It may have shone as Indonesia’s first five-star hotel when it opened in 1962, but the state-run Hotel Indonesia—the pet project of the country’s first president, Soekarno—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 buildings—one of which has yet to open —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 Jakarta’s iconic traffic circle. To date, eight of the hotel’s ambitious roster of 10 restaurants and bars have opened, including Italian dining room Casa D’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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