The Fairmont Empress Victoria, in beautiful British Columbia, has been an iconic fixture in the inner harbour since 1908. The former Canadian Pacific railway hotel had become a bit shabby, but in 2017 after a multi-year $60 million renovation she emerged from the ivy, refreshed, and rejuvenated for a whole new generation to admire and enjoy. The Queen has indeed returned and here are eight reasons you should visit when you’re in Victoria.

You Like Tea

Breezy, sophisticated, luxurious, the Lobby Lounge has been the setting for Tea at the Empress for many years.

Breezy, sophisticated, luxurious, the Lobby Lounge has been the setting for Tea at the Empress for many years.

Tea at the Empress is a quintessential Victoria experience. Don your favourite frock, put your pinky up, nibble on a signature Empress scone and enjoy the refurbished lounge like an aristocrat.  The china in which the tea is served is a replica of the pattern brought to the Empress in the 30’s during a visit by King George and Queen Elizabeth. They shipped over a 250-person service in advance of their tour, which they gifted to the hotel upon their departure.

Iconic china pattern for tea at the Empress

Vintage china pattern for tea at the Empress

You Like Gin

Empress Gin Photo MV

To celebrate the reopening of the Empress, the hotel collaborated with Victoria Distillers to create Empress 1908 Gin.  A regal purple in the bottle, the classic, juniper & spice scented gin subtly changes colour when you add a little mix. It’s a delightful way to toast the Queen especially when seated at the hip Q Bar sipping a signature cocktail.

You Like the Colour Grey

The new lobby of the Empress, in shades of grey, of course, topped off by the dazzling“Twill Flower,” a six-metre high, 250,000 crystal custom-designed chandelier.

The new lobby of the Empress, in shades of grey, topped off by the dazzling “Twill Flower,” a six-metre high, 250,000 crystal, custom-designed chandelier.

A considerable part of the renovation included giving the old Queen a fresh look. Every inch of the hotel has been touched with a modern aesthetic, while staying true to the bygone era, with décor in sophisticated shades and tones of grey from the brocade wallpaper to the carpeting and drapes.

You Like History

Opened in 1908 the hotel has seen Victoria grow from a small fishing town to a vibrant community and the seat of the provincial government. Groundbreakings, gold rushes, protests, important legislation and more have unfolded at her feet. Staying within her walls means you can tread the same floors Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers have all walked.

You Like Ocean Views

View of Empress from Inner Harbour Photo MV

Sitting at the foot of the inner harbour, the Empress has a prime view of ships coming and going, the spectacular sparkling ocean, and breathtaking sunsets.

You Like to Be Pampered

Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress. Photo Fairmont Empress

Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress. Note all the lovely, soothing tones of grey. Photo Fairmont Empress

With downy beds and fluffy pillows, you may not want to leave your room, or that ocean view! Just outside your door, the attentive staff is always ready to make you feel at home, and the Willow Stream Spa is steps away for the ultimate in pampering.

You Like Gardens

Lush greenery and flowers outside the Empress. Photo MV

The grounds of the Empress are always impeccably groomed with a revolving cycle of in-season flowers. Roses in the early summer, topiaries of orca, rhododendrons, and bulbs galore, the flora is never the same from month to month.

You Like Walking to Downtown Victoria Attractions

Walking along the inner harbour is a must, but take a short stroll and visit the grounds of the provincial parliament, peruse the fabulous collection at the Royal BC Museum, check out some salty tales at the Maritime Museum or wander slightly farther to Victoria’s legendary Chinatown.

Staying with the Queen is not for all subjects, but it doesn’t have to cost the crown jewels either. For that special occasion, do check out one of these special offers and make a stay at this unforgettable hotel a reality.