I recently booked a 3-night stay at the Empire Hotel. I was expecting to be blown away as I had heard a lot of good things about this hotel and I had wanted to visit for a very long time.
The lobby is everything you would expect, lots of marble, over the top luxury and a great view of the ocean.
At check in, I enquired about upgrading to a junior suite and paid the extra BND150 per night.
I was seen to my room and was a bit disappointed. The hotel is starting to show its age and nowhere more so than in their guest rooms.
Yes, the junior suite was large. The first room had a dinner table, couch, mini kitchen & tv. Next was the bedroom, with tv, study and fax machine. (The fax machine had a welcome fax with my name on it, which was cool) and the 3rd room was the bathroom, with separate shower, toilet, double vanity and a spa bath. All rooms overlooked the ocean with an extra long balcony.
I was underwelmed. Yes, the room was large and super clean, but it felt a bit dated and tired. I regretted my decision to upgrade and returned to the front desk requesting to change back to my original Ocean View Deluxe Room. I just didn't think that it was worth the extra money.
The front desk happily accommodated me. The new room was much more to my liking. It was exactly the same as the Jnr Suite, just without the extra tv room, a bath instead of a spa and no fax.
What I particularly did not like about the room, was the state of the balcony. There was moss and mold all over the balcony and the table and chairs outside where definitely past their use by date. The door to the room looked ancient and did not lock properly; you need to make sure that you shut it hard enough for it to lock.
The real highlight of the hotel was the amazing pools and grounds. They are so well maintained and are just beautiful.
As other reviews suggest, the food is not at the level one would expect. Most meals although generously portioned, were average and lacked flavour.
The pool snack bar area was great. The staff brings over some cold water and oranges as soon as you sit down and really do their best to take care of their guests.
There are many activities at the hotel to keep both kids & adults alike very happy, including a country club, kids club, internet services (expensive) & a cinema.
The hotel chocolates are to die for and are definitely worth the money. The packaging makes a great keepsake.
Unlike some reviews, I must say the service I experienced in the hotel was just fantastic during my entire stay.
There are not very many hotels like this in the world (visit the much better Palazzo Versace Hotel in the Gold Coast Australia), but it is definitely worth a visit if you are in 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 522 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. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Empire Hotel And Country Club
- Empire Hotel Brunei