8 Family-Friendly Resorts in Desaru: From Cheapest to Most Expensive
Thinking of heading across the Causeway for a family weekend getaway? If you’re thinking of switching up your usual food trail in Johor Bahru, it's time to put Desaru Coast on the top of your travel list for your short holiday away from Singapore.
Named as one of the World's Greatest Places 2021 by TIME Magazine, the lure of Desaru Coast lies in its pristine beachfront that spans 25km across some of Asia's most luxurious beach resorts. Located just one hour away from central JB, Desaru Coast is also home to Malaysia's nearest resorts from Singapore. Here we list eight family-friendly Desaru resorts, ranging from the cheapest to the most luxurious, with a variety of spas, swimming pools, beaches and other activities.
Desaru Quick Travel Tips
1. Buy hourly travel insurance
Get peace of mind for your spontaneous weekend getaway with hourly travel insurance from FlexiTravel Hourly Insurance before you depart Singapore. Download the 'My Income' mobile app and customise the duration of your insurance coverage down to the hour you arrive at and depart from Desaru Coast.
Flexible and affordable, the FlexiTravel Hourly Insurance plan helps you stay covered against personal accident and medical expenses, including food poisoning and COVID-19 expenses incurred overseas, as well as the theft of your golf equipment! Perfect for when you're cruising around the world-class golf courses in Desaru Coast.
2. Use Desaru Ferry Link to get there faster
Opening soon this year is the Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal, which will create a new direct ferry route between Singapore and Desaru Coast. The ferry journey from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal will take 90 minutes, which makes it a much quicker route that’s less of a hassle as compared to driving to Desaru Coast for 1.5 to two hours by car from Singapore.
Beach Resorts at Desaru Coast
1. Affordable family-friendly fun at Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa
If you're after a splashing great time with your kids, Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa offers an entire host of thrilling water activities. Amid its sprawling complex, you'll find their Splash Park - a mini amusement park with water play areas and slides, as well as sea sports activities such as an adrenaline-filled jet ski ride or parasailing. (Note: Though the Splash Park is currently undergoing upgrading works from 13 June 2022, other swimming facilities are still available.)
The resort is also popular for its close proximity to a laid-back stretch of Desaru Beach, fringed with palm trees. At sunrise or sunset, you can take a relaxing stroll on the white sands. For the rest of your day, check out the resort's extensive excursion packages to nearby attractions such as Desaru Fruit Farm or, if you're willing to travel further, Kota Tinggi Firefly Park and Kota Tinggi Waterfalls.
Address: Lot 1854, Jalan Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 230 / night
2. Enjoy a serene beach escapade at Tiara Desaru Seaview Residences
Tucked away in a more secluded area of Desaru is Tiara Desaru, an ambitious resort with more than 570 fully furnished apartments. Its top draw is the private beach, which offers exclusivity and serenity at an unbeatable price. Even better, you can also personally reserve beach umbrellas and sunbeds beforehand so that you'll have your preferred spot on the beach all to yourself.
Feeling all beached out? Then you can splash about in one of three luxurious swimming pools right at the doorstep of your apartment. Or choose to retreat into your spacious unit, which can hold up to 5 rooms in their Penthouse Executive - perfect for large families.
Address: Jln Tanjung Lompat, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 280 / night
3. Challenge your senses at Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort - Desaru
Popular for its scenic views, each of the 130 rooms and suites at Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort - Desaru overlook the tranquil coastline of its private beach so you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves. If you’re travelling with a large group of friends or family, the Deluxe Room is a great spacious option as it comes equipped with a balcony.
Exclusive to the resort is their Adventure Park, a high rope obstacle course that offers an exhilarating alternative to experiencing Desaru's great outdoors. If scaling new heights isn't your thing, then head over to the world-class golf courses at the nearby The Els Club Desaru Coast, which is within 10-minute walking distance. Designed by major champions Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, the golf club's dramatic layout and combined play of 45 holes is an unparalleled golf experience.
