Hi! I’m so excited to start our first post here, and I hope everyone will enjoy reading as much as we enjoy writing it. So here goes!
Our first trip of 2017 was to Port Dickson in March. This was a very impromptu trip because I have not made any travel plans for the year, and I was so dying to get out by February that I was begging Mr J to bring me ANYWHERE. But we had spent too much on long distance travelling last year, so after much negotiation, we decided to go Port Dickson for a 2 days 1 night trip.
Why Port Dickson? I know this place isn’t high on the to-do list for many people, and honestly, it wasn’t on mine either. But, there’s only so many places you can go for a 2d1n trip you know (Batam I’ve been there twice, and Bintan is way too overpriced). If it’s 2d1n trip, my priority is that the place must be easily accessible (so that no precious time is wasted on the road). And if it’s gonna be a beach resort, I wanted a room that is sea-facing (like duh, that’s what I’m come to the beach for) that wouldn’t cause a hole in our pockets. So after much surfing around on the internet and Groupon for ideas, we finally settled down on Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson. And boy, this place definitely exceeded our expectations!
The easiest way to get to the resort is by a coach that goes straight to the resort’s doorsteps! There were only two travel agencies we could find that offer this coach service — Golden Coach Express and KKKL Travel. Now, Mr J is that kind of person who googles for reviews about everything under the sun, even coach services. But he couldn’t find any reviews about these two coach services (or at least the few he read were not positive). I had to reassure him several times that all will be well. Worse come to worse, just sleep la! 4 hours only! We decided to give both companies a try, so it will be Golden Coach to the resort and KKKL Travel back to Singapore. Based on our experience, for those of you looking for transport to Lexus Hibiscus, GO FOR GOLDEN COACH EXPRESS. Well at least it fits my image of a normal coach bus to Malaysia. The seats were comfortable and spacious. The backrest can decline about 45deg backwards, and the foot rest could go 45deg upwards (disclaimer: these are all my estimations) so you can get a pretty comfortable sleep on the bus. Also, there is always someone to count the passengers before leaving pit-stops, so no worries about getting left behind! We didn’t use the baggage storage as we were carrying backpacks, but the overhead storage compartments above the seats were wide enough for our big backpacks, so yay! No need to share foot space with our backpacks! Just that if you are looking out for entertainment, sorry there’s none. Like I said, just sleep all the way. There are two pick-up points in Singapore for Golden Coach Express, 1 outside City Plaza (which is where we boarded), and 1 outside Concorde Shopping Centre. Return trip cost $70/pax for either companies.
Ok enough said about the coach, that’s not the main point. We arrived at Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson at about 2pm, and boy! I was so surprised by how touristy the resort was! The lobby was filled with tour groups and the line to the check-in counter was long. I was kind of expecting the place to be empty since there really isn’t much to do around Port Dickson (in my opinion). Luckily, the reception service was efficient, and we checked in within 30 mins. Now, time for the buggy ride!
The layout of the resort is shaped like a hibiscus (hence the name). If you look at the hotel layout below (which I have copied from Lexis Hibicus website), I have indicated the location of the lobby area and our room. As you can see, the distance is long, especially under the hot sun, so yes a buggy ride is definitely much appreciated. Anyway, big resort means more space for all tourists (and tour groups), so not complaining 🙂
See the group of Singaporeans behind us? The funny that happened was, the staff dropped us off right at our doorstep and the group shouted “See you!” at us. Less than 5 seconds later, the buggy stopped again and there was their room! Just two doors away! We were all so surprised that we started laughing away. But that also shows the professionalism of the buggy drivers. They really spare no effort to pamper their guests!
We booked the Premium Pool Villa (Sea-facing), which in my opinion, is the best class of rooms available. Why do I say so? Well, the hibiscus layout of the resort may be disadvantageous to the guests who do not specify what direction of room they want. There is the Executive Pool Villa, which is cheaper than the Premium Pool Villa, but these rooms form the leaves of the hibiscus. So unless you request for rooms at the tip of the leaves, there is a high chance that you may have full view of the room opposite you, the passageway where other guests will have full view of you, or the beach area (not too bad option comparatively). Even for the Premium Pool Villa, you will need to book either the Sea-facing or specify Fountain-facing in your booking request so that you do not end up with the rooms facing each other, which kinda defeats the points of paying more for a room right? The rest of the room classes I will not go into detail, but these are more expensive so it’s your choice whether to book them or not (and whether having a bathtub that faces the swimming pool is essential to you :)).
The pool is 1.2m throughout, perfectly safe for non-swimmers like me *beams* The water do get chilly though, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT. So if you are expecting a late night dip, do think twice. You can try, but don’t say I didn’t warn. Another feature of the room which I was captivated by initially was having my own personal sauna. I mean, private swimming pool is rather common in beach villas, but private sauna?? However, very soon I was made disappointed, as we found the sauna hard to operate because the switch and temperature controller is behind the glass door beside the wardrobe (like seriously? You have to keep running in to adjust?) The highest temperature on the controller is only about 39deg, and the temperature doesn’t build up in the room because there is a gap between the door and the glass panel. So yeah, it gets humid and slightly warm but not enough to force the sweat out.
Since the dipping pool was what we came here for, it was the first place we jumped into!
After spending 2 hours in the pool, we decided to go out and explore other hotel facilities. I remembered reading online that the resort provides bicycle rental, so we decided to go back to the lobby. We walked for a little while before flagging down an empty buggy which was on it’s way to one of the buggy stops. That’s what I like about the buggy service here, that I could flag down like taxi! Ok technically we were suppose to wait at the buggy stop, but hey if you spot an empty buggy, doesn’t hurt to try stopping it right? At the lobby, we rented two single bicycles for 1 hours, which cost us 40RM altogether. Not too expensive for such an atas resort.
There is really not much place to cycle around, so 1hr is enough to cycle to the tip of the hibiscus and back. After which we explored the beach area on foot.
There are only two restaurants we saw, Roselle Coffee House and UMI japanese restaurant. Every Friday and Saturday night, Roselle Coffee House has a barbecue buffet at RM95/pax. Since the hawker stalls at Hibiscus Walk didn’t appeal to us, we walked back to Roselle Coffee House for dinner. The food spread was reasonable, with barbecue chicken, beef, mutton and fish! We liked the fish the most, but this ran out very fast (because of certain tour groups) =.= Otherwise the other cooked food and desserts are pretty normal. You can give this a try if you are there, because there is really nothing else to eat if you don’t feel like travelling out.
After dinner, we went for another round of exploration within the hotel. There is a Sky Lite Bar on the 13th floor where I assume you can have bird’s-eye view of the whole resort, but we couldn’t look around unless we buy a drink, so we went off. Besides the Sky Lite Bar, there is a gym, KidzWorld, Spa and Karoke in the main building. Nobody entertained us when we were at the Karoke counter though, so we have no idea what the prices are. There is another 3-storey lighthouse building located in the middle of the 5 petals with a dining option but this is only exclusive to Lighthouse Club members *boohoo*.
From the main lobby, we walked back to our room while enjoying the cool sea breeze. As our room faces the sea which was pitch dark at night, we had a good view of the stars as well 🙂
That’s all for part 1 of our review. Stay tune for part 2!