The Summers Life

Kids Rule The Castle

At The Fairmont Empress


This Summer has been different in more ways than one. I am sure most of you can relate.

I am sure most of you can relate. This has been an unusual summer in many, many ways; easing travel restrictions, wide spread forest fires and a first ever ‘heat dome’ causing many of us to scramble indoors and cuddle up to the air conditioner. Families are playing it safe, travelling within the Province and re-discovering favourite camp sites and hotels.

Between moving to the burbs a few months ago, the work needed to pack and organise a house, massive renovations and a husband who prefers ‘glamping’ over camping, I have to say, getting everyone geared up to head out on a 3-night family vacation was the last thing on my mind…



Lucky for us, our designation was to The Fairmont Empress, a luxurious, world class hotel that encourages you bring your dog and gregarious children. We were very excited to check out their new family package; Kids Rule the Castle. The package includes a luxury family accommodation, daily breakfast for two adults and two kids, a Winston stuffie, an Empress activity book for each child and a milk and cookies amenity. If that’s not enough to motivate you to make a reservation at The Fairmont Empress right now, children under 5 years dine for free and children 6-11 eat for half-price in all restaurants including Tea at the Empress. All I had to do was spend some time organising snacks, sunscreen and clothing and pack them for a weekend getaway! Not an easy task now that we have added a puppy to our already chaotic family of five.


Upon arrival we loved the view from the room! It was spectacular, and we had a full view of the harbour and the Parliament building. Depending on the ages of your kids, room size is key. We had the corner suite with a king bed plus a roll out bed with an adjoining room which had a pull out sofa. This gave us room to sleep and relax comfortably without being feeling on top of each other.


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Hotel breakfasts are amongst the top things on my list that I enjoy in general. To be able to roll out of bed, toss on some clothes and tuck into a fresh, hot meal is not the only reason I enjoy it so much, it is the array of variety and quality of food presentation that excites me. Also, the honey used in the restaurants at the Empress come from their own apiary right on the property. It is a beautiful section on the property grounds nestled at the front corner, amongst rows of blooming flowers.


During our stay the kids splashed around in the pool, my husband and I took turns to visit Willow Stream Spa for kid free luxurious treats.

Read more about that experience here.


Of course we had to take the kids to Tea at the Empress while we were there. The Prince and Princess tea sets were perfect, in addition to the wonderful selection of fruit based-caffeine free teas available.

If you prefer something where your fur baby can join too, there is lunch on the lawn. Pick a spot outside the Empress, relax on a blanket with some pillows and a throw and let the food come to you. The kids will be entertained with the cars and horse carriages going down the street and the selection of food will have you satiated in no time. Children get their own little selection of sandwiches but good luck trying to keep the edamame and English pea hummus to the adults.

Overall, our stay at The Fairmont Empress was an extraordinary experience full of exciting, memorable moments. The only down side was saying good bye to the staff we had enjoyed so many conversations with and the kids loved spending time with Winston, the Empress mascot.