|Breakfast before our trip!|
A way overdue post about our trip to Avillion, Port Dickson over the year end holiday.
The last time we were in PD, we stayed at the Grand Lexis. This time around, we decided to book ourselves at Avillion for a change. The last time we stayed in Avillion was back in 2006 – we planned our honeymoon in Bali to be able to return for the two day company away day trip (in Avillion) but unfortunately our flight home got delayed so we only managed to catch up with the rest of my colleagues on the second day. My only memories from that trip were the long walk from the water villa to the main building, the adult-only pool, the great BBQ dinner and a poorly maintained beach. Due to the nature of our prior visit, I had always regarded Avillion as an adult-friendly hotel. Boy, was I proved wrong that weekend!
The kids had so much fun! There were so many things to do and explore, we never even left the hotel compound. But before I start with the good stuff, let me whine about the condition of the hotel rooms first. Granted, it was a peak weekend – but that shouldn’t be an excuse for us having to move rooms a grand total of FOUR times!
The first time, we had just settled in and unpacked. Although the room was a beautiful water chalet, I was unhappy that we didn’t get the king bed room as we had asked for. The two single 4-poster beds (in addition to the pangkin bed) were gigantic in my view, and cluttered the room so much that it made the room feel very small. Not to mention more tripping hazards for Ian – who was hell bent on exploring every nook and cranny of the room. So just as I finished unpacking, it started raining heavily – and guess what! The roof leaked and we had droplets of water raining over the bed closest to the bathroom. Called reception and asked to change rooms (while secretly hoping that they would move me to an available king-bed room). The concierge arrived promptly with our new room key and helped us move rooms. The second time, I discovered that the new room had a blown light and the TV movie channels were not working, so I called the technician to fix it. He got the bulb changed out, but failed to fix the TV – and they moved us to another room again! This time, they upgraded us to a premium water chalet – with an impressive view of the Straits of Malacca from our private balcony. By then, I had already given up on the king-bed request and settled for the spectacular view. But guess what??!! We woke up the next morning to a puddle of water on the floor – the aircon had leaked overnight! By then, we had enough of these room mishaps so after breakfast, I marched to the reception and demanded them to move us into a new room but this time with a king size bed! Just after lunch, they managed to find us a room (someone must have checked out), and finally we landed a king sized bed, and they even maintained us in the premium water chalets so we had a stunning sea view too.
|The twin room.|
|Our lovely balcony overlooking other water villas.|
|The pangkin bed that Aiden and Ian slept on.|
|On our last day, we woke up in our king bed premium water chalet, with misty balcony windows and a beautiful seaview.|
Anyway, room misfortunes aside – there were plenty to do within the beach resort and the kids sure had a blast! Here was how we spent our year end retreat:
1. The Beach!
Aaaaahhh... how can we not start with the beach! That's the entire reason why people come flocking to Port Dickson anyway; for the beach! (I say this with great sarcasm, mind you...) Although the beach by the Avilion was mediocre, at least it was well maintained. It was here that we discovered how much different our two boys really were - one was a beach boy, content with chasing hermit crabs on the beach; while the other was a water baby, who fearlessly pulls your hand towards the sea.
|Nope... this is not the beach boy!|
|He's the water baby!|
Avillion allows you to rent the kayak for a certain amount of time. You can even charge it to the room, so you don't have to bother with bringing money to the beach. (Hubby even landed a great deal for jet-skiing (not by the hotel) for RM50 by the beach, but scaredy cat Aiden refused so that deal never happened.)
|They didn't allow 4 people on the kayak for safety reasons, so we had to take turns.|
|Ian's turn! We left the beach boy happily playing on the beach alone.|
|Aiden and Hubby even kayak-ed all the way to our room.|
|Ian laughing upon seeing Daddy and Abang Aiden out in the sea.|
3. Catching Hermit Crabs.
This was by far, the beach boy's favourite thing to do. Since Hubby introduced him to it, every day, Aiden would pester us to go to the beach to catch hermit crabs. But being the penggeli that he is, he would refuse to touch it, what more catch it; so Daddy became the designated crab catcher. At around noon, the tide would subside and the beach would be packed with hermit crabs. Once, we found one part of the beach being a shade darker than the other side; there were actually thousands of hermit crabs covering the sand! And when we walked up to it, some dug their way into the sand while some tried to crawl quickly away. In just mere seconds, there wasn't even a single crab in sight. It was such a magnificent experience!
