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Beachside Resorts Desaru Coast Cover Image

8 Best Beach Resorts In Desaru From $53 That’ll Give Bali’s Hotels A Run For Their Money

Best Desaru resorts


With the school holidays starting, picking a suitable destination can be a tough choice especially when there are tons of options to choose from. But if you’re looking for a short getaway, Desaru Coast in Johor is a fairly convenient choice since there’s many things to do in Desaru.

Since the destination is known for its sandy beaches and coastal views, here are 8 best Desaru resorts to choose from when you’re planning your vacation. We’ve also ranked each place for families with kids and couples to help you make the best possible choice.


What you need to know before visiting Desaru


The easiest way to get from Singapore to Desaru is by ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal. It takes about 1.5 hours each way and a roundtrip ticket costs S$118. If you’re worried about getting seasick, there are other options, such as taking a bus from JB or hiring a private driver. Find out more in our Singapore to Desaru transport guide.

Desaru may just be a small part of Johor but it’s chock-full of outdoor activities and adventures. A mini zoo, fruit park, and waterpark are just a handful of the family-friendly things to do in Desaru. A 2-3 day itinerary should be enough time to cover everything, although you can stretch it to 4 days if you want to take things slow.

Just note that booking a Grab does take some time if you’re planning to be out and about in Desaru. If you’ve got a packed itinerary, it might be wiser to hire a private driver to ferry you around over the course of your trip.


Price breakdown of resorts in Desaru


Here are the resorts in Desaru, address, minimum starting price of the rooms mentioned here and what it’s best for:

Resort Best for Address Price for a standard room per night
Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas Private beach for an intimate holiday Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia From RM1,102,
(~S$316)
Sands & Sandals Duplex units with kiddy themed rooms Jalan Desaru Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia From RM1,005, (~S$288.19)
Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Music-themed resort Jalan Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia From RM894, (~S$256.32)
The Westin Desaru Coast Resort Private beach with water sports Jalan Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia From RM899,
(~S$258)
Amerald Resort Hotel ATV rides along the beach Lot 1231, Jalan Kampung Punggai, Sungai Rengit, 81600 Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia From RM300,
(~S$86.06)
One&Only Desaru Coast Luxurious villas with private pools Darul Ta’zim, Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast Bandar Penawar, 90, 81930, Johor, Malaysia From RM3,244, (~S$993.23)
Lotus Desaru Beach Resort Spacious apartment- style rooms Lot 1854, Jalan Desaru, Bandar Penawar, 81930 Kota Tinggi, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia From RM187,
(~S$53.65)
Bayu Balau Beach Resort Chalet-style accommodation Kampung Nelayan Tanjung Balau, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia From RM250,
(~S$71.75)

1. Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas  


Private beach for an intimate holiday


8 Best Beach Resorts In Desaru - resort & pool

When it comes to cosy vibes at a beachside resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is one of the top choices in the area. With unique offerings when it comes to the rooms and the activities, this place is worth visiting for both couples and families.

All the rooms, from the standard Premier Room (from RM1,102, ~S$316) to the top-of-the-line Deluxe Sea View Corner Room (from RM1,293, ~S$371), have balconies of their own. You’ll be able to go outside and enjoy the view of the sea.

8 Best Beach Resorts In Desaru - Anantara Desaru Coast bedroom & pool This One Bedroom Lagoon Pool Villa (RM4,239, ~S$1,214) has its own private entrance. 

The resort has small villas that are 2-levels tall, where the first level is a sitting area, and the second level is a bedroom. There’s also a private plunge pool that is shielded by a row of trees which offers privacy for families or couples looking for some alone time.

Image credit: Anantara Desaru Coast Resort

But Anantara’s most appealing aspect is the fact that the entire resort is located right in front of the beach, which is privately owned by the resort. This means that it won’t be as crowded as a public beach.

Learn more about the beach by signing up for a Desaru Beach Life & Tidepool Discovery tour. Led by an environmental expert, the tour will teach you about sea creatures like moon snails, sand bubbler crabs, and sea eagles. There’s also a birdwatching walk and resort nature walk for those who want to learn more about nature.

