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Baliís Grand Old Dame

History of Bali Beach Hotel Ė a Half-Century of Ups and Downs and Mystical Guests


Bali News: Baliís Grand Old Dame
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(4/5/2013)

The Inna Grand Bali Beach, once known as the Hotel Bali Beach, was built in 1962 and formally inaugurated in November 1966.

Now nearly 50 years of operations, the hotel has a rich and checkered past, commencing operations as the very first international-standard hotel in Bali standing 9-storeys high. So intense was criticism of the hotel’s towering height when it was originally opened,  that regulations were enacted in 1971 limiting the height of new hotels in Bali to just 15-meters - a number tied to the height of a tall coconut palm tree.

The Hotel Bali Beach was built with funds paid by the Japanese government as war reparations to Indonesia.

On January 20, 1993, the hotel was engulfed in a massive fire with flames shooting far into the sky that largely destroyed the entire hotel. The source of the fire was eventually linked to new carpeting being laid in a lobby shop, in which flammable adhesives being used by workman acted as a propellant.

Forming part of the rich folklore surrounding the landmark Bali Beach Hotel is the fact that a 1993 fire that virtually destroyed the entire hotel somehow left completely unscathed room #327, while rooms above and below and to the left and right of that room we obliterated by the flames. 

The hotel was eventually rebuilt and reopened for business following the devastating fire of 1993.

During the construction of the original hotel, then President Sukarno designated that room room #327 was to be set aside for his exclusive use. However, the failed coup of September 30, 1965, eventually saw Sukarno toppled from power before the property could be completed and Bung Karno could personally occupy room #327.

After the hotel’s opening, the Bali’s Beach’s management routinely sold room #327 to the traveling public, resulting in frequent reports of restless nights, ghostly hauntings and paranormal occurrences.

Mystified by the mystery of room #327, Indonesia’s leading mystics were summoned to analyze the situation. Eventually it was concluded that President Sukarno’s proclaimed desire to build a room for Nyai Loro Kidul – the mystical Queen of Indonesia’s southern shore, had been fulfilled with her spirit now a permanent presence in the room.

In order to avoid any further unpleasantness, room #327 remains closed to the public and only those obtaining special permission to mediate in the room are allowed entrance for brief periods and then only in the company of special guides and guards provided by the hotel.

At the entrance to the room is a written warning sign forbidding entrance into the room without representatives of the Hotel. Those granted entrance must follow certain set protocols, including removing their shoes and refraining from profanity during any visit. Additionally, those wishing to meditate can spend no more than 60 minutes within the room’s confines.

Another room at the Hotel never rented to the public is room #2401. This is a private bungalow located on the hotel’s grounds. This accommodation is Imbued with a magical nuance -emanating from a room filled with ornaments all wrapped in green cloth. Moreover, table covers, curtains, bedspreads, pillowcases, a beauty mirror, glasses and plates - are all also green.

The color green is the considered as the chosen divine color favored by the Queen of the Southern Seas – Nyai Loro Kidul .

The bungalow (Room #2401) was built in 1972 and designated for the exclusive use of The Queen of the Southern Seas.  Meanwhile, room #327 is believed to be shared by both Indonesia’s first President and the Queen

Nyai Loro Kidul (also spelled Nyai Roro Kidul) is a legendary Indonesian spirit, known as the Queen of the Southern Sea of Java.


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