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“The Grand Empire Hotel of Brunei” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Empire Hotel & Country Club

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
211 reviews
175 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“The Grand Empire Hotel of Brunei”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Not only a place to stay, the Empire Hotel is a destination of Brunei. Walking through the halls you can sense the history of the place and imagine all the people that have stayed there.

Like other icons in Brunei, the hotel is proud of its opulence though the designs are slightly outdated. Read about where all the decorations came from. You'll be surprised to find that the make up of the hotel is from all over the world.

Pros:
- Service: What you would expect from a 5-Star (not 6 or 7 as I've heard). Friendly staff throughout my experience there. Given a free upgrade on my arrival. Personal attention but not intrusive.
- Location: On the beach, great for relaxing but not that convenient to see the town center.
- Property: The grounds of the hotel are impressive and worth spending time to explore. Check out the golf course, cinema, and the many pools.
- Occupancy: Traveling in October I would have expected the hotel to be quite full, but it was really empty and with the size of the property it felt even more private. I'm listing this as a pro because if you want a place to relax and get away, its difficult to find a place so grand yet private at the same time. Most of the time at the pool next to the beach, I had the place all to myself.

Cons:
- Maintenance: Some minor fixes should be implemented like fixing the broken dolphin statue or cleaning the garbage off the main beaches daily.
- Emptiness: If you are looking for a very lively place, look elsewhere.

I would definitely recommend staying here (in the very least visiting) and admiring what makes up the best hotel in Brunei.

Read about my full experience at the hotel and about how I visited all the main sights in about a day here: http://www.daviddeclercq.com/the-majestic-empire-hotel-in-brunei

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Davybert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Davybert,

Greetings from Brunei Darussalam, The Abode of Peace! Thank you for your kind comments and recommendations.

We are located a tad far from the town but you can take a ride from the public bus that comes around every day which is only B$1 per trip.

Thank you again for recommending us and we sure hope to see you stay with us again.

Best Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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986 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (199)
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Ashtead UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

Had a short work-related stay recently. Very efficient, friendly service at the front desk made the checking in process rapid and fuss-free. The staff also managed to handle my enquiries smoothly. My room was facing a sea front and the grounds were very well kept. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was spacious. Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy the room as much as I would have liked as I was mostly out.

This is a hotel with an excellent reputation and I felt that my expectations were definitely met and occasionally exceeded.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MuditaAshteadUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Dear MuditaAshteadUK,

Warm greetings from our little palace, The Empire Hotel & Country Club and thank you for your kind words. We are pleased to hear that you had a wonderful stay and our staff took good care of you.

We’re glad we’ve met your expectation and we hope to see you stay with us again!

Thank you

Kind Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bsb
Level Contributor
53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

This is a 6 star hotel with a 3 star price.They pay attention to all detail right down to the duck feather pillows ypu sleep on.golfer would not be disapppinted with the Jack Nicklaus golf course-venue of Brunei Open.A little far from town about 15 min to town.A good place to relax n throw away d cellphone!!!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank frank c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Dear frank c,

Greetings from The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei! Thank you so much for your kind comments and we are really happy to hear that you liked staying at our hotel. It is a little far from town, but it is definitely a perfect place to pace down, especially for one with busy schedules!

We hope to see you again soon.

Thank you
Kind Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

large rooms great bathrooms, perfect location as there is not much to see in the city. You have everything there, cinema, gym,tennis, golf, large swimming pools and right on the beach. staff were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. the reception speaks for it self sheer opulence. we stayed in two rooms as the first one did not have hot water on the second day so we were upgraded to deluxe room, much nicer. bathroom is as big as a large bedroom marble from floor to ceiling. all rooms have a nice view. food was great there is something for everyone, soup is to die for in the chinese section. the best part was there were no drunk hooligans around the pool only peace and quite.

Room Tip: worth paying a little extra for deluxe , ask for a higher floor
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mahaskic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear mahaskic,

Warm greetings from Brunei, the Abode of Peace and thank you for your kind words about hotel!

Our resort offers list of activities catered for every group; kids, families, honeymooner- and we are pleased to hear that you liked most of the sports and recreational facilities we have.

