Fairmont Victoria Empress

Discussion in 'Fairmont | President's Club' started by thetenken, Apr 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. thetenken
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    thetenken Silver Member

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    I stayed at the Empress in April.

    I arrived via seaplane, and the Empress is smack dab in the heart of Victoria, right next to the main harbor. It has a very grand, historic appearance, and has two sections: the older, ivy-covered main building and the newer, taller addition. The hotel was very luxurious and grand, and I had booked a regular king-size rate. I was "upgraded" from a regular King to a Harborview Queen. Smaller bed, better view, I guess it was an upgrade. I was also checking in early, so perhaps the other upgrade would have been better. Who knows.

    The staff is very, very pleasant and helpful. I like how diligent they were, and were very accommodating. They helped me get the BMW bike, kept me apprised about the Victoria Clipper, and were able to direct me around Victoria. First rate. They even arranged for late checkout to around 2:30pm.

    The room itself was very quaint. Nothing super nice, but it was definitely an older room remodeled. It is a historic hotel. Nothing really to complain about, but nothing to rave about either. The view of the harbor was very nice. No HD on the TVs (lack of HD feed?). Amenity given was a chocolate dessert with some biscuits. Was very good.

    The facilities were great. Good exercise room, and nice pool and jacuzzi.

    I had afternoon tea in the tea room, which had great atmosphere. Live music, and it just exuded presence. Friends of mine in Victoria say the White Heather has better afternoon tea (and is way cheaper), but I had a very pleasant experience and thought most of the tea food was very good. Service was excellent. Never tried any of the restaurants here.

    Hotel also has a variety of shoppes and is connected to the convention center.

    All-in-all, a great place to stay in Victoria, unless you are looking for an ultra-modern hotel.
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for the in-depth review!:) Indeed Fairmont has now a split personality, great historic hotels and great modern hotels, it truly depends for what the individual traveler is looking for!;)
     
  3. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Great review thetenken!

    The restoration of the Empress took place in the early 1990's, and was a 3 three year $50 Million CAD project. The section facing Humboldt street is actually not new- the only new part is the arrivals lobby, the shops above it, and the elevator bank- everything else was restored.

    The Empress is a beautiful property- and the service on the Gold level is absolutely excellent. One point here is that spending the extra for a Harbour view is really worth it- waking up overlooking the inner harbour is a great experience.

    Sunday Brunch here is also a special treat not to be missed, as are drinks in the Bengal lounge (note the real tiger skin hanging over the fireplace).
     
  4. thetenken
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    thetenken Silver Member

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    You're absolutely right. Apparently the two side towers were added in 1908 and 1928. I just assumed they were newer than that because the ivy didn't cover those areas...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Empress_(hotel)
     
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  5. En-Route
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    En-Route Silver Member

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    Does it have AC yet?

    A few years ago I attended a convention there in summer.One of the years where temperatures actually hit 80F for an extended period of time.Open windows at night at a hotel like the Victoria was both right and wrong.
     
  6. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I don't think so. The temperature in Victoria usually doesn't require Air Conditioning. If you really want Air Conditioning in Victoria, the Ocean Pointe which is managed by Delta Hotels is directly across the harbour has AC.
     
  7. En-Route
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    En-Route Silver Member

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    I was quite fine with it.

    Our attendees from south of the 49th were not impressed at all.

    Have stayed at Ocean Pointe .Nice property
     

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