Mus­lim-friendly ex­pe­ri­ence

Jom!

New Straits Times - - Jom! - Aznim.ruhana@nst.com.my

for its guests. In less than 10 min­utes, the ho­tel shut­tle van ar­rives.

It is al­ready dark so we can’t see any­thing much on our way to the re­sort. But the road is wind­ing and on an in­cline, the re­sort is lo­cated on a hill.

Upon ar­rival at the ho­tel, we are wel­comed by the smil­ing staff invit­ing us for check-in. The lobby is spa­cious and el­e­gant, with a hint of a tra­di­tional Ja­panese style.

There’s a con­ve­nience store at the lobby sell­ing sou­venirs, food and bev­er­ages as well as toi­letries. There is also a restau­rant on this level with a nice read­ing area. Check-in is brief too. We only sign an agree­ment and off we go to our room, ush­ered by a bell­boy.

UNIQUE STAY

I have booked theSa­toyama Room, also known as the Ex­ec­u­tive Room,which of­fers Ja­panese-style ac­com­mo­da­tion.

In­side, there is a space where we take off our shoes and upon slid­ing a door, we see a spa­cious space com­plete with four tatami beds. This room can fit up to five guests.

Fur­ther in­side is a space for din­ing area with a ko­tatsu ta­ble equipped with a heater un­der­neath for win­ter com­fort. There’s also a mini­bar and a small tele­vi­sion at the space.

The room is con­nected to a pri­vate ope­nair bath com­plete with a Ja­panese wooden bath to en­joy the hot springs. The ope­nair bath over­looks the breath­tak­ing Lake Biwa. Since the weather is a bit cool, it’s per­fect tim­ing to go for a warm dip ev­ery night!

Spa­cious room with a view of Lake Biwa.

HA­LAL MEALS

Yuzanso Ryokan is the only Mus­lim-friendly re­sort in Otsu. It of­fers ha­lal-cer­ti­fied dishes. Guests can also opt for a half-board pack­age which in­cludes din­ner.

There are sep­a­rate kitchens with its own uten­sils for ha­lal and non-ha­lal food.

Each morn­ing, we wear our yukata pro­vided in our room and head to the break­fast hall where our meals are served by staff in tra­di­tional cos­tume.

The break­fast hall is mas­sive and is al­most full ev­ery morn­ing but, not to worry, ev­ery guest is given a coupon with a ta­ble num­ber so you will def­i­nitely get a seat.

There is a choice of rice, miso soup and grilled salted fish and the menu is ro­tated daily. The food tastes as good as it looks too!

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