Anantara Desaru Coast Resort
What it is
A verdant and vast 111-room resort on the sea with two pools (one has an infinity edge), five restaurants and bars, and an uber luxe spa with 24-carat gold facials.
What it isn't
Just for honeymooners. Tots, tweens and teens are lauded guests, as evidenced by the on-site waterpark, outdoor movie nights and kids clubs.
What we think
Let’s be honest: a feeling of spaciousness matters, especially when you’re longing to steep yourself in luxury. The newly revamped guest rooms here begin at a downright ginormous 527 square feet, and each one is dressed to the nines with intricate Malay design details, a private balcony, soaking tub in the serene spa-like bath, and Nespresso machines so you can indulge in your morning jolt without even leaving the room. We love the Deluxe Sea View Corner Rooms for their wraparound balconies (you’re not here in Malaysia every day, after all) and the One Bedroom Lagoon Pool Villas—where plunge pools and an 1,184 square foot, two level floor plan feel like you’re truly at home in paradise. Don’t miss at least one afternoon in the spa, where the moringa oil facial will leave you positively glowing.
You're here because
Excursions for guests include food tours of old town Johor Bahru (get the banana cake at Hiap Joo Bakery) and golfing the adjacent Els Club golf courses, designed by Ernie Els.
In the gauzy pink light of dusk, the seafood tower teetering before you at the seafront Sea.Fire.Salt restaurant—where seafood is cured in local seawater—takes your breath away. It’s brimming with Irish oysters, tiger prawns, Hokkaido scallops, snow crab, and lobster tails…and Beluga caviar is just an order away.
Restaurants & Bars
Tumeric - Savour gourmet international and Asian flavours any time of day
See. Fire. Salt. - Dine on local and imported seafood and prime cuts of meat, grilled to perfection
Infinity Bar - Drinks and cigars by the infinity pool
Observatory Bar - Select from a range of top vintages and spirits, or relax after dinner with an imported cigar
Lagoon Pool Bar - Spend the day idling in the shade, with a tempting menu of sandwiches, salads, pizzas and ice-cold beverages at hand
The Lounge - Enjoy a taste of Malaysia with a rich array of local sweets, homemade cakes and premium teas and coffees
Perched on Malaysia’s southernmost tip, the resort is two hours from Changi International Airport or two 30 minute ferry rides from Changi Ferry Terminal, via Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal.