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“Splurge, or be prepared for disappointment”

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Splurge, or be prepared for disappointment”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Living in Brunei and constantly having friends and family visit, we've just about exhausted all the amenities and types of rooms in the Empire Hotel apart from the Golf course.

The Lobby is grand, with so many intricate details, down to the last tile of the beautiful mosaic floors. Unfortunately, for a lot of our stays, it stopped there. We have had stays when the reception made us feel like we were checking in a cheap hotel (unwelcoming, silly mistakes in rooms, at times inefficient), our room was dirty (i.e. used toothpicks/cotton swabs on the floor and bad linen smell), and amenities that were not well maintained, e.g. one of the stagnant pools gathered bacteria on the sides. We were also often disappointed with the food, whether in the restos or in-room. One night, we dressed nicely for a last night with visiting family, walking to a resto suggested by the front desk, which was listed as fine dining (and required smart casual dressing)... only to be extremely disappointed when we saw that most of the people were wearing slippers and shorts. It felt awkward, and it didn't help that the food tasted like ordinary canteen servings.

We realised after a few other stays that in order to feel the grandeur of the Hotel throughout our stay, we had to splurge. With a little bit of good timing, we stayed in some of the Main Building rooms and villas, which are amazingly huge, almost as grand as the lobby, less worn out and fresher. The beds are extremely comfortable. The villa that we rented was superbly clean, spacious, and had a nice view. One time, we were thrilled to be welcomed with a handwritten note from the manager and a beautiful box of chocolates. The reception and in room service for these rooms are, surprisingly (?), better.

The spa is good to try, the beach can be skipped, pick a good pool (out of the 9) that's clean, and it will be enjoyable. Overall, worth a try, but be prepared to pay a bit more to get the 4/5.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Maesperon
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, June 18, 2013
Dear Maesperon

Thank you taking the time to comment on The Empire Hotel & Country Club and I am delighted that you have noticed all our recent efforts in further improving and enhancing our guest experience. Can I reassure you and everyone who reads your remarks that you certainly do not need to ‘splurge’ to experience the true quality and comforts of The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

All rooms in our main building were recently refurbished and we have just opened our brand new Pantai and Pantai Zen Pavilion restaurants and seek continuous improvement. Please do say ‘hello’ next time you visit.

Kind regards,
General Manager
The Empire Hotel & Country Club
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (207)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We stayed here a week. On first impression it is a bit overwhelming - gold plated fittings and Italian marble in the bathrooms for example. After a while, that wears off and what you are left with is a feeling of being disconnected from reality - a feeling that the hotel seems keen to encourage. You need never leave the hotel, it has numerous excellent restaurants, several swimming pools, a championship standard golf course, a retail mall, a cinema complex and its own beach (apparently, we were on a dive trip and never ventured that far to have a look).
But, meh..., the novelty wears off that pretty quickly, too. What doesn't wear off is the service, which was uniformly brilliant. From the time we stepped in, to the time we left, every member of the staff greeted us with a smile and went out of their way to please, even though half the time we were dressed like people most hotels of this standard would bar from entry.
If you want to experience Brunei, try somewhere else, but if you want to be pampered within an inch of your life, this is the place.

Room Tip: The rooms facing the water have the best view.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alan R
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, June 18, 2013
Dear Alan R

Greetings from The Empire Hotel & Country Club. Thank you for kind feedback and I was delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. We hope to be able to welcome you back again in the near future.

Kind regards,
General Manager
The Empire Hotel & Country Club
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013 via mobile

Large resort style hotel. Excellent Chinese and Japanese tepanyaki restaurants. Excellent value on package specials. Be sure to ask fir a room with a view of tge south china sea fir wonderful sunsets and stirm watching.

They couldn't arrange for an android phone music system which is a bit disappointing. But not the end of the world. ..

We had breakfst inckuded in our package which was excellent

Strongky recommend this to you.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steddersdaddy
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, May 27, 2013
Dear Steddersdaddy,

Greetings from The Empire Hotel & Country Club Brunei! Thank you for your kind comments. I was pleased to read that you had a pleasant time with us and that you enjoyed the food at Li Gong and our newly opened restaurant, Zen Pavilion.

Thank you again and we hope to see you back soon again.

Best Regards,
General Manager
The Empire Hotel & Country Club
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei is a must "Stay & Play" the Hotel is a 5 Star property, the rooms are large, bathroom (bath) separate toilet area, is huge. The Hotel has the "WOW factor" it's lobby is massive in fact the whole hotel is massive, Gold leaf everywhere, even woven into the carpets. Its one of those properties that you really cant describe, its a must see for your self. The Resort has everything you can imagine including its own movie cinema ! The golf course is Jack Nicklaus design and is a super track, arguably the best course in Asia.

