Changing Travel Plans Over A Haunted Hotel…

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

I’ll be the first to admit I have a rather odd personality for someone who lives in hotels full time, given my general fear of life. Fortunately I’m selective with my fears:

  • I’m sort of a germaphobe. I have lots of weird habits when I stay at hotels. Fortunately I manage to conveniently overlook many things, like the general nastiness of the sheets, mattresses, chairs, etc.
  • I’m sort of scared of ghosts/life in general. I’m not really scared of dying, I’m not spiritual, and I’m not scared of violent crimes, or anything. That being said, I do occasionally get creeped out by places I perceive to have bad energy. And it’s weird because I’m not usually an “energy” person. In other words, I don’t usually walk into a place and immediately say “this hotel has good energy” or “this hotel has bad energy.” But I do every once in a blue moon get a weird feeling somewhere.

Anyway, I’ll be transiting Jakarta soon, and got into a conversation yesterday with a friend about the trip. I mentioned that I’d stay at the Sheraton Bandara (now the Bandara International Hotel), which seemed super convenient, since it’s just a couple of miles from CGK Airport. I’ve always wanted to visit Jakarta, though in this case going into the city didn’t seem practical, given that getting into the city can take forever when there’s bad traffic.

Sheraton Bandara

My friend went silent when I mentioned the Sheraton Bandara. He’s crew for a major airline, and after some prompting he explained that his airline used to put crews up there, but they had so many reports of ghosts that they had to switch layover hotels.

Now, I’m no stranger to avoiding haunted hotels. For example, I won’t ever stay at the Grand Hyatt Taipei, given how spooky of a past it has. I’ll choose the W or Le Meridien every time when in Taipei.

I know for a fact I can’t stay at the Sheraton Bandara. Even if the place isn’t actually “haunted” (whatever that means, if you even believe in it), I know I’d be thinking about it nonstop if I were there. And I’d attribute every noise I heard to something supernatural.

Looking at the hotel’s website, it does look kind of creepy, which doesn’t help…

Sheraton Bandara

Am I crazy? Maybe. But I am most definitely not staying there, and am even rethinking my flight route to avoid the quick overnight in Jakarta.

So… how crazy am I? Would you stay at a hotel that’s allegedly so haunted that an airline switched crew hotels over it?

  1. Staying in Stay on Main in LA in 2 months and I know there have been rumors. Don’t give a damn! (Haven’t told my travel mate, though!)

  2. Hilton on Orchard Road in Singapore is one place I will not stay after having heard of some bad stories…plus there is plenty of other nice properties to frequent. I’m heading for Jakarta this week, so I’m glad to know this about the Sheraton!

  3. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei a few months ago and had a totally uneventful stay. They’re in the middle of renovating some of the common areas, but otherwise it seemed to be a perfectly normal large Asian hotel. No ghosts.

  4. It depends on my mood at the time whether or not I would stay in a hotel known for ghosts. I have certainly visited ghostly places on purpose on several occasions. Some people go out of their way to meet ghosts, after all. But since you already know it would bother you, it just makes good sense not to stay there. The ghost in question doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, if it frightened away hardened air crews…

  5. The only allegedly haunted hotel that I’ve stayed at is the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC. I kinda found out after checking. I’m almost exactly like you the fact that I have a dislike for weird spirit. Anyway, the stay was fine, nothing eventful. Just a datapoint, although if I knew in advance, I probably would’ve chosen otherwise. I also know that some people are adventurous and would go out of their way to stay at those hotels

  6. Upgraded to a suite at Grand Hyatt Taipei (as a platinum) and experienced no supernatural activity during our stay. Although it’s my belief if ghosts and the like exist only certain people can “see” them and I’m not one of them, given the number of circumstances I’ve been in in my life where I could have experienced something supernatural and never once has it happened to me.

  7. I am very fond Jakarta. Pity you won’t be staying in the city. The Dharmawangsa is a truly fabulous hotel. In five days I’ll be traveling to Singapore for the first time. I will be so curious to see how interesting Singapore can be compared to Jakarta’s raucous, fascinating madness.

    As for ghosts, I have never knowingly seen or experienced anything supernatural. However, my partner is a true believer. A couple of years ago we stayed at the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco. One night partner bolts out of bed in an absolute panic. He swore he saw a ghostly image hovering over the bed, reaching out to him. I didn’t see a thing.


    I’d love to have an “encounter” but such interesting things never happen to me.

  8. As one who easily “notices” ghosts in various ways, I try my best to avoid haunted hotels and would totally change a reservation if I know a property is haunted ahead of time. I once saw a picture of the Embassy Suites in Charleston and had my “it’s really haunted” feeling. When I called to cancel my booking, I asked the hotel if it was haunted, by chance. She said yes, but they were not supposed to say anything so guests aren’t frightened away. This was well before everyone had an EMF meter and became ghost hunters and requesting to stay in the most haunted room of a hotel. 😉

  9. Reading some of the comments it’s funny how many times we accept others seeing or hearing “things” and can’t really think of a reasonable explanation. Sure, it’s possible that ghosts could exist, but whatever happened to “crazy”? Ever heard of schizophrenia? Cause there’s plenty of those walking around.

  10. I have changed my reservation from grand Hyatt Taipei (before I found out it was haunted) to Le Meridien. Best decision ever for a week long stay.

    I have not seen any sightings nor do I wish to. I am sensitive to energy so I’d rather not since some immediate & extended family have had encounters.

