Posted by: cherylyoung | April 6, 2013

Where are you going to take the most important lady in your life on Mother’s Day


Over the next week I am going to feature some of the most

 exciting and famous places to visit. 


 Let’s start with A Victoria Landmark that everyone should

visit once in a lifetime

The Jewel of the Pacific, The Fairmont Empress Hotel is

 one of Victoria’s highlights.


Cresting the city’s Inner Harbour, this 477-room hotel

 was built in the Edwardian style and recently restored

 to its original grandeur, with antique furniture and

 luxurious décor.


Considered to be the most photographed attractions on

 Vancouver Island, The Fairmont Empress was originally

 designed by Francis Rattenbury, and opened in 1908.

In true British tradition, the hotel is famous for its elegant

 Afternoon Tea – served to over 130,000 visitors annually!

 Savour tea in the finest tradition, accompanied by fresh

 seasonal fruit and Chantilly cream, traditional raison scones

 with thick Jersey cream, strawberry preserves, sandwiches,

 pastries and tarts.

All served with silver service in the elegant Tea Lobby,

 stately Harbourside Room or intimate Library Lounge.
Reservations are required and must be made directly with
 the hotel, a week or two in advance (250) 384-8111.

 Tables are held for 10 minutes after reservation time.


 Up to five seatings daily: from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Dress Code: Smart casual. Walking shorts, jeans that are
 not ripped or torn and running shoes are allowed.


Tank tops, sleeveless shirts, “short” shorts or cut-offs are

 not permitted.

Rising regally on the banks of Victoria’s Inner Harbour,
 The Fairmont Empress is the symbolic centrepiece of

 Victoria and conveniently located adjacent to the Victoria

 Convention Centre, Parliament Buildings, Royal BC Museum,

 shops and local attractions.
The hotel has long been accustomed to entertaining
 Hollywood celebrities; Rita Hayworth, Jack Benny,
 Pat O’Brien, Douglas Fairbanks, Katherine Hepburn,
 Bob Hope, Bing Crosby,Tallulah Bankhead, Roger Moore,
John Travolta,Barbara Streisland, Harrison Ford and a host
 of others have  passed through its lobby.


 Shirley Temple arrived accompanied by her parents amid

rumors that she had fled from California because of

 kidnapping  threats, a story borne from the presence of two

 huge bodyguards who took the room opposite hers and always

 left their door open.

 In 1965, there was much debate on whether to tear down

 what was becoming a faded, dowdy hotel, to make room
for  a more modern, functional high-rise hotel.
One local newspaper warned that, ‘Without this splendid
relic of the Edwardian era, literally tens of thousands of
tourists  will never return.


 This is the Mecca, this is the heart and soul of the city.’

The decision was announced on June 10, 1966:

The Empress would not be demolished.

 Instead she would embark on a $4 million campaign of

renovation and refurbishment, playfully dubbed

 ’Operation Teacup.’

The walls of the hotel contain stories of unusual guests and

employees. In 1987, a woman wrote about her wonderful

stay at The Empress and asked if other guests had received

a similar late night visitor: a little girl who had watched over

her bed and then floated across the room.

There are also the stories of an early 20th century maid,

who shows up now and again on the sixth floor to help

 with the cleaning.


Throughout its history, The Fairmont Empress has played

 host to kings, queens, movie stars and distinguished guests

 from around the world

. In 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales, waltzed into the dawn in

 the Crystal Ballroom – an event considered by Victorians

 to be of such importance that almost 50 years later, the

 obituaries of elderly ladies would appear under headlines

 such as, ‘Mrs. Thornley-Hall Dies.

 Prince of Wales Singled Her Out.’

In 1989, over $45 million was spent in the Royal Restoration;

 all the guest rooms were renovated, and a health club,

 indoor swimming pool and guest reception were added.

With an emphasis on craftsmanship, no attempt was made

 to give the hotel a new image.

 Instead, the goal was to restore The Fairmont Empress to

 her original elegance.


In 2001, the $7 million, 8,000 sq. ft., two-level Willow Stream

 spa was opened to compliment the hotel in a blend of

 traditional and contemporary style.

Willow Stream features 11 treatment rooms, 5 with exterior

 views, a Finnish sauna, steam room, Hungarian mineral bath

 and a wide range of full-service treatments inspired by

 the elements and reflective of Victoria’s stunning

 natural surroundings.
The strong emotions The Fairmont Empress evokes in many

 of her guests and protectors is exemplified in the statement

 made by an irate gentleman, as workers raised the sign

above the front entrance: ‘Anyone who doesn’t know this

 is The Empress shouldn’t be staying here.’

Contact Details:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel
721 Government Street
BC V8W 1W5

Tel: (250) 384-8111





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