VICTORIA, B.C. — For the first time since it opened in 1908, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria has appointed a female general manager. Indu Brar will be managing the hotel’s $30 million renovation process, due to be completed by June 2017.
Brar grew up in Calgary and entered the hotel business at the Chateau Airport Hotel. Since then, she has worked at the now Fairmont Macdonald where she became director of Rooms in 1997 and director of Operations in 2003. In 2007, she was named general manager of the Fairmont in Winnipeg.
In 2010, Brar went to New York to manage Fairmont’s The Plaza, followed by the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston, returning to Canada in 2013 as general manager of Fairmont Waterfront. There, she was in charge of renovations to the hotel’s guestrooms, meeting rooms and restaurant.
In her current role, Brar will oversee an elaborate restoration process that promises to transform the property into a must-visit destination for elite travellers. Phase one begins in June 2016 and includes the opening of a new restaurant and bar called Q at the Empress, an expansive Royal Suite and 235 guest rooms. Phase two will add a new lobby, renovated health club and spa and the remaining 229 guest rooms.