With a positive sentiment in the tourist and hotel market in Indonesia poised to continue its upward trend in 2023, new hotels in hotspots like Bali, Lombok, and the ever-busy Jakarta are getting ready to welcome local and international guests looking for authentic hospitality experiences.
Spurred by the growing affordability, a range of new hotel openings, and rising disposable income of the incoming visitors, tourism and hotel market segments in Indonesia are predicted to grow by $21.93 billion between 2022-2026 at an annual average rate of 10 percent, twice the rate of the overall economy. According to Hannah Paoletti, industry analyst at Lodging Econometrics, there are 47 projected hotel openings slated for 2023, up from 29 in 2022—a true testament to the burgeoning growth of the Indonesian hospitality scene.
With rosy market prospects ahead, hoteliers are looking to expand the roster of offerings to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences and destinations that celebrate Indonesian culture and crafts and take full advantage of their breathtaking destinations. Authentic cultural narratives underpin many of the designs of the newest hotels, including the Anantara Ubud Bali Resort, the brand’s third in Bali, slated to open this year with a design from Malaysian firm EDC International.
Located on the eastern island of Sumba along its namesake Koroso beach, Cap Koroso, crafted by Jakarta-based Bitte Design Studio, calls on indigenous artworks and techniques to involve the local community on the remote island. And budding luxury brand Pavilions Hotels & Resorts will launch the Pavilions Anambas late this year on a pair of islands located not far from Singapore that are only accessible by private boat or floatplane. The property’s 10 residences and 12 guest villas will be constructed from local Bangkirai hardwood and stone tiles. Kimpton will also expand its Asian footprint later this year with the entry of the 50-villa Kimpton Naranta Bali.
Here, we spotlight five hotels that are attracting travelers with unique locations and signature architecture to genuinely connect them with their locales and settings.
The St. Regis Jakarta
Opened in the last quarter of 2022, the St. Regis Jakarta takes guests on a journey through historical and visual expressions inspired by the sights and sounds of the Indonesian archipelago. Designed by New York-based Champalimaud, the hotel celebrates Indonesia’s craftsmanship and materials in bespoke statement pieces and artworks that adorn various spaces—from the chandeliers in the ballrooms, to elements of batik in the guestrooms and stunning murals on the wall of the St. Regis Bar. “The design of this property tells the story of Jakarta, of Indonesia, of the culture and of the people who will frequent the hotel,” says Champalimaud senior associate Courtney Brannan.
The design approach also embraces music and performance elements as catalysts for personal experience. The centerpiece in the hotel lobby titled “Sound of Light,” for instance, integrates kinetic movements with music by Indonesian composer Andi Rianto, while the St. Regis Bar’s artwork captures a storyboard of the historical evolution of music in Indonesia between jazz and art, and at Lumens Bar, “we looked at embracing light and metals and how these play together,” Brannan explains. “Over the bar are beautiful crystals and the whole room plays with light, reflected in the room itself and onto the beautiful deep red upholstery. It really is a sort of bronze beauty of a room.”
Park Hyatt Jakarta
Combining contemporary design and luxury at its core, the Park Hyatt Jakarta marks the brand’s debut in Indonesia. Located in the heart of the central business district, the property blends elements of urban modernity and natural heritage with a design that is diversely layered and inspired by the beauty of Indonesian rainforests, traditional crafts, and indigenous natural materials.
To create a modern residential-style oasis that is reinforced by the hotel’s location in the tranquil Menteng area—originally conceived in the early 20th century as a garden city and now known for its tree-lined streets—London firm Conran and Partners employed a distinct material palette including copper, metal mined in Indonesia, and black stone, which alludes to lava from the volcanoes on and around the islands. “The contrast between the dark, often textured, stone and the copper tones and light timber gives a warm yet very contemporary feel to the spaces,” says Tina Norden, partner at Conran and Partners.
In line with the effort to keep it local, the art developed for the hotel is also related to the crafts incorporated into the overall design, with batik-inspired patterns, textiles, and an impressive carved stone mural at the entrance depicting Indonesia’s lush landscapes.
With a focus on nature, wellbeing, and sustainability, Somewhere Lombok’s 20 independent villas have been designed to take advantage of their spectacular location on the island’s southern coast, with floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor pools, and panoramic views from the softly hued interiors facing outwards to nature. The first project by sisters Claire and Valia Gontard, designed by Hong Kong-based branding and design studio Eight Partnership, nests on a hillside, with the sustainably made villas staggered down the hill.
The main building offers transparency to allow guests to enjoy the views from the moment of their arrival and absorb them all the way to the infinity pool overlooking the Are Guling Bay. Because the main space has no walls, every area is designed to open to the vistas and embrace nature. “We designed the hotel for people like us who enjoy the simple things in life while being very comfortable,” says Claire of the luxurious beach-chic vibe that the hotel exudes. “The design is a representation of what we like and it’s part of the charm. Every inch of it was created with so much love and detail.”
Also on Lombok, Innit is located in Ekas Bay, where Indonesian architects Andra Matin and D-Associates envisioned an escape that would sit quietly between the land and the seafront, blurring the boundaries between the two with a design that intruded as little as possible on its natural habitat. The architects worked to create a luxury private beach experience that respected, maintained, and supported the unique environment and culture of the local residents. “It epitomizes peace and tranquility,” explains owner Michal Tyles. “Our vision and brief was to leave the majority of the site untouched, keeping the contours of the land intact.”
In addition to the sand-floored living and dining areas of the hotel’s seven beach houses, the architects used bamboo and stone that are easy to find and replace locally. The designers and property owners also worked closely with the fishing village inhabitants who have always lived on the site and have now been enveloped in Innit’s emergence on the shores of Lombok, working and learning new skills during construction, and now supplying the restaurant with freshly caught seafood.
Drawing heavy references from the golden era of the Majapahit empire, Jumeirah Bali weaves a narrative of a modern-day palace transported to the island, infused with Hindu-Javanese references and elements from tropical modernism. The 123-villa resort is a collaborative effort between Grounds Kent Architects and Jean-Michel Gathy from Denniston, who helmed the architectural and interior concept respectively, and the late Made Wijaya, who envisioned the property’s cascading topography as an immersive journey of landscaped terraces, calming water features, and seamless gardens.
“The designers created an enchanting water palace where the legends of the lost Majapahit Empire come alive,” says developer Rudy Sundungdolok. “Rich textures and details representing Indian and Chinese influences help carry the story and set the emotional tone.” Traditional spatial elements comprising clusters of pavilions are concealed by walls and flanked by terraced gardens. The three swimming pools mirror Majahapit’s legendary reservoirs, with the main pool offering a panoramic view of Dreamland Beach, while detailing, such as the intricate wall carvings telling the story of Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic from ancient India, and floral Patra carvings and Majapahit-style swing doors, help establish a timeless atmosphere grounded in the present yet offering glimpses into the culture that shaped modern-day Bali.
This article originally appeared in HD’s February/March 2023 issue.