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“The Empire Hotel Brunei - WORLDHOTELS Deluxe Collection”

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 August 2009

Should have stayed longer. One of the nicest hotels that I visited.
Staff friendly and even let me to take the golf clubs and pretend that I was a club member for a photograph. Lunch on the 2nd floor restaurant was great. No wine, so if you want a glass over a meal, BYO.


Service is prompt, dishes are delicious.

Located alongside the rainforests of Borneo in Brunei Darussalam, The Empire Hotel & Country Club sets the standard for Asian beach, golf and spa resorts. Family vacation, romantic getaway or high impact meeting facility, this hotel offers it all. The 420 rooms are a piece of paradise for every guest, and the 47 suites offer imperial-standard opulence. All spacious rooms are elegantly furnished, have marble-clad bathrooms, and beds fit for a king or queen, fitted with Egyptian cotton sheets.

Golfers will revel in the challenge of the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, while other guests will be enticed by the huge range of water activities, such as windsurfing, sailing, diving or snorkelling, just to name a few. And kids will be having so much fun in the E Kids Club, they won't want to leave! In the evenings, enjoy a seafood BBQ al fresco, or tour the provinces of China at Li Gong restaurant, just two of the resort's seven bars and restaurants. Part of the WORLDHOTELS Deluxe Collection.

Check out my pics.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gregnazvanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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779 - 783 of 1,063 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2009

The hotel is indeed impressive at first glance, marble and gold leaf everywhere in a huge lobby - but the quality is only skin-deep. A classic case of lots of money being spent, but with no class. The staff are generally cheerful and friendly, but are either not authorised or not capable of actually being any use.

We stayed during a busy event, with lots of VIP functions. Perhaps all the competent staff were drafted away to work at the functions, but the restaurants (with one exception) were under-staffed and those that were on duty were virtually clueless. For the most part food was bland, took ages to materialise, and invariably was different to what had been ordered. The exception was the Italian restaurant, where the food was OK and the staff appreciably better.

The room was nice, if a little tired, and the location of the hotel was pleasant, although the lagoon area felt very artificial

My main gripe was the hopeless front desk. There were major problems with my check-in, and then one of my colleagues was taken ill. It took three visits to the front desk, several phone calls and several hours waiting before a doctor actually arrived, as had been requested right at the start. Overall the service was very bad, and certainly very different from the image that the hotel tries to portray

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled on business
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1  Thank ViggenUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2009

I've stayed at the Empire for 3 years in a row, but was dissapointed with the carnival laid on as part of the Sultan's birthday celebrations. It had the feeling of a cheap village fete and wasn't what I expected from a luxury hotel. I tried to enjoy the loud music but the tannoy announcements were just plain annoying. When the club music started I couldn't relax and decided to walk round the stalls. A manager asked me if I was enjoying myself and I asked very politely if there was any chance of turning the music down. He very rudely said in a northern English accent "Get used to it"!!

Well guess what I won't be going there ever again.

It's a beautiful hotel so it's a shame. But in the last few years it's been getting a bit tatty around the pool area, lots of the mosaic tiles are coming off and if you sit on the pool edge the grout stains your swimmers. Also the area around the jacuzzi is a mess with a tatty looking turtle pond. I was surprised to see a plastic children's slide toy in the lagoon beach. The new loungers were beautiful last year but this year they are broken and some were held together with bits of string.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
1  Thank GraceSilverlight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

The most luxurious, clean, yet casual hotel around. Out of this world, the staff, rooms, service, facilities all surpass expectations. If you had to pick one fault there wouldn't be one. We will be going back again & again.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Kazangsd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

