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Dine at the Loisir Hotel

By: Vern Rooze

Date Posted: 1998-04-18

Everyone needs a bit of luxury every now and then. The Loisir Hotel, located just off Naha Port, is sure to be the highlight of your day. This Okinawan city resort offers a selection of six different restaurants that are sure to fit any occasion.

As you walk into the foyer of the Loisir hotel, you can't help but feel like a world-class traveler. The large, spacious lobby of the Loisir is a welcome contrast to the confined spaces that most of us become accustomed to on Okinawa. Adding depth to the open atmosphere is an authentic pipe organ. Just off to your left you'll find the hotel's main restaurant, Café Restaurant Fontaine. This restaurant offers excellent lunch and dinner buffets that rival the finest hotels in Japan.

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy their dinner buffet and I was extremely impressed with their large variety of food selections. The buffet includes a variety of European and Oriental dishes designed to suit a wide range of tastes. The selection was so large, it would have been impossible to sample every dish. The appetizer table alone had no less that six different selections. I chose an appetizer of smoked salmon which set the tone for the rest of the meal. The entree selection was also quite extensive. These included a wide variety of seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetable dishes. One of my favorites was the seafood fried rice which featured huge shrimp and clams.

Remember not to stuff yourself because you'll want to you reserve some room for Café Fontaine's famous dessert bar. The restaurant features an extensive dessert buffet which is nearly as large as their main buffet line. I couldn't resist trying a slice of cheese cake and one of their raspberry Jello gelatin confections.

The dinner buffet which runs ¥3,500, about $27, is the perfect place to go for a change of pace from the usual fare. The lunch buffet, which runs about $11 at the current exchange rate, is a great value for ¥1,500 per person.

In addition to Fontaine, the Loisir has five other fine restaurants which should fit any finicky tourist's mood. If you're interested in Japanese-style food, go to the second floor. Here you'll find their authentic Japanese restaurant, Izumetei. If you're in the mood for some outstanding Chinese food, just continue past Izumetei and walk into the emerald green Chinese restaurant, Ryukai. Both of these restaurants offer an excellent lunch time bill of fare for ´1,500. For dinner, Ryukai offers a six-course Chinese meal for ¥3,500 while Izumetei's evening repast will cost you ¥4,000.

Also located on the second floor is the casual pool-side barbecue restaurant known as Papillon. This outdoor restaurant surrounds the Loisir's trademark butterfly shaped pool. At night, the lit pool provides a truly romantic atmosphere.

The world-class French restaurant, Sirene, is located on the twelfth floor. This extravagant restaurant offers a full course French menu along with a commanding view of the ocean from its perch on the twelfth story. At certain times in the year, world famous gourmet chefs from France are flown in to provide dining at exclusive sittings, so you may want to call first.

The wide variety of restaurants in the Loisir Hotel can accommodate just about anyone's tastes. To find the Loisir Hotel, get on Highway 58 and proceed south towards the airport. Once in Naha, continue until you see a KDD building on one corner and the Bank of the Ryukyus off to your right. Turn right and go straight until the road ends in front of the Loisir Hotel. For more information you can reach the Loisir Hotel at (098)868-2222.

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