Monday, June 30, 2014

Brunei Travel Diary

It is my second day here in Brunei and I am already impressed by how hospitable the people are. I am currently on a three-day staycation at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, after that, I will be spending the next days exploring some highly recommended tourist spots around the country. But did you know that The Empire Hotel in Brunei was originally built to house royal guests? Oh yeah. It was built by Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the brother of the current Sultan of Brunei. Prince Jefri owned a network of companies and investment vehicles, he bought the luxury goods company Asprey, built an amusement park, and other projects in Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his brother have had some open financial disagreements in the past and finally came to the decision of converting the royal guest palace to a hotel. 

The Empire hotel is a grand, spacious, state-of-the-art, luxury five-star hotel. It is the best hotel in the country and the only one situated by the South China Sea. There are beaches and a whole wealth of swimming pools. There are seven restaurants, a golf course, a cinema and a bowling alley. The whole complex cost around $US1.1 billion to build! These photos won't even justify how beautiful and vast this area is. I've never seen a grander lobby, it's really impressive. Almost everything inside is lined with gold, the artworks are magnificent, and they boast intricately design interiors. The first thing I thought of when I looked around is where the people are. I thought maybe not so many people are staying here, I was wrong. What was I thinking? On a 180-hectare hotel, how can I expect everyone to stay in just one place, and with all the facilities here? But then, there's dinner and breakfast time. Ah! Pretty crowded eh? We had to line up and wait for an available table. They serve up fresh seafood, western and local dishes, but sadly, they were just OK. Nothing had impressed my taste buds, so far. I still highly recommend you stay here when in Brunei though, don't miss this out!

Brunei sunset
Largest pool
Infinity pool
A glimpse of the hotel lobby
This was my look straight from the airport!
Blazer | Forever 21 | Jeans | Forever 21 | Flats | Rubi Shoes
More photos from inside The Empire Hotel on my next post.
Now back to making the most out of this vacation. Until then!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Empire Hotel Brunei

As promised, here are some photos from inside The Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei. Impressive isn't it? What also made my stay here more interesting was meeting some of our Kababayans. It's true that almost everywhere in the world, there is a Filipino. You'll recognize the familiar friendly smiles, the polite gestures and sense of humour when having a conversation with them. Bruneians are as well good natured people, thoughtful and welcoming, so I had no trouble blending in. In fact, I met these group of teenage girls in The Empire Hotel while taking a dip one afternoon. Most of them were shy but that's not stopping them from being nice and all. Here's a shout out to you my dear @alexismhjpowers! See you again soon!

Dress | Dorothy Perkins

Who wouldn't feel like a Queen Bee in this place?
Watch out for my next blog post, still in Brunei!
For more photos, drop by my Instagram @lvlygrey