Back in early April this year, our family made a short getaway to Malaysia, the first leg was to Genting Highlands for two nights with another two families, and the second leg on our own to Port Dickson for two nights.
Initially I was quite hesitant about going to Port Dickson because there isn't very much to offer there (we've been there a few times before some years back). But we felt like having a beach holiday so that the little rascal could get some sun and sea and so I started researching on the resorts available, not that there are that many to choose from. We used to stay at Avillion Port Dickson Resort; loved the water villas, but I wanted to try a different resort this time. The choice was between Grand Lexis and Thistle. Apparently Grand Lexis is ranked the number 1 resort in Port Dickson (on Tripadvisor), and all rooms come with its own private plunge pool. But after reading reviews and looking at traveller photos, I wasn't very convinced. With kids, a small private pool doesn't offer much excitement and I don't really like properties that are too big; usually the service level won't be attentive enough, and maintenance/upkeep is often an issue.
Decided to go for Thistle Resort which is ranked number 2. What sold me is the huge free-form pool with water slides which I believe the little rascal would love. Anyways, both hubby and I went with a low expectation but surprisingly the resort actually wowed us over, apart from a few misses here and there.
We reached the resort close to 3pm, just nice for check-in. The lobby area is bright and airy.
Initially the staff was attending to a guest, and after that guest left, she didn't attend to those in the queue, instead she simply let other guests who just walked into the hotel jump queue to check-in. And this happened two times! I was in fact fuming and thought to myself this was a bad choice, this hotel has failed. Talk about first impressions.
Anyways, this is the lounge area where guests could enjoy a free welcome drink.
A mini spa corner where guests could enjoy a shoulder and back massage or foot reflexology. There is a spa that's located near the golf course of the resort but I didn't manage to go there.
With the bad first impression, my expectation fell even lower. Luckily the room was a saving grace. We booked the Deluxe Seaview room and was given a room on the highest level (level 6) which had a very good view. Although this wasn't the best room we had stayed before, I would say it's not bad, clean, cozy and well-maintained. We loved this super king size bed, it's like two queen beds joined into one, very comfortable for the three of us.
The usual desk and a cozy lounge corner which I like. I love rooms that come with cozy lounge couch or daybed so that I can laze and read on it. Well, the rascal actually took over it as his play area!
Bathroom is a good size and very clean. Just that there isn't any bathtub which the rascal likes.
The balcony area is a little dirty though. Didn't manage to hang around too much (usually I would for beach resorts).
Love the panoramic view of the pool and the sea.
The pool looked very tempting indeed.
The resort offers quite a few facilities for family, such as the Lego Room and Children Indoor Playground.
The indoor playground is suitable for babies and toddlers.
Other recreation activities include pool table (chargeable).
There's also a movie room and a games room with three sets of Wii machine (but only one set seemed to be working).
The free form swimming pool! Our family really enjoyed this pool, spending almost 2-3 hours each day we were there.
The pool is divided into a few sections with different depths clearly demarcated. Safety staff/life guards could be seen patrolling tirelessly around the pool all day long, so we could definitely feel assured about safety here.
The kiddy pool and slide area which is very popular among young kids. Pool depth is pretty shallow so it's suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
Upper deck of the kiddy pool is a wading pool for babies.
The bigger slide which is located at the other side of the pool. The depth here is deeper so kids have to be monitored at all times. Now that he's older, the little rascal actually enjoyed this slide more than the other.
Kiddy playground which we didn't get to explore since we spent most time at the pool, beach or room.
Leading to the beach area.
Some outdoor games, good for teambuilding.
Leading to Cumulus, the beachside pool bar.
The beachside pool bar seemed to be closed when we were there, probably open only at night? We didn't check.
The beachside pool. We didn't come here since we preferred the bigger free-form pool.
Sea sports centre where guests can rent kayaks or jet ski.
The beach is quite clean and water surprisingly quite clear. The sea bed is gentle sloping so very safe for swimming. We enjoyed playing with sand and swimming here for both days. Watch out for sand flies though because we didn't put any insect repellent (only remembered sunblock) and got a few itchy bites.
Overall, the resort ground is well-maintained and clean; and staff quite friendly with good service quality. Next up, I'll share more on food at the resort which earned it a few more stars. Stay tuned!