Opened in 1908 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Empress is one of the grand château-style railroad hotels that grace many Canadian cities. Designed by Francis Rattenbury, who also designed the Parliament Buildings across the way, the solid Edwardian grandeur of the Empress has made it a symbol of the city. The elements that made the hotel an attraction for travelers in the past—old-world architecture, ornate decor, and a commanding view of the Inner Harbour—are still here. Nonguests can reserve ahead for afternoon tea (the dress code is smart casual) in the chandelier-draped Tea Lobby, meet for a curry under the tiger skin in the Bengal Lounge, enjoy a treatment at the hotel's Willow Stream spa, or sample the superb Pacific Northwest cuisine in the Empress Room. In summer, lunch, snacks, and cocktails are served on the veranda overlooking the Inner Harbour.