The Empire Hotel & Country Club

, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
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The Empire Hotel & Country Club

, Bandar Seri Begawan
Muara-Tutong Highway - Bandar Seri Begawan - BG3122 - Brunei Darussalam Hotel Website | 241/8888
327 Traveller

Reviews - The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Wow factor!

from JuAucklandNewZealand
Well I must say this is the best hotel we have ever stayed in! We came here with our 4 kids from Sabah(where we stayed in another great resort-Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru for 7 nights)for 2 nights in Brunei before heading back to NZ, flying Royal Brunei Airlines.
From the moment we arrived to the end of our stay- we couldn't really fault it.
The kids (and ourselves) were blown away by the opulence of the place. The Atrium is a truly amazing place with marble,glass,gold on a grand scale!
Despite some previous reviews re the poor service we could not fault it.The reception staff were very friendly and welcoming.We arrived on a Sunday, so the pool area was reasonably but not too busy, with club members using it. But on the Monday it was like a ghost town- so us and the kids had the pool and lagoon area basically to ourselves! We were treated like royalty by the pool staff and were given complementary iced water continually and free drinks and cups of tea all on the house! I don't know whether it was because it was so quiet or they are always like that.
The breakfasts were great too although the variety wasn't quite as good as the Shangri-La. The staff there were very friendly and service was great.We did not dine at any of the other restaurants so can't comment on the other meals.We had room service one night which was quite reasonably priced.
We spent most of the time lazing by the pool and swimming in the lagoon area.Looking back to the Atrium from this area is very impressive.
The rooms we stayed in were standard rooms in the lagoon wing.The rooms were very tasteful with big marble bathrooms.The view was quite nice although we did not look over the China Sea.The kids shared 2 beds which were american twin beds -much like a double bed which was OK for 2 nights.As previously said in other reviews, the beds were so comfortable.
The only negative comment about the hotel was the golf. Being a 6 star we expected better service at the Country Club where we were left very much to our own devices. The golf clubs we hired were pretty average,we didnt get offered any bottled water during our round and the staff weren't particularly helpful. The course itself also was pretty average and uninteresting. I think my husband has been too spoilt playing at some courses in Las Vegas!! The service there did not match the service in the hotel.
We went on the water village tour,which was really interesting, visiting a home there for afternoon tea. The kids weren't sure about some of the food served up !! The 2 tourist guides were alot of fun-they also showed us the 2 mosques which were amazing to see.I would certainly recommend it.
However one I would NOT recommend is the theme park which is open at night. The kids were really looking forward to it but it was most disappointing with only 5 rides open out of the whole park which is huge. Apparently it is due for maintenance-I'll say!!
We could have happily stayed for another night and as it was our flight got delayed 5 hours(altho we had already arrived at the airport before we found out) But I must say that Royal Brunei Airlines were fabulous. They gave us a chit for transportation back to The Empire with free day rooms and lunch! Of course we were so upset(not!) that we had to return after having said goodbye to everyone- but they seemed to be so pleased to see us back again which was nice!
All in all would love to go back-just wish it was a bit closer to NZ!

Lovely!

from tvegas
We stayed here for 3 nights through the Brunei Air e-club package - included deluxe room, access to e-club, buffet breakfast and dinner as well as limo transfers from/to the airport.
It is visually overwhelming! The Atrium is the 4-level central lobby of the hotel covered in gold and italian marble and the rooms and lounges continue this ostentatious theme - fabulous! Our stay was super, from the restaurant to the laundry staff, and from the food to the country club. You were made to feel very comfortable and service was both friendly and incredibly efficent.

The only poor aspect of our stay was on checking in and out. Initially we were told that our room was superior, not deluxe. The receptionist was verging on being rude until we produced the voucher from Brunei Air, they then spent about 30 minutes (while we were given a complimentary drink) cleaning a deluxe room for us. The day before we left we arranged a time for the limo transfer to take us to the airport to avoid any delays. Unfortunately when it came to checking out we were left sitting in the lobby for 30 minutes (during this time we approached the reception desk several times to try to hurry things along) eventually having to ask for the day manager as time was pressing, and said we would take any transport to the airport. They were the only negative comments i would make. Unfortunately they were both the first and last impressions! Apart from those, i really would recommend this hotel to others.

Good - Excellent staff, incredible buffets, cannot fault the laundry service, nice gym with up to date equipment, shuttle service into the capital and nearby shopping mall every 2 hours, huge swimming lagoon, room had the most comfortable hotel bed i have ever slept in with the silkiest of sheets.

Poor - Reception staff can be rather inefficient, rooms are a little small, an ATM that does not accept any foreign bankcards including mastercard/visa.

Fantastic hotel well worth a visit

from A TripAdvisor Member
Have just returned from spending 3 nights at The Empire, as part of our honeymoon. The hotel and staff were fantastic.
On our arrival we were warmly welcomed. The entrance hall is spectular and very grand. It does not matter whether you arrive with a rucksack, wearing jeans and trainers or dressed smartly. The hotel staff are very professional and treat everyone the same.
The atrium is unbelieveable and offers a great view during breakfast.
We had received a free room upgrade as we were on our honeymoon. On entering our room we couldn't believe the size of the room. Our bathroom was fantastic. Marble sinks and floors with a massive shower.
The view from the room was breathtaking. It overlooked the lagoon and sea.
The soft drinks are quite expensive. But the mocktails taste marvellous. You wouldn't realise they didn't contain alcohol. Don't be put of with the fact that you are unable to purchase alcohol. Each person is allowed to bring a bottle of spirits into the country or two bottles of wine, for personal consumption. The restaurants in the hotel will cork your wine free of charge, and you are able to drink alchohol in the restaurants.
There is a free shuttle bus into the city and also to the theme park.

If you need a relaxing holiday this is defiantely the hotel to stay in.

Pure Luxury! Great Experience

from germanolatino
This hotel is just outstanding and incredibly luxurious, I have nothing to add to the previous reviews - just look at the pictures!!! You can discuss the taste of the interior architects, but it's class anyhow. The lobby, the lake-sized pool , the rooms, the movie-house are unbelievable... Despite some previous critics about the food, I experienced perfect service in all the restaurants and wonderful meals (after all you are on Borneo in a tiny little country which is the richest of the world, but not cosmopolitan at all)
On top of all: The hotel is never crowded due to the enormous space everywhere, and it's the perfect place to get rid of your alcohol-addiction! Beware, no alcohol in Brunei...

The Empire is The Empire!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just like yourselves I too came here and read reviews of the Empire and guess what? It's exactly as it says on the tin -The Empire is THE EMPIRE! There's nothing like it. If you like a bit of gold and grandeur - this is the place to be!

With its majestic lobby, board rooms, lounges, conference rooms, ballroom, arcade, emporium, pavillions, cinema, theatre, restaurants, suites, villas, hundreds of guest rooms and facilities for swimming (indoor & outdoor), bowling, badmington, tennis, squash, golf, gym, spa, basketball and diving - it certainly packs a punch!

Official room rates as follows in Brunein Dollars/night:
Superior 523*
Deluxe 578
Deluxe E-Club 665
Junior Suite 798
Executive Suite 1073(!)

(*Complimentary upgrades from Superior to Deluxe are common!)
So if you can find prices cheaper through your travel agents then go for it!

To my wife's shock & horror I upgraded to the Executive Suite! Shock and horror in the lavish sense of course! The suite contained a kitchen, dining room, spacious lounge, 2 bathrooms, XL-King size bed, jacuzzi, seperate shower room, numerous sinks and a spacious balcony with sunbeds & chairs. Everything operated from a touch a button - curtains, lights, jacuzzi, blah, blah. Not to mention the splendid views of the South China Sea and the swimming pools.

Since the Empire is built in its own vast acres of land it is somewhat out of the way. The shopping districts of Gadong & Yayasan are 30 and 45 mins drive respectively. Yes, distant but the Empire provides a free shuttle service to & fro. Taxis are expensive - so beware!

In conclusion - Great hotel, great staff - a pleasure staying here. Far better than all other hotels i've been to. Would I go back? Yes, yes, yes!
Any questions: adam@issat.am
Do see my photo's!

Stunning place

from jpw_golf
We only stayed one night on a stopover back from KK to London, but The Empire is simply stunning - the sort of place you want to tell everyone about! From the room (with great view through the electronically operated curtains), to the exceptional breakfast (sitting in the spectacular attrium overlooking the pools and sea), and the amazing man-made beach-pool (which must be at least 300yds long, and we were the only ones in it).

And fantastic value (we got corporate rate staying with an ex-pat who works in Brunei). If you ever get a chance to stay there - jump at it!

Great hotel-ordinary eating

from petperth
We went to the hotel on an overnight trip for my husbands birthday from Sarawak, where there arent many of the western luxuries we all get used to. The hotel is beautiful,the rooms are excellent and the bed was the best I have slept in a hotel, the sheets felt like silk. We knew to take our own alcohol and were discretly served our wine in coloured glasses. the meal options were a great dissapointment. We opted for the Italian as we didn't just want buffet food as a birhday celebration and i don't eat chinese (ok I realise this was my own doing) It was a mistake, the meal was mediochre and the service average, such a dissapointment for a 6star hotel. The food doesnt match the opulent surroundings.

