Then and now: The stories behind Southeast Asia’s heritage hotels
Famous Guests: Joseph Conrad, Crown Prince Leopold II and Princess Astrid of Belgium, Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard.
Built by Lucas Martin Sarkies, a second-generation Sarkies, the former Oranje Hotel took one year and 500,000 guilders to complete.
During World War II, the hotel, along with the then Dutch East Indies, fell under Japanese occupation, and the hotel was used as a temporary prison camp and military barracks.
After the war, the Dutch returned, setting up camp in guestroom No. 33 before hoisting their national flag, which ignited the three-week Battle of Surabaya between Dutch and British soldiers and Indonesian troops and a five-year struggle for independence.
The turning point in the country’s history is depicted in an oil painting in the lobby.