The Fairmont Empress is the oldest and prettiest hotel in Victoria. It has really beautiful ivy growing on it that makes the hotel look like some kind of castle. And in the fall the ivy turns bright red and it looks like the building is bleeding. It’s a pretty classy joint. I just wouldn’t recommend staying there.
When my mom and I visited Victoria for the first time, we were booked to stay at the Empress. It has a great location, right in front of the downtown harbor (and I am a sucker for harbors). After we checked in, we went down many a hallway to get to our room. When we finally got there, we got to our room and it smelled kind of like
old people death. So we kind of sat there for a second and realized that the room was pretty warm too. We asked if the AC was working and the concierge told us that they didn’t have AC, but we could put a bucket of ice in front of a fan. “Hmm I’m sorry, we can do what with what?!” What kind of medieval suggestion is that? I would rather have someone fan me and feed me grapes than set up a fan with ice in front of it. But I digress.
There are a couple of really cool spots in the hotel. They’re really famous for their tea room which faces the harbor. Afternoon tea and scones are held there every day for a quick $60 a seat. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth have attended a luncheon (aka had lunch) in the tea room.
Also, the Empress has a luxurious spot called the Bengal Lounge. Apparently the lounge is supposed to have drawn “inspiration from Queen Victoria’s role as the Empress of India.” This is my favorite room in the whole place because it has that I-have-slaves-feel. Plus, they have a curry lunch and dinner buffet. Any place that offers a buffet is my new favorite place.