We hadn’t been traveling for a long time and the whole family was in a need of some beach time. However, we only had a weekend to use so needed to come up with a destination near Kuala Lumpur so we booked a room at the Thistle Port Dickson Hotel.
We arrived relatively late to the Thistle, only to experience a beautiful sunset from our balcony. We got an upgrade to a suite with beautiful views to the sea – much appreciated by our family of five – and my parents had a sea-facing standard double room.
The rooms and food at the Thistle Port Dickson Hotel
My expectations were not too high – I have learned that when you don’t expect too much, you might be pleasantly surprised and at least your holiday will not be ruined by disappointment! And indeed, the rooms at the Thistle were clean and tidy! I wouldn’t call the rooms luxurious but I the interiors were much nicer than in many other similar, mid-range hotels. The bathrooms were clean, too. Overall the hotel did not have that worn out atmosphere that many hotels of this era have.
Photo: The Thistle
We also had a big bathtub, which is one of the most important facilities in a hotel room if my kids are asked!
I especially requested a sea view when booking the room. The hotel building is not directly at the beach – there is a large grass area and some palm trees in between – but we could see the sea and feel the sea breeze from our balcony.
We had a delicious dinner at the Chinese restaurant at the hotel. As much as I love exploring different dining options it is not always the best idea with tired kids, so I’m always happy if the food at the hotel is good.
The facilities at the Thistle
The Thistle is a relatively big resort with 251 rooms, four restaurants and a pool bar, tennis court and golf course.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to activities or food options. Kids’ playrooms offer some cool indoor fun for overheated kids. But our kids just loved the pools, especially the one with two slides, they could have gone up and down over and over, so we didn’t explore the rest of the activities on offer.
The beach at Port Dickson
My favourite part was the private beach just in front of the hotel. To be honest, my expectations were not too high, having visited Port Dickson’s muddy beaches many times before. We basically just wanted to have some time to play on the sand and sit on the beach, enjoying the salty breeze.
To our great surprise, the water was crystal clear and even us adults had a swim! I don’t know whether it was thanks to the morning tide or that the sea currents were on our side but we really enjoyed the clean beach and clean water and kept asking ourselves why don’t we just come here every weekend! On top of it all, big trees provided cool shade to relax under.
I cannot promise that the water will be as clear every time, but even if the muddy waters of Port Dickson were to splash your feet, I think the Thistle is a worthwhile option for a mini-holiday like ours. Actually, our only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to spend at the hotel and enjoy the fun pools and the clean beach for longer. We will definitely go back!
How to get there
It takes about 1,5 hours to drive to Port Dickson. There are few options to choose from: the AH2 motorway being the fastest but also more boring than the small roads through Sepang. We usually enjoy taking the smaller roads with more beautiful views in the countryside.
If you have spare time to spend in Port Dickson or you are looking for restaurants outside the hotel, you might want to try Kim’s Seafood Palace at the Port Dickson Waterfront, that has tasty and affordable Chinese food and seafood with beautiful views to the sea. Kim’s Seafood palace does not have website but you can find more details on Tripadvisor.
As my parents were visiting, we decided to combine Melaka and Port Dickson in this short getaway. Sounds ambitious, and to be honest, it was! But it was also a very nice mini holiday and we came back home to KL feeling like we had have been away for much longer than just two days and one night.
If you ever want to do the drive from Melaka, I think it is definitely worth taking the smaller beach road instead of the motorway. It takes longer but the offers beautiful kampung views and amazing sea views closer to Port Dickson. For more on Melaka, read our list of things to do with kids in Melaka. We have also checked out one the few Port Dickson attractions, the Army Museum and this one on hiking the Tanjung Tuan forest.
You can check the hotel prices here and read the Tripadvisor reviews here.
*Photos by Zafranmama