The building of Sriwijaya Hotel dates back to the era of Governor-General Van den Bosch, also renowned as a defense architect for the Dutch East Indies. It was Conrad Alexander Willem Cavadino or C.A.W. Cavadino who started a restaurant business and baking there in 1863. He ran his business right at the corner of Rijswijk (Jalan Veteran) and Citadelweg (Jalan Veteran I). In 1872 Cavadino Restaurant turned into Cavadino Hotel while Cavadino Shop, located in front of the hotel, accommodated his retail business.
An 1894 advertisement tells us that Cavadino Shop sold everything from sweets, chocolate, Havana cigars from the Netherlands and Manila, to wine, beer, and liquors.
So famous had the Cavadino business become that a bridge in front of the hotel was named after it. Now Cavadino Bridge is located next to Sriwijaya Hotel, adjacent to the hotel entrance.
From a photo collection of KITLV, Leiden, shown by Scott Merrillees in a book titled Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs we learn that the hotel and the shop were separate buildings. Cavadino Hotel, now Sriwijaya Hotel, was situated at a quiet corner of streets, with two tram tracks in front of the building. Cavadino Shop, situated on the left, is now Bintang Meeting Room, which is a part of the Sriwijaya Hotel.
The shop and hotel stayed in business until the late 19th century. Merrillees noted that C.A.W. Cavadino was no longer a citizen of Batavia (now Jakarta) even when his businesses were still under the name of Cavadino@ Co. Cavadino Hotel survived until 1898 when it transformed into Hotel du Lion d’Or. Later, in 1941, it changed its name to Park Hotel. In the mid-1950s the hotel officially became Sriwijaya Hotel.
As the oldest hotel in Jakarta, Srwijaya Hotel building has a unique history that is an integral part of Batavia history. By visiting Sriwijaya Hotel and enjoying bygone photos in the lobby, restaurant, and room terraces (balconies), you can catch a glimpse of Old Batavia’s charms: its stories and colonial ambience.
Sources: Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs – Scott Merrillees, WARTA KOTA-Pradaningrum Mijarto, and various sources