Victoria’s iconic Fairmont Empress was named best historic hotel in the Americas this year – a prestigious award granted by Historic Hotels Worldwide.
The destination historic landmark overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour is part of a series of Fairmont hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway to serve as destinations along the transcontinental line. The Empress was designed by British architect Francis M. Rattenbury and built between 1904 and 1908 with the intention of catering to the wealthy.
Over the years, in addition to welcoming guests from across the globe, the Empress has hosted royalty, international leaders and celebrities, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Barbra Streisand, Harrison Ford and many others.
Today, it’s known for its lush front gardens, its celebrated Afternoon Tea, and château-like architecture. The hotel has undergone a number of renovations since opening, with the most recent $60-million update finished in 2017.
“We like to say that Fairmont Empress is Where Modern Meets Iconic and I believe this award confirms that we may have gotten this right,” said Indu Bar, Fairmont Empress general manager.