This summer, we had a chance to visit the west coast once again – but this time, we were actually visiting Victoria, BC! Any guesses for where we stayed? If you guessed Fairmont Empress – you would be right!
Location! Location! Location!
Fairmont Empress is located in the heart of downtown Victoria, walking distance from the city’s inner harbour and other major tourist attractions. Originally, Faizan and I were thinking of renting a car, but once we started mapping out our itinerary, we realized that there really was no need – the hotel is at such a prime location! We were able to walk to the Royal BC Museum, Beacon Hill Park, Prince of Whales (whale watching tour), and bike to Fisherman’s Wharf. The hotel even has BMW bikes you can book in advance – an awesome option for anyone looking to head a bit father out. Overall, we were super glad we left the car seat at home!
Kids Rule the Castle
Travelling with a baby is always a bit nerve-wracking at first. But we honestly had the most amazing experience at Fairmont Empress – and I definitely think a big part of that is due to their Kids Rule the Castle package. Their staff were so kind and caring towards Safina – and basically treated her like a real-life princess the whole time. I can’t wait to go back once she’s a bit older to fully enjoy this wonderful offer once again (inshallah).
Here are just some of the things included in the package:
- Daily breakfast for the family (2 adults and 2 children)
- A Winston the Empress Dog stuffed animal for each child
- An Empress children’s activity book with scavenger hunt for each child
- Milk & cookies amenity
- Children aged 6-11 dine for 50% off when ordering from the regular menu
- Children under 5 dine for free when ordering from the children’s menu
This offer is available year-round and is the perfect option for families with little ones!
If you’ve been following us from day one, you know how much we love Fairmont Gold. And if you’re new here, just know that Fairmont Gold takes your luxury hotel experience to another level. Fairmont Gold is basically a “hotel within a hotel” experience – where the staff know you by name and are determined to make your stay the most comfortable and unforgettable getaway you’ve ever had.
Some of the benefits of choosing Fairmont Gold are listed below:
- Private check-in and check-out
- Access to the exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge
- Complimentary Self-Parking
- Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast daily
- Complimentary afternoon snacks and beverages
- Complimentary evening canapés and honour bar
- Dedicated attentive Concierge services at your request
Similar to many of the other Fairmont properties we’ve stayed at, hanging out in the Gold Lounge at Fairmont Empress was definitely our favourite part of the whole Gold experience. We would always start off our day with the most amazing breakfast spread and then end off in the same place with some tea (coffee for Faizan) while soaking in breathtaking views of the most remarkable sunset I’ve ever seen! Sometimes after Safina would fall asleep, I would sneak away while Faizan would stay in the room with her, just to get some me-time and grab a night cap by the fire. These were truly some of my favourite memories from this trip!
Would you believe that Fairmont Empress has been serving Afternoon Tea for 113 years? Ever since they opened their doors to the public! Although we’ve had our fair share of Afternoon Tea, the Lobby Lounge at The Empress was honestly the busiest (and most luxurious) we’ve ever seen. The fact that they were so busy on a weekday confirms that this experience is not to be missed! Highly recommend making a reservation in advance of your stay, to ensure you do not miss out on this royal experience.
I tried the Bella Coola and Faizan had the Safari Masala Chai. We both loved our teas and our server even offered to bring Safina some caffeine-free tea as well. I do think she was a tad bit too young to enjoy the tea experience (under one at the time), but what she missed out on the tea – she made up for with the biscuits! She LOVED the biscuits and scones. I kind of didn’t want to share – but since we were on vacation, I decided to be nice. Faizan loved the finger sandwiches and we all enjoyed the desserts. The chocolate dipped macaron was my absolute favourite – how genius is that? Highly, highly recommend adding some tea-time to your itinerary when visiting Victoria.
Lunch on the Lawn
During the summer months, Fairmont Empress offers an amazing picnic option called “Lunch on the Lawn.” Since we visited in August, we were lucky enough to snag a spot before they closed for the season in September! We chose the vegetarian option which included: farmhouse cheese, edamame & English pea hummus, faro & flax bread, heirloom tomatoes & cucumber salad, Saanich strawberries (with fresh cream), fried cauliflower, and individual cakes. Everything was super fresh and tasty. Overall, just sitting on the Castle’s lawn, people-watching, and taking in the incredible views of inner harbour was truly the perfect way to start our trip!
I’m sure Lunch on the Lawn will make a comeback next summer – so if you’re visiting then, definitely check them out! You don’t need to be staying at the hotel to make a reservation, so feel free to inquire before you arrive.
All-in-all, if you’re planning a visit to the west coast any time soon, I highly recommend adding Victoria to your list! Even if its just for a couple of nights, staying at Fairmont Empress will definitely be worth it. If you’re travelling with kids, it’ll be an even better experience as I can guarantee they will love Canada’s Castle on the Coast!