AS you step into the reception area of Avillion Port Dickson, you´ll notice aspects of a Malay fishing village in the surroundings.Wood plays a big role in this sprawling resort, including the wooden bridge linking the reception area to the food and beverage outlets and chalets. The pathway leading to the chalets is lit softly, lending a subdued village ambience and enhancing the overall mood. The wooden walkway leading to the beach also makes you feel you´ve been transported back in time.

But that feeling vanishes when you step through the wooden doors into your chalet on stilts. You´ll be blown away not just by the spacious interior, but also by the view of the Strait of Malacca from your balcony.

This four-star beach resort recently upgraded its chalet facilities, which now come equipped with wireless connectivity, flat-screen TV, digital compendium, luxurious bedding, powerful rain-shower and iPod docking system. These help guests to maintain their lifestyle needs whether on a vacation or business trip.

The hotel recently concluded its “8 Reasons To Be RE.JU.VE.NA.TED” promotional campaign that took place from June 1 to July 31 on the new facilities. Eight lucky draws ranging from free stays, spa treatments and meal vouchers were given away daily.

While staying in one of the water chalets, I came out with my takeon the resort´s eight rejuvenating experiences.

Blissful moments at the pool

Being able to swim without much interference from boisterous youngsters is usually rare when at a hotel. This luxury was something I absolutely enjoyed while at Avillion Port Dickson.

You can lose yourself themoment you dive into the deep blue waters of the swimming pool. When spent, rest on a lounge chair by the pool or go back to your room. When lounging by the pool, you may even have a surprise visitor – one of the peacocks which roam freely at the resort.

Spending indulgent hours at the spa

Visit any hotel spa and you´ll find that it is generally housed within the main building. If it isn´t, it´s usually a single-storey outfit tucked away in a corner.

At this resort, the spa enjoys a prime spot overlooking the Strait of Malacca. The Avi Spa is also en route to the rooms, making it convenient for guests to visit. The best part, though, is lazing in the lounge area above the spa. The keyhole-shaped protruding seating space allows for front-row seats that open to a view of the sky and amazing sunsets – provided there´s no haze, of course. Downstairs, you can indulge in a variety of treatments from the Oceanic Wrap to the signature treatment labelled Malay Strength.

Raindrops are falling on my head

The sensation of raindrops falling down on us is something we all can relate to. Thanks to rain showerheads, that “walking in therain” experience can be had at any time. The beauty of this showerhead is that it allows for a massage-like experience, ideal to end the day with.

Experiencing a traditional Malay foot wash

The simple act of washing the feet before entering the chalet becomes surprisingly memorable when it´s done the traditional way. You use a ladle to scoop water from glazed clay jars placed just outside the chalet. In fact, the first thing that meets the eye when turning into the walkway leading to the chalet is such a jar almost filled to the brim with water. It´s the little touches, like this one, that make you feel at home while also giving you the opportunity to learn about culture.

Penning thoughts at Author´s Lane

This is my favourite place to relax in during twilight thanks to the cool air and breeze. The bonus point is that it´s called Author´s Lane. It´s not often that I come across a treat like this so I make much use of it. A hotel staff says the area is for hotel guests to read or write. One guest´s musings made such a mark on the establishment that it´s been immortalised on a stone lying just past the breakfast area.

Having fun at the pet farm

Within the compound ofAvillion´s pet farm, snow-white, cocoa and midnight-coloured rabbits mingle with peacocks that sport brilliant plumage. Also puffing their chests out are the cockerels. The males strut around the enclosure with their colourful feathers. Children are not the only ones entranced by the sight as adults also stop to look at this animal kingdom within the hotel, especially during feeding time.

Walking through Art Space

This corner, which catches the eye while walking up to the reception area and car park, has a number of paintings by localartists as well as breathtaking photographs by underwater photographers. Avillion Port Dickson senior director of operations Gared Mario Cubinar says proceeds from the sale of the paintings or photographs are donated towards charity.

Lazing on the pangkin

This is the highlight of my stay – spread out on the pangkin (day bed), alternating between watching the world go by and reading with the warm sun on my skin.

While in the room, I use the day bed as much as I can. Sitting close to the window allows me to hear the waves crashing against the pillars under the cabin. It´s the best way to start and end the day.

How to get there

Unlike other hotels or resorts in Port Dickson, Avillion has no regular welcome gate or driveway.

There are just two simple signboards – one leads to the driveway behind the lush jungle, and the other leads to a parking space across the road.

Those coming from the North- South Highway should take the Port Dickson exit and head to the Seremban-PD Highway. From there, take the PD exit and you will reach the Jalan Pantai T-junction. Then turn right to go to PD town.