Renewed Heritage, Modern Luxury. Fairmont Empress is excited to announce renovations to update and improve the hotel. Spanning two years, renovations will be made to all guest rooms with a modern luxury and upscale design inspired by Vancouver Island’s nature of gardens and the sea. Fairmont Gold expands from 45 to 65 rooms and suites, and include the addition of a new Fairmont Gold Lounge & Patio, offering guests a first and lasting impression of Victoria. The renovations include the addition of a Royal Suite providing guests an unrivalled, luxurious oasis in an expansive suite with a breathtaking view of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The Royal Suite is perfect for entertaining with a spacious parlour and dining room for at least eight, powder room, full spa-bath and luxurious king suite. No details will be spared to bring modern luxury to the forefront of Fairmont Empress’ next chapter.

Renovation Timelines

Given the vast size of the property, the hotel will be divided into two distinctive areas for the renovations, notably North and South. Phase 1 of the renovation is expected to occur from October 2015 to May 2016 and will see the renovation of 245 rooms and suites including the Fairmont Gold lounge and patio, harbourview suites, tea room, restaurant, and lower level meeting spaces. The North Wing located on Humboldt Street will be fully operational to welcome guests during the Phase 1 renovation as will The Bengal Lounge. During renovations, restaurants temporarily may be relocated to other spaces as required. Phase 2 is expected to run October 2016 to May 2017 to complete the remaining rooms in The Humboldt Wing and include the spa, fitness centre and lobby areas.

Business As Usual

The renovations present an exciting, new future for Fairmont Empress and strategic care was taken to ensure guests were not affected by the hotel renovations. During Phase 1 of the renovations from October 2015 to May 31, 2016, guest rooms and suites including Fairmont Gold are available in the Humboldt Wing on the south side of the hotel.

Fairmont Gold

The warm hospitality, services and amenities guests have come to expect from Fairmont Gold will continue to be offered during renovations. The Fairmont Gold Lounge, Rooms and Suites have relocated to the Humboldt Wing for guests’ comfort and enjoyment from October 12, 2015 to May 31, 2016. Newly renovated Fairmont Gold rooms and suites will start being revealed in April 2016 and the hotel is pleased to advise Fairmont Gold is expanding with 65 rooms and suites including the addition and expansion of the Fairmont Gold Lounge and Patio located above “The Empress” sign and the addition of the Royal Suite in the former lounge area.

New Restaurant
Exciting plans are taking centre stage to create a new restaurant and bar in the heart of the hotel overlooking the harbour. Not only the hottest in market for locals and visitors, the new restaurant and lounge will embrace the celebrated local products of Vancouver Island and leverage the hotel’s expanded rooftop herb and vegetable garden. We will continue to showcase Victoria and Vancouver Island as destinations heralded for its creative culinary scene.

New Restaurant Facts:

  • Empress Dining Room will be renovated and reinvented boasting an 88-seat dining room, a 65-seat bar, and 58-seat seasonal patio.
  • The former harbourside room will feature a stunning 14-seat marble bar overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
  • Restaurant retains its ornate architectural details, juxtaposed with contemporary furniture, lighting and music.
  • Menu features locally inspired cuisine and a carefully curated wine list supported by a new wine cellar.
  • Bar will showcase expertly crafted cocktails with a diverse list of draft beers and wines.
  • Feature live, local music in the evenings.
  • Stay tuned for a new restaurant name to be announced shortly.

Tea Room and Lobby Lounge: 

  • The area that is known today as the “Tea Lobby,” will return to its former function as a Lobby Lounge.
  • Retaining the revered architectural detail, some furniture will be restored and re-purposed while integrated with tasteful new pieces.
  • The room will also see the addition of a cozy bar with a patisserie showcase that will feature signature creations from our Pastry Team to be enjoyed in the lounge or “to go.”
  • During the day, the Tea Room & Lobby Lounge will continue to offer our renowned “Tea at the Empress” experience.
  • In the evening, the Tea Room & Lobby Lounge will emerge as a lively, social hub within the hotel featuring classic cocktails, local and imported wines, and a menu from our kitchen ideal for sharing.

Bengal Lounge

In support of these exciting new restaurants, the time has also come for a new era in the Bengal Lounge.  The Bengal Lounge originally opened as the hotel’s Reading and Writing Room, and then the Coronet Lounge.  While the future use of this room is still undecided, it will certainly continue to be an integral space within the hotel. The Bengal Lounge’s last day of service is expected to be April 30, 2016, but the legacy will live forever.

Willow Stream Spa

Willow Stream Spa is Victoria’s luxury full-service spa. An inviting urban oasis to feel relaxed, energized and full of vitality. Whether a full spa day escape or an hour in between your busy day, Willow Stream Spa is the perfect place to find your energy.

Hotel Renovation Design

Hotel owners retained renowned architect, James Cheng, a visionary respected globally for his architectural mastery. Revered hotel and restaurant designers Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) and the Puccini Group have created a masterful renovations plan for Fairmont Empress. HBA and Puccini have worked with acclaimed hotel and restaurant designers including several Fairmont properties. Click the link to see rendering previews of proposed renovations.