Durians are known for their distinctly pungent smell, which many foreigners describe as a combination of rotten onions and old socks. This is the reason most hotels in Asia prohibit guests from bringing the fruit on their premises. But with the rising popularity of durians among locals and foreign tourists, Malaysia is welcoming its first durian-friendly hotel and resort.
Situated an hour from Kuala Lumpur’s city center, the scenic Bangi Golf Resort includes a hotel overlooking a golf course and a farm. Hotel patrons can buy, eat and bring durians to designated zones throughout the resort.
“When you first go into any hotels, you usually see the signs ‘durian is not allowed’ or ‘durian is forbidden’,” said Tan Ban Keat, director of the resort. “We soften the tone for the hotel to be ‘durians are allowed in durian-friendly zones’. We’re actually the first hotel to practice that.”
“These durian-friendly zones were created to be a platform for agriculture. Durians have a place in many people’s hearts. They’re a national treasure,” he added.