Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brunei - Hotel Rizqun

The hotel Rizqun is situated in an area called Gadong located between the airport and downtown Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB); about 10 minutes from the airport. Unfortunately taxis are not allowed to queue at the airport so we had prebooked transport with the hotel - $45 one way! A taxi from the hotel to downtown BSB cost us $15.

The hotel’s location is quite god for our purposes. We arrived at about 8:30 am and while waiting for our check in time of 1pm we walked around a wet market about 10 minutes’ walk for the hotel. As with all wet markets a wide array of beautiful and some not so beautiful fish are ready to greet you! One cannot help but admire the skills of stall holders as they break down their fish into supermarket style cuts.

In another area of the market red and white meats were being readied for sale. The beef was plentiful and we learned that it had come from the Sultan’s (Brunei’s) farm in Australia. Incidentally the farm is bigger in area than is Brunei itself!

There were three shopping areas near our hotel. One centred on the Centre Point hotel about 5 minutes’ walk from our hotel, a second, centred on our hotel and a third that was probably the number one shopping area before the first two were built. Those centred on the two hotels were thriving with lots of foot traffic while the earlier one was certainly languishing for want of custom. It was quite sad really.

Internally and externally, this hotel is quite unlike us in that it looks like it costs a lot, even discounting the fact that this is Asia. The interior design, furnishings, fittings and facilities are really wonderful. Our room is bigger and better appointed that some apartments we have seen in NZ. The lobbies on each floor are ballroom size with leather furniture to match. The only other hotel we have stayed in that compares with it is the Centre Point in Bangkok.

I can certainly vouch for the swimming pool since I used it each day we were here.

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