Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 July - Lexis Hibiscus @ Port Dickson, Malaysia

A jump to write about my experience at Lexis Hibiscus since it is still considered fresh as I went with my family on 25 July 2015. 

We had decided to take this trip out of Singapore for my parents as a short getaway, since as parents, they never get to relax in Singapore, always busy themselves over their children (yes, guilty here). Anyway, we decided on the location due to the wonderful reviews and video available on social media. And sadly, the place did not live up to the wonderful standards (as stated online) for us, even though we went with a casual heart as we know that they are still under soft opening. Read on for what exactly transpired that weekend...

Woke up early in the morning to prevent getting caught terribly in the jam, and lucky us, we arrived in Malaysia smoothly without much jam.

The first stop we made was for breakfast at the standard location which most drivers will bring Singaporeans to, Restoran Queen Park 皇后坊美食阁. We did have a few other pit-stops along the way to Port Dickson, but nothing much is worth talking about and the main focus of this post is about Lexis Hibiscus. 

By the time we reached Port Dickson, it was past lunch time, hence we head off to PD Waterfront area in hope to find some food. PD Waterfront has a clear view of a beach and sea. The water there is actually quite pretty and a great place for a stroll, though there is nothing much to do around since most of the shops available are restaurants. 

Anyway, we decided to try PappaRich since it is Malaysian Delights as stated by their slogan. (Confession: even though it is available in Singapore, I have never tried it before.) Food-wise was nothing worth mentioning, but the service was quite funny with three mistakes in just a single meal plus the place is not crowded since it was after lunch and most patrons had left. 

There was not much things for us to do in Port Dickson since our driver is not even familiar with the location. I guess that really makes a different as he was unable to show us around and keep emphasising on the need to pay extra for the different locations if he needs to bring us there. And definitely, it highlights our mistake to hire him. 

Anyway, we just headed back to Lexis Hibiscus since we cannot do other things, and hope that we can do an early check-in. And above is the big sign to tell you to turn into the only way to Lexis Hibiscus. 

There is a fountain in the middle of the round-about which you follows through to reach the lobby area.

The super-high ceiling lobby area, which really feels very grand, but since it is still under soft opening, the staff is not as attentive to new visitors. With the high ceiling and super spacious area, you might find yourself lost, especially when there is no signboard or staff to direct or assist you to the check-in counter. 

Anyway, we decided to head to the long table which is their check-in counter. Check-in was quite fast even though we are early, only that they did not have one room ready which was non-issue for us as we came early and we could all stay in one room for the afternoon. 

So while my sister did the check-in, I went exploring the lobby area and the surrounding. They do have a small little cafe on the right side of the lobby from entrance, so if you are still hungry, you can grab a bite from there.

Moving along the corridor, just beside the cafe, brings me pass the ROSELLE which is their coffee house and also one of the only two restaurants available onsite. Yup, I did not take picture of the coffee house as it did not appeal to me on the outside, but the interior will make an appearance in this post as it is the location where my family and I had our dinner and breakfast. 

As you continues along the corridor, it will brings you to the UMI Japanese Restaurant, toilets and the access (stairs and lift) to the grand ballroom. I did not go to the ballroom as it was hosting a company event in the day and the night was hosting a dinner. 

The area outside UMI is really very pretty with the full ceiling full of chandelier in the design of a Hibiscus. There are also sofas around the area for people to lounge and chill.

By the time I completed my small exploration, the check-in was completed so we head over to the buggy service to queue for the buggy. Yes, you have to literally stand there and queue.

Anyway, before we started everything, our luggage were taken by the bellboy so as to be able to deliver it to our room when we get our room. They provided us a tag that is having the same number on the tag with our luggage, hence once we received our room number, we went over to the concierge to inform them of our room number. However, to our surprise, they refused to write our room number on our luggage tag and only wrote it on the tag of our copy. Imagine our shock at this. Why will we want our room number on our copy? Anyway, it was only solved when a manager came out, spoke to the people at the counter (which I don't know what he said as it was spoken in Malay) and explained to us that the luggage will actually be claimed at the buggy service line and will be on the same buggy. So, this was the first shock we had and it was purely due to miscommunication. 

So we hopped up our buggy ride and heads off to our first villa!