8 Best Beach Resorts In Desaru - Anantara Desaru Coast batik classesImage credit: Anantara Desaru Coast Resort

If you’d rather get crafty with your hands, you can pick up a new skill with classes on batik printing and terrarium making. The classes are available to all guests and are suitable for all ages.

Kid-friendly ranking: 3/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 5/5

Book a stay at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas.

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
Google Reviews
4.5
(785)
Address
Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact Information

2. Sands & Sandals 


Duplex units with kiddy themed rooms


8 best beach resorts in Desaru - Sands & Sandals resort aerial shotImage credit: @sandsandsandalsresortnspa via Instagram

Sands & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa takes things a step further by having dedicated family and couple rooms with special amenities.

8 Best Beach Resorts In Desaru - Sands&Sandals family room Image adapted from: Sand & Sandals

Rooms like the Family Suite (from RM1,800, ~S$516.21) make use of the duplex layout to create a kids themed room on the lower level with colourful wall motifs and boat beds we secretly wished we could also sleep on. This arrangement allows parents to enjoy their privacy on the upper floor while the children indulge in their personal play space down below.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - couple suit balcony Image adapted from: Sand & Sandals

The Couple Suite (from RM1,005, ~S$288.19) on the other hand, offers a full-sized living room on the lower level while the top level houses a cabana-style bed. They even have a bathtub on a private terrace that overlooks the beach – you and bae can soak in it while enjoying the view.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of wooden shutters to shield you from any prying eyes when you’re enjoying your tub time.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Desaru Fruit Farm ATV family ride Image credit: Desaru Fruit Farm

The hotel is situated in a convenient spot as well, with the Desaru Fruit Farm just 12 minutes away by car. They organise different tours like an ATV tour (RM100, ~S$28.67) around the farm where you can appreciate some locally grown produce and take a fruit box back for yourself.

Kid-friendly ranking: 5/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 3/5

Book a stay at Sands & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa.

Address: Jalan Desaru Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +60 7-822 2222 | Sands & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa website


3. Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast


 Music-themed resort 


The Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast is the best option for families that are planning to spend their weekend at Adventure Waterpark, located right next door.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Hard Rock Hotel living room & bedroom

There are 7 different types of rooms to choose from, ranging from a comfy Superior Room with Twin Beds (RM894/night, ~ S$256.32), to the top-of-the-line Rock Star Suite (RM4,410/night, ~S$1264.41). All the rooms have an airy, tropical vibe that offers a clear view of the waterpark and its attractions from the balcony.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Hard Rock Hotel pool & kids play room

Guests can look forward to perks like an underwater music pool and a kid’s club that is open from 7am to 9pm daily, the perfect place to leave your children for some R&R.

For RM35/child (~S$10.03) for the first hour and RM30 (~S$8.60) for every hour afterwards, kids aged 4 to 14 years can watch movies, do arts and crafts with a teacher, and even play games on the PS4 or the VR Set in the IT room.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Hard Rock Hotel adventure waterpark linkThere’s a dedicated entrance to Adventure Waterpark located on the first floor.

Hotel guests get a 37% discount on waterpark tickets with Malaysian citizens paying RM75/pax (~S$21.52), and non-citizens paying RM110/pax (~$31.56). And if you’re looking to visit other places around the coast, there’s a free shuttle bus service that comes every 20 minutes.

Kid-friendly ranking: 5/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 3.5/5

Book a stay at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast.

Google Reviews
4.4
(3,554)
Address
Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information
RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT S$156.1

4. The Westin Desaru Coast Resort 


Private beach with water sports


8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - The Westin Desaru coast main entrance and foyer

The Westin Desaru Coast Resort is another option for families who want to visit Adventure Waterpark since it’s located directly opposite Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. The hotel also has other perks like a private beach and watersports available to guests.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - bedroom with balcony The Westin gives off Hawaiian vibes and has an air of luxury about it.
Image credit: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort

The Deluxe Guest Room (from RM899, ~S$258) is both affordable and lavish with a King bed or 2 Queen Beds depending on your family’s needs.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - The Westin buildingImage credit: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort

Outside of the rooms, guests can look forward to taking a dip at the resort’s pool that overlooks the lawn, or walk 5 minutes across the lawn to the private beach where the Beach Bar is at.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Beach bar & beach

It’s known for its freshly grilled seafood, like their Crumble Fish & Chips (RM55, ~$S16.62) and cocktails, like Mai Tais (RM38, ~S$11.49) which you can enjoy at the outdoor dining area. The nearby deck chairs are also a good place for parents to relax while the kids start making sandcastles.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - The Westin water sport activitesTry not to have lunch before going on the water rides. 

The beach is also where DASH Outdoors is situated, the go-to company for all things watersports. They run a variety of activities that help inject some heart-pumping fun into your vacation, such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. There are even thrilling high speed water rides like Wakeboarding for the daredevils who aren’t satisfied with normal watersports.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Yoga session by the seaIt’s tough to head back into a studio once you’ve tried Shavasana by the sea. 

Once you’re done with the exhilarating watersports, balance that out with some zen and calming outdoor yoga. It’s held every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 7am, as well as on Monday and Sunday evenings at 6pm. An instructor will go through a series of poses to help relax your body at the beach.

Kid-friendly ranking: 4/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 4/5

Book a stay at The Westin Desaru Coast Resort.

The Westin Desaru Coast Resort
Google Reviews
4.5
(1,652)
Address
Desaru Coast, Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact Information

5. Amerald Resort Hotel  


ATV rides along the beach


8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - building Image credit: Amerald Resort Hotel

Located on the quiet side of Jalan Kampung Punggai Desaru is Amerald Resort Hotel, which is good if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of popular holiday destinations.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Ameral Resort Hotel big rooms Rooms are spacious and cosy while offering unrestricted garden or ocean views.
Image credit: Amerald Resort Hotel

The standard Superior King Room (from RM300, ~S$86.06) is perfect for couples on a budget but still want a taste of luxury. The Deluxe Twin Room (from RM370, ~S$106.15) would be a better fit for families since there’s more space in the room and separate beds for the kids.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - ATV and swingsActivities like ATV rides and Go Karting start from RM50/pax (~S$14.35), which is affordable.
Image adapted from: Amerald Resort Hotel, @ameraldresort via Instagram

Aside from the usual amenities like a pool and gym, Amerald Resort Hotel also has adrenaline-filled offerings like an 18-rope high elements course and a 100m-long zipline. You can even go-kart within the hotel compound and go on an ATV ride along the beach. For something more chill, stop by the white swings on the beach to take pictures or to catch the sunset.

Kid-friendly ranking: 3/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 4/5

Book a stay at Amerald Resort Hotel.

Amerald Resort Hotel
Google Reviews
4
(1,067)
Address
Lot 1231, Jln Kg Punggai, Sungai Rengit, 81600 Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

6. One&Only Desaru Coast 


Luxurious villas with private pools


8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - long pool section

One&Only Desaru Coast is the place to go if you aspire to stay in the picturesque hotels that influencers are always posting about. With 44 rooms spread across 128 acres of land, it’s definitely gonna offer more privacy compared to other resorts – perfect if you and bae need a little alone time.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - dip in thee pool and the beach

The hotel is sandwiched between lush forestry and a pristine beach – so you can take your pick of views when it comes to the rooms.

For those looking for a good view of the beach, the Ocean Junior Suite (from RM 3,440, ~S$987.10) is a good choice – alternatively, go for the Ocean Grand Suite (from RM 3,244, ~S$993.23) if you want a small private pool.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - One&Only Desaru coast accomodation

The Rainforest Junior Suite (from RM3,300, ~S$946.88) that comes with a private butler and small pool will suit the nature lovers better as it’s completely surrounded by trees on all sides.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - One&Only Desaru luxury villa with pool
Image credit:
One&Only Resorts

And if you’re looking to live it up Crazy Rich Asians style, you can book Villa One (from RM38,318, ~S$10,994.76), the most premium option in One&Only. A 27m lap pool and private spa are just some of the things you can expect in this opulent oceanfront villa.

And since there are multiple rooms, it’s great for large groups or families who can split the cost and share all that the villa has to offer.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - One&Only Ember beach club

One&Only resort also has its own private beach club called Ember Beach Club. It serves  Asian-inspired barbeque cuisine that is artisanal and flavourful like the Woodfire Conit Free Range Chicken from RM80 (~S$22.96).

There’s a 56m infinity pool for guests to swim in and a hidden swing chair, making it a good place to sit down and watch the sunset.

