Now connected by just a ferry ride from Singapore, Desaru Coast is among one of the top considerations for a relaxing weekend getaway.
If you’re making plans for 2023, check out these 3D2N itineraries we recommend, according to your interests.
(Psst, we have previously compiled a list of best Desaru hotels and resorts to check into. Don’t miss it!)
You’re on a vacation with kids
Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at 8.30am and arrive at Desaru Coast at 10am. After you’ve arrived at your hotel, leave your luggage with the front desk first and make your way for an early lunch – you won’t want to starve the kids!
Consider heading to Turmeric. Located within Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, the restaurant serves Southeast Asian fare by the pool. You won’t be in time for its amazing breakfast buffet that closes at 10.30am, but you’ll certainly enjoy its lunch menu that starts at 11am.
After lunch, go for a Desaru Beach and Tide Pool Walking Tour, conducted by a marine biologist. This is conducted during low tide, when the beach comes to life with amazing creatures coming out to feed. Your guide will be able to unravel the secrets of the beaches on Desaru with you through a fun and educational walk.
Adult tickets at S$24.55 each and child tickets (age 5 to 12) at S$12.29 each. Get your tickets on Klook.
Spend the entire day at the Adventure Waterpark. This waterpark features more than 20 wet and dry rides, slides, and attractions, and has one of the biggest wave pools in the world.
The Swinging Ship, which arches up to 180-degrees in both directions, is one of the most popular rides at the waterpark, and shouldn’t be missed.
If you prefer something relaxing, go on the Penawar River, a 350-metre long lazy river that lets you float amidst lush greenery and water slides.
Finally, adrenaline-junkies will enjoy the Kraken’s Revenge, a roller coaster ride that takes you up 30 metres, spin through a 360-degree horizontal loop, then dives you down 27 metres to the pool of water below.
Tickets start from S$33.79 for non-Malaysian. Get your tickets on Klook.
Your ferry home is at 5.30pm, which still gives you half a day to enjoy Desaru Coast further before you leave.
Go for a tour at the Desaru Fruit Farm, conducted by in-house guides. Here, you’ll get to learn more about tropical fruits that are grown in Desaru, as well as have a look at the farm’s herb garden, vegetable plots, and animal farm.
The half-day tour by Desaru Fruit Farm also includes a 20-minute ATV ride and ends with a sumptuous lunch of seven hot dishes and one soup. Adult tickets at RM108 (~S$33) and child tickets (age 3 to 11) at RM95 (~S$29). Get your tickets on its website.
You’re into sports and the great outdoors
You’ll be taking the ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at 8.30am and arriving at Desaru Coast at 10am. If you’re intending to golf, don’t forget to indicate that you’re bringing along your equipment when you book your ferry.
If you don’t intend to start golfing the moment you touch down, you can consider beginning your vacation with a tennis lesson instead.
This conducted by a resident PBI-certified tennis pro at the One&Only Desaru Coast and on a court surrounded by unspoilt nature. This is available from RM95 (~S$29) per person and you can email [email protected] for enquiries.
After freshening up at your hotel, go for an indulgent dinner at Ember Beach Club, located within beach resort One&Only Desaru Coast.
This is conceptualised by Michelin-starred chef Andrew Walsh and overlooks the ocean so you can have a relaxing time.
Finish your day with a leisurely walk along the beautiful beach.
It’s probably what you’re at Desaru Coast for: visiting The Els Club. Offering two courses: the Valley Course, designed by three-time major champion Vijay Singh and the Ocean Course, designed by the club’s namesake four-time major champion Ernie Els, the Els Club is certainly one of the most picturesque golf clubs to play at.
If you’d like to take a bite in between games, there’s the Big Easy Bar & Grill within the club. Offering fresh grills, international and local cuisines, as well as Ernie Els’ personal favourites, the restaurant also has a variety of wine stocked if you’d like to enjoy a tipple or two.
With half a day left of your vacation before you head back to Singapore on a 5.30pm ferry, we recommend the Lebam River Kayaking Adventure conducted by award-winning tour operator JungleWalla Desaru.
Your kayaking adventure begins at the upper reaches of the Lebam River. From there, you’ll paddle amidst mangrove plants and keep a lookout for wild ducks, herons, and kingfishers that live around the river.
After 90 minutes of kayaking, your guide will take you to the famous Bujang Floating Restaurant for a seafood lunch. You’ll then be sent back to your hotel at 2pm, giving you sufficient time to head off to the ferry terminal.