|With the subsided tide, you could even walk under the water villas, and by the stilts.|
|This boy wasn't afraid of anything!|
|We brought one container filled with hermit crabs back to our room.|
|We even brought them home... where they died a slow death (I am so sorry, crabs!) and it was only after they became rotten and smelly that Aiden agreed to throw them out.|
4. Cooking Classes for the Young Chefs.
Avillion provides cooking classes for kids everyday at 4pm. It is conducted in a small shack right by the kids pool, and resident cooks help every child make their own creation, be it pizza, bread or even roti canai!
|Our first day at the resort - Aiden made roti canai!|
|Learning how to tebar the roti canai.|
|It was one of the yummiest, tender but crunchy roti canai I ever had. But then again, I was probably biased! *grin*|
|On the second day, Aiden made pizza! He was already a pro at the rolling pin, watching Mummy rolling fondant and all.|
|Putting various toppings on the pizza.|
|We had to wait 45mins for it to bake.|
Avillion has their own in-house pet farm, open daily from 10-11am. This is definitely the place to nurture your kids' love of animals as they can touch and feed the pets; with pet food provided by the hotel. All you have to do is turn up! You can even bathe a pet on Wednesdays and Sundays. Great timing too, you can head there right after breakfast, and even use this as leverage to get your kids to gobble up their meals quickly!
|Walking to breakfast.|
|We had breakfast at the upper floor, above the swimming pool and overlooking the pet farm.|
|Aiden watching anxiously at all the kids at the kid farm, while Mummy and Daddy torture him by eating our breakfast at a super slow pace... *cheeky smile*|
|They had rabbits!|
|Super big birds on the roof!|
|Small animals willing to be held by kids in exchange for food.|
|Someone was not impressed with the chickens.|
|The beautiful resident peacock, which we had to chase all around the compound just for a decent picture.|
|Don't replicate this with the poor turtle, Ian actually picked it out, turned it over and upside down, and even tried to have a taste of it!|
6. Avi Spa
Get a babysitter and go for a massage session with your spouse... Fine, easier said than done - cos even we didn't manage to do this!
|Cochin Pool - the adult only pool on the way to the spa building.|
|Can you see the beautiful glass-like structure behind us? That's the Avi Spa!|
Apart from the adult only pool, there is also a free-form 1.2 m deep swimming pool and a smaller kids pool complete with a slide on the other side of the resort (closer to the beach). The swimming pool is open 24hours, so you can also take a dip in the night while the kids are asleep (and supervised, of course, duh).
|Splashing in the pool!|
|Ian trying Abang Aiden's floats.|
|The beautiful walkway, separating the two pools.|
|The kids' pool.|
8. Lord Avery's BBQ Dinner
Happens every Saturday, 7-11pm. Make sure you book well in advance. I was lucky I remembered to make a reservation that morning, because when we arrived, we actually witnessed a few walk-ins turned away due to lack of seats. However, I wasn't really that impressed with the food given the price. I thought our previous experience with the BBQ dinner (10 years ago!) was much better; it had a better variety of food!
|The scrumptious lamb.|
|Food, food, glorious food!|
|We were seated right by the pool.|
|Super tired kiddos.|
9. Kids Cabin
|Two Batmans playing with blocks.|
|Old TVs as video game consoles... well old or not, I guess it does the job.|
10. Fishing and crabbing.
Last but not least, you can get fishing rods and traps (bubu) from the shack by the kids' swimming pool. We really wanted to expose Aiden to fishing, and the best part of it was we could do it from the comfort of our room balcony. Unfortunately, since it was peak season, they were sold out every day. But we were lucky that someone had set up crab traps along the walkway to our water villa. So that night, we took a peek at what they caught!
|We caught a crab!|
|Ian looking curiously at the trap; it used a fish as bait! (To be perfectly honest, it was my first time with the bubu, so I was as curious as the kids too.)|
|The various sea creatures that the traps caught that night.|
There you go! 10 fun activities for you to do at the Avillion Port Dickson. Let me end this post with a funny snippet:
|Throughout the entire trip, Aiden pronounced this as an "occasional tooth wash!"|