Let's start the tour of the room!

This is the view that greets you once you open the door. It really looks great and promising with the two huge King-size beds and spacious area around.

Above are some of the items available in the resort as complimentary.

Yes, the fridge looks dirty with the number of fingerprints on it, but this is the best we encountered through the three rooms we actually saw and is definitely the least of our concern since it is just the outer of the fridge. You will see why later.

This is the entrance to the bathroom area which has another door that leads you to the balcony area.

The amenities of the bathroom as seen above, and the top right hand corner is the glass panel on the floor to view the marine life below. However, currently you would not see any marine life except for cockles on the pillar at low tide. In the daytime, the water will be in the green-tint colour while at night, the colour will be blue. 

Do take note that the doors to the toilet and shower do not have locks. 

This is the view from the bathroom area of the balcony.

The balcony area consists of a private dip pool, steam room and two chairs where you can chill around.

And that marks the end of the room tour!

Let's start on the horror we encountered in the next 2 rooms. We were given the 3rd room to view as the second room in a horrendous state that one won't stay in, especially when you are on a vacation. However, we did  end up with the second room that have the horrendous state but after a few rounds of clean-ups and supposedly, the personal check conducted by the resort manager. 

First of all, when we entered the room, there was a strong smell of stagnant smoking. Additionally, the floor was oily to the point that you can literally see the oily patches. We carried on to take a tour around the room and to our horror, the basin was chocked (as seen in the picture) and what cannot be spotted in the picture is the small floating particles in the basin. Imagine the shock we faced once we overcome the horror from the basin when we spotted the water puddle on the floor which we do not know whether it is a burst pipe or the basin overflowed. What's worse is that the water puddle's size increased while we were there. 

When we went out to the balcony area, it was filled with a strong fishy smell, like some fish is rotting somewhere and once again, another puddle under the chairs and table at the balcony area. Horror*2. We were not sure the fishy smell comes from the private dip pool or the puddle of the water, and definitely it did not came from the sea as we tried heading out to the common area outside the villa and the smell is definitely not there. 

The switch for the steam room of Room 28 was in such a bad state when the resort had only newly opened in April, this was not an issue to us at that point, but what we didn't know was that the steam room was actually down and it was only found out during the night when my sis tried to use the steam room. 

The state of the room was so bad for a resort that is newly opened. You can see the water/smoke stain on the ceiling (picture on the right) and the peeling of the light's covers as seen in the picture on the left. Again, this was not an issue for us at that point, merely observed.  

For myself, I like to check through every item before informing the staff so that the room will, hopefully, be in a good state when it has been clean-up. So when I open the fridge, the fridge is empty with only two bottles of mineral water, without the complimentary cans of soda. Hence, we noted it down to inform the staff. 

After we called the operator for assistance, we were informed by the staff that once the room is ready, they will inform us. So we went back to the first room and rested till the staff came over and informed us. Imagine our shock when we head over to the room and found the room in the same state with no improvement. 

Hence, we walked over to the main reception area to look for the resort manager. Once we identified and informed the resort manager, he volunteered another room for us to have a look. Hence, we hopped on to the buggy and heads to the next room even though the view of the third room is facing the common walkway. 

It is like that day was a horrible day for us. We entered the third villa and noticed the flickering light in the corner. Okay, it's just a flickering light which just requires a change in light bulb. But when I opened the fridge, the issue is not with the missing complimentary drinks. Can you spot the issue?

Yes, it is the opened and half full bottle of mineral water. This is the final straw and I definitely not taking such a room. Hence, we went to the main lobby once again to look for the resort manager and told him that we will not take the third room, which he then assured us that he will make sure the team clean up the second room (Villa 28) and he personally will check on the status before he hands over to us.  

We trusted what he said and went back to the first room to rest before dinner. And it was only after our dinner, and with no calls at all, that we went back to the room 28 and found it clean and smell relatively alright. And yes, that marks the end of the incidents we encountered on Day 1.

While we chill out in the first room and wait for dinner time, the fountain lights up as the day progress into the night with a pretty sunset at the back. The fountain show is quite simple in terms of lights and movement, but the highest height of the fountain is the biggest highlight of the show.

