With Desaru Coast connected directly to Singapore via ferry services since July, the destination is fast becoming a much sought-after weekend getaway spot for Singaporeans.
After all, there are plenty of family-friendly activities, wellness spas, world-class golf courses, and nature tours – in other words, pretty much something for everyone.
Operated by Batam Fast, the ferry round trips are available from Thursday to Sunday and the journey time is approximately 90 minutes.
AVENUE ONE visited Desaru Coast and checked out some of the best Desaru resorts to stay at. If you’re planning for a trip to Desaru, here’s our report.
Resorts at Desaru Coast
Desaru Coast, an integrated destination, is home to several luxury and iconic resorts, as well as The Els Club, which has three award-winning golf courses, and Adventure Waterpark.
One&Only Desaru Coast
For something absolutely luxurious, One&Only is definitely the Desaru resort to head to.
This iconic resort is the last one designed by the late award-winning architect Kerry Hill and showcases his signature straight lines and reverence for nature.
Besides a refined design, there are also lavish amenities in this Desaru resort you can indulge in, including Chenot Spa that offers a holistic respite, as well as five dining concepts.
We’ll recommend visiting Ember Beach Club even if you’re not a resident at the resort. A concept by Michelin-starred chef Andrew Walsh, this is where you can enjoy a selection of light bites, hearty sharing plates, fresh seafood, and prime meats prepared with open-fire cooking.
More information: One&Only Desaru Coast website
Anantara Desaru Resort & Villas
For a huge family vacation, we’ll recommend Anantara, which offers low-rise buildings and stand-alone villas that overlook the gardens, lagoon, and ocean.
Besides gorgeous rooms with sea view, Anantara also has private pool villas that accommodate a larger group. The largest of them is the Four Bedroom Beach Residence that accommodates up to 12 people, which comes with direct beach access, an en-suite infinity pool, and spacious living areas.
Anantara is also home to two restaurants and three bars. Of them, we are partial to Turmeric, where we had one of our best meals in Desaru Coast. An all-day dining restaurant, it overlooks the lagoon pool and serves delicious Malaysian and Thai food.
For a more unique dining experience, consider requesting for a private barbecue in your villa or residence, where a personal chef does all the grilling for you, or you can man the grill yourself while a butler ensures your dining experience is perfect.
More information: Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas website
Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast
You already know the brand and what it stands for. Located opposite the water adventure park, this has several rooms that accommodate three to four persons, making it a great option for small families.
The music-inspired resort in Desaru offers “The Sound Of Your Stay” experience, where you can request for everything from having a Fender guitar delivered to your door or a Record Player with records to listen in your room.
We also recommend visiting GMT+8 at night for a tipple or two, while you enjoy live music that you can sing along to. The watering hole opens till midnight and when we visited, it has a very energetic crowd that’s fun to be around.
More information: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast website
The Westin Desaru Coast Resort
This Desaru resort looks out to the beach and you’ll enjoy its view, thanks to the private balcony that is in every room.
Visit Prego, its Italian restaurant, for a hearty meal, enjoy coffee or tea at MIX Lounge, or sip on cocktails while savouring freshly grilled seafood at its Beach Bar.
We recommend this as the go-to resort to book for team-bonding trips with colleagues, events, or weddings.
More information: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort website
Other resorts in Desaru
If you’re considering other resorts in Desaru along the same coastal stretch, here are the ones to check out.
Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa
Every room at Sand & Sandals comes with a private balcony so you can look out to a scenic view.
It also has nine dining venues including Japanese cuisine at Shiokaze Teppan and steamboat at The Fortune Kitchen.
This Desaru resort also offers several budget-friendly family packages so you can have an easier time with planning.
More information: Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa website
Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa
All of the apartments at Lotus Desaru are built with a living and dining area as well as a kitchenette so you’ll feel right at home.
But while you have the ability to cook if you wish, there’s really no need to since there are five dining spots within the resort you can head to, including a seafood restaurant, Indian restaurant, and a Korean BBQ restaurant.
One of the highlights in this Desaru resort is its Splash Park that features water slides, splash pads, spray grounds, and a lazy river.
More information: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa website
Four Points by Sheraton Desaru
A 10-minute drive away from Desaru Beach, Four Points by Sheraton Desaru is an affordable accommodation option that’s convenient and clean.
Besides a saltwater pool and gym, the Desaru resort also has an all-day dining restaurant that serves international cuisine with a Malaysian twist. At night, head to its bar and lounge for a cocktail or craft beer to wind down for the day.
More information: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa website
Desaru Arcadia Villa
There are 15 villas on this Desaru resort, and one of the villa types – the 5-Bedroom Villa – can accommodate up to 20 persons.
Each villa is spacious and comes with lots of living spaces and a patio where you can easily start a barbecue at.
Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort Desaru
Home to the High Ropes Adventure Park, this Desaru resort is where to stay at if you’re intending to explore adrenaline-inducing activities with your children.
There are also three in-house restaurants and a spa so you can definitely have an enjoyable time without having to step out of the resort if you prefer to while your time away.
More information: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort Desaru