Beloved Victorian-era lounge to close at Victoria’s Empress Hotel

By The Canadian Press
January 14, 2016 - 4:18pm

VICTORIA — For more than a century, the Bengal Lounge at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria has paid homage to the days when the sun never set on the British Empire.

But the hushed, palm tree-sprinkled lounge — which takes its inspiration from the late 1800s when Queen Victoria reigned as the Empress of India — closes April 30.

In its prime, the Bengal Lounge’s jade-faced fireplace, lush tropical foliage, ornate wood panelling and deep, leather armchairs were the setting for high level deals, as politicians took a break from the B.C. legislature, just steps away.

The room even boasts a classic curry buffet, antique bar and entire skin of a Bengal tiger, a gift from the King and Queen of Siam when they visited the hotel in the late 1940s.

Renovations have been underway at the 108-year-old Empress for months and the hotel’s dining room is being moved into the Bengal Lounge during the work, but when those upgrades are complete, the Bengal Lounge will be closed.

Hotel officials say while the future of the room is still undecided, it will continue to be an integral space within the hotel. (CFAX)

The Canadian Press

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