The Fairmont Empress in Victoria Canada recently unveiled the renovation of its Fairmont Gold Experience, providing guests one of the most luxurious and spacious lounges in all the Fairmont resorts.
The makeover includes the addition of 22 new Fairmont Gold guestrooms as well as the transformation of the Fairmont Gold lounge expanding the space to a huge 4,000 square feet.
The design, by San Francisco’s HBA firm, houses elements dating back to the Fairmont’s original 1908 architecture including a fireplace, steel beams and exposed brick archways.
In addition to the redesigned Lounge and Gold suites, there is also a great bar and restaurant, afternoon tea, and the largest indoor pool in Victoria.
There’s plenty of great seating options, including a new rectangular outdoor patio with views of the harbor, bistro seating, small library nooks and hidden alcoves. Most seats provide stunning views and there are many private nooks for relaxing with a cup of tea and enjoying the view.
Guests can enjoy a bevy of breakfast and brunch options in the Gold Lounge, as well as snacks and beverages throughout the day. The Lounge brunch/breakfast includes a huge variety of cheeses, deli meats, smoked salmon and assorted fruits. There is also a nice selection of breads, bagels, cereals and granola and four fresh squeezed juices that change daily. A huge Nespresso cappuccino machine provides lattes, cappuccinos, coffees and espressos and each day there is a different choice of egg, bacon, waffles, sausages, and other main breakfast dish choices.
In the afternoon, The Lounge offers enough small bites and wine choices to provide a nice light supper for those who don’t want to venture down to the main restaurant or outside of the hotel.
The new 22 revamped Gold suites offer stunning views of the harbor. Rooms include big comfy beds, a walk-in closet with a special view, sleek furnishings, rich fabrics in a brown and beige color scheme and marble bathrooms with a rainfall shower. There is also a tea/espresso machine, nice sitting area and a huge comfortable bed.
Q at the Empress
The 88-seat Q at the Empress restaurant has a contemporary design with lots of natural light highlighting the cherry wood ceilings and detailed molding. The menu focuses on local seasonal ingredients and utilizes the resort’s own vegetable and herb garden. Guests can begin with sharable seafood charcuterie with salmon jerky, tuna, octopus bacon and candied sablefish; bison carpaccio or the baby beet and burrata salad with blood orange dressing. Standout dishes include braised lamb shoulder rack, pan seared sablefish, duck confit with lentil cassoulet, salmon with sea kelp spaetzle, white wine braised rabbit and a chargrilled beef tenderloin.
Desserts include a special chocolate Empress cake, hazelnut chocolate pie, pistachio profiteroles and a frozen fig and Earl Grey tea parfait. Q also offers a nice variety of local wines by the glass. In addition to dinner, the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. Guests can head to the Q Bar for a cocktail made from the pretty purple Empress 1908 Gin. The special gin contains juniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, ginger root, and blue butterfly pea blossom.
Tea at the Empress
A trip to the Fairmont Empress isn’t complete without indulging in their famous Afternoon Tea. Tea at the Empress has been offered for more than a century and includes dishes highlighting the resort’s lavender from their rooftop garden, fresh local produce and honey for their in-house hives. The indoor seating is beautiful but if it’s warm enough then a table overlooking the harbor is a great way to enjoy the stunning views. Tea includes warm scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, tea sandwiches and a variety of sweets.
Spa and Pool
Willow Spa at the Empress
If you are staying at the Empress head down to the Willow Spa to enjoy the huge, heated pool and two hot tubs. This is the biggest indoor pools Victoria and has beautiful views of the outdoor Fairmont Gardens. You can also book a massage, facial or body treatment at the adjoining spa.
You can book a stay at the historic elegant Fairmont Empress at https://www.fairmont.com/empress-victoria.