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The Wondrous 60th Anniversary of Hotel Indonesia Kempinksi

NEWS | 2 September 2022

The iconic “HI” just celebrated its 60th birthday in style. Now known as Hotel Indonesia Kempinski of course, joining together two great and culturally focused hotel groups, but before we tell you about the Gala Dinner, let’s travel back in time to the founding of this famous place.  

 

Did you know that Hotel Indonesia was the first five-star in the country? Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia, envisioned, fundraised and supervised the construction of Hotel Indonesia. The grand opening of Hotel Indonesia on 5th August 1962 showcased a major achievement after the first decade of Indonesia’s independence.

 

History

President Soekarno was a visionary. He had the idea of creating “The Face of Indonesia” on an international scale to host people from all over the world in a remarkable hotel, which even took its name from the state.

 

He gave this vision and idea into the trustworthy hands of American architect Abel Sorensen and his wife Wendy to make his idea a reality, ensuring that Soekarno created a modern hotel that perfectly mirrors the nation’s character.

 

As the first luxury hotel in South East Asia, it emphasized the vision of the first president to feel, identify and show the richness of Indonesian culture which was at that time an uncommon thing to do.

 

1960

Mr. Sorensen created a modern and efficient hotel that showcased the elements of local architecture and a perfect mix of shades of modern Indonesian architecture. During that time, the uncommon T-shape of this hotel covered 406 rooms on 15 floors, spread over 25,082 sqm and divided into two wings, Ramayana and Ganesha.

 

Ramayana takes its name from the Rama and Shinta story, which shows love, dedication, purity and good versus evil. “Ganesha” comes from the Hindu god, symbolizing intelligence, protection and wisdom. Hotel Indonesia also known as “HI”, over time has become a historical landmark.

 

It is a national symbol of pride, directly facing the famous roundabout “Bundaran HI”, which a strategically located in the heart of the capital. The “Welcome Statue” stands for welcome guests who visited Jakarta on the occasion of 4th Asian Games in 1962.

 

1960’s -  1970’s

During its golden years, Hotel Indonesia was the spot for many cultural activities, such as artistic performances and festive events for many renowned Indonesian artists, VIP’s and other public figures. Placed on the highest terrace of the Ramayana Wing was The Nirwana Supper Club, at that time the place to the be. As it was fashionable supper club in Jakarta, the citizens cane to enjoy a special dinner with live-entertainment programs by famous local and international musicians. In 1974, Ibu Tien Suharto, wife of the second president, Soeharto, inaugurated the new wing Ganesha, which was a new addition of 231 rooms making a total of 610.

 

1993

Hotel Indonesia was elevated as a Cultural Heritage Site by the Decree of the Government of Jakarta on 29th March, 1993.

 

2006 – today

The government decided to stop running the business of the hotel to undertake a complete renovation. After the beautification, Hotel Indonesia re-opened as Hotel Indonesia, Kempinski Jakarta on 20 May 2000, now managed by Kempinksi Hotels, the oldest European luxury hotel group.

The Gala Dinner: “A Night to Remember” 31st August 2022

The hotel’s birthday was made even more memorable with an amazing evening of delicious foods, but all locally sourced to celebrate the strength of the Indonesian hospitality industry, and entertainment with special performances by Gisel, Gus Teja, Paksi band and a marvellous Wayang Puppet Show by Gibran Papadimitriou.

 

A glittering array of local celebrities and business people graced the evening in the wonderful Bali Room and were warmly welcomed by Hotel GM Sjefke Jansen.

 

Congratulations Hotel Indonesia Kempinski and here’s to the next 60 years!