‘Return of the Queen:’ $60-million renovation at Empress Hotel complete

'Return of the Queen:' $60-million renovation at Empress Hotel complete

WATCH: Victoria’s iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel now has a new look. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

The most famous hotel in Victoria now has a new look. 

For the past two years, the Fairmont Empress Hotel has undergone a $60-million renovation. 

“We tore out the entire upper lobby so our guests could have floor to ceiling views,” the hotel’s general manager Indu Brar said. 

The crowning touch is a 250,000 piece crystal chandelier in the lobby called the “Twill Flower.” 

The magnificent piece was made by five master craftsmen in the Czech Republic. “We call it the engagement ring,” Brar said.  

The “Q” Restaurant and Bar features luxury dining with a royal twist.  

Vibrant artwork of Queen Victoria during her reign lines the walls of the restaurant. 

“We’ve even created our own Empress gin,” Brar said. 

Guests can continue to enjoy the famous Tea at the Empress in the Lobby Lounge, a modern Victorian parlour, and take a walk through history. 

More than 100 photographs and historic documents hang throughout the hallways. 

“The reason this particular wing is so big is because it was built so two women with the big dresses could walk down the halls side-by-side and not run into each other” explained Brar. 

The crawling ivy that covered the facade of the hotel was removed to expose Edwardian architecture. “What you see now is pure architecture,”  Brar said.

It’s the largest renovation since the hotel was built in 1908.

Brar believes the new additions will serve visitors to the Capital City for generations to come.

“We’re so excited for the next 100 years.” 

The Empress will host a private party, called the Return of the Queen, to celebrate the completed renovation will take place on June 28.


Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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