A reborn castle by the bay
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What it is
A storied Edwardian hotel with an iconic afternoon tea.
What it isn't
The Empress is old, but not dowdy; she’s currently in the midst of a $40 million renovation that will have other stately grande dames cowering in their mahogany-inlayed corners.
What we think
A 250,000-crystal Lasvit chandelier will greet you in the lobby upon entering the Empress—would you expect anything less for a hotel named for royalty? The luxe scene continues in the 464 rooms (many of which overlook the harbor, with gilded and velvet touches), the spa (think indoor waterfalls), and even that legendary tea service, now served in a jewel box space designed by San Francisco's Puccini Group. Meals conclude with the hotel’s new signature chocolate torte, designed in France and topped with a teensy chocolate crown modeled after Queen Elizabeth II’s.
You're here because
It’s not a vacation unless you’re sleeping like a star; Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand have all stayed here.
With all this talk of loose leaf tea, the very coolness of a night at Q Bar shocks you…where else can you sip a cocktail made of Victoria gin, fir shrub and sea cider while listening to live jazz?
Restaurants & Bars
Q at The Empress – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in the most storied room in Victoria and a must-visit culinary experience.
Tea at the Empress – An absolute must attend event on Vancouver Island. Steeped in history with a modern chic ambiance highlighted by a selection of 21 loose leaf teas, including our famous Empress Blend.
Q Bar – Open from 11 a.m. – 12 a.m with superb culinary offerings until midnight. Features a vibrant selection of signature cocktails, an extensive wine list and enticing local craft beers on tap
Lobby Lounge – Chic and sophisticated, home of world renowned Tea at the Empress as well as an elegant evening menu and cocktail service.
Sixty miles from Seattle by breezy ferry, but within a queenly stroll of the neo-baroque parliament building (one block away) and the fresh steamed crabs at Fisherman’s Wharf (five blocks).