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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
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Reviews (1,112)
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Reviewed January 15, 2007

A Hotel with every just a little bigger and more extravagant than any other hotel I have ever stayed in. Not all Hotels use Asprey cutlery and china, the main pool is fresh water with a sand bottom and about 70 metres in length. The complementary shuttle is a very flexible and worth using.
A great place to stay.

Stayed: January 2007
5  Thank steve&amanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2007

I stayed at the Empire because Royal Brunei Airlines arranged the room as part of my stay over package from Darwin (Australia) to Bangkok.
While I was less than impressed with either Brunei nor Royal Brunei Airlines, the hotel certainly made all up for it.

My stay was too short to take advantage of all the facilities on offer, but the list looked very impressive.

I spend most of my time in my room, which must have been one of the nicest “standard” rooms I had ever stayed in.
The bathroom by itself was bigger than your average London hotel room.
The bed was so big and comfortable, I only got up to walk over to the equally impressive hotel lobby and to eat at the Atrium Café buffet.
The food was good, however, I suppose, mostly catered to Asian tastes.

Breakfast, again, while offering a basic western style selection, was mostly an Asian affair. So, if fried rice for breakfast is your thing, you will be in heaven.

The reception desk staff especially seemed to be very competent and friendly.

Only one thing, I found annoying for a hotel of this caliber: No wireless broadband in the rooms. You have to sit in the respective building lobby get access.

All in all, an excellent hotel. A perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway for people from Northern Australia.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled on business
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7  Thank Winegum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2006

spent a week here in november - said to be the rainy season but they have it organised so that it only rains at night.

The hotel is excellent if a bit over the top. Not exactly understated elegance, more of a cross between an airport and a shopping mall.

Plus points - the rooms are excellent, service is great, the food in the restaurants is pretty good and the pool area is very pleasant.

Minus points - not a lot although if you are a smoker it has to be outside in the heat. You won't find much of the mysterious orient here though, and would be well advised to venture into town to try some of the food and ambience there.

As for Brunei itself - enough to keep you occupied for a couple of days and more if you are prepared to travel. Would recommend a llocal boat for a trip round the water village and up river to see the probiscus monkeys - $35 Brunien is the going rate. The shopping is fairly average and not a patch on Singapore up the road.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled on business
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10  Thank Malky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2006

We agree with the other reviews the Lobby alone will stun you – very, very impressive with wonderful works of art, sculptures and marble. Really what you would expect in a royal palace as it was in its previous life. Like many other visitors we were offered an upgrade but our offer was at a price of AUS80 per night, we chose to stay with our original booking. Let us add here that we stayed through a 'stop over package' offered by Royal Brunei Airlines that gave us two nights accommodation, breakfast, an evening meal and several tours - great value.

Our non upgraded room was fabulous, spacious, great views and after our stay in England the bathroom was a wonderful indulgence. The separate toilet and shower at the end of the bathroom were bigger alone than any bathroom we experienced in England. The spacious bedroom had a partitioned dressing room with volumes of storage and the bedroom had a nice sitting area. Our balcony was very large. Housekeeping was efficiently undertaken twice a day (by three people) and we wanted for nothing.

We explored the extensive grounds and enjoyed swimming in the enormous pool. As soon as you settle in there you are served free ice water and orange slices. A buffet breakfast and one evening meal was included in our 'package' and these were of a high standard with excellent service.

We enjoyed our tours (virtually individual attention from the tour guide who was usually an expat -Malaysian or Pilipino, not a Brunei national) and visited the entrance to the royal palace, the architecturally amazing Jame' 'Asr Hassalnil Bokiah mosque, water village - including a private home, the Royal Regalia Building and the night market.

The hotel and capital were well worth a visit and we hope to go again one day to see the long houses and rain forest.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank AtStarwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2006

We stayed in the Empire Hotel and Country Club for a total of six nights on our honeymoon. This place certainly deserves that 6 star rating. When we came in to the atrium in the entry the granduer of the place really hit us. The atrium is enormous, with huge marble pillars lined with gold. There is not a single detail that could have been improved.

The rooms were enornous, the deluxe rooms and the superior rooms are the same, but the deluxe rooms are in the main building. Both visits we stayed in the deluxe rooms with views of the ocean. The second time we were in the West Atrium which had a better view than the East Atrium rooms. The rooms are 66 sq m and was larger than my old 2 bedroom apartment. There is a large balcony, an enormous bed and marble bathroom.
Food at the Empire is excellent. There are many different restaurants, each night has something special going on. The
Li Gong restaurant (chinese) is a must do, as well as the Pan Tai restaurant on the seafood buffet night or the seafood BBQ night. We also had a great time making pigs of ourselves at the High Tea buffet, there were 16 different cakes to try!

Breakfast was included with the room at the atrium buffet, very nice. They would make our omletes or pancakes for us exactly how we liked. We also had dinner at the atrium buffet one night, very nice, different nights have different meals, eg international followed by Malay the next night. I counted 33 different deserts.
The hotel is huge and is spread out, they have little gold buggies to drive you around the hotel and drop you off where you like.

There is also a theatre, a movie complex and the country club is great. It has a golf course that we are told is excellent, we aren't golfers so we could only hack our way along at the driving range. There is a nice gym with a view of the ocean. We both had an excellent massage at the day spa. Even the changing rooms in at the country club are made of marble!

The hotel runs a shuttle bus service for getting into and out of town. I'd recommend using this instead of the hopelessly unrelaible Brunei taxi companies. We'd booked one and it didn't show up so we almost missed our flight onwards! Thankfully the hotel was able to have a car and a driver take us there at very short notice.

We also went jet skiing and lazed around the pool a lot, with some visits to the swim up bar for fruit cocktails (no alcohol).

I am telling everyone that they should go for a holiday at the Empire, by far the best place I've ever seen. The only problem is that now we've been so spoilt no other hotel can seem nice when you compair it!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank aussie_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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