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The Fairmont Empress
June 15, 2012
The hotel has a prime location on the waterfront in Victoria. The building is huge, ivy covered, and does have a sense of history. There were quite a few tour buses coming and going, and the hotel public areas seemed quite busy. There are plenty of stores on the street level, and the hotel is well located for shopping and walking tours. We were able to walk to Chinatown, Parliament building, etc.
The hotel was built in 1908, and so the rooms are all different, and the hallways are also quite wide. Many of the rooms have fireplaces, original windows, wallpaper in the bathrooms, high ceilings but do have modern touches such as flat screen TVs and wifi, and will be replacing their coffer makers as well. The Gold Floor rooms have much lighter and brighter decor. My closet even had a window which provided a great view of the Parliament building. The harbor view would be the ideal view for guests.
The hotel doesn't have many connecting rooms, but does offer suites that would work for families. The hotel has been non-smoking since this January. There is no air conditioning, but they say that the breeze off of the water helps, as well as ceiling fans, but for someone who needs A/C, this could be an issue. The hotel does have a Willow Stream Spa, indoor pool, and fitness room.