The main entrance to The
            EmpireA view of the Empire Hotel from the beachThe Empire Hotel and Country Club was recently (2002) voted "Asia's Leading Resort" by World Travel Awards, and it is easy to see why. This multibillion dollar complex is a complete world onto itself, as we found when we traveled there over the November Holiday. The Empire is essentially a self-contained oasis, boasting a golf course, recreation center, several pools, a bowling alley and cinema, in addition to a wide range of rooms and villas. The photo to the left shows the entrance to the resort, about a 20 minute ride from the airport. The photo to the left is the most flattering (and oft seen) image of the Empire complex from the beach. It is not hard to see why it is listed among the luxury small hotels of the world.

A Model Mosque greets
            guests during Hari RayaThe Entrance to the
            lobbyFrom the guardhouse the road to the resort winds upward to the main building, whose impressive entryway is shown in the photo to the left. Anyone who has spent time in the Middle East will undoubtedly feel at home with the decor of the Empire Hotel and Resort. To be fair, it is more understated than many of the more opulent Middle Eastern Hotels, but there is certainly the requisite amount of gold lacquer and glittering glassware. As we arrived at the end of Ramadan, we were greeted by a large model of Brunei's most prominent mosque, shown in the photo to the immediate right. 

A view of the bottom of
            the Atrium
The second floor mezzanineA few short steps from the entrance and check-in area is arguably the most spectacular architectural feature of the Empire, the Atrium. The five main floors of the hotel only extend about half of the way across the building, opening onto an atrium that rises six and one half floors from its base. Opposite the hotel's main entrance, the atrium is enclosed on the beach side by a wall of glass, bathing the area in light and highlighting the Hotel's tropical setting. The atrium is supported by massive marble columns trimmed in gold and teak. The photo to the left shows the base of the atrium with the ornate columns; clicking on the photo will bring up a second photo that shows the glass wall and beach area. The photo to the right shows one of the mezzanine levels (two levels below the entrance) which hosts one of the hotel's four restaurants, each on its own mezzanine level, facing the atrium.

Shops line the hotel's
            arcadeEntrance to Spaghettini's restaurantThere are a host of restaurants and shops clustered around the atrium. To the right of the check-in desk on the atrium's second level is an arcade of shops, shown in the photo to the left. They specialize in jewels, carpets and clothing. around the corner from the arcade is a series of steps the winds up to Spaghettini Trattoria, the Hotel's cozy Italian restaurant, shown in the photo to the right. There is a second Atrium Cafe, a coffee and sandwich shop which serves the second floor of the atrium, allowing visitor to grab a bite while soaking in the spaciousness of this central lobby area.

The piano overlooks the
            atrium and the main restaurantIndera Pura LoungeOne floor below the main entrance are two more restaurants. The main dining room and the Indera Kayangan Ballroom is built on a mezzanine overlooking the atrium, and all of the buffet style meals are served there. Most guests to the hotel take their meals here, as it is included in most of the hotel packages. The restaurant boasted a generous buffet of both western and Muslim (halal) food, with especially good seafood. Patrons are entertained by a player piano, perched at the edge of the mezzanine (photo to the left). For larger groups, the Indera Pura Lounge (photo to the right) offers banquet style seating. There are also several large banquet/conference rooms located on the floor above.

A view of the room looking
            out toward the balconyView of room looking toward the entranceWhile the atrium is a show-stopper, the rooms are what really appealed to us. They were large, comfortable and beautifully decorated. The picture to the left shows a view of the room from its anteroom (which had huge closets and ample storage space for luggage). The king-size bed sported an amazingly soft down comforter, and beyond the bed was a small reading area with two stuffed chairs and a table. Beyond the white curtains was a wraparound balcony with a view of the beach. The photo to the left shows the divider separating the storage and living spaces, as well as the writing table on the wall opposite the bed. It was a large, well appointed room, and everything in it had the solid feel of quality. Spectacular. The video below from TravelFoodTech offers a quick tour of the hotel

Video Tour of the Empire Hotel, Brunei

Take a Virtual Tour of the Empire Hotel and Country Club

Instructions: Place the cursor on a number to view that feature in a new window. Click on "Close" to shut that window and return to the diagram below. [Hint: be certain not to drag the mouse over another number, or it will open that window instead]  If this doesn't work (or negotiating between the numbers is too annoying), click on the links in the box below. Be sure your ad-blocker is turned off for this page. Those on mobile devices will find that the "Close" button may not work, in which case you must use your browser's "Back" button

The Atrium
Marine Center
The Villas
East Atrium Wing
Lagoon Wing
Empire Theater and Cinema
West Atrium Wing
Ligong Restaurant
Empire Country Club
Retail Arcade
Waterfall Wing
Hotel Main Entrance
Beach Facilities
Sea View Wing

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