It may have shone as Indonesiaâ€™s first five-star hotel when it opened in 1962, but the state-run Hotel Indonesiaâ€”the pet project of the countryâ€™s first president, Soekarnoâ€”went into fast decline during political turmoil in the 1990s, and eventually closed its doors in 2004. Five years and millions of dollars later, the heritage-listed property has reopened under the aegis of the Kempinski group. Occupying two buildingsâ€”one of which has yet to open â€”the hotel recaptures some of its former luster with vintage photos and sculptures preserved from the early days. The 289 purple-and-gray guest rooms, however, have been given a smart new look with mirrored ceilings, leather sofas, and egg-shaped soaking tubs looking out to Jakartaâ€™s iconic traffic circle. To date, eight of the hotelâ€™s ambitious roster of 10 restaurants and bars have opened, including Italian dining room Casa Dâ€™Oro and Times Square in the adjoining Grand Indonesia shopping mall (1 Jl. MH Thamrin; 62-21/ 2358-3800; kempinski-jakarta.com; doubles from US$280).
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