Kid-friendly ranking: 2/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 5/5

Book a stay at One&Only Desaru Coast resort.

One&Only Desaru Coast
Google Reviews
4.4
(300)
Address
Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast Bandar Penawar, 90, 81930, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

7. Lotus Desaru Beach Resort 


Spacious apartment-style rooms


8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Lotus Desaru main entrance and foyer
Image credit:
Lim Poh Chin via Google Maps

Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa is one of the newer hotels in the area. Still, they have plenty to offer, like a mini water park within the compound.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Lotus Dearu couple bed
Image credit:
Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa

The rooms take on more of a service apartment layout, with a kitchenette and a dining area. There are also amenities like a microwave and a medium-sized refrigerator, which makes it suitable for long term stays.

Rooms here are spacious, and you can choose from 1 – (RM187, ~S$53.65), 2 – (RM434.12, ~S$124), 3 – (RM587, ~S$168), or 4 – (RM1057, ~S$303.52) bedrooms. All categories have private balconies that overlook the swimming pool and the lawn, making it a good place to enjoy your morning coffee.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Mini waterpark & playgroundImage adapted from: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa

The resort has its own Splash Park which is a miniature water park located inside the resort. Kids can let loose at multiple pools for guests of all ages, a lazy river, a water playground with a slide, and a giant bucket that dunks water every few minutes.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - people at Lotus Desaru playing paintball
The time has come to deliver some pew pews.

Image credit: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa

If you prefer just lazing on the beach, it’s situated right behind the hotel, accessible through a private entrance. Besides that, there are other activities like paintball and combat archery for a little bit of friendly competition.

Kid-friendly ranking: 3/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 2/5

Book a stay at Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa.

Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa
Google Reviews
4.2
(6,144)
Address
Lot 1854, Jalan Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

8. Bayu Balau Beach Resort  


Chalet-style accommodations


8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Bayu Balau Beach Resort chalets Image credit: @kejora_development_holding via Instagram

Bayu Balau Beach Resort is an incredibly budget-friendly option that offers roomy chalets for comfy family stays. It’s also the place to go if you’re really looking to spend your vacation to just chill by the beach.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Bayu Balau bedroom
Image credit:
Bayu Balau Beach Resort

Those who feel more comfortable in a modern hotel setting can choose a Standard Queen Room (from RM250, ~S$71.75) or a Family Deluxe Room (from RM330, ~S$94.71). But if you’re interested in trying alternative housing, the Fisherman Concept Chalet is the perfect choice.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Bayu Balau playgroundImage credit: Bayu Balau Beach Resort

These cabins are similar to the ones found in Changi except there’s no fencing that obstructs your view and access to the sea. The cost of booking a Chalet cabin for 2 is RM150 (~S$43.04) while the Family Room that can fit 3 people is RM260 (~S$74.60).

You can also choose to upgrade your chalet to more luxurious cabins like the Superior (RM190, ~S$54.50) cabin that has 2 levels and looks more like a rustic beach house.

8 Best beach resorts in Desaru - Tanjun Balau Jetty for fishingImage credit: @pedangtakdir via Instagram

Keeping to the traditional fishing kampung theme, fishing from Tanjung Balau Jetty is one of the top things to do there. Once you’ve reeled in the catch of the day, you and 4 others can pay RM350 (~S$100.42) to cook a scrumptious dinner at a DIY BBQ pit from 6pm-10:30pm daily.

Kid-friendly ranking: 2/5
Couple-friendly ranking: 2/5

Bayu Balau Beach Resort (Hotel)
Google Reviews
3.9
(989)
Address
Tanjung Balau, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact Information

Escape the city bustle at these Desaru resorts


A blue ocean view combined with serene greenery can be a great reprieve from staring at quarterly reports on most days, which is why beach resorts are popular holiday destinations. And since Desaru Coast is only 90 minutes away by boat, it’s the perfect place for a short getaway if you’re looking for sun, sand, and surf.

For more travel-related articles, check out:


Cover image adapted from: One&Only Resorts, Sand & Sandals, Bayu Balau Beach Resort
Photography by Poh Jin Ron. Originally published on 20th October 2022. Last updated by Syahiran Sean on 9th June 2024.