Many hotel chains embrace a rather generic style — beige fittings, demure interiors and the same nonspecific paintings hanging on the walls.
But tucked high above the bustling Sudirman business district, Hotel Le Meridien Jakarta has been striving to move away from this international style and establish a distinct personality. The most obvious example of this is Meridien’s penthouse, which features a handcrafted house from Kudus, Central Java.
“The owner of the hotel [who asked not to be named] came across this old house during his travels to Kudus,” said Meidy Naomi Kesek, the hotel’s marketing communications officer.
Built entirely of teak, the house was in very good condition. The hotel owner dismantled the walls, pillars and roof and transported them back to his private residence in Jakarta.
For a couple of years, the Kudus house stayed on the family property.
“Until, one day, he decided that the public should also have access to this regal masterpiece of Javanese architecture,” Meidy said.
Thus, in 1995, the old house was again dismantled and moved into Le Meridien Jakarta, which was in the process of building a tower to provide more guest rooms. Piece by piece, the house was hoisted by cranes to the 21st floor and carefully reassembled.
To protect the old house from Jakarta’s polluted air, walls were built around it.
The penthouse was officially opened to the public in September 2002.
Today, the 240-square-meter penthouse comprises a sitting room, two bedrooms, a bar, a dining room, a work area and a lesehan (Javanese-style dining room with floor seating).