I am also glad to know that you had enjoyed your meal at Li Gong restaurant. It is indeed one of the must-go-to Chinese restaurants here in Brunei and particularly popular for our sumptuous Sunday brunch.

Therefore, when you do plan to come back here again, we recommend you try out 5 of our other restaurants too, especially the new Seafood and seaside Pantai restaurant.

Thank you again and hope to see you soon!

Kind Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

location was aswome. Hotel lobby was beautiful....
Clean,crisp, comfortable beds. Beautiful well equipped bathroom. Fully air conditioned. kettle, tea/coffee, a nice touch was a couple of bottles water free & replaced daily.

The swimming pool....magnificent, sqeaky clean. Air conditioned changing rooms. A nice touch was a couple fluffy white towels waiting for you in your locker!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dev0330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear Dev0330,

Thank you for your kind feedback and pleased to hear that you had a wonderful time staying with us.

We hope to see you come back and stay with us again.

Thank you again!

Kind Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

The Empire Hotel in Brunei is owned by the Sultan of Brunei and gets much hype for a "5-star" destination resort. The lobby is beautiful, but to me the stars in 5-star represent the quality of service.

I had to stay in the hotel for business recently and was shocked by the incredibly poor service. The staff only responded to requests when asked repeatedly. Even though the hotel rooms were pre-booked and paid for it took more than one and a half hours to get checked in because the rooms were still not clean and ready at 2:30 p.m.

As this was a work event we were all to stay together in one wing, instead four of us found ourselves quite far from the main building with a long walk each morning and night in the rain. The one time we waited for a golf cart to take us we waited more than 30 minutes.

Once we got to our rooms we found they had been hurriedly dusted but obviously not clean because of the nest of ants around the tea/coffee service cups and plates. Despite repeated calls to housekeeping, no staff ever came to assist with the killing of the ants (making me have to carry the karma for all those deaths). I cleaned up 95% of the little bodies, purposefully leaving a swatch of dead ants. Two days later the ant bodies were still there, with noticeable streaking around them from the maid wiping around the dead ants.

An alarm clock for the room was requested three separate days, no alarm clock was ever delivered. Requests for wake-up calls were ignored, thank goodness for my iPhone so I could sent my own alarms and call my co-worker each morning myself as a wake-up call. We were also to be provided with free wi-fi in the room but never got this service.

On three different nights we each attempted to have meals at one of the hotel restaurants. We were unable to make reservations because we were working 24 hour shifts and did not know when we would get a break. Each time one of us went to a restaurant on the grounds we were asked if we had a reservation despite the fact that each time the restaurant was empty. We were turned away and encouraged to make reservations "next time."

Because of the 24 hour shifts we would return to our rooms at different times, twice I returned to my room around 3-4 a.m. and found no hot water. With no one at the reception desk and no answer to the front desk or housekeeping I had to take a super quick cold shower so I could go back to work. The next day after much questioning we found that the hot water in our building was turned off each night after midnight and not turned on again until around 7:00 a.m.

Overall the hotel made a tough work trip extremely difficult. I highly do not recommend this hotel. Stay in town at the Rizqun or the new Radisson, save yourself some money and a lot of stress.

Room Tip: Stay in a different hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kaleimakamae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Because the place is constantly almost empty they are desperate for visitors and prices are therefore very cheap for the quality of room and service you get.

The restaurant down by the sea is particularly recommended and the buffet has to be seen to be believed, make sure you find out what day the seafood buffet is, you won't be sorry =)

This is the only place I stay when I go to Brunei

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear Simbosan,

Greetings from Brunei! Thank you for your comments about our hotel and we are pleased to hear that you had enjoyed the seafood BBQ buffet which is now located at Marine Centre. Its original venue (Pantai restaurant) is undergoing facelift, and this exciting new facility is expected to reopen in February next year.

Therefore we hope to see you come back again and thank you again for your kind feedback.

Kind Regards,

Desmond Acheson
General Manager
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Property: The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Address: Kampong Jerudong BG3122, Brunei Darussalam
Phone Number:
Location: Brunei Darussalam > Brunei-Muara District > Kampong Jerudong
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kampong Jerudong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Empire Hotel & Country Club 5*
Number of rooms: 518
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

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