    But that doesn’t mean I have not stayed on hotel that may be haunted. I have stayed at radisson in Scotland and that was fine and uneventful (supposedly parts of it was haunted). But I would absolutely and totally change my reservation if my gut feeling is telling me otherwise.

    But if a hotel has a ‘reputation’ for being a haunted hotel, forget it. I am out.

  11. Stayed at the Driskill a couple times, sort of creepy. But it’s so beautiful I wouldnt not stay there because of it. I did however have a scary incident at the Dallas Double Tree in which my iPhone that was on the other side of the suite suddenly activated siri. I was creeped so I turned the phone off..5 minutes later my iPad mysteriously fell off the nightstand. We requested a new room. lol

  12. Im an expat living and working in Indonesia, and Im staying in hotels all over the country.
    Indonesians are so superstitious, its ridiculous. They cant stop talking about ghosts and there are so many of the hotels that they are really afraid of. Well, I havent seen or heard anything yet, despite an average of 15 nights at hotels a month.

    Just go for Sheraton and dont listen to those local rumors (even if they come from the Qatar(?) crew, the rumors originate from the locals).

    If you should chose to relocate, Id suggest Pullman Central Park. Between the airport and the city. Take you 25-35 mins to the airport and a bit more to the hotel. Its new, so not even the locals think there are any ghosts, and Central Park is a nice place.

    Jakarta has a ton of great hotels, with Mulia as the best. But they are all a bit further away from the airport.

  13. Nah you’re not crazy about the fear of ghosts (seen one walking in front of me), but it’s a shame you only limit yourself to Sheraton Bandara. Ritz Carlton Pacific Place, Dharmawangsa, and Mulia are better choices.

  14. If you want to really be freaked out, take some mushrooms and stay there. You then have a choice of worries:

    It’s really haunted , or the police show up, arrest you….followed by trial and execution,
    I’m not sure which paranoia is worse, but I wouldn’t pay for either.

    PS. if you die there, can I have your Starpoints?

  15. I stayed overnight @ Sheraton Bandara last year, on my way to Bali.
    The hotel is bot creepy, just plain old and in dire need of renovation.
    I was upgraded to a suite, which was useless since I only stayed 6 hours on the premises.
    It is very close to the airport, and the free shuttle is convenient.

  16. There is no evidence that such a thing as Ghosts exist, shame that doesnt stop people from scaring themselves. lol.

  17. I stayed at the Ponce De Leon hotel in St Pete, FL about 4 years ago. I don’t believe in ghosts but the receptionist told me that many people thought the hotel was haunted because they used the basement as a morgue during WWII. I guess one of the original Rockettes was also burned to death in one of the rooms back in the 80’s. I’m not sure if either is true but that’s what I was told. I didn’t see any ghosts but I’m not gonna lie that I needed a glass of wine or 2 to get to sleep those couple nights. Was a fine boutique hotel though, I thought.

  18. I for one live in Jakarta so hear me out here.

    Whether the hotel is haunted or not, I can’t tell for sure, but unlike the more well known haunted ones like the Grand Hyatt Taipei, I’ve never actually heard anyone complain. It’s not actually that good a hotel either, but I would say it’s the best one.

    There are also a couple of hotels within a few hundred meters of the Sheraton and while they may not be better, at the very least they’re new and not creepy looking like the Sheraton. Just look up hotels on booking. Com and see which one you like.

  19. 2 weeks ago, i spent a night at a hotel in northern virginia which will not be named. i frequented this place and never had issues.
    that particular night, i was assigned to a high floor room due to my recently earned elite status.

    then, i had the most terrifying nightmare of my life.
    i do dream but seldom nightmares and never bloody. this one was.
    i am only speculating but something horrible may had happened in that room before.

    i probably won’t be going back to that hotel and even if i did, i would be asking for a LOWER floor room.

  20. Don’t worry Ben, remember that Asians are usually nicer to westerners. I’m sure the same goes for Asian ghosts ;p

  21. @Ben aka Lucky:

    Hi. I am from Indonesia and I am thrilled to learn that you are coming to Jakarta. I currently live in Bali though. I think you have made a bold decision to avoid Sheraton Bandara. Shall you need other information such as alternative hotels near CGK or you want to switch transit to Bali, please contact me. I am more than happy in assisting you.

    PS: Hoping you will get on board those Garuda Indonesia First Class 😉

  22. Surprised nobody mentioned the Dusit Thani Bangkok, heard accounts of it being haunted. Even last time I visited one of my taxi drivers acknowledge how it was haunted.

  23. Haha…come on! This will make a perfect hotel review now with videos of strange noises in the night and stuff like this!!! I would stay there and make my own picture.

    Are you doing the NRT-CGK JAL F or Garuda F?? Both would be very interesting!

  24. Stayed a few times in Sheraton Bandara, last time was last weekend. The hotel is old but somehow I like it. And it is very quiet. Not seen any ghosts.

  25. Hi ben,

    I’m frm jakarta and currently it’s not the best time to visit the city because of the flooding. Dont worry about the stay if you are not that sensitive or not the “energy guy” type, you wouldnt notice anything. If you really need a hotel, there’s a brand new Ibis nearby..
    Feel free to write me if you have any other questions, cheers!

  26. Lucky I am your big fan from Jakarta. If you have time let’s meet up and I will take you around town. btw, I recommend you to stay in Keraton Hotel (SPG).

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