Hotel Indonesia, Jakarta

Since I’m back in Jakarta, I thought I’d post a couple of photos I took here about a month ago.

The Hotel Indonesia, built in 1962, is the oldest 5 star hotel in the country and a major landmark. I learned about it even before coming to Indonesia by reading ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’, a novel by Christopher Koch (also made into a Mel Gibson movie, but I haven’t seen it yet).  That book is set in 1965, when Sukarno lost power and the “smiling general” Suharto emerged as the new dictator who ruled until 1998.

Since I’ve been here, most of my time spent outside the apartment complex is at one of the two swankiest malls in Jakarta: the Grand Indonesia and the Plaza Indonesia. The two malls are literally right accross the street from each other. They’ve got everything you could possibly want, so why go anywhere else? Anyway, for a long time I didn’t even realize that the same Hotel Indonesia I’d read about was sandwiched between the two.  I’m not sure how it really went down, but in that book all kinds of important stuff happened at the hotel.

All these buildings are adjacent to a big roundabout, most often packed with honking cars, encircling a fountain and the selamat datang (welcome) statue.  The easiest way to tell a cab driver to get here is to say H.I. for Hotel Indonesia, something I didn’t know until even more recently.


The Hotel Indonesia is the L-shaped, (relatively) short building with the red neon sign. The Grand Indonesia mall is visible behind it on the right, and the Plaza Indonesia is out of frame to the right.




5 thoughts on “Hotel Indonesia, Jakarta

  1. so are you staying at the hotel indonesia? or did you at one point? i stayed at the hotel mulia both times i was in jakarta, and i have to say, it was the swankiest thing ever! i can’t remember for the life of me the name of one of the giant malls that i went to near the office, but i know what you mean! it was enormous and full of western stuff. of course, i am not adventurous like you so i never left the city 🙂

    • No, haven’t stayed at the hotel indonesia but I’m staying in the neighborhood. I don’t know the mulia but coming from you ‘the swankiest thing ever’ is quite a statement! I just checked google maps, looks like it’s near one of the other giant malls. I ran a 5k down there. Hard to believe there’s enough business in town to support all the malls, but here they are. To me, you are the adventurous one – cities are the wildest places of all.

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