Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lexis Water Chalet, Port Dickson

Where: Lexis Port Dickson (formerly known as the Legend Water Chalets). If you want to have a quick weekend gateway in PD but prefer to be in a quieter part of the town, then head to Lexis at Tanjung Gemok in Lukut. The superbly named Lexis stands side-by-side to the Glory Beach Resort, but if you are going for tranquility, then Lexis is your choice.

What: Water chalets, of course! The Lexis do have standard rooms (Tower Seaview) for those who are afraid of water - but you're missing the point if you stay at the Tower. Go for the water chalets - available in Deluxe, Executive and Premium configurations. We chose the Deluxe, which was just as superb, comfortable and unforgettable. All chalet units comes with King bed and day bed - which settles any fight for sleeping space which you may have with your children. The room itself is rather cramped, but comfortable and modern enough with LCD TV and free Wifi.

And yes, the solid glass floor panel which gives you an underneath seawater viewing, also available in all chalet configurations. This is mesmerising, as you tend to check out the water and tide levels as the day progresses. It was low tide when we checked-in and the water level rose up until midnight. Sadly, there are no fishes around to look at.

The chalet also has an ensuite bath area coming into the room, which was a brilliant idea in design and concept. The bathtub was large enough for our kids to have a dip in without even leaving the room and splashing water into the room.

The sink also comes in the ensuite space, and keeps the room dry.

The best design of all is the standing shower closet, which comes with a sliding movable roof panel. You can slide it open or close by pulling a rope in the room. This gives you the opportunity to have a nice hot shower while enjoying the clear blue sky and breeze of the ocean. So, to enjoy having both the glass floor panel and the roof panel, always request for a single-storey chalet.

Reservations: By now, in the internet age, you should all book via the internet and browse for the cheapest online rates. Look for trustworthy websites, and you may come across a good bargain. Gone are the days of calling the hotel directly and getting charged at the full rack rate.

Check-in: As our room was reserved online and prepaid, the check-in was smooth. The front desk was neither friendly nor cold - they were passable. 

Buggy service: You will need to get on the buggy especially if your rooms are quite far off to the sea. The buggy are always available, just look for the concierge.

Food: As usual, we try not to order room service but always review the in-house menu for a general idea of the hotel. The menu was standard fare and expensive - no need to order unless you are really, really starving. As for the complimentary breakfast - it was the only letdown of Lexis. The breakfast was so limited and the choices a bit stingy. Beyond the usual cold cuts, cereal, porridge, pastries and egg, there was nothing really special about the breakfast buffet.

Activities: Lexis has a swimming pool, karaoke rooms, gymnasium, sauna, playground and games arcade to keep the whole family occupied. Besides that, you can rent bicycles and fishing rods too.

Verdict: Lexis is a self-contained resort where you can have a good and enjoyable time in. Plan well and get the best room - when you get there just unwind and let the calm breeze and gentle splash of the waves drown you out in a state of complete relaxation and satisfaction. Highly recommended.


Islamic Trattoria - II

A good restaurant deserves a second visit. This time, we went to Trattoria for lunch, where the crowd was a bit thin - but the staff was excellent. The maitre d' was very attentive to our enquires about the menu, and was bold enough to guarantee a refund if our meal was not up to standard. This was a nice touch, coming from a Bumiputra restaurant.

For lunch, Trattoria serves a few specials where you can get good bargains. For example, my mother had the pan-seared seabass which comes with rice, but she chose not to have the rice. The staff obliged, and even offered to take RM1 off the total price! This is a small gesture, but really means a lot to customers. They replaced the rice with a small bowl of soup. The seabass was also splendidly prepared.

Meanwhile, I had the pasta - this one the Oglio sauce and like any true Italian-themed restaurant, you can choose the pasta. If you are unsure, just ask the waiter for his suggestion. The sauce was creamy and tasty, but I think the portion was a bit too small.

As for my wife, she had the salmon in palpilotte, which means "in parchment paper". It is a method of cooking  in which the fish is put in folded parchment paper and then baked. See how the stock and juice just flows out of the fish. This was simply delicious.

And as for my kids, the Trattoria treated them to FREE ice-cream - totally unheard of in Bandar Baru Bangi.

This was the maitre d' (Opie) who was so helpful, kind and generous to us. Since this was our third time at the Trattoria, we complimented the restaurant's tasty menu and their approach towards making mid-level fine dining come through at last in Bandar Baru Bangi. Forget any other so-called Western-serving restaurants in BBBangi, head straight to Trattoria and you will not be disappointed. And what's more, they are launching their full menu at the end of October.

Stay tuned for that review!