In 2005, the reopening after the major renovation of Hotel des Indes gave rise to the exhibition Hotel as a guest: Des Indes at Escher in The Palace. In 1881, the brand-new Hotel Des Indes opened in The Hague in the former residence of Baron Thierry van Brienen “to give Indonesian families a home from home”. This hotel still stands at the head of Lange Voorhout. It has now been renovated and has been given a striking ochre yellow colour.
In the exhibition, Escher in The Palace showed the history and future of the most beautiful hotel in the Netherlands. Here monarchs were received, Worth fashion shows were held, socialites met in the bar, cabinets were formed over exclusive dinners, weekly radio programmes were created, statesmen cheered and pigeons were kept on the roof for years. The death of the world-famous ballerina Anna Pavlova in the hotel on 23 January 1931 caused a stir at home and abroad. Her black coffin was brought to the boat with black horses drawing the carriage. One of the hotel’s scrapbooks contains pages full of newspaper reports about the arrival, stay and unexpected death of the megastar. The exhibition featured many such memorabilia, scrapbooks, menus, photos, postcards, cutlery, crockery and the once-loved suitcase stickers.