Designed in traditional Dutch style, the Majapahit Hotel was originally named the Oranje Hotel and later became known as the Yamato Hotel during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II.
The hotel was the site of the famous Insiden Hotel Yamato, where on September 19, 1945 a group of Dutch internees, supported by the Japanese, raised the Dutch Flag outside the Yamato Hotel.
This provoked the Nationalist Indonesian militia (NIM) in a clash with the Dutch and Japanese at the hotel grounds, where the blue part of the Dutch flag was torn off in an effort to change it to the flag of Indonesia.
Earlier, on August 17, 1945 Soekarno had declared the independence of Indonesia in Jakarta two days after the Japanese Emperors' surrender in the Pacific. As the news of the declaration of independence spread throughout the archipelago, Indonesians welcomed the new sense of freedom after a long period of colonial control. In the following weeks, power vacuums existed, both from outside and within Indonesia, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty, but also one of opportunity.
The Battle of Surabaya ensued between pro-Independence Indonesian soldiers and militia against British and Dutch troops as a part of the Indonesian National Revolution in October 1945.
The battle came to a head in November 1945. Despite fierce resistance, British and Indian troops, on behalf of the Netherlands, engaged in infantry and air strike assault and managed to take Surabaya from the NIM. At least 6,000 Indonesians died and more than 200,000 fled the devastated city. British and Indian casualties totalled approximately 600.
The determination of the rag-tag nationalist forces and their bravery against such odds became a symbol and rallying cry for the Revolution. The turning point was ironic. The British were reluctant to be drawn into a another war due to the strain of limited resources in South East Asia. It was a watershed for the Dutch who conceded to the people power of the day.
Art Deco lobby
Original stain-glass windows