(Brunei, October 18, 2006) "“ Brunei's palatial Empire Hotel & Country Club has been voted the Sultanate’s leading hotel for the third year running in the prestigious World Travel Awards. The resort also collected three accolades in Smart Travel Asia magazine’s ‘The Best in Travel 2006’ awards.
In the 13th annual World Travel Awards, the Empire Hotel & Country Club was voted Brunei’s Leading Hotel from a poll of 167,000 travel professionals worldwide, including 110,000 travel agents. The award was presented at a glittering ceremony in the Caribbean Turks & Caicos islands in September.
World Travel Awards President, Graham E. Cooke, said: "Being a WTA winner is all about prestige — a true endorsement of a company's achievements and services by fellow travel professionals.”
Anne Busfield, General Manager of The Empire Hotel & Country Club, said: "We are delighted to be recognised again as the pre-eminent resort hotel in Brunei.”
In Smart Travel Asia’s ‘The Best in Travel 2006’ awards, The Empire Hotel & Country Club was voted in the Top 25 of three categories in a poll of readers.
Readers ranked the resort 22nd among Asia’s Best Business Hotels, 20th among Asia’s Best Conference Hotels and 9th of Asia’s Best Leisure Hotels & Resorts.
“Votes are by readers and hopefully we will climb up the ladder next year once more experience our truly outstanding property for themselves,” said Ms Busfield.
The Empire Hotel and Country Club previously won the World’s Leading Presidential Suite three years in a row in the World Travel Awards. The breathtaking Emperor Suite, which is one of the world's largest at 666 square meters with its own indoor swimming pool, earned the top accolade in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
For more information, visit the resort's new website at: www.theempirehotel.com.
For more on Brunei at ITKT
A few updates to your “write up” on The Empire Hotel in Brunei.
Firstly it would have to be amongst the top in Brunei, it’s one of three Hotels which would rate at all on any scale. The other two are the new Rizqun International Hotel, at Gadong in Bandar, the Capital and the other is the old Sheraton in downtown Bandar. There are others but these are worth a mention.
I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the Empire during Ms B tenure and after during a period which Mr.N Moore was the acting GM and now with a new GM, a Mr. M.
The Hotel is without doubt an Amazing Sculpture, a Monument to Opulence and significant player on the World Hospitality scene.
Sadly, times do change, sometimes for the worse. The Empire Resort in Brunei is a case in point.
Since the arrival of the New GM, there has been and exodus of great staff in both the Reception,Food & Beverage and Rooms departments.
No longer the efficient smiling welcome anymore at the Front Office. It is inefficient!
The cleanliness in Rooms has deteriorated to the point where I had to ask for the Air conditioners to be cleaned. Paint is peeling, furniture is stained and so the list goes on.
You are entitled to one Towel nowadays!
Following the sudden departure of Chefs, the food is at best average. It is cold and unimaginative and menu items often just not available .The new GM has decreed that Cheese will no longer be served at breakfast or lunch buffets, due to cost “cost cutting”, Satays are always running out as are stock items such as spring rolls.Give me a break!
The Pool Deck is at best shoddy and the Bar itself is in decay as are the Umbrellas.Pool tiles are falling off, the filtering systems is not working properly! Theres is algae everywhere.
Don’t expect much service at the Pool, whilst “V.I.P” are about as most good staff such as Iman, Paolo and Rommel are diverted to the various functions attended by members of Government of the Sultan’s Family. These staff work upwards of 14 hours a day as do Duty Managers, Food and Beverage Directors and Assistants.
Staff who once supervised at Spaghettinis are now in the Function Department or serving at the German Ambassador’s residence in Bandar.
The erstwhile Supervisor at the Pantai Restaurant, A, has been moved to the Bunker Cafe near part of tthe Golf Club. He’s a great loss to the Pantai! He is a great character and professional restaurateur. Dumb move by M if you ask me.
Speaking of Golf Club, don’t dare arrive wearing an expensive silk shirt or your new denim knee length shorts, as you will be denied entry. Similar shorts and shirt allowed me entry to the Dorchester in London and the Mandarin in Hong Kong, but no, not the Empire on the island of Borneo. Not all staff speak English either.
In General, I’d say, that whilst I understand that the Empire must be run as a business and as such it would be expected to make a profit. it is reasonable to expect that Professional Management would know better than to go about throwing tantrums, instilling fear,animosity and uncertainty in Personnel. The threat of replacing Professional personnel with locals simply because it’s politically correct,as the new GM has done is both dumb and bad management!
The erstwhile Free Bus Service to town has been replaced with $70.00 Limo ( Toyota Camry)rides.
I would urge a few directors of the Empire, such as Dr. A and Mr. S to sit down with a few of the Hotel Staff with a Cooperative attitude in mind and make some attempt to retrieve the once held “Status Quo”at the Empire!
Selling the Hotel’s facilities abroad to Australia, UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, the US etc is one thing, “having the goods” is another matter.
At present The Empire Resort & Hotel in Brunei does not have “what it takes” nor does it have a decent GM who understands the Culture of the Empire and it’s People.
I did try to leave a response, alas after a clicked submit, it was all gone!
The above comments had to be edited. Here at ITKT, we believe in the right to critique any destination that does not live up to what it is billed. However, calling out people, by name, does not serve the greater travel culture. -ITKT Editor-