The Victoria Experience

The Complete Guide to Victoria, British Columbia

Fairmont Empress Hotel


The Empress is a world-renowned hotel with over 400 rooms and a world-class spa. The hotel takes its name from Queen Victoria, who at the time of construction and completion by 1908, was known as the Empress of India. The architect was Francis Rattenbury, the same architect who designed the neighbouring British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

Inside alongside the spa is a restaurant called the Bengal Lounge, decorated in the Victorian style inspired by colonial India. The main dining room is called The Empress Room where visitors can experience above average dining for breakfast and dinner. The Empress is also well known for its afternoon tea which dates back to when the hotel was completed at the turn of the century. 

Among the hotel's many famous guests and dignitaries was poet and writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Sadly the original room named after him was closed in 2005 to make way for more space for private functions. 

The hotel is currently owned by a private company Bosa Development in Vancouver. The company is undertaking ongoing $30 million in renovations.