After soaking in the private pool while enjoying the sunset and the fountain show, we walked over to ROSELLE for our dinner. You can choose between UMI or ROSELLE, but we chose ROSELLE because it was having the Seafood buffet promotion while UMI have only two pages of option available.

So we made our payment at the counter inside ROSELLE before we proceed to be seated. Once we were allocated to our table, we headed off to take our dinner! Above are the pictures of the foods available. There were even more cooked food available, but I did not take picture as it was kind of empty when I went for pictures, and after that, I was busy eating, hence no more pictures.

And the above are some of the food we tried and took pictures. We were told that there will be one lobster available for each person which they were supposed to serve to us, however, somehow or another, after tons of waiting and asking, we were then informed that the lobsters ran out of stock and we were given big prawn (IKR! Such a big difference and it was ONE big prawn each only.). So I will suggest you head off early for dinner to avoid such disappointment. Food wise, I will say don't bring too high hopes, it's manageable.

Anyway, after eating we went walking around the area, so the first thing we saw was the common pools, just right outside the ROSELLE coffee house.

Do take note of your kids if you do let them walk about as the pool does not have any warning signs and kids could overlook it as a pool and fall in.

 The changing lights of the exterior of the main building.

 After a short walk, we head back to our villa to rest and enjoy the private pool and steam room.

Woke up early the next day and took some photos outside our villa. As you can see on the bottom right corner picture, the villa that are facing the common walkway are not very private as the pool and steam room actually are at the balcony which are facing the common walkway. Hence, anyone can actually look at you while on the common walkway, which I feel is a lack of privacy.

Head off to breakfast which we topped up at RM35 per pax as it is not included in our soft opening package. I will say the breakfast is definitely worth that RM35 with all the varieties and choices. The local delights are definitely the highlight against the rest of the food.

Once again, after meal, we went walking and attempted to walk all the way out, but sadly, it was still under construction, hence we could only turn back after a while.

As we walked back, we noticed the sky turning dark, hence I called for a buggy at 11am to request for a buggy to pick us up at 12noon. Guess what, this trip indeed ends with a bad note due to the bad attitude of the phone operator which I did not get her name.

As I mentioned, I called early by almost an hour for the buggy, so I expected the buggy to be outside the door by 12, however, as we thought the buggy guy will ring the bell when he reached, we waited till 1205 before opening the door and faced just the rain with no buggy insight. So we called the operator, the operator merely say "We will check on it and get back to you." and hang up our phone. Okay... we wait again. Another 5mins later, nothing happened and we called again. This time round, the person is even worse, just a "We will check" and hangs up again.

By this time, I was so pissed off with all the incidents the previous day and the two calls that were hanged up, I called again and demanded to know when will the buggy arrive which the lady said that it will be arriving soon and she cannot confirm on how long. Okay, so I asked why is the buggy not here yet when I had called early, she merely replied saying that the buggy is coming. Excuse me, how long does the buggy need to take to drive from the main lobby to our door? Walking time is less than 10mins and we could not walk as it was pouring cats and dogs outside! I understand that the buggy will be busy if everyone has to check out at the same time, and that is why I called earlier for the buggy. So I asked again, how long will the buggy take to reach us, and it is only then that I heard her paged the buggy over the walkie-talkie to inform them that we need a buggy. Soon after, less than 5mins, a buggy turns up at our door. And that marks the end of the whole trip.

I'm really upset with the fact that a trip ends with a bad note cause, no matter how long it pass, the trip will always be associated with the bad incidents. I really thought the first day incidents were over and yet the second day, just right before we checked out, this happened. It just concluded our stay there with a bad note.

I will say, the facilities are good  if it can lives up to the standard and the service definitely have a huge room for improvements. However, I will like to say that, do give the resort a benefit of doubt and a chance as it is still under soft opening and the volume might not be what they can handled. Let's just hope it will get better. 


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  2. Hi,
    Glad you enjoyed your holiday in Lexis PD.
    Next time you or your friend is visiting, you can book via this site to get member discount rates at Lexis PD.

  3. Thanks for sharing the info. KKKL Singapore is now offering bus services between Singapore and Port Dickson, so you no longer have to worry about facing the hassle of driving there! For more info, kindly visit our website : www.kkkl.com.sg