A Glitzy Surface with Nothing Underneath

from A TripAdvisor Member
First impressions of the Empire hotel took our breath away. It's decadent interior with highly polished marble floors and gold gild surrounds are pretty impressive. Once the surroundings of luxury had been absorbed however, it soon became apparent that the staff were more concerned with formalities such as calling us "Sir" and "Madam" rather than actually taking in anything we asked.

For instance, we asked for a brochure or some info on what the hotel had to offer and were told it would be brought to the room. Two hours and 3 phone calls to reception later, it arrived and was in fact 2 sheets of paper about the Country Club. It also took half an hour before our bags were delivered to our room. This was after the 45 minutes it took to check us in.

We upgraded upon arrival and were given access to the e-club lounge. No information was given to us on what the e-club lounge facilities were and when I rang reception to ask for info they told me they'd never heard of it! This was sorted eventually, by going down to reception and speaking to a more competent member of staff.

The driving range does not allow anyone to use the "driving" facilities after 4pm but they do not advertise this. Instead you have to tee-off from the grass and buy your own tees.

The main dishes on ALL of the restaurant menus is either fish or seafood. We eat neither so were very pushed for choice. Great if you like seafood.

The e-club lounge (it does exist) offers members afternoon tea. I had the unfortunate pleasure of having my tea served with sour milk. The staff were very apologetic but why do they even have milk which is sour? Surely, being a top hotel of the world, they should be using fresh milk daily?

I ordered chicken and coconut soup from room service and was appalled to find that the chicken was either thigh meat or gristle! In a hotel such as this anyone would expect the best quality of food. The Empire does not serve quality food in my opinion. I've honestly eaten at much nicer hawker stalls at a tenth of the price!

We went to the 10 pin bowling alley hoping for an enjoyable game. We didn't even get started as none of the holes in the balls fitted our fingers. We do not have fat fingers either. I think that all of the balls cater only for slim oriental hands and not those of Westerners.

The only thing that met our expectations was the room. It was very plush, clean, huge and lovely. The bathroom was huge also with a corner bath, marble furnishings and a separate shower room. The bed was one of the nicest I've slept in.

All in all, we would not recommend this hotel unless you don't mind burning your cash. It's very nice on the surface but for us, it ended there. The staff were non apologetic for their lack of service and they charge a 5% service charge for it!

Outstanding !!

from canbguy
What a fantastic place to stay. Spent 3 nights at the Empire in October 2005, all i can say is just about the best hotel i have ever been in or stayed at. We were upgraded to a suite !!! no extra cost and wow !! what about the views, balcony etc from the room overlooking the south china sea.

The staff were friendly and very helpfull. What can i say i would go back tomorrow and stay for several weeks. What a love country and Place Brunei is.

Do yourself a BIG favour and stay here for a few days, if you like grandour, architecture and gold go !!

Empire was unbelievable and huge

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Empire for 6 nights for our Honeymoon. The night we arrived we stepped out on our balcony and were blown away with what we saw, so beautiful and large with all lights on near the lagoon pool. The Empire has everything and Nov after Ramadan is perfect time to go - nobody there. We had most things to ourselves and the activities were plentiful...jetskiing, ten pin bowling, golf, spa, tennis, kayaking squash, cinema. There were hardly any negatives but be aware of a couple of things. No ATM working for cash, restaurants very expensive (two mains and a salad $100 Aus), we ate alot of room service which was delivered beautifully and was half the price. Golf was great except they sent us on the wrong nine to play night golf and by the third tee was dark (not funny at the time). Dont do the city tour, it was a waste of time and not much in the city, so you could just get a shuttle in if need be.
We had such a great time, would probably recommend 3 nights in Sabah (Nexus) and 3 nights at the Empire

Top Local Tips for Bandar Seri Begawan

Spa Do not miss out out on a visit to the spa. It is great value for such a wonderful and relaxing experience.

Buses Frequent courtesy buses/vans from the hotel to two different city destinations. Around Bandar several regular bus lines but didn't need them.

River Trip We took a 3 hour river trip to see the probiscus monkeys. This was organised through the hotel front desk. We have a great time and the vist to the floating village was a real bonus,. Saw a number of probiscus monkeys as well a large crocodile!! We had a minibus and boat between three of us and the guide was lovely and you genuinely believed she wanrted us to have a good time and we certaily did.

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Other names for The Empire Hotel & Country Club

  • the empire hotel and country
  • empire hotel brunei
  • Address: Muara-Tutong Highway - Bandar Seri Begawan - BG3122 - Brunei Darussalam
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