19 September 1945 was a very historical day for Surabaya youngsters. That was when the flag incident happened at Hotel Majapahit. Surabaya youngsters were angry when Dutch flag raised at Hotel Yamato. They went to the hotel and ripped the blue part of Dutch flag into red and white of Indonesia flag.
The hotel was built by an Armenian businessman Lucas Martin Sarkies and his brothers in 1910 and named the hotel as Hotel Orange. In 1936, the hotel was renovated in art deco design by Schoemaker, that was when the twin towers of the hotel removed and added a minimalist art deco building in front of the hotel. The towers were built again on left and right side, and the flag incident happened on the left side. In 1942, Japan took over the hotel and named it as Yamato Hoteru. In 1945 the Dutch took over the hotel again and Sarkies family returned to hotel in 1946.
Orange hotel was painted in orange according to its name. This hotel has historical value that is still preserved until today. It has Merdeka Room no 33 and Sarkies Room no 44. Merdeka Room was resided by Dutch Resident when flag incident happened. The room had a secret door when Surabaya youngster entered the hotel to rip the flag. Sarkies room was the Sarkies family room, the hotel founder, to stay when they visited Surabaya. The narration can be read at the rooms.
Initially, Hotel Orange was established in 1910 with colonial art nouveau architecture. The architect was J Afprey, a Dutch architect. Other hotels owned by Sarkies in Asia are Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Strand Hotel in Myanmar, The Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang. During the WW II in 1942, Orange Hotel was used by Japanese as miliray base and prisoners camp especially for women and children that were transported to Central Java. In 19 Seprember 1945, Dutch raised Dutch flag, that triggered Arek Surabaya anger. Hundred of Arek Surabaya flocked to the hotel. There were youngsters wore Jibakutai outfit. According to one of the youngsters confession in Rakyat Jawa Timur Mempertahankan Kemerdekaan (1994) mass kept flocking to the hotel, and Japanese soldiers were stay calm at the back yard of the hotel on their posts.
When the mass was getting crowded, Resident Soedirman arrived with his black car and the mass gave the car way. He entered the hotel with Sidik and Hariyono and met Ploegman saying that he was the representative of the Allies. Resident Soedirman asked Ploegman to put down the Dutch flag. Ploegman answered that Allies had won the war and Dutch was one of the member, so now Dutch had the right to rule over East Indies. He added “Republic Indonesia? We do not recognize it. ”
Ploegman went inside and showed up with gun in his hand. He threatened Soedirman and scolded him. Sidik and Hariyono kicked the gun from Ploegman’s hand and it was shot towards above. Hariyono took Residen Soedirman and Sidik fought with Ploegman and smothered him to death. Sidik was died as a Dutchman came and killed him with a saber. Hearing gun shot, Arek Suroboyo outside hotel climbed hotel wall. A young man named Kusno Wibowo put down the Dutch flag and asked his fellows for red and white, but no one could gave him red and white flag. Kusno and Hariyono then rip the blue part of Dutch flag into red and white and raised the flag to the top of the pole.
In 1969 a local group bought the hotel and the hotel name changed to Majapahit Hotel, taken from a powerful kingdom reigned almost all over Indonesia. In 1986, in 2 years, a restoration was done to this hotel and opened as Mandarin Oriental Majapahit Hotel. Now Majaphit is a boutique hotel with a class.
The lobby is very homy and cozy. Art deco design emphasizes on geometric detail ornament that was maintained until 1936. Pillars in the middle of room is wide and layered with teak with stain glass accent. The middle ceiling is tall and decorated with big chandelier surrounded with classic engraved roof.
The hall way to rooms are unique. From lobby you will pass a walkway toward atrium building. This building was the lobby in 1910. The ambiance was maintained as more than 100 years ago, classic with stain glass windows and pillars of terraces. The garden the the middle of the building is designed very classic and green with fountain as the core.
There are 150 rooms in this hotel, and all rooms are featured with teak wood. Rooms are spacious, with living room and coffee table. Bath rooms are also spacious with shower and tub. The furnitures in rooms are mostly from 1936 made of teak wood. Room interior is classical with cream wallpaper and warm lighting creating warm and classical nuance.
This hotel has a tremendous President Suite covers 800 m square with formal dining room, living room and meeting room. The main room is located up stair and to enter it one should pass a foyer, living room and working room. This main room is elegantly designed in luxury, classic and warm feel. The bath room has huge bath tub that is connected with stairs from floor to tub edge.