The Fairmont Empress Hotel is a landmark on the inner harbor of Victoria and listed on the Historic Registry. We had an exceptional room and an unbelievable deal.
It is huge and very stately with its ivy covered walls. Bellmen man the circular front entrance. Underground parking is available for about $6.00 US per day for hotel guests.
The front lobby is spacious but underfurnished and worn looking. At elevator exit on upper floors, there is a gorgeous view of the inner harbor with sofa for viewing. The reserved room was with two beds for three of us. There were no two bed rooms available, but they could bring in a roll away. Before expressing my displeasure, the clerk consulted her manager and told me we'd be given a larger room at the same price quoted. We hit the jackpot.
Our room was on the end of a center hall and backed up to the corner of the building. The view was of the parking lot, not the harbor. This particular room was painted a lovely soft mint green and had very high ceilings, maybe 12 feet. There was a king sized bed, luxurious bedspread, French Provincial desk and armoire, upholstered sitting bench, and best of all, a circular sitting area with two chairs and a table. The crown moldings around the windows and ceiling were very Old World and the window ledge was angled and unique. The floor space was ample. The bathroom seemed very British with black and white tiles and goose-neck silver wall mirror over the sink. It reaked quality though it was smallish in size.
Though I was immediately swept away by the romantic look of this room, I was still skeptical about what my six foot son would be required to sleep on for the night. No roll away was in the room. After several calls downstairs, the "roll-away bed" arrived. It was a thick quality, regular-sized, twin box springs and mattress on wheels. My son was oh so comfortable and I was very happy. The housekeeping attendant who delivered the bed couldn't have been nicer or more helpful, and showered us with enough towels, washcloths, soaps, and shampoo to last a week. There was ample room in the circular alcove to place the twin bed and still be able to walk around it.
Due to a clerical eror, we were charged less than the usual rate for a standard two bed room, based on comparisons with friends also staying there. The concierge located next to the lobby elevator was helpful in getting dinner reservations, it took my own phone call to get the correct time. Maybe my tip wasn't enough.
There is definately an air of snobbery at this hotel but the service personnel tried hard to please. Staying at the Empress Hotel was a once in a lifetime event for us and very memorable.