Address: 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 310 / night
4. Pick an all-inclusive holiday at Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort and Spa
One of the trickiest parts of planning a holiday, whether it’s for a couple or for the whole family, is choosing activities that can cater to everyone. At Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort and Spa, there's something for everyone with their wide range of entertainment choices, such as a live sports bar, kid-friendly amenities, sea sport and outdoor adventures, as well as luxurious spa treatments. It's up to you to decide how action-packed you want your itinerary to be.
Equally diverse is their variety of rooms and suites, which include the Romantic Deluxe with Private Pool, designed for couples to elevate their romance, and the nautical-themed Family Suite Garden View, which has beds equipped with ship’s wheels in its playful and interactive room design.
Address: Jalan Desaru Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 450 / night
5. Non-stop kid entertainment at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast
Let your little ones rock out to heart-pounding fun at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. The hotel is big on kid-friendly entertainment, which starts from its colourful interiors and the in-room blockbuster movies available on demand. Live music at the Lobby Lounge will keep your kids engaged every night, while the Roxity Kids Club has a dedicated play area, movie screen and arts room. If you're willing to splurge, the Studio Suite Gold even comes equipped with a kid-friendly private plunge pool that you can splash in at any time.
Best of all, the hotel is adjacent to the Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast and overlooks one of the largest wave pools in the world. Of course, if you'd like to bask in the ocean breeze, Desaru Beach is only a 10-minute walk away.
Address: Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 600 / night
6. Rejuvenate at The Westin Desaru Coast Resort
Wellness is at the forefront of The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, where you can sleep, eat and rest well in comfort and tranquillity. To start, their rooms and suites are designed for relaxation with their signature Westin Heavenly® Beds. Pick their sea-facing rooms for an expansive view of the South China Sea from your private balcony.
The resort also has a tantalising array of holistic body treatments at their spa and sauna, where you can treat yourself and your loved ones to some much-needed "me" time. As for dining options, savour the aromas of authentic Italian fare at their restaurant Prego, or snack on freshly grilled seafood at their Beach Bar and allow yourself to fully relax after a day at Desaru Coast.
Address: Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Price: From RM 830 / night
7. Plan the perfect romantic getaway at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
Nestled in a lush and expansive tropical garden, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is an ideal locale for a romantic getaway. While any of the resort's stylish rooms with wraparound balconies will make for a perfect hideaway by the beach, nothing beats their luxurious kampung-style One Bedroom Lagoon Pool Villa. The private two-storey haven overlooks your very own pool with a spacious wooden gazebo, where you can lounge by day and dine under the stars by night.
For an extra special touch, you can request for bespoke private dining. Choose to plan a romantic dinner for two in a dugout sandcastle on the beach and wow your significant other with a private chef and butler. Or arrange for an intimate dinner with candles, flowers and torches in a serene spot within the resort gardens.
Address: Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
Price: From RM 850 / night
8. Indulge in the ultimate luxury holiday at One&Only Desaru Coast
Between 128 acres of white powder sand and tropical flora, you'll find your own slice of paradise at One&Only Desaru Coast, the luxury resort brand's first Southeast Asian property. What lures luxury-seekers to the resort is its elegant rainforest and ocean suites alongside its pièce de résistance, the exclusive Villa One with a 27-metre private pool. No matter which room you pick, you'll be fully immersed in nature, whether you're enveloped by the verdant rainforest or gazing out upon the stunning horizons of the South China Sea.
Besides five stylish restaurants and bars for you to dine at, the resort's unique experiences are definitely worth exploring. Heed the call of white-handed gibbons on private wildlife tours with their resident naturalist, go on a tree-climbing experience in the rainforest canopy, or practise Malay silat for all ages.
Address: Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
Price: From RM 4,330 / night
With so many amazing resorts in Desaru Coast to choose from, you won’t run out of places to stay and explore. Whether you plan to laze on the white sand beach or discover the area’s idyllic nature attractions such as Desaru Fruit Farm, it’s time to book your weekend getaway at Desaru Coast.
Before you go, don’t forget to activate your FlexiTravel Hourly Insurance. Simply extend your travel insurance by the hour at S$0.30/hour^. (That's less than the cost of a lok lok skewer!)
Curious about visiting other places in Malaysia for your short holiday? Check out our guide on Malaysia: 5 Off the Beaten Path Places for Your Next Trip to discover five other hidden gems you can visit.