PUBLISHED February 4th, 2021 06:00 am | UPDATED February 9th, 2021 04:54 pm
Living in hectic Singapore means constantly dreaming of a weekend getaway, complete with luxe resorts and wide open spaces. Before you join the crowds flocking to Bali and Phuket, though, it’s worth looking a little closer to home. Yes, we’re talking about Desaru Coast – an integrated destination resort in south-east Johor that’s shaping up to be our next coveted beach escape.
Just 90 minutes’ drive from Singapore, Desaru Coast is a playground for everyone – think sumptuous resorts, spa experiences, golden sands, an adventure waterpark, and a gigantic golfing green rolled into one. Spread over 3,900 acres, you’ll hardly need to worry about competition for a prime beach spot. Here’s why we’ve got this getaway high on our post-COVID bucket list.
Rejuvenate in Private Spa Paradise
Desaru Coast is home to no less than four luxe resorts, each a scenic hideaway complete with sprawling spa menus – perfect for thoroughly pampering your mind and body. Freshly opened last September, One&Only Desaru Coast does total tranquility in style with their rustic range of standalone suites and private plunge pools (no fretting about social distancing!) The in-house Chenot Spa prides itself on blending the best of science and holistic medicine, in order to tailor wellness programs to your needs.
If music soothes your soul, groove your way to zen at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. Their Rock Spa turns the spotlight on music’s healing powers, with immersive massages that draw on bass vibrations and musical pulses. Prefer traditional therapies? Opt for Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas. With a spa menu starring time-honoured Malaysian healing techniques, a beachfront infinity pool, and standalone villas with sea views, it’s an oasis through and through. Meanwhile, The Westin Desaru Coast Resort offers suites with gorgeous sea views and unique spa options – don’t miss out on their lily wrap treatments and the ache-relieving Golfer Massage.
Get Your Fill of Water Thrills
Break out your swimwear and make a splash at one of the world’s largest waterparks. Desaru Coast’s Adventure Waterpark packs in the thrills with 20 heart-pounding slides, including Super Twister – a pure adrenaline rush of twists and turns – and The Tempest, featuring a 24-foot drop that’ll have your heart skipping a beat.
For a breather, take refuge in a cosy cabana overlooking Tidal Wave Beach – a three-acre wave pool that ranks among the world’s biggest. Or simply float your day away along the Penawar River, a 350-metre lazy river winding through lush greenery and fishing village scenes – holidays are for lazy bliss, after all.
Soak Up Sun and Sea
Desaru Coast sits plumb on the shore of Malaysia’s south-eastern coast, offering 17km of pristine beachfront to stake out your own (socially distanced) patch of sand. With such glorious terrain, it’s worth getting out of bed early to catch the sunrise, do a coastal route run, or roll out your yoga mat right on the beachfront. If you’re up for more water adventures, there’s kayaking and surfing to be had too.
Once you’ve had your fill of vitamin sea, venture further inland for a refreshing dose of greenery. The signature Call of the Gibbons tour takes you deep into the nearby Panti Forest Reserve, hot on the heels of white-handed gibbons and over 100 species of native flora and fauna. Or opt for a leisurely stroll through Desaru Fruit Farm, where you can feast your senses on more than 120 species of tropical fruits.
Pamper Your Inner Gourmet
What’s better than lounging by the beach? Lounging beachside with good grub, of course. Desaru Coast has no shortage of stellar dining concepts, many serving up breezy sea views to boot. Standouts include the highly anticipated Ember Beach Club at One&Only Desaru Coast, where acclaimed chef Andrew Walsh sizzles up an elevated barbecue experience.
Tucked away in the same resort is Hoshi – a Japanese restaurant where tempura is taken to a fine art – and Ambara, which draws on seasonal Malaysian produce to craft East-meets-West cuisine. Over at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, you can kick back with some poolside surf ‘n’ turf at Sea.Fire.Salt., or create your own bespoke beachfront experience with their Dining by Design services.
Golfing With a View
The Els Club Desaru Coast is pretty much a golfer’s idea of heaven. Designed by four-time Major Champion Ernie Els, this sprawling terrain boasts intriguing courses and the glittering South China Sea as backdrop. Running along the shoreline, the Ocean Course’s rolling greens are dotted with 27 holes set among challenging water hazards. You’ll also find The Els Performance Golf Academy housed here, offering a top-notch range of learning packages to hone your golf game.
Getting There From Singapore
From Singapore, our ride to resort paradise is surprisingly convenient – a mere half-hour ferry ride from Changi Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal, followed by a 30-minute shuttle to Desaru Coast. If you’re travelling by car, it takes only a 90-minute drive via the Causeway to reach Desaru Coast (or longer if you’re planning a couple of foodie stopovers en route). What’s more, a new ferry terminal is set to open at Desaru Coast in June 2021, offering safe and even more direct access – just an hour’s ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal!
Top Image: Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
The post is brought to you in partnership with Desaru Coast.