Walk through the history at Hotel Majapahit Surabaya

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  • Iman Lubis

Walk through the history at Hotel Majapahit Surabaya


Surabaya is the second-most populous city in Indonesia, however it also is one of the cleanest and greenest cities in Indonesia. In 2018, Surabaya won the Lee Kuan Yew City Prize along with Hamburg, Germany; Kazan, Russia; and Tokyo, Japan. This award was obtained because Surabaya is considered to be one of the major cities in the world that is able to maintain and manage villages in the middle of the city with excellent government management and community participation amid the rapidly developing city.

If you are looking to stay in the heart of Surabaya; if you appreciate classic architecture and hidden treasure; if you are history buffs and discerning collectors of memories, then do not think twice to stay in Hotel Majapahit Surabaya.

Hotel Majapahit Surabaya is a classic hotel full of history and a source of national pride. Its graceful architecture, landscaped gardens, pool, spa, gym and tennis court complete the hotel's colonial style with modern comforts that make for a pleasant rest on a busy itinerary.

Rich in history, Hotel Majapahit Surabaya is a national landmark resort, a source of national pride and history that blends romance and elegance, featuring classic architecture and manicured gardens. Ideal for business and leisure travel, with easy access to business district and the biggest malls and conference centers, the hotel features 143 rooms, 2 restaurants, a lobby lounge and a bar, 8 meeting rooms, a ballroom, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym, and spa.

The 23 Garden Terrace rooms feature a spacious bathroom adorned with opulent gold and marble, a luxurious bedroom plus direct access to a terrace overlooking the magnificent garden courtyards. The 89 Executive suites are larger and more luxurious.

Built in 1910, the hotel was originally named the Oranje Hotel (after the Dutch Royal family) by Lucas Martin Sarkies of the famous Armenian family whose collection of grand hotels includes Raffles in Singapore, The Strand in Rangoon and Eastern and Oriental in George Town, Penang. Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard, attended the opening of a new art- deco style addition to the front of the hotel in 1936. By 1942 Surabaya was occupied by Japanese forces and the hotel was renamed 'Yamato Hoteru' or 'Hotel Yamato'.

The most significant part of the hotel's history took place at the end of World War II. On September 19th, 1945 at 6am, the Dutch leaders in Surabaya raised the Dutch red-white- blue flag on the main flag pole of the hotel. It was a symbol to show Dutch colonial control after the allies’ victory in World War II. Indonesians considered the raising of the Dutch flag on top of the hotel as an insult to Indonesia's proclamation of independence, which was made in Jakarta on August 17th. By 6.30am, a crowd of angry Indonesians who had gathered in front promptly raised a cry of 'Merdeka' (freedom), lowered the offending flag, and tore off the bottom of blue strip, thus turning it into the Indonesian flag. Confusion and tragedy ensued. A British commander was murdered in October and a full-scale invasion was launched the following month, beginning on November 10th 1945. This day is celebrated nationally as Heroes Day and Surabaya is called 'The City of Heroes' with an appropriate monument to mark the famous battle.

For the next few months, while the revolution carried on in Surabaya, the hotel was known as Hotel Merdeka or the Liberty Hotel. By 1946 the hotel was again managed by the Sarkies family and underwent yet another name change, to Hotel L.M.S (after its founder Lucas Martin Sarkies). It continued as such until 1969 when a new group of owners decided to call it the Majapahit, after one of ancient Indonesia's most enduring kingdoms. This name, its fifth in nearly 60 years, has been retained up until today.

The Heritage Suite is a step up from the standard ‘Classic' room and very spacious for a downtown hotel with its size of 57 square meters. The suite has a separate sitting room beside the bedroom, which made it grand and extra comfortable. The bathroom has every woman's stamp of approval with a soaker tub on one side and a marble shower on the other. Outside the front door, a small patio that overlooked the grounds welcomes you, as well as the monumental Presidential Suite. The partitioned living room is well-equipped with sofa, work desk, free unlimited basic Internet, 32" TV, minibar, coffee and tea making facilities, hot and cold shower with bathtub. Staying with your family is possible by adding an extra bed.

When it’s time to enjoy some eatery, you should visit both the Hotel Majapahit Surabaya’s restaurants. The first one is Indigo Restaurant, where you can enjoy fusion dining experience where 'East meets West' cuisines display selective Asian and Japanese, Western and Indonesian distinctive dishes, in a typical Art Deco colorful environment with a lovely fresco of cloud and sky decorating the ceiling. The place is cozy, with a plush sofa for comfort and a round table for those who come with a large company.

The next one is called Sarkies restaurant, named after the family who first built the hotel. Enjoy Chinese fine dining as our master chefs surprise you with their authentic and creative specialties. The 1930s ambience makes Sarkies a truly memorable experience. It's decorated to mimic the retro feel of old Shanghai, with a collection of antique watches along the wall. The wooden chairs and tables also set the mood. Discovering the charms of Chinese food over simplistic and delectable cuisine in 1930s ambience makes Sarkies a truly memorable experience.

When it’s time to do business or party, you can choose from over 7 meeting venues including the notorious art deco BalaiAdika and the gardens for a glamorous outdoor party. The meeting rooms are spacious, with high ceilings and european-style classic theme. Tired from all the partying? Hotel Majapahit also offers spa treatments to its guests.

for more details please see hotel-majapahit.com Jl. Tunjungan No.65, Genteng, Kota SBY, Jawa Timur 60275 Tel: +62 31 5454.333

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