With a beautiful beach at its doorstep and other family attractions nearby, AnCasa Residences Port Dickson beach resort makes a perfect family holiday destination, writes Loong Wai Ting

THE gentle breeze from the Straits of Malacca lifts up my mood as I join my family walking along Pantai Teluk Kemang, one of the famed beaches in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan’s all-time favourite resort town.

Port Dickson or PD has a special place in my family’s heart. As a kid, my big family used to take a drive down to one of its beaches for a family holiday. It was also here where I went on a fishing trip with my late grandfather, shortly before he passed away.

This time around, my family and I are going to spend two nights at AnCasa Residences Port Dickson. From our apartment unit on the fifth floor, I can see the turquoise-coloured water stretch out from white sandy beach into the horizon. Further away, I can see big ships with their precious cargoes onboard.


Rejuvenate at the spa

Having an apartment that overlooks the beach and the straits, I know that I can catch the sunset from the comfort of my unit. However, if you have small kids travelling with you, make sure to keep the sliding door to the balcony locked at all times.

And at night, I am lulled to sleep by nature’s lullaby. The sound of gentle waves as it crashes onto the rocks can be heard even from the fifth floor.

A WELL-SEASONED HOME

The overall facade of the resort may look a little dated but it’s the inside that matters. In fact, I am told that my unit has recently gone through a major facelift which gives it modern fittings and a warmer and homely ambience.

My unit has two bedrooms. In the master bedroom, there is a large bed and an ensuite bathroom. Meanwhile, the second room has two single beds that can accommodate two adults or kids. Both bedrooms have their own balcony which overlooks the beach and the Straits of Malacca.

The spacious living area has a large couch that sits three people comfortably. The kitchen is quite large too. If you want to cook a small meal, there is a stove and cooking utensils that you can use. There is also a fridge to store your food items, if you are planning to cook later.

When the weather cools down, we head down for a swim at its pool. Being a weekday, there isn’t much of a crowd, except for a few tourists. We literally have the entire pool to ourselves. Every now and then, a pool attendant will drop by to check on us to see if we need anything.


Bird's eye view of the swimming pool

The staff are friendly and always ready to lend a helping hand. My 81-year-old grandmother never goes unassisted each time she walks down to the lobby and the restaurant for breakfast.

While breakfast is just so-so, the resort makes up the short-end with a sumptuous buffet dinner which includes steamboat and barbecue. The steamboat and BBQ buffet are some of the highlights of my short stay here. With a wide selection of fresh meat and seafood and vegetables (and at an affordable price, too!), I find myself making trips to the counter to refill my empty plates.

I like how the resort prepares everything, including the BBQ stove and the marinated meats. All we have to do is to pick a location anywhere in the resort, set up the DIY BBQ pit and start grilling. All meats are well-marinated and delicious!

OSTRICH FARM

We wake up the next morning and ready to head home. But before we start the relatively-easy drive home, we drop by the PD Ostrich Farm. The drive to the farm takes less than 10 minutes from the resort.

There, we meet with the owner of the farm, Chris, who takes us on a tour and introduces us to his “family”. All animals in the farm have a name and they respond to him when he calls their name endearingly.


Take a family photo with Puteri Rajen

One of them is Puteri Rajen — a four-month-old female ostrich that comes running towards us when called. As the curious bird pecks at our feet, we try to get her attention by offering her a handful of napier grass, one of the staple food for the animals at the farm.

The farm also features a petting zoo, where visitors can get close to the animals to learn more about them. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also race your friends by riding on the ostrich. Just across the main road, there is a mini jungle walk complete with dinosaur statue and extreme park.


Ant colony T. rufonigra at the Ant Planet

Also located within the farm is Malaysia’s first and only Ant Planet. The keeper of Ant Planet, Johnny, who is also Chris’ brother, does a great job in explaining everything about the world of ants.

Walking back towards the main area of the farm, we come across a few baby goats let out of their enclosure. Instead of running away, the kids come and nibble at our shoes, as if asking to be pet.

There is also a small herb garden but too bad, it is closed on our visit. Oh well, maybe next time.

FAST FACTS

ANCASA RESIDENCES PORT DICKSON

WHERE 8 ½ Jalan Pantai Teluk Kemang Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.

TEL 06-662 7288

FAX 06-662 8868

EMAIL [email protected]

WEBSITE www.ancasahotels.com.my/port-dickson/

STAY Situated about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur city centre via the North-South Highway, the hotel has 170 units of recently refurbished apartments, with complete separate living and dining area. All apartment rooms are well designed and furnished with modern fittings. There is a large swimming pool. Or, if you prefer to take a dip in the ocean, the beach is just two minutes’ walk away.

EAT Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Saffron Brasserie. If you’re a late riser who prefers to jump straight to lunch, the restaurant serves delicious a la carte menu or you can join the queue for its extensive buffet, which includes local and Western fares. At night, head to the Steamboat Express Restaurant and pick your choice of steamboat menu. Alternatively, you can also request for a DIY BBQ dinner. Please enquire ahead of your visit.

DO Take a slow walk along the beautiful beach and admire the sunset.

GO The PD Ostrich Farm is less than 10 minutes drive away. Most of the attractions such as the PD Upside Down House is also located within the area.

HIGH The location.

LOW It can get very crowded during weekends and school holidays.