Adult tickets are at RM200 (~S$62) each. Book on its website.
You’d like to have a wellness retreat
Take things easy and enjoy a leisurely lunch at your hotel after you arrive at Desaru Coast by ferry in the late morning.
Go for a swim at the hotel pool and then join a bird-watching tour your led by an expert guide from JungleWalla Desaru.
There are more than 90 species of birds in Desaru and with the right people showing you the way, you’ll be able to learn more about these fascinating creatures. A check-list will even be provided to encourage you to discover as many of these birds as you can during the trip!
If you’d like to have a more intimate experience, a private tour is also available.
Adult tickets are at S$46.05 each and child tickets (aged 5 to 12) are at S$30.69 each. Get your tickets on Klook.
Start your morning early and head to the beach. Lay out your mat and practise yoga while listening to the waves crashing onto the beach and watching the sunrise.
After breakfast, head down to Chenot Spa for a one-day spa programme. The full-day programme includes a Chenot Detox Body Massage, a Phyto-Mud Treatment, and a Chenot Illuminating and Nourishing Facial Treatment with application of Chenot Customised Mask and Booster. You’ll also be enjoying a delicious and healthy Bio-Light Lunch prepared for you.
On your final day at Desaru, head back to Chenot Spa for a 30-minute or 60-minute Neutro-Acoustic Deep Relaxation Treatment (RM255/~S$79 for 30 minutes or RM480/S$148 for 60 minutes).
This is a neuroscience technology that triggers the brain into deep relaxation and recovery, taking the nervous system out of fight or flight mode so that you can experience deep relaxation and calmness.
Alternatively, you can consider going for a guided Dong Stick Exercise on the Beach at sunrise. This is a body-mind practice that consists of 16 mindful motions using a bamboo cane, and is said to promote strength and flexibility, as well as help lower stress and increase mental clarity.
The 50-minute practice begins with a slow walk through the riverside during sunrise, followed by breathing exercises, and then the Dong Stick exercise.
Adult tickets are at S$24.55 each and child tickets (aged 5 to 12) are at S$12.29 each. Get your tickets on Klook.
After your workout, round up your vacation with an indulgent meal before you head back to Singapore. Swing by the Sea.Fire.Salt restaurant at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas for fresh seafood and perfectly grilled meat.
You’re on a romantic holiday with your partner
There’s no better way to start your romantic holiday than with a relaxing spa. After you arrive in the late morning by ferry, check into the luxurious Chenot Spa that’s housed within the One&Only Desaru Coast beach resort with your partner, and enjoy one of their treatments.
If you need recommendations, we’ll suggest the Chenot Detox Body Massage (RM520/~S$160 for 55 minutes) or the Chenot Illuminating & Nourishing Facial Treatment (RM540/~S$167 for 55 minutes). Don’t forget to spend some time using its spa facilities before your treatment begins.
In the evening, go for a post-dinner rendezvous at the GMT+8 bar located at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. Besides drinks, the bar also offers live music that you and your other-half can groove to.
After a leisurely breakfast and walk along the beach, consider taking up a cooking class to master authentic Malay or Thai cooking offered by Spice Spoons at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas. Enjoy what you’ve cooked for lunch by the sea. Email [email protected] for more information.
For dinner, enjoy a premium omakase Japanese dinner at Hoshi, located in One&Only Desaru Coast. The elegant restaurant is designed for discerning adults (only admits guests above 12 years old) and features the freshest and finest ingredients. You’ll be guaranteed a feast – not just for your palate but also your eyes.
Round up your day at The Mix Lounge, located at Westin Desaru Coast, for a few cocktails and heart-to-heart conversations.
If you’d like to take it easy on the last day of your vacation before you head to the ferry terminal to catch your 5.30pm cruise, you can go for a late breakfast followed by a dip in the pool.
But if you’d like to fill your itinerary with more activities, consider waking up early for the Panti Rainforest Awakening tour by JungleWalla Desaru.
You’ll be taken on a nature trail at the Panti Forest Reserve, home to over 25 species of mammals. Arrive at the Bunker Trail early so that you’ll be in time to listen to songs and calls by songbirds, cicadas, and even the white-handed gibbons.
Enjoy the trek with your significant other as you look out for wildlife and interesting plants. The tour ends at 11.30am, in time for you to freshen up and go for lunch, before heading to the ferry terminal.
Adult tickets start from S$81.35. Book your tickets on Klook.