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“7 stars - No way. 5 Stars - No way. 4 Stars - good enough”

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Certificate of Excellence
Batangas City, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“7 stars - No way. 5 Stars - No way. 4 Stars - good enough”
Reviewed 2 November 2013

3rd days in this hotel but nightmare.

Cigarette smoke stink in the bathroom / Most of Restaurant is closed / The only restaurant offered Buffet but not worthy for B$50 at all.
Room Phone is broken etc. . .

waste of money

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SHGFK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

I am so sorry to read of your disappointing stay, for which I apologise.

I have taken note of all the concerns you have raised, and should you wish to elaborate further on your experience, I would be pleased to correspond with you.

I hope to be in contact with you, at your convenience, in due course.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Geelong
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013 via mobile

This is our second time at the Empire Hotel and we enjoyed it even more than the first. We were on the return journey to Melbourne and thought we would stay a few nights to re-adjust to the time zone. Our stay could not have been more relaxing, with many swims in the pool and book reading. The on-site restaurant offer has expanded since our last stay in May 2012 with a Teppanyaki Bar. The staff were universally friendly and helpful. The reception atrium is amazing and the rooms spacious. This is a very large property with a few accommodation buildings so if you can book an Ocean view room in the East or West Wing, both for the views and easier access to restaurants, etc. The whole property - inside and out - was immaculately clean all the time. We will be back.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KeithFagg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your generous review on TripAdvisor and I look forward to welcoming you back.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkby Stephen, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

We only stayed at the Empire for two nights in the middle of a two week tour of Sabah & Sarawak and were pleased with the overall experience. There was a glitch on arrival whereby we had been allocated a beautiful room with balcony that overlooked nothing but roof tops. The lagoon was visible if you sat at an angle but we didn't feel this was acceptable even though we were only using the hotel as a base. Having immediately requested a change of room we were told there were no others available, unless we paid to upgrade at $88 per night in the main building, this we declined and were then offered a room in the Ocean view block at $33 per night which we accepted. However, the room had to be cleaned and we were told it would take up to 45 minutes. Over an hour and a half later and numerous calls we were finally transferred but very disappointed and frustrated. However, the staff were very apologetic and we did not let this spoil our stay. The whole complex has to be seen, it is beautiful and catered for all tastes. We ate in the buffet seafood restaurant which had a good selection and everything chosen was delicious and not overpriced for the quality. The breakfast in the Atrium was also very good. We did use the hotel shuttle bus to go to Gadong night market which is only 15 minutes away and worth the experience. Upon check out the upgrade fee was waived which we thought very fair.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gill541208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your feedback and I am sorry you were disappointed with your room, upon your arrival.

I hope to welcome you back in the future.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuwait
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

We stayed for 4 nights me and my wife. It was nice stay but it was to much 4 nights. I advice to stay 2 to 3 nights maximum. Cause the hotel far from downtown. So you will have to stay in the hotel all the day. But the good thing is the Hotel is very big hotel so you can walk in or play Golf or swimming in the beach or in the pool. There was before a Theater and Cinima, but now it's closed. They have a good Japanese and Seafood Resturants. The dinner there cost approximant 40 B$ per person. Taxi cost from the city 30 B$. The staf was good and helpful. The room was big enought and clean. The Hotel need advertisment and need to open all the Entertainment facilities.

Room Tip: Take any room you like. Almost only the view will be different. Cause there is internal free transpo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AhmadFJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind review and I am pleased you had a nice stay.

I am delighted to report that following a restoration and upgrade to digital projection equipment, the Cinema will re-open in January 2014.

I look forward to welcome you back to The Empire.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

From the photos and the write-ups that my partner and I had read about The Empire, we decided we would treat ourselves to a night of luxury before leaving Brunei and splashed out for a night here in an Ocean View Room.

Upon arrival we were impressed by the grandness of the foyer - this is indesputable. We were also welcomed with a cool shot-glass full of juice and cold towel at reception, which set our expectations a bit higher for the treatment we would be receiving. However as we walked around the grounds while waiting to check-in we were a bit disappointed in the lack of activity - the whole place seemed like a ghost town! No one was enjoying the pool area and everyone we did see looked a bit bored.

We finally checked in and were shown to our room which I have no complaints about. No, it's probably not 6-star, but the bed is comfortable and the bathroom is nice and clean and we have a balcony so we're happy with this.

Since it was about 3pm by this time we decided to order room service to enjoy the balcony view, but when we called up to order 2 burgers from their all-day menu we were told they had no burgers and wouldn't for the rest of the day. This was extremely disappointing as you do not expect a hotel of this calibur to run out of one of its menu staples, especially given this is *exactly* what we felt like.

