Spa by the sea: aVispa in Port Dickson

Our trips to Port Dickson usually involve a stay at the Avillion with its many child-centred activities: beach, pool, games room, animal feeding and various other little play sessions. We enjoy the private beach, far from the crowds of the main beaches of PD. While the azure beaches of the East Coast of Malaysia score amazing points, any sand and sea is enough to play a round of beach soccer, build a few sand castles and during low tide, catch a crab or two!

This time around, I booked a spot at aVispa and left the kids with a beach ball, sand things and a father. A standalone double storey spa pavilion built above water,  aVispa is a Peranakan inspired spa that embraces an all natural philosophy. Upstairs, at the lounge, herbal tea, various nibbles and fresh fruits are replenished on a regular basis.

Port Dickson

Rubi and her team of therapists welcomed me with open arms and noted all my concerns about being a stressed working mom, waved a magic wand (I am exaggerating, but they really were like fairy godmothers) and suggested that I start with a full body scrub on Day 1 and proceed to a full  90 minute massage on Day 2.

‘Not possible’, I tell Rubi. ‘I have kids, what will I do with them?’

I love going to spas for a massage and luxurious treatment that comes with such sessions. What I don’t like sometimes is the illogical guilt that I am assailed with – I refuse to go away even for an hour due to a thwarted logic that I am snatching away more quality time from them. As a working mom, I carry unwarranted hues and shades of guilt, which is quite staggering.

Again, wave of the wand. Rubi suggested a family package: ‘Take a couple’s massage and the kids spend an hour at the kids spa which will include a massage and foot scrub. They will then be watched by the therapist as they play in the kids play room.’

Basically, she will throw in half an hour of child-sitting just so that I could enjoy 90 minutes of bliss.

‘Rubi, you don’t understand, I have 2 BOYS. They play soccer and wrestle. They don’t know what a massage is’. Rubi looks at me sagely. ‘Just get them to try. They will love it’.

Day 1

I get into a robe, have some herbal tea and am ushered for my body scrub. I choose a Nyonya Pomelo scrub which combines citrus fruits, ginger and pomelo for glowing skin. The therapist is fabulous – she is very gentle but can do a mean scrub. Soon I was slathered and kneaded into a light slumber as the waves of South China Sea provide a rhythmic calm. I come out feeling like a new person.

Massage room - Happy Go KL

relax avispa - Happy Go KL

Day 2

We tour the kids spa. It is PINK and purple. My boys look in askance. I quickly tell them what to expect and head to the exit before they change their mind. I come out 90 minutes later to find two totally relaxed boys playing a game of dominoes!

And the feedback :

‘It was amazing, they scrubbed off dead skin from my legs’ (oops).

‘I closed my eyes and enjoyed it, can we do more massages?’ (oh no, I had NOT anticipated this one).

As for me, I went for the Hot Lava Seashell massage which is part of the au naturel range. The focus is on total pampering from head to toe. As the tiger clam shells glide seamlessly, the deep tissue approach eases muscle tension and left me with a sense of calmness. A lot of thought has gone to the whole therapy experience – we had heated pads to keep us totally warm and the naturally heated clam shells were combined with massage to ensure complete relaxation was achieved.


We need to do more of this! Several factors made the experience so special: tucked away from the hustle of the city,  professional and welcoming masseurs and the sea breeze. It’s a total retreat.

We received a discounted rate at aVispa for this review. Opinions are honest and our own, as always!



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