentary workout apparel, footwear, yoga mats and MP3 players to Fairmont Premier and Platinum members (small additional fee for other President's Club members) and the hotel has BMW bicycles that all loyalty club members are allowed to use.
      • Open daily from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
      • Weight equipment
      • Cardio equipment
      • Yoga mats
      • Free fitness classes
      • Premium fitness classes (with fee)
      • Bicycles (with fee)
      • Tennis
      • Guided runs
      • Paddle boats
      • Motor boats


      The Fairmont Empress offers 23,000 square feet of meeting and event space that can accommodate groups of 12 to 1,200 guests. The hotel features two of Victoria's largest ballrooms, several smaller meeting rooms and a dedicated boardroom space. The Crystal Ballroom features glittering chandeliers, ornate wall tapestries, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a Bose sound system. For smaller gatherings, the Library features hardwood floors, wall paneling, a working fireplace and harbor views. The 24-hour business center has computer work stations, mailing services and faxing, photocopying and laser printing capabilities. On-site audiovisual equipment support and catering are available
      • Parliament buildings are one block south
      • Victoria Conference Centre is located on the other side of the hotel

      Number of meeting rooms22

      • Business center
      • Meeting rooms
      • Meeting and event planners available


      Pets are treated like royalty at the Fairmont Empress, with in-room amenities like a bed basket, food and water bowls, bottled water, treats and waste disposal bags. A fee of $25 CAD (about $21 USD) per pet per night is added to the guestroom bill.
      • The hotel offers maps of pet-friendly areas in the city as well as dog-walking trails
      • Litter boxes available for cats
      • Pets allowed (with fee)
      • Dog walking
      • Pet-sitting


      The Fairmont Empress offers two of Victoria's largest ballrooms for wedding ceremonies and receptions, as well as the romantic Rose Garden for outdoor celebrations during the summer season. The ornate Crystal Ballroom can fit up to 320 guests for a banquet-style event, 500 guests for receptions or up to 280 guests for dinner and dancing, while the smaller, refined Ivy Ballroom can hold 175 guests for seated dinners. Both ballrooms are equipped with Bose sound systems. For more intimate weddings, the Library's wood paneling, fireplace and harbor views offer a classic, cozy space that is able to fit 30 guests for a banquet or 50 for a reception. The Rose Garden, located at the southern end of the grounds, is filled with color during the spring and summer, and the hotel offers an indoor backup venue in case of inclement weather.

        Maximum wedding guest capacity500

        • Hotel hosts weddings
        • Outdoor space for weddings
        • Wedding planners available

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        Find the Best Price

        at the Fairmont Empress

        Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

        Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.