When we want to get away for a weekend there are dozens of choices in this part of the world; from Bali to Bangkok, Langkawi to Koh Samui, Phuket to Redang. All of them are beautiful, and all of them are reasonably priced if you know where to stay and can get there in an hour on Air Asia. But where do you go for an overnight getaway? Obviously there is downtown KL, but that is pretty pricy when we live in the suburbs and can go there anytime we want. Besides, it doesn’t seem like a getaway to us unless there is water in the picture.

There is a little beach resort called Port Dickson just south of the city that always looked promising, but we had never been able to find a hotel along that strip that was both nice and affordable; that is until we got a car and could do some serious investigating. Last month our investigations turned up a place called Avillion, and last night we stayed there and had a fabulous time.

There are no rooms at this resort, only chalets. You can get a garden chalet, or a beach chalet, or a premium beach chalet. If you book through Agoda, the most expensive room is only $100 U.S. For that you get complete privacy, with your own deck and lounge chairs, a canopy bed, another daybed in a bay window with an unrestricted view of the ocean, a soaker tub with Jacuzzi jets, a fabulous shower that is open to the stars, two swimming pools, one for adults only, several bars overlooking the ocean, several restaurants with views as well, and an all you can eat breakfast buffet. All of this will cost you a hundred bucks. We spent a little more and got lunch at the spa restaurant overlooking the ocean and a candlelight dinner of stuffed chicken and grilled trout with tiramisu and chocolate for dessert. The dinner music – double bass, guitar, two excellent female singers who knew Patsy Cline, Bread, Abba and Anne Murray – was free.

Everything was spotless; the amenities, from the huge towels at the pool to the 54 inch television in the room, were first class. The staff were invariably helpful and polite, which is not unusual in Asia, but sweet all the same. The grounds, with their luxuriant gardens artfully lit in the evening along cobbled walkways, were refreshing and relaxing. However, the real bonus for us was that this place is only an hour’s drive from where we live. We are already planning our next visit.

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