The Empress Hotel: What Every Traveller Needs to Know

The Empress Hotel, formally known as the Fairmont Empress, has been a landmark in Victoria's Inner Harbour since its opening in 1908. Just two years later the hotel underwent a significant expansion and then again in 1928. Within the past ten years, the hotel has undergone significant renovation, the most visible to the public is the removal of ivy from the facade and the addition of the covered grand entrance. The Empress Hotel remains a significant presence on Victoria's waterfront and was recognized as a National Historic Site in January of 1981. 

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Guests at the Empress enjoy what is arguably the best location in the city with the Royal BC Museum and Parliament buildings on one side, the inner harbour causeway directly across the street and the main downtown core on the other side. The hotel boasts an astounding 464 guest rooms and suites, many of which with magnificant harbour, city and garden views. And of course, the highlight for many guests is Afternoon Tea at the Empress. It's a tradition that is enjoyed by more than 400 guests daily and dates back to the hotel's opening. An unforgettable experience not to be missed! Read more about Tea at the Empress.

Amenities at the Empress Hotel

  • Many rooms with water views
  • Onsite restaurant and boutique
  • Pet-friendly; amenities include bed basket, food and water dishes, dry food, bottled water, treats, pet waste disposal bags, and litter boxes
  • Fitness centre
  • 3 designated wheelchair accessible rooms
  • Elevators
  • Onsite parking ($33 nightly) with some availability for over-height, recreational vehicles or trailers
  • Swimming pool
  • High-speed internet available in rooms for a fee (join the loyalty program to get it for free)
  • Onsite business centre
  • Onsite spa
  • Outdoor garden and picnic areas
  • Air conditioned rooms
  • Limited number of BMW bicycles available first come, first serve or rent from a local nearby vendor
  • Laundry services
  • Upgrade to Gold services to access a harbour-view terrace, complimetary breakfast and afternoon snacks
  • The hotel can provide you with a list of reputable and certified babysitting services to use during your stay


  • Check-in from 4:00pm; early check-in subject to availability and a fee
  • Check-out by 11:00 am; late check-out subject to availability and a fee
  • Minimum check-in age is 19
  • Rollaway/extra beds are not available
  • Cribs/infant beds are not available
  • Pet waiver form must be signed upon checking-in
  • Pets fee is $25 per night; 2 per room
  • No unattended pets to be left in the room
  • All pets to be leashed or carried through the lobby and public areas

Guest Comments

Overall guests at the Empress Hotel give the property a rating of excellent. They loved the historic architectural features, cleanliness of the hotel, polite and professional staff, the well manicured gardens and the perks such as complimentary bicycles. Guests found the rooms and the gym to be a bit small and some were disappointed to learn that parking and WiFi was not included in the room rate. Note: WiFi is free when you sign up for their loyalty program. 

We hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Victoria British Columbia.

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