As part of our Asia-Tour-2009 holiday we had earlier stayed in the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia and we have now flown on with Royal Brunei from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei International Airport ( Bandar Seri Begawan ) in a proud 20 min. flight! A wow experience to behold, Folks! A Flyers delight! After our arrival at the airport and getting through immigration and our luggage we had been immeditatly greeted by our driver/greeter from the Empire Hotel and Country Club Brunei Darussalam located at Jerudong - around 35 min. away from the airport on the South China Sea. ( The transportation was from us pre-arranged with the hotel via e-mail at a cost one-way 35 Brunei Dollars which equals 35 Singapore Dollars ). We had the choice of Mercedes, Mini-van or Saloon - which it was in our case a large Mitsubishi Limousine! The Check-in at the hotel was fast and efficient and was somewhat impatient on the part of the check-in lady. However the Lobby in itself is just stunning soaring 53 meters high into the Brunei sky! Golden glory all the way with a fine respect for craftmanship and hotel design. It was literally gold, yellow, creme, Brunei flags and blue upholstered chairs all the way in the atrium. Stunning, Folks! We were driven by buggy to our upgraded accomodation at the Sea View Wing which is located at a different location at this stately super luxury resort! We had received a Ocean View King room no. 4402 on the 4th floor out of seven floors with magnificent South China Sea views - which were completely unobstructed and wonderful from the large balcony which came fully furnished as well. Our room had a superb size of 62m2 in lay-out with every imaginable luxury possible at this category of hotel, it is 6 star nevertheless! We had the following in our room incl. superlarge comfortable king-size bed with white linen, italian and french furniture incl. large sofa, tables, large writing desk plus Empire paper and pen, complimentary mini-bar, plush carpets from New Zealand and a large TV from Sony which offered malay TV, Brunei TV, CNN, BBC World News and many others. We also had superlarge storage spaces and a superlarge wardrobe to go with plus 10 hangers, safe, 24 h room-service, hotel map and on and on! Our bathroom was a room in itself at many other hotels and incl. superlarge bathtub, double sink, separate shower, separate toilet and bidet all laid out in the finest marble and gold plated appliances to go with and a complete Empire branded amenity kit for 2 people plus bathrobes and hair dryer and weighing scale! The room overall was one of the finest and largest we had ever had at a hotel so far! Free fruits had also been provided. In our Sea View Wing Building we had also free Internet access stations and a floor to ceiling Atrium built in plus a concierge which only works so to speak for guests of this particular wing of the Empire Hotel and Country Club. Writing further about this hotel we should note the following observations incl. 22 km of walkways ( there are buggies available with driver everywhere you might want to go at this sprawling resort! ), we found however you can never get lost for real here, which we found nice - but the walkways look short, in reality they are quite a way to go from one end to the other! The pool landscape are large and served by beach boys and towel boys at all times and the hotel has 8 swimming pools plus indoor swimming pool and do not forget the self-contained Empire Spa and Golf Village which are located in a very different part of this massive resort which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei and was originally envisioned by his brother ( now infamous ) Prince Jefri Bolkiah! The hotel is a billed 6 star hotel and has also many restaurants, a large shopping arcade, Limousine service, Cinema, Theatre, The Grand Hall, Dignitary plus Celebrity Visitor Photo Gallery, unending supply of marble walkways through the buildings, fountains, gardeners, a lake and some cats who are roaming this superb and world beating property which must be on the to stay list of hotel lovers around the world! The Hotel was a member in earlier years of the Leading Hotels of the World but now it is a member of the Worldhotels - Deluxe Collection of Hotels! The Hotel life however plays out in the large Atrium building of the hotel which houses the majority of Restaurants incl. the Atrium Cafe for our breakfast, lunch, dinner and the world famous Spaghettini Restaurant plus all the Services of the Lobby Lounge incl. the hand made chocolates ( pralines ) for sale from the Empire kitchens - all hand made to choose on demand by the customer! We have tried 8 of them which were all sooooo goooood! You could also choose different sizes until 98 pieces in a box selected! They even send the chocolates around the world for you and us! Wow! As we all know the Country and the hotel are DRY but for us it has not mattered at all we can safely tell you - with all the choice of other healthier options available here! So no problemo, Folks! Our food adventures at the famous Empire incl. the following incl. in-room dinning incl. penne bolognaise ( sized for two! ), bak mee goreng ( sized for one! ), empire signature cake, one peach melba mocktail, 1 ginger melon health drink ( wow! ), one pink lady twist mocktail ( they know a lady! )! Further we had during our 2 nights / 3 days stay incl. breakfast at the massive Atrium Cafe incl. coffee, orange juice, apple juices, fruit selection, yoghurt selection, steamed vegetables, chicken sausages with chili sauce, fried sweet sour eggs, green beans and chilli, hash browns, rice, milk selection, cereals selection, pan cakes with condiments are on offer plus many many more! At the famous Spaghettini Restaurant on the 6th floor of the massive atrium building with stunning views inside the lobby going-ons ( we had pre-booked our table a day before from our room! with the one-touch does it all button on offer! Wow! ). At the Spaghettini we had the following gourmet experience cuisine incl. 2x local water from Brunei, 1x mediterreanean salad which we shared ( thank god for that! remember the size! ), 1x gourmet gnocchi with fabulous gorgonzola sauce and walnut and pear ( simply Wow! ), 1x red snapper with red pepper sauce and rice on the side ( mmmmhhhhh! more! ), 1x praline crunch parfait ( delish! mooorrreee! ), 1x panna cotta - the traditional way! ( suuuperb! ), 1x Empire Delight signature Mocktail plus 1x signature Ginger and Watermelon health drink to go with it all! Cost in Euros around 70! Wow tooo! We also have visited the Lobby Lounge on two occassions and we had incl. coconut and mango bomb mocktail, watermelon and ginger drink plus local water and we also enjoyed the wonderful teh tarik! Wow! One of us ( my better half ) has enjoyed a wonderful Spa treatment at the Empire Spa which was named simply as back, neck and shoulder massage for 45min. and incl. also tea before and after the treatment in stately surroundings and she was even picked up right away after booking her treatment with a buggy and driver! Wow, Folks! We had also a quick look into the Empire Cinema with the new Harry Potter movie and others on offer on 3 screens in also stately surroundings like the rest of the hotel plus merchandise from many movies were also on offer! The Bowling Alley is also located in the same building as the Cinema! By the massive entrance on both sides there are two Mercedes Benz showrooms which had been showcasing two very expensive special models on each side of the entrance as well behind a massive glass wall! Wow, too that! We had also enjoyed, Folks, a highly recommended trip to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei which is also the only large urban city of Brunei. We had taken a limousine from the Empire with driver and his Mercedes E-Class to the middle of Bandar ( as the locals call it! ) to the Yayasan Hassanal Bolkiah Complex comprising shopping and many embassies and more in the heart of the capital. We have seen incl. the Royal Barge, the Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque which looks spectacular as seen from the site before the royal barge which can be however under water at times! Beware! We had taken two photos from here and could not go further because of high waters which were literally overflowing from the lake surrounding the mosque! But it was very well worth it! The Majesties birthday was also only a few days before our visit to Brunei on the 15th of July 2009 - which was the Sultans 63rd birthday celebration! We had seen many pictures of the Sultan of the many higher downtown buildings which also included many birthday wishes from individual businesses as well. The Downtown area of Bandar was decorated in the colours of Brunei mostly in black and yellow and red like the flag of Brunei! We also visited the Sheraton Utama Hotel, ( see our visitor review to the lobby lounge and the t-shirt which helps gather funds for Unicef at our profile at Tripadvisor! Thanks! ) the only western managed Luxury Hotel in Brunei, which is located to the north of the Royal Regalia building in the heart of Bandar! It can get very hot especially around noon to 2pm in the afternoon, so be prepared for it! The City itself was quiet as expected as the rest of Brunei and dignified toward the Sultan of Brunei. One thing we noticed however was the crossing of the rather big streets in the capital - which was not that easy when using traffic lights the proper way here! - because they give you the crossing time with the green light which was only 10 seconds on a 4 lane road way and there was also a small green man which runs faster and faster when the time was nearly up! We literally have been running in downtown Bandar Seri Begawan! What an olympic experience it was! Never thought of that! We had also done a bit of shopping in the Yayasan Hassanal Bolkiah Complex ( named after the current Sultan of Brunei! ) where we bought incl. a I LOVE BRUNEI T-SHIRT by Giordano, local cosmetic from Asia and they have fantastic looking sales assistents! ( do not tell your better half! ). After that we were back to our Limousine and Driver and his E-Class Mercedes to the Empire and on the way we spotted also the new mosque built by the current Sultan of Brunei ( which should be even bigger and better than the mosque of his father! we had seen earlier! ) and we spotted also the telecommunications tower which looks other worldly! And by the way the Finance ministry ( the current Sultan of Brunei is also the current Finance Minsiter! ) which is co-incidently the highest building on the whole of Borneo - which we have sadly not seen yet! However in our good fortune we had earlier stayed in Kota Kinabalu in the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu ( see our ASIA-TOUR-2009 REVIEW! on Tripadvisor - just go to our profile and enjoy! ) we have actually visited the Menara Tun Mustapha building - which is the second highest building of Borneo and the highest building in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, Malaysia! This should be on your itinary as well! ( We have the building described in depth in our review of the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu! ). The Sultans private Palace is also near Bandar Seri Begawan located which is the largest private owned residence in the world and has at last count at least 1788 rooms on offer and houses also a massive car collection owned by the Sultan of Brunei! The Residence can' t be just visited however, there are ways to see the palace from the road side and water side ( by water taxi of the Brunei river ) which are the only points to see this palace - all others are obstructed for security reasons! There is one way to visit for real however the Sultan at the end of Ramadan visitors incl. Foreigners ( Farangs! ) are allowed into the palatial grounds of the palace and have the chance after massive waiting times to actually meet the Sultan of Brunei, the world' s richest man plus the world' s most respected and peaceful man! We hope in the future to return to the Abode of peace and see the palace for real in any way possible! Bandar Seri Begawan is around 30 min. away from the Empire Hotel and Country Club and is well worth the visit! The Limousine cost was 60 Brunei Dollars/ 60 Singapore Dollars / 35 Euros - return!
Our time was fast as always on our tour to Asia and we were off with Air Asia ( which was 2 hours delayed! ) to Kuala Lumpur, the proud capital of Malaysia for a short visit to continue our ASIA-TOUR-2009! Thanks for reading our Tripadvisor Review and we sincerely hope that we could help you with making the decision to visit BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, THE ABODE OF PEACE! ( BTW. for readers of our Hyatt Regency Kinabalu review the hangers in the wardrobe in our room no. 425 were 14 hangers! For people who follow our travel patterns and reviews this could be important stuff to know! Thanks, Folks! ) So do not forget to FLY!STAY!EXPLORE! MORE! and see the world with open eyes, open mind and open character to learn much more than you and we had even imagined! Thanks again!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Flyers007Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Address: Kampong Jerudong BG3122, Brunei Darussalam
Phone Number:
Region: Brunei Darussalam > Brunei-Muara District > Kampong Jerudong
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: RM767 - RM1,135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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