Like I've read somewhere on Tripadvisor, the hotel is a destination in itself with an opulent setting, golfing possibilities, ocean activities, spa services, tennis & badminton courts and lap pool at the country club, a theater with newly released Hollywood movies, ample & beautiful options for walks, etc, etc.. Brunei was supposed to be my "vacation from vacation," with relaxation being the focus. It provided exactly that, and I even skipped the one tour I had planned on going so that I could spend more time at the hotel.
We had a room in one of the atrium wings overlooking the main pool & South China Sea, and the view was amazing, especially at sunset. With an unforgettable ocean view from everywhere in the room, whether from the luxurious beds or the huge bath tub, pure silver replacing the familiar stainless steel in flatware, tea service, and even the ice bucket, twice-daily maid service, resort staff always obliging with a great smile, etc., etc., I felt pampered.
For a hotel of its size, Empire was surprisingly uncrowded and quiet, and we could enjoy most of the rather under-utilized facilities in relative peace, with the exception of the main pool area on our last day when hundreds of additional guests arrived as part of a large tour group.
Under the ultra luxurious surface, one or two of the fixtures in our room needed some maintenance, and who ever spoke of Empire giving off an aura of decaying opulence was kind of right, but I enjoyed even that aspect. It wasn't anything major that created inconveniences but in a way brought out sort of a nostalgia for the past I wish I had experienced, reminiscence of a grander bygone era or something..
One thing I can foresee would irk a lot of people, although it didn't bother us too much since we weren't ever in a hurry or anything, is the slowness of the service. Someone told me people over there are just in general more relaxed by nature... Also having a larger than usual crowd on the last day did something to break the magical spell of the place, so I would try to avoid dates when convention-type events are planned which Empire seems to host from time to time.
- Also Known As:
- The Empire Hotel And Country Club
- The Empire Hotel And Country
- Empire Hotel Brunei
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the north eastern tip of Borneo on the doorstep of one of Asia's oldest rainforests, The Empire Hotel & Country Club is Brunei’s most prestigious beach resort offering unsurpassed 5-star luxury.This palatial resort hotel, which astounds visitors with its spectacular 12 storey marble and gold lobby, is set in its own private 180-hectare (445 acres) estate of manicured gardens and an 18-hole, floodlit Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and Country Club. Each of the hotel’s 518 opulently appointed guest rooms, suites and private villas has a view of the ocean, lagoon, gardens or golf course, while standard throughout the hotel are Imperial king-sized beds made with the finest linens, and over-sized marble bathrooms with walk-in shower, deep soaking tub with gold taps and luxury amenities. The Empire Hotel & Country Club also extends the kingdom’s regal hospitality with an impressive range of international restaurants, spa, world-class golf and sporting activities, and international meeting facilities for top level MICE gatherings, making it a resort ideal for family, romantic or business vacations. The Empire Hotel & Country Club is a member of WORLDHOTELS and recipient of numerous prestigious international awards.Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor® award 2013Runner Up for Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf Monthly Award 2012Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf Monthly Award 2011 & 2010 ... more less
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