Empire Hotel and Country Club was recently (2002) voted
Resort" by World Travel Awards, and it is easy to see why.
multibillion dollar complex is a complete world onto itself,
found when we traveled there over the November Holiday. The
essentially a self-contained oasis, boasting a golf course,
center, several pools, a bowling alley and cinema, in addition
wide range of rooms and villas. The photo to the left shows
entrance to the resort, about a 20 minute ride from the
photo to the left is the most flattering (and oft seen) image
Empire complex from the beach. It is not hard to see why it is
among the luxury small hotels of the world.
From 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 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.
There are a host of
restaurants and shops
clustered around the atrium. To the right of the check-in desk
atrium's second level is an arcade of shops, shown in the
photo to the
left. They specialize in jewels, carpets and clothing. around
corner from the arcade is a series of steps the winds up to
Trattoria, the Hotel's cozy Italian restaurant, shown in the
the right. There is a second Atrium Cafe, a coffee and
which serves the second floor of the atrium, allowing visitor
to grab a
bite while soaking in the spaciousness of this central lobby
One floor below
the main entrance are
restaurants. The main dining room and the Indera Kayangan
built on a mezzanine overlooking the atrium, and all of the
style meals are served there. Most guests to the hotel take
here, as it is included in most of the hotel packages. The
boasted a generous buffet of both western and Muslim (halal)
especially good seafood. Patrons are entertained by a player
perched at the edge of the mezzanine (photo to the left). For
groups, the Indera Pura Lounge (photo to the right) offers
style seating. There are also several large banquet/conference
located on the floor above.
While 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
cursor on a number to view that feature in a new window.
"Close" to shut that window and return to the diagram below.
certain not to drag the mouse over another number, or it
will open that
window instead] If this doesn't work (or negotiating
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
will find that the "Close" button may not work, in which
case you must
use your browser's "Back" button
Return to Brunei