Beacon Hill Park
What a better way to take in the atmosphere and learn a little bit of the local history than in a horse drawn carriage? As you leisurely ride through Beacon Hill Park or along the blossom-lined streets of James Bay, you could enjoy a picnic lunch packed for you by the hotel. Or, take a leisurely 10min. walk up to this city park to admire the flowers, feed the ducks or pet the animals at the petting zoo.
Explore the Inner Harbour or the Gorge Waterway in a kayak. Guided tours are available for beginners and can be booked through our concierge. You’ll be a pro in no time!
Blessed with the most moderate climate in Canada, exploring Victoria and area on 2 wheels can be done virtually year round. Scooters and bicycles are available for rent from Cycle BC, located directly behind The Fairmont Empress Hotel. The nearby Galloping Goose trail boasts 373 acres and 60 kilometers of meandering trails and breathtaking views. This amazing experience can be for a couple hours or last all day.
Royal British Columbia Museum
Rated one of the best in North America, this facility offers an incredible learning experience of the natural history of British Columbia and is conveniently located across the street from The Fairmont Empress hotel. The Ice Age, First Nations and Early Settlement displays provide valuable insight into our past and are permanent exhibits. Visiting exhibits are showcased throughout the year.
Learn about the history of The Fairmont Empress, with Walkabout Tours. Celebrating Centennial in 2008, you will hear the changes the hotel saw during the past 100 years. Afterwards enjoy the World Famous Afternoon Tea in the historic Tea Lobby. No visit to the Empress is complete without indulging in Afternoon Tea. Served daily in the Tea Lobby, Palm Court or The Empress Room II.Reservations are highly recommended, dress is smart casual.
Willow Stream Spa
Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress is a full service spa located on the reception level of the hotel. Our Experience Coordinators at Willow Stream will help you choose the perfect experience for your needs, then their Massage Technicians and Aestheticians will customize your experience even more once you are there.
Shop Till You Drop
Downtown Victoria is gaining a reputation as an eclectic shopping Mecca. Business owners have joined together to promote their districts and make their areas true destinations for shopping. Some areas include the Design District, Fabulous Fort, Antique Row, Historic China Town and Government Street. With so many shopping choices, and not always a lot of time, we thought it would be useful to provide a list of our favorite shops and boutiques available at the front desk upon request. Everything is within walking distance so explore our downtown and discover the variety of products and services available. Shops include:
Sweet Dreams Boutique - Beautiful little shop specializing in superior quality bedroom linens, duvets, pillows and other made-in-B.C. products.
Munro’s - Described as “Canada’s most magnificent bookstore”. Located in a heritage building with a 24’ coffered ceiling and stained glass windows. Superb selection of fiction titles and children’s books.
Kaboodles - For kids and silly adults, Kaboodles has been Victoria’s downtown toy store for years. Everything from puzzles, games and wooden trains to cool spy toys.
Scallywags - Delightful children’s store featuring clothing for newborns to pre-teens, plus an excellent selection of footwear.
Rogers’ Chocolates - For more than 100 years, this Victoria establishment has been producing fine, handmade chocolates. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolates with creamy centres, chocolates with nuts, chocolate-covered ginger, espresso beans and caramel. Exquisite chocolates beautifully wrapped and ready for giving. Rogers' Chocolates has something to surprise and delight the chocolate lover in everyone.
Beadworld - Your downtown source for beads, threading materials, craft supplies, books and tools, as well as original jewellery.
Button and Needlework Boutique - One of Victoria’s most specialized stores, with an enticing selection of needlework supplies, beautiful buttons from around the world, ribbons and fine notions.
British Importers - Victoria’s finest men’s wear store. Labels include Hugo Boss, Armani and Calvin Klein. There is also a women’s wear section.
Hughes - Designs for men and women. Located in the historic Majestic Theatre, Hughes is a showcase for designers from around the world such as Lida Baday (Canada) and Cole Haan (USA).
Nushin - European designer fashions, shoes, and accessories. Anne Klein, Marccain, Le Full, Luisa Cerano, Versace and Just Cavalli
Roberta’s Hats - Fashion fun for men, women and children in casual to formal styles. One-of-a-kind crafts from many talented Canadian Milliners.
She She Bags - Hand bags galore, every woman’s dream.
Dig This - An exceptional selection of gifts and gear for gardeners. Everything you need to create the garden of your dreams
Irish Linen Stores - A selection of quality Irish linen and embroideries. Products include Damask guest towels and tablecloths, novelty tea towels and appliqué doilies from the Madeira Islands.
Original Christmas Village - Enjoy the spirit of the festive season all year long! Thousands of Christmas treasures, tree trimmings and collectibles.
Oscar and Libby’s - This bright colourful store has everything that is fun and funky. Discover, zany greeting cards, magnets and jewellery. Gifts for the upbeat and offbeat such as rhinestone belts and designer rubber boots.
Paboom - Home accessories that are fun, artful and affordable. Best selection of candles, kitchen gadgets and photo frames.
Tuscan Village - Gorgeous shop with everything you need for an Italian kitchen.
Wine Barrel - A must-stop shop for wine lovers. Premier supplier of the best B.C. wines, including Icewine. Accessories include Riedel glassware, books and wine-based foods.