I have a confession to make. I don’t really enjoy making hotel reservations. In fact, it’s my least favorite part of traveling. There is so much at risk. The hotel can make or break your trip. That’s why I was thrilled when I had all of my Brunei accommodations taken care of quite easily. And the hotels made for a perfect stay.
Orchid Garden Hotel
When you have a late night flight and arrive in the wee hours of the morning, all you want to do is get to your hotel. I didn’t know what to anticipate upon landing in Brunei, but it was smooth sailing. I arrived and had a hotel representative waiting for me as soon as I cleared customs. The best part was that the hotel was literally five minutes away. Before I could get comfortable in the van, we had arrived. Check-in was a breeze and I was all showered and in bed before I knew it. I didn’t really check out the surroundings in my haze of sleepiness the night I arrived, but I was pleasantly surprised to open my window the next day and have a view of the stadium and the Ministry of Finance. The Orchid Garden was perfect for a transit stay but also had a pool, a couple of ballrooms for massive weddings, restaurants and a shuttle to pretty much anywhere you’d want to go in the capital. The hotel could use some remodling, but the convenience and friendliness of the staff definitely made it somewhere I would stay again and I really liked that it is locally owned.
Ulu Ulu Resort
I mentioned it in a previous post, but it can be summed up in a few words-the only resort in Brunei’s rainforest. Waking up in environmental paradise and watching the sunrise over the primary rainforest was phenomenal. Enough said.
After a couple of days in the rainforest, I was ready for some wifi and a little lounging by the pool. I arrived at the Radisson late afternoon and immediately threw my stuff down and used the complimentary shuttle to check out the mall and night market. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to major attractions such as the Regalia, but having the shuttle was also nice. I was able to explore at my own leisure and had the shuttle to pick me up and drop me off at the hotel when I was done. In addition to the attentive and welcoming staff, the facilities were beautiful. The breakfast spread what one of the bests I’ve ever tasted, especially for a vegetarian. I had a great stay and discovered that the Radisson was dangerously comfortable! Even though I was eager to tour the city the next day, I wasn’t all that sad when it began to rain and I had to stay in bed a little longer. The room was so comfortable and relaxing and I was able to enjoy some much needed down time in the comfort of my room and of course sunbathe by the pool as well. My only complaint is that the spa was all booked up, so a word to the wise, book your massage or facial in advance. The spa looked top notch with multiple private rooms for different treatments.
The Empire Hotel
Though I didn’t stay there, I don’t think a post about places to stay in Brunei would be complete without at least mentioning the Empire Hotel. It has varying reviews from outdated to opulent and a range of stars from 4.5 to 7. It’s probably the most famous hotel in Brunei and probably the most expensive. I didn’t get a chance to stay there so I guess that just means I’ll have to go back.
How about you? Ever been to Brunei? Any recommendations?