| by Uwe Fischer |
A resort that has each accommodation equipped with its own swimming pool: thanks to this concept, the Malaysian Lexis Group is successfully mixing up the hotel landscape of the Southeast Asian country.
Port Dickson is a coastal town on the Strait of Malacca in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan. Its relative proximity to the capital Kuala Lumpur makes it a popular weekend destination for locals and visitors from neighbouring countries, as can also be seen from the large number of hotels, including seven in the 4 and 5-star categories. However, it is hard to say that Port Dickson is particularly attractive, as it hardly has any sightseeing icons or specialities that would attract a large number of long-distance travellers.
But for some years now, this slowly has been changing, thanks to two 5-star resorts by Lexis in Port Dickson. They attract international guests with a distinctive feature: every accommodation in both of these hotels comes with its own swimming pool.
Grand Lexis Port Dickson
Let’s start with the Grand Lexis: It was opened in 2009 and has 317 villas designed in Balinese style. Some of the rooms are in the main hotel building, but most of the accommodations are water villas that have been built on stilts in the ocean, as you can see here in our photo album.
The rooms are characterised by Mediterranean colours, warm wood tones and tasteful interior design with a great deal of attention to detail, such as the bedside tables illuminated from the inside, or the window in the floor. Beside the spacious bedroom with two king-size beds, there is a kitchenette and a bathroom. The small pool, which is accessible from all 3 rooms, is, of course, the absolute highlight and enables the highest possible privacy due to its privacy screen. This extraordinary concept was even ennobled with an entry in the Malaysian Guinness Book of Records, where it was listed as the hotel with the most swimming pools.
In the meantime, however, it has had to give this award back to Lexis Hibiscus, which opened in 2015 and boasts over 600 pools, setting not only the national but also the world record. Here the planners have gone one step further and have given the villa landscape the shape of a hibiscus. For the marketing department, of course, this is a dream, as it puts them in the ranks of iconic hotels – the Palm Island in Dubai sends its regards. The hibiscus shape was chosen because the flower is one of Malaysia’s national symbols.
The rooms and the pools are slightly smaller than the Grand Lexis, but architecturally more modern, with light colours, glass and marble predominating (photo album). The television, which is framed laterally by dark glass surfaces, contributes substantially to the optics of the room. The icing on the cake of every villa is the steam bath on the terrace – another feature you won’t find anywhere else.
Grand or Hibiscus?
Both houses are therefore primarily aimed at guests for whom a hotel is more than just an overnight accommodation and offer the highest quality, professional management, a wide range of leisure activities for young and old and of course, as is generally the case in houses of this category in Malaysia, excellent restaurants in which one does not have to dig too deep into one’s pocket.
The two Lexis hotels in Port Dickson are 20 minutes away by car. While the Grand Dickson is closer to the centre, the Hibiscus is a little out of town. In terms of price, both hotels are in the upper price range compared to their competitors, with the hibiscus being the more expensive. Understandably, because it offers more activities, more restaurants and a somewhat more exclusive ambience. But the Grand Lexis also has its advantages. The rooms of the Grand are larger and have a warmer ambience. And the community pool is more inviting and located in a quieter environment than the hibiscus pool, where many guests stroll past on their way to the beach.
Which brings us to the beach: yes, both hotels have a beach and thus offer an opportunity to swim in the sea. However, the water quality is rather average; those who travel to Malaysia because of its picture-book beaches, which are rightly praised, are definitely in the wrong place in Port Dickson.
…and the winner is? Lexis!
The two Lexis’ in Port Dickson are separated a 20 minutes drive from each other. While the Grand Dickson is closer to the city, the Hibiscus is a little bit outside. Compared to other hotels in the area, both hotels range in the upper price class with the Hibiscus being the more expensive one. Which is understandable, as it offers more facilities, more activities, more restaurants, and a certain exclusiveness. But the Grand Lexis has its advantages, too. For example, the communal swimming pool looks more inviting and is located in a quieter area compared to the Hibiscus pool which is next to a walking path. The Grand’s rooms are bigger and come with a warmer ambience.
So which one is the better choice? The Lexis Hibiscus or the Grand Lexis? In my opinion, this is only a question of personal taste. If you want to stay in a modern hotel that is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records, choose the Hibiscus. If you have a predilection for Balinese comfort, book the Grand. Or, if you want to stay more than one night in Port Dickson, best you can do is to visit them both.