Paris Van Java

By Aulia R. Sungkar. Originally published in Indonesia Design.

In the historic city that retains a colonial and old world charm is a memorable resort lifestyle destination that brings back the glory days of Paris of Java.

Courtesy of Paris Van Java

Only a few minutes away from Pasteur tollgate will take you to astrategic spot of Bandung’s hip and happening.For some people, Paris Van Java (PVJ) is a perfect place to shop ‘til you drop, whilst others love to immerse in its café culture. Or, simply spend quality time with their family dining or watching a movie.

Yet, the jovial mood of enjoying the city’s spring-like weather in a European-like setting is what people in general will likely to say when describing their experience of spending a day at this open concept mall.

The concept aims at bringing back the glory days of Paris van Java (Paris of Java),the nickname given by the Dutch in the early 1900s for Bandung’s resemblance to Paris. At that time, the city won the privilege as a colonial resort centre that featured art deco European style cafes, restaurants and hotels.

Fast forward to the present, the PVJ’s harmonious blend of Mediterranean architecture style and lush greenery takes you to revisit the city’s glory days. You can just cruise around and find various interesting places to shop or unwind.

Open to the public since mid 2016 and dubbed the city’s first resort lifestyle destination, the six-hectare property boasts four floors of 80,000 sqm of retail size altogether, featuring stunning arrays of domestic and international brands that range from fashion and F&B to daily staples and home appliance, just to name a few. What also makes this place unique is how they come up with different zones: Resort, Glamour, Sky, Concourse, Gardenice and Skyfield. These six zones feature different themes and corridors, yet they are all wrapped in a very European world.

Parking is very convenient hereand they keep expanding its space each year. While there is an outdoor parking area surrounded by cafes and restos, you can go to a multi-storey car park that connects you to the centre of the crowd. We also find a parking space that provides a comfortable access to CGV cinema. On one side, you can reach the cinema by a short walk through a breath-taking passage, which showcases a variety of shopsadorned with colourful and modern interior designs.

Photo by Bagus Trilaksono

Just across from the cinema is a corridor that leads to the Sky Level Garden, which is a home to a number of species of birds. Walk further and you will not miss a farming type of wooden house that exhibits a small group of sheep. Overlooking the city view with the panorama of sunset on one side, visitors especially children find the garden fun and laid-back.

No less attractive is the amphitheatre located at one part of the garden. While strolling around the area, our eyes are fixed on a banner announcing the upcoming live concert: The Sound of Keroncong2017, set to take the stage on 16-20 August. The interesting part is the show features Rumput Band, a band from The U.S. that plays the traditional music of Keroncong.

“We never stop innovating our property. “We have since beginning of the year been renovating the one-hectare sky garden. It’s approximately 80 per cent done,” says Jennifer, representing PVJ management team.

While touring us around, she says the management is bringing more elements of nature to the property, which also represents Bandung as the city of flowers. “We are planting more flowers in the garden and we’ll have more spots within PVJ’s premises that display various types of flowers.”

PVJ is also currently expanding its800 sqm ice rink. The size will be 1,200 sqmwhen the renovation is completed. She says the expansion project is to cater for growing demand, as the mall is also known as a popular ice-skating destination in the city.

Next year, as she further says, PVJ will have a 15-metre waterfall centred in a jungle themed area, overlooking sunset. “We are in the engineering phase and will commence its construction by the end of this year. We expect that the project will complete at the latest by the second quarter of next year.”