Lost Hotels of Indonesia Part II: Bali Beach InterContinental Hotel
InterContinental Bali Beach Hotel (BBIH) was built in 1962 at the suggestion of the Indonesia President, Bung Karno, before the completion of the Tampak Siring Palace. Development funds obtained from the spoils of war in the Japanese colonial era, but strangely the construction was done by a Japanese contractor, Taisei Construction, together with PT. PP Indonesia.
The project was completed when Bung Karno had resigned from his post in 1966. The hotel was subsequently inaugurated by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and operational management was handed over to the InterContinental Hotels InterContinental Hotels -at that time is a luxury hotel chain established by PanAm as accommodation for the crew and the aircraft cabin also for the tourists who fly traveled using PanAm.
Located right on the waterfront with views of Mount Agung and the Nusa Lembongan island, the hotel is laid in an area of over 40 hectares of which are equipped with the best facilities in Bali at the time. BBIH is also the tallest hotel in Bali (10 storeys) until now -it is because at that time there had been no regulation on the maximum height of man-made structure in Bali.
At first the hotel consisted of 605 rooms located in the main building with additional 41 cottages located next to the main building. Facilities owned, among others; four specialty restaurants, one casual restaurant, two lounges, three bars (including one pool bar), two multi-purpose room with a total capacity of 900 persons, two swimming pools, airlines offices, post office, doctor on-call, tennis courts, golf courses, car and sailboat rental, tour desk, and many more.
The hotel is less than 10 minutes drive from Denpasar city government center, 15 minutes from Sukawati Art Market, 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai Airport, and 40 minutes from Tampak Siring Palace.
At the end of the 60s, the Indonesian government had a guided tourism policy in state-owned hotels in which hotel room rates are determined by the government and not by the managers of the hotels. The impact of this policy is the decline in the competitiveness of state-owned hotels followed by the deterioration of services and lack of proper maintenance which eventually led to financial problems.
Consequently, InterContinental Hotels, as manager BBIH, stop managing BBIH in mid 1979. BBIH later renamed Bali Beach Hotel whose management conducted by PT. Hotel Indonesia International (HII), a state-owned hospitality enterprise. A major expansion of Bali Beach Hotel was done at the end of 1979 to build the garden wing and increase the number of cottage from 41 to 111 units. Expansion in the midst of internal financial crisis proved a major problem and to date Bali Beach Hotel has not managed to achieve its similar success in the past.
On 20 January 1993 almost all parts of the main building and the cottages burned down except room 327 rooms and cottage 2401. The contents of both room and cottage are completely untouched by the fire. Many people associate it with the Queen of the South Coast and Bung Karno -Bung Karno himself had never occupied the room. The government appointed PT. PP to repair the damage before it reopened in September 1993 with a new name, The Grand Bali Beach, conducted by President Soeharto. Since the re-inauguration, room 327 and cottage 2401 had been left vacant.