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The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei: five star luxury and so much more

Brunei may be a small country but it punches above its weight when it comes to offering visitors somewhere “different”, with pristine rainforests, adventure sports, culture and one of Asia’s top five star resorts, the Empire Hotel & Country Club. Although considered to be one of the richest countries in the world, it’s Brunei’s natural riches that attract visitors to this tiny state. There’s an opportunity to discover one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems and experience the natural beauty of the primary rainforests, home to the rare proboscis monkey. The rainforests cover 70% of Brunei’s land area and are protected by the government. Other wildlife such as macaques, kingfishers and eagles can also be seen in the Pulau Selirong Mangrove. For the more adventurous the Ulu Temburong National Park and the Kuala Field Study Centre both offer a choice of ecotourism and sporting activities for groups or individuals including kayaking, hiking, white water rafting, windsurfing and reef diving. No visit to Brunei’s capital city, Bandar Seri Begwan, would be complete without a trip to the local “Tamu” Night Market and the Kampon Ayer water village, reputed to be the largest collection of stilt habitations in the world. An example of Brunei’s royal heritage is Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan’s lavish home and the largest residential palace in the world. The capital also houses a number of royal museums highlighting the nation’s 600-year old monarchy. After discovering what there is to do and see in Brunei, visitors can enjoy the peaceful sanctuary of Brunei’s most prestigious beach resort, the award winning Empire Hotel & Country Club. Famous guests representing all walks of life have included former US President Bill Clinton, Jenson Button and Pamela Anderson. A spectacular masterpiece of architecture and design overlooking the South China Sea, the hotel’s extensive grounds provide an environment of peace and tranquillity. There are 518 guest rooms, suites and a collection of private villas with their own private swimming pool. Fine dining is a hallmark of the Empire Hotel & Country Club, with a choice of individually styled restaurants offering authentic local and international cuisine. The Country Club offers an array of world-class sport and leisure facilities including floodlit tennis, badminton, squash, ten-pin bowling, billiards, snooker, a fitness centre plus a choice of eight swimming pools. For the less energetic, the Spa provides a variety of massage therapies and beauty treatments. The hotel is ranked among Asia’s leading golf destinations and was voted Best Golf Resort 2010 by Asian Golf Magazine. The immaculate fairways and greens of the floodlit 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course play host to the annual Brunei Open, contested by the professional Asian Tour and the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters tournaments.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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