The Hotel Des Indes (demolished), Jakarta

The corridors of the Bank Indonesia Building, passing off as the hallways of Hotel Des Indes

The corridors of the Bank Indonesia Building, passing off as the hallways of Hotel Des Indes

So the question is this: how does one re-create something that is no longer there?

The Hotel Des Indes was the oldest and the grandest of the Grand Hotels in Southeast Asia, having been opened in the 1860s.  It was the toast of Batavia, far more renowned than even the Raffles Hotel itself was at one point.

Unfortunately, it was demolished in 1972 by Soeharto, to make way for a MALL.  And when I went to see where it used to be, I discovered that the mall had denigrated into something even less evocative – Carrefour.

Thankfully, the spirit of Hotel Des Indes lives on in the the many other colonial buildings that still stand in Jakarta, and quite fortunately, also in portions of the very modern hotel that I chose to stay in for this trip.

Here’s a glimpse into my recreation of something lost forever.

The Dining Saloon of Cafe Batavia, passing off as the Dining Room of the Hotel Des Indes

The Dining Saloon of Cafe Batavia, passing off as the Dining Room of the Hotel Des Indes

The pool at my hotel, which could've been the pool should the Hotel Des Indes have been refurbished for a modern clientele

The pool at my hotel, which could’ve been the pool should the Hotel Des Indes have been refurbished for a modern clientele

And finally, where the Hotel Des Indes used to stand, sits Carrefour today.  What an affront!

And finally, where the Hotel Des Indes used to stand, sits Carrefour today. What an affront!

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About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Landmarks & History, Literature & Philosophy, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Hotel Des Indes (demolished), Jakarta

  1. Gauthier d'Ersu says:

    I just found an old luggage-tag from the Hotel des Indes with a drawing of the hotel on it, and got curious to know if it still existed. What a (bad) surprise! -_-‘

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