Whenever we decide to bunk at Port Dickson, we always gravitate towards Bayu Beach Resort, and we have been doing that for years. Mind you, our experiences during school holidays and a normal weekend differs like the night and day, so chose your vacation dates wisely.
First and foremost, hotel guests get to park our cars within the resort compound, which is a great relief as one wouldn't trust parking your trusted steed outside where anything can happen innit? The lobby is nothing to shout about, but it does its job with a large porch, some sofas thrown in for tired kids to wait while the adults sort out the check-in. We have never experienced anything untoward during check-in, except once when we arrived just after a huge corporate group checked out, so there was a short wait before we were given our keys. We took that opportunity to fill our bellies. Mind you, the 1 hour drive from KL does funny things to your stomach, or is it the smell of the sea?
I must say that the food at their restaurant has never dissappointed us. The Char Kuey Teow is tasty as it should be, the Tenderloin Steak was spot on, the Fish & Chips was devoured to the last crumb, and the Club Sandwich was exactly as it should be. The drinks selection is un-remarkable but no complaints there. After that marvelous meal, we told our server that "their food was not good", which left her with a horrified look on her face for a split second, before we told her that "your food was GREAT!!!". We even asked her to inform the chef that all of us enjoyed our meal, and we hope that made their day!! They have a large verandah facing the beach where its much quieter. We prefer dining there rather than facing the noisy pool.
The room does look dated, but what's more important is that it is clean. Amenities are as one would expect in a resort in PD, and everything works. However, the air-con can be quite cold at night, but the comforters does help if you bury yourself deep inside it. I must also say that the pillows are to die for, and my kids and I often talk about it on the drive back to dreary KL.
But to me, a trip to PD only means one thing, that is....the beach!!! And Bayu Beach is blessed with a nice looking, clean and gigantic beach front. The beach itself has a gradual incline, so its relatively safe for small children under adult supervision. However, my policy has always been to keep people who can't swim out of the water, to prevent any unwanted incidents. On most trips, I make a point to bring along my running shoes, and as early as 6am, I can be found enjoying a slow jog all along the huge bay, and if I recall correctly, it is approximately 2 to 2.5km long.
After the 30 minute jog, I will set-up camp on one of the pool chairs, change into my swim gear, and swim straight out to sea, stopping only to check how far I've gone. At 8am, the water is slightly cool a foot below the surface, but nice and warm on the surface. And approximately 1km out at sea, you can really enjoy the Malacca Straits where the water is not so choppy and you can lose any sense of time when you enjoy floating on your back too much. Some days, if I don't feel like a hard workout like open sea swimming, the pool is just the right size to put in some laps.
If you feel like dining outside, there are quite a lot of choices available, depending on your budget and your palate. We often ask the resort staff where they go for their grub, and most times, the places recommended are un-pretentious, affordably priced, and delicious.