When the traveller best friend says such things, I usually have extremely high hopes for the place – simply because she has good taste and is also a creature of pleasure. According to her prior research, Lexis Hibiscus had been marketed to be a luxury resort, with premium services and a Guinness World Record under its belt. So I figured it couldn’t be too bad.. and I was wrong. Very wrong.
We drove up to Port Dickson after 1 night’s stay in Hatten Hotel, Melaka (wonderful property, spoil market!) and it was raining cats and dogs while we drove up. An omen perhaps? Anyway, we drove into the lobby to ask for directions to the car park.. and after parking, spent another 5 minutes looking for the lift down. Why on earth would your doors all be fire exits, anyway? A lift ride and a short walk later, we arrived at the very chic lobby.
Looks pretty modern. I was very hungry by this time and was hoping the resort wouldn’t be like Avillion Port Dickson, which I hated for its rustic designs. Definitely not a fan of the wood element type of interior. Anyway, check-in was pretty fuss-free, and just when you though the lobby couldn’t get any cooler –
It turns into a party place.
Lexis Hibiscus was quite full that day (close to 100% occupancy I heard) but the check-in counters were very efficient, thought the lobby sounded like a fish market. We headed upstairs in the cool capsule lift and caught our first real glance of the water chalets.
Pretty dreary day it was. Basically had a thunderstorm and when you’re this close to the coast, it ain’t fun. The red vehicle you can see in the photo above is a buggy that’s used to ferry passengers to their chalets, and there was a snaking queue every time I passed by, rain or shine.
My family and I booked a bigger suite for 4 pax, and when I got in I wasn’t too impressed by the design. Again, bear in mind I am the marble/white duvet/glass and porcelain kind of person, and you might understand my reaction:
Incredibly gaudy furniture! Everything looked so campy, I couldn’t stand it. Think pink walls, everywhere, and pillows the colour of Post-its. I already have pink walls in my bedroom from a really bad period in my childhood where I was obsessed with pink, but on a relaxing ‘premium’ holiday.. no. Just no.
Their toilet amenities are quite clean – I say quite, because the other 5-star properties that I stay at are much cleaner. This one was acceptable, passable.. but more on this later.
The house brand amenities provided were quite okay. We had another use for the shampoo and shower gel (more on that later) but the slippers were of pretty good quality. I’m talking about the kind of quality that makes you want to bring it home. #sorrynotsorry
Outside our Sky Suite we had a balcony where a small dipping pool and steam room were located. We didn’t use either of these, and on the last day when I dipped my foot into the pool, it came out sticky. Now, the pool bans use of sun-protective material (no need to since you’re sheltered on the balcony and you’re no K-pop star) so I don’t know what else was in the water.. just glad I didn’t get in.
Not bad. The view from our room was quite magnificent – we could see the fountain (where there are very bland light shows at certain times in the evening) and the sand bar where they held all their water activities.
That’s more or less it for the hard product itself – and as I mentioned, I was starving, so we trooped down to the cafe, Roselle Coffee House, for buffet dinner.
Roselle is their casual dining concept, with a choice of buffet or ala carte for every meal. We paid RM 98 for this so I expected a lot more, but what I got was: uncooked rice, beef jerky posing as steak, burnt fish, hotdog that was still half-frozen.. bad, bad experience. While there was a wide variety of food, 60% of the food there is either not impressive or downright bad. The only standout dish for me was the vegetable soup.. you get how bad it was.
It was thesis week for me, so on Day 2, I got up late, and got down to Roselle for some quiet time while I had breakfast. Ah, the only outstanding food item I had there. The cheese naan.
Sorry, no before photos cos I was starving, but they served it with a yellow lentil dip and it was SO GOOD.
I wasn’t keen on the activities but the family was game, so they went to do all sorts of stuff like binge on movies, ride a Segway (my mum, can you believe it? So proud!) and cycle around the resort.
The second night, I booked a place at Wave Dining, their fine-dining concept situated in the middle of the resort within the Lighthouse, which also has a pub.
Their prices were not cheap, but compared to the buffet, the food was much, much better. I had a moment of deep doubt though, when the waitress came to me and offered me 3 types of sauces for my ribeye: chocolate sauce, coffee sauce or beef juice. Like, BEEF JUICE? Could you make that sound any more savage?
Right, so here begins the mishaps.
After dinner we all took a slow walk back to the resort room. Once we opened the door, we were confronted by a horrible sewage-like stench. We checked the toilets but none of them were clogged. Our conclusion? Sewage had issues. So we called room service, and they send a guy in scrubs, armed with a bottle of Febreze, cloth.. and that’s it. Oh, interestingly, when he sprayed the toilet, he took aim at a ceiling vent. I wonder what that vent would lead to, actually, that pipes right into the room.
Of course, Febreze wears off, and before 15 minutes was gone, the smell was back with a vengeance. My aunt is very sensitive to smells, so in an effort to spare her from this agony, I called my uncle over and got a few bottles of the shampoo and shower gel.. and poured them right down the toilet and sink. That got rid of the smell for a few hours but it came back at night.
In the morning, after breakfast, the smell was gone. Our conclusion was that they fixed whatever might have been causing the smell, sewage blockage at some part of the property maybe, but our night had already been ruined, anyway.
Breakfast buffet on the last day though, you have to be warned – it’s bitterly disappointing. I am a huge breakfast eater and you can lose me at a breakfast buffet only to find me drowning in pancakes, butter and orange juice. I love it. So believe me, when I say I could find nothing palatable.. that is on another level entirely.
And by then, not even the stunning night view could make up for the lacklustre experience.
All in all, we paid close to S$800, which worked out to be S$200/pax for 2 nights, with breakfast provided and one buffet, one fine dining experience. Reasonable? Maybe, not to me. I’ve stayed in better hotels (Hatten) and the fact that this is a beach just isn’t tempting enough. It’s not Bali with turquoise waters, dear. This is Port Dickson, and it just ain’t worth the price, not to me, at least.
If you’re coming with a family, this place might be great for you with activities like glass-bottom fish feeding, a bunch of water sports, land tours, etc. but would never recommend this to anyone who’s trying to relax in a luxury/premium environment. Just way too crowded, too campy, too gaudy.. and there are certainly other premium resorts at this price point.
Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson
12th Mile, Jalan Pantai, Port Dickson, 71250 Pasir Panjang, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia