The grand lady of Victoria, the Fairmont Empress Hotel was built in over-the-top French chateau style by the Canadian Pacific Railway company, opening in 1908.
Victoria’s first hotel is still the grandest, and one of the most highly awarded hotels in the country. Over the last 100 years, all manner of famous people have stayed here, including Edward Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth and Shirley Temple.
Taking afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is an experience not to be missed, complete with Edwardian style service, clotted cream, scones and pots of tea. Bookings are essential.The style is more subcontinental colonial in the Bengal Lounge restaurant, where the menu features a curry buffet.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel has a grandstand location on Government Street smack bang in the city center, with front-seat views of the inner harbor.