Fairmont Empress; the Gold Lounge Experience

Last weekend I had to go to our provincial capital for a few days of business. Because I was going to be working in and around the Legislature, I decided to stay in the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Now, in the nature of disclosure, I have to say that I stayed in the Fairmont Empress back in November when I was in Victoria on a separate business trip. Many of the guests received a letter at check-out inviting us, when we returned to Victoria to try the Fairmont Gold level of accommodations. On this trip I took advantage of their offer for a free upgrade.

The best part of the Gold Experience? You know how the lobby of a hotel can be lined up with people checking in and checking out and all that confusion? Not for the Fairmont Gold.

I pulled in, handed my car keys to the valet and two other guys grabbed my cases and loaded them on a dolly and told me to go inside the hotel, grab an elevator to the second floor and head to the Fairmont Gold check in desk. I did so.

Upon my arrival to the check-in desk, all I had to do was say my name and good things began to happen. “Thank you for visiting us again Mr Robinsmith, we are very pleased to have you stay with us.”

Dillon Carfoot, the Assistant Manager took me on a little tour of the facilities beginning with the Fairmont Gold Lounge.

Fairmont Gold Lounge
Fairmont Gold Lounge

This is a lounge for the people who stay in the Fairmont Gold. It was a lovely respite from the work that I was involved in during my stay in the capital.

Every morning there is an expanded Continental Breakfast in the Fairmont Gold Lounge. Croissants, bagels, waffles, fresh fruit, yogurt and one hot egg dish each day.

Of course there was always the coffee, tea, espresso, and a variety of juices. An absolutely lovely way to start the day.

Fairmont Gold Lounge Desserts
Fairmont Gold Lounge Desserts


After the breakfast service is done each day there are small desserts available. These are the cutest little cakes and pastries that were truly delicious.

Three little pieces on each plate were the perfect mid afternoon snack.

Of course there is also a bar available to the patrons of the Fairmont Gold Lounge.

Fairmont Gold Bar
Fairmont Gold Bar

If you want a drink, you pour yourself a drink. There is a slip of paper there to make a note on so that you can be billed for what you consume. The bar is based on the honour system; you self-report what you drink.

From 4 to 7 pm each day there are also hot hors d’oeuvres available. I very much appreciated these after a day of grinding meetings.

There were plates with a selection of sushi rolls, smoked salmon, baked salmon and fresh prawns. Other plates had a selection of fine cheeses and cold cut meats. One day the hot plate had beef on skewers with a tamarind dipping sauce. Each day there were also bowls of fresh fruit including strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon.

The afternoon snacks were greatly appreciated. They took the edge off the afternoon and gave me the strength to continue with my meetings until dinner time.

However, the very best thing about the Fairmont Gold? When I called for my 6am wake-up call they asked if I wanted tea, coffee or juice brought up to my room for my wake-up call! And when they did the wake-up call a real person did the call. A real person with a kind voice that welcomed me to a new day. Fabulous stuff.

One other great thing about the Fairmont Gold is that everyone remembers your name. When I arrived at the Fairmont Gold Lounge they would greet me by name, “Good afternoon Mr Robinsmith.” Or good morning or good evening. And they ALWAYS sounded sincere with their greetings. A very nice touch.

Overall, the Fairmont Gold was a spectacular experience. I loved it. Tomorrow I will post more information and pictures of the room that I stayed in. Let me just give you a teaser; it was above and beyond all expectations.

Disclaimer; this review is based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation from the Fairmont Empress or anybody else for writing this review.

4 Comments

  1. I was on the second floor also, but didn’t have the “Gold” Experience. What was the cost of the upgrade?

  2. Yes please, since this upgrade was free, it would be nice to know how much the upgrade would cost so we can make a value judgement.

  3. Normally the upgrade at the Empress is $150, but if there is space in Fairmont Gold you can sometimes get it at check-in for $100.

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