Definitely worth staying here if you are in Brunei. After all, this is the country where no one pays income tax and the ruler is one very rich man. So you should at least live like you have money to burn, even if it’s only for a few days.
The most luxurious hotel in all of Borneo. As you can see, there are no photos from inside the rooms. That’s because I can’t afford to stay there. According to the rates on the hotel’s website, the most expensive suite only costs a mere B$14,375 (US$10,415). President Putin and Bill Clinton are believed to have stayed in these suites during the APEC meeting which was held in Brunei. But not all rooms are so expensive. Superior rooms are priced at B$220 only. I doubt if the rates are correct. Best to call the hotel to check the latest prices.
Hotel facilities include a spa, 3 cinemas, 1 theatre, a bowling alley, a gym, badminton courts, marine sports, etc. etc. 18-hole golf course is designed by Jack Nicklaus and night golf is possible. There are 9 swimming pools. But one is inside the Emperor Suite and can only be used by the super rich who stay in that suite. Normal rich folks would just have to make do with the other 8 pools. There are 503 rooms all together and all the rooms are big. (So if you want to bring along your entire family, you know what to do.) The toilets are nice, but not outstanding. Hotel area is huge. Buggies are on standby to ferry guests around. The 7-storey high lobby is incredible and always catches the attention of first time visitors who will inevitably look up at the ceiling.
They call themselves a 7-star hotel, but service is not there yet. Another drawback is that the hotel is not located within walking distance of the town centre. Then again, if you are staying here, why would you want to go out?
The hotel was formerly part of Prince Jefri’s house. It was opened in year 2000 for the APEC meeting. When it was first opened, even tour guides have to show their identification card to get in. The biggest LNG field in Brunei, the Champion Oil Field is visible from the hotel beach.
Hotel’s website: www.theempirehotel.com
In case you are wondering, I usually stay at Pusat Belia (Youth Centre) – B$10 per night.