Not much else to say other than if you are travelling this way - stop over and stay & play The Empire Hotel Golf & Country Club, you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Must request "Main Hotel" and Sea View High Floor
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank DuncanPGA
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, May 27, 2013
Dear DuncanPGA,

Thank you very much for your kind words about The Empire Hotel & Country Club, we think it's a spectacular hotel and the surroundings are really quite unlike any other! Our golf course is definitely one of our most special assets. I look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire Hotel and Country Club soon.

Best Regards,
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.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

From the time your greeted by the door men to the efficient receptionists walking on all that marble and mosaic tiled floors and the beautiful handcrafted silver and gold statues opulence is oozing .The open plan 5 level entrance is a type of mezzanine if you walk to the rail the views to 4 levels below and 3 levels above and then some to the dome ceiling lovely architecture .this level has shops and zest restaurant cakes and sandwiches beautiful and good price too . Off to the room down the very wide hall ways then opening the front door what a lovely very large room king bed two 3 seater couches large screen tv, wifi good but can be slow intermittently huge marble bathroom spa bath separate shower then open the remote control curtains and nets to a large balcony and spectacular views of the South China Sea the 3 pools nice touch with the turtle pool .The room comes with FREE mini bar and snacks never had that before even in The Burj al Arab at their prices had to pay. tea and coffee .
The dragon restaurant on the grounds is a mini empire hotel look a like but at their prices it's a wonder how they stay open its so cheap it begs belief we had the 5 course menu all you can eat after you eat the first five meals more keeps coming until you say stop but after the first five we were full just enough room for a beautiful desert .
The concierge cannot do enough for you.
The 3 rd level accessed from the lobby is where we have breakfast enough to sink a battleship after this no lunch required .
Exchange money here just as good as anybody else and better than some exchange places
Proboscic monkey tour is a must but do the afternoon tour better results
The city, temples and museums, tour are also extremely interesting esp the sultans museum displaying all his gifts given to him by other countries and his carriage is something else .
The whole country and its people are a credit to mankind if we all stayed here once it will change your life for the better.......
Hire a car and pay just $0.33 Bn ( 0.27 Australian cents) per litre diesel much the same . Taxi fare is set at the airport on a large board .

Room Tip: Sea views are always better the higher the floor the better too stunning scenery
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stephen b
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, May 27, 2013
Dear Stephenb,

Greetings from The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei! Thank you for taking the time to write about our hotel and for your wonderful comments. We are glad to read that you were pleased with the food served at Zest, Li Gong as well as the Atrium Café and also the room inclusions of mini bar and WIFI are indeed excellent value. Thank you once again and we do hope to welcome you back very soon.

Best Regards,
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.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

Admittedly I am not very much into gold plated opulence but then I must say spending an overnight stay at the Empire is an experience by itself.

The sheer size of the property, the attention to detail, the huge pools and the endless marble - I think it is fair to call this a palace.

As we didn't have the time to try any activity I can not comment but looking at the brochure and having strolled the property I could imagine this to be a good place for a family holiday.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TAKETHEL0NGWAY
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, May 27, 2013
Dear myvoger,
The hotel itself is magnificent with timeless architecture and simply breath taking views. Thank you for your kind words and we do hope that you will consider staying longer with us to enjoy the many more facilities we have to offer when you next visit.

Best Regards,
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.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

A group of us were on our way home to Melbourne from Kota Kinabalu,and because of Royal Brunei Airlines innovative re-scheduling we ended up having to stay in Brunei for an 11 hour stop over.

So to make it worth while, as I operate golf tours we all took a trip out to the Empire Hotel and Golf and Country Club to peruse and evaluate the place. ............................

Well people from the time you walk into the resort it is absolutely stunning,with floor to ceiling Italian marble/granite everywhere you look even in column formation hiding the airconditioning ducting and vents, with the beautiful mother of pearl inlaid into the handrails.
To the magnificently hand laid piece at a time entrance tile mosaics that you do not appreciate until you are up high enough to see them properly.
Then after that we had a very pleasant and affordable light lunheon at Zest's with an array of cakes and desserts that even the ladies couldn't resist..... we then took a long stroll around the stunning grounds of swimming pools,gardens, seafood exterior restaurant, kids water playground and the lovely beach area which were all maintained to perfection..... So all in all if you get a chance to go there or definitely stay I am 100% sure all your indulgences will be well and truly satisfied.....enjoy one of life's little/big hidden treasures as we did and will certainly be back either with one of my golf tours or just for a holiday for ourselves...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NeilandSuzie
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, May 27, 2013
Dear Neilandsuzie,
Thank you for your kind words and for recommending The Empire to be added to ones’ ‘Bucket List’. We were delighted to read that you had a wonderful time at our hotel during your stopover. We look forward to welcoming you back soon again.

Best Regards,
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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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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