The other disappointing factor would be the lack of transport to and from the hotel. The taxi from BSB costs about $30, which we were expecting, but after realizing we would need to look elsewhere for our dinner we decided to go to Gadong, only to be told that the bus had left 5 minutes earlier. There is nothing in the rooms or given to you upon checkin outlining the timings of the public buses or where they go, so we had to order another taxi (there were none on standby) and pay another $25 to go there. The gentleman working at the concierge desk was very friendly and said we could catch a public bus back from Gadong to the Empire and tried to explain where to catch it, but there was definitely a communication breakdown because when we were leaving Gadong we were told the bus went back into Bandar before going out to the Empire, so another taxi ride it was.

We knew prices would be higher here than in town, but there is no little mini mart to even buy a can of Coke so you would need to pay $7 which is 7x the cost that you would pay at the supermarket, which is ridiculously excessive - even for a luxury resort.

My partner's job allows him the luxury of staying in 4- and 5-star hotels around Australia and he was quite disappointed with the overall experience. Whilst there is no doubting the grandeur of the atruim (lobby area) or the quality of the rooms, it is the above mentioned one percenters that detracted from what could have been an enjoyable experience.

In comparison to the previous two nights accommodation in BSB that came at only a third of the cost of this hotel we received a much better deal in terms of extras and value for money.

In short there are better options for top $$ in this town!!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joslyn42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed review on TripAdvisor, which is appreciated.

I am sorry that we did not fully meet your expectations and please consider in returning on your next visit to Brunei.

If, as I hope, you should decide to return, kindly mention this report at the time of booking.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 October 2013 via mobile

We arrived at this hotel after a week at Rasa Rai in Borneo where we'd been wowed. (Brunei Airlines travel so took opportunity to see Brunei although main destination was Borneo and Orangutans). We fully expected the same here after all we'd read and the pictures we'd viewed. For all it's supposed 7 star-ness, we had to queue to check in, got given a room that looked out over an empty pool and caterpillar tractor (no kidding!). We asked to move and did, but couldn't entirely avoid the construction work and noise). The well advertised "magnificent" pool complex was 60% closed - no one mentioned this when we were booking (and it hadn't occurred to us to ask....we do every time now!). The atmosphere was too formal for families and what ambience there was was dull and lifeless after happy, cheery Rasa Rai. We were glad to only have 3 nights. Next time we'd extend at Rasa Rai and only fly through Brunei.

Stayed November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Zestylime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank for your feedback on your recent experience at The Empire and I am very concerned to read that your experience did not live up to your expectations.

I would, therefore, invite you to discuss your experience in more detail and would ask that you kindly make contact with me directly, at your convenience.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 October 2013

The Empire Hotel boasts itself of its grandeur and excellent service and we expected that with paying for the Empire Select membership. My husband and I have decided to stay in the hotel to celebrate our 5th year wedding anniversary. After my email to the sales department was left unanswered after a few days, we decided to just make a call to inquire regarding the Empire select membership. Thinking we would be saving alot and enjoying the benefits, we would probably be able to enjoy our 5th year anniversary. Boy, were we wrong!!!! After being promised a reservation at Pantai restaurant (the day before our anniversary), we went to have dinner, and lo and behold! My husband's name was not included for reservations!!! Had the restaurant been full, we would not have been able to dine in there, but luckily, the F&B team were wonderful. Another thing! We were informed we were able to bill the dinner to our room, but no!! Thinking this was possible, we didn't bring any valuables out and left everything in the safe box provided in our room. So, when the waiter at Pantai had inform us we were unable to bill the dinner to the room, my husband had to walk back to our room and deal with the broken door to our room(!!!) in order to get back to me quickly so we could pay for our meal and just get back to our room. And yes, our door's access key area is slightly broken and requires a lot of tries in order for us to enter our room. (This was also a discomfort as it took up our time when checking in to our room, with the poor receptionist having to go back up twice to the reception area to check on the keys! Cherry on top of the sundae, we were not even informed that the breakfast was not part of the package! Had we been well informed, we would have NOT signed up for the empire select and just got the offer package for October! Oh! and i almost missed one big info! We were "given an upgrade" to main building with us having to pay for $88 but with NO prior call to inform us that there were no available king sized beds (as we requested) at the other buildings. We were promised a phone call by the lady at Empire select office, but we didn't get one. We are very disappointed! Thanks Empire for ruining our anniversary!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anna21385
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, 31 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback and I apologise for your disappointing experience.

I believe we have subsequently been in contact and I hope that this has been resolved to your satisfaction.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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