Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast: Nearby Counterpart Of Sentosa’s Luxury Resort With Rooms At 1/3 The Price

Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Looking at the prices of air tickets online these days might automatically bring tears to your eyes, especially if you’re a typical budget-conscious Singaporean. And with every wanderlust-starved Singaporean chomping at the bit to fly overseas, economical holiday options can seem scarce. 

And as one of the said budget-conscious Singaporeans, I paid Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast in Johor a visit. With its many music-related facilities, the hotel is worth checking out when you’re planning your next getaway to Desaru, just a 90-minute boat ride away.

Rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

One of the main things that attracts visitors to any hotel is the rooms. And with 7 different types of rooms to accommodate your budget and liking, Hard Rock has lots to offer singles, couples, and families coming to Desaru for a quick getaway. 

The basic Superior Room with Twin beds is as affordable as RM665/night (~ S$204.38). 

The hotel has 365 rooms spread across 3 levels and 3 different blocks, with one side offering a view of Adventure Waterpark that is situated next door. 

The bathrooms are spacious, with a rainfall shower and a wardrobe with dual sliding doors. This allows you to conveniently reach for a fresh set of clothes from either the bedroom or the toilet on the other side. 

For families with 2 kids, the Studio Suite Gold (RM1,715/night, ~S$527.08) is perfect with a duplex layout and twin bunk beds.
Image adapted from: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

The rooms range anywhere between a modest 453sqft to a roomy 2,433sqft and come with complimentary blockbuster movies and  Bose Solo 5 soundbars from which you can stream music. This makes it the perfect setup for a cosy night of bingeing on movies with some room service. 

If you book a king bed in the Superior or Deluxe rooms (from RM765/night, ~S$235.11), kids below the age of 5 eat for free when accompanied by an adult. Other perks include a child getting a free stay when sharing an existing bed with the adults.

The Rock Star Suite truly lives up to its name, offering a grand amount of opulence.
Image adapted from: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

The more luxurious rooms like the Rock Suite (RM1,415/night, ~S$434.88) have both a shower and a bathtub alongside a standalone sitting room that is detached from the bedroom. 

Toprange rooms like the Rock Star Suite (RM10,075/night, ~S$3,096.41) essentially feature an apartment-style layout with a kitchen. It even comes with a 7ft-long pool table. 

Borrow a Fender guitar to jam in your room

Staying true to its musical heritage, the Hard Rock Hotel has a program where guests can borrow an array of musical instruments to play. 

It’s called the Sound of Your Stay, and guests can select from a catalogue of 20 different Fender guitars from the helpdesk located on the left of the main entrance. 

Once you’ve chosen a guitar that piques your interest, head over to the main concierge counter, drop off a RM300 (~S$92.08) deposit, and head back up to your room to await the delivery of the guitar.  

The guitar comes with an amplifier which the staff can help set up. All the rooms are equipped with special ports to jack the amp, usually located at the side of the desk together with the rest of the sockets.  

The set also comes with headphones to plug into the amp, which is music to the ears of guitarists who are planning to jam all night long without waking the neighbours. 

And if you’re no Jimi Hendrix, fret not as there are other interesting things for you to borrow like a record player with a set of old vinyl records for RM300 (~S$92.08)

The set comes with 10 records with genres ranging from 80s rock to pop tunes.

The record player comes in a hard case configuration and has different dials that allow you to adjust the pitch and the speed of the song you’re playing. It also has an audio jack but the set doesn’t come with any headphones, so do bring your own. 

Image adapted from: Spotify

Hard Rock also has a set of curated playlists that is free to access and listen to during your stay. With music for chilling by the pool, working out, or just lazing in your room, there are plenty of modern and classic tunes to explore on Hard Rock’s Spotify account. 

To get started, simply follow the instructions printed on the bottom of the sleeve that holds the room keys, which has a special code for you to key in before accessing the account. 

Music-themed outdoor pool, amenities & activities

Most hotels have pools but the Hard Rock Hotel has found a way to combine the relaxation of swimming with the good vibes that music brings. 

Their 1.4mdeep Outdoor Music Pool has underwater speakers that play music around the pool’s perimeter, allowing guests to listen to tunes while swimming or enjoying the view of lush greenery ahead. 

There’s also a Couple’s Room for you and your boo to enjoy a massage together.
Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast 

Even the spa packages at the Hard Rock Hotel are music-centric. The Rock Spa runs a special massage package known as the Rhythm & Motion spa, which uses vibrations, pressures, and patterns from amplified music as the basis of this treatment. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

The massages start at RM300 (~S$92.08) and there’s a whole list of other pampering treatments like facials and body scrubs that are available as well. 

The hotel also has programs designed for kids. The Roxity Kids Club is open from 7am-9pm daily. Parents can drop off their children under the watchful eyes of the Roxity staff while they enjoy their metime. 

The club is open to kids aged 414 years and charges RM25/child (~S$7.67) per hour. There are plenty of activities and toys like action figures and building blocks for the younger children to play with. 

The main room also has a projector where movie screenings are held every day at 6.30pm and there are instruments like keyboards and drum sets available for kids who want to jam. 

The little ones can also sit in for an arts and crafts lesson, or pop over to the IT room where they can game to their heart’s content on computers, PS4s, and a VR set. 

4 restaurants & bars to dine in with a special member’s lounge

When it comes to dining at the Hard Rock, there’s certainly no shortage of options, especially when there are 4 restaurants scattered across the hotel. There’s also a good range of cuisines ranging from an international buffet that includes Western and local fares to Mexican specialties. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Sessions is the largest of all the eateries that serves up a generous spread of both international and local cuisines buffet-style. The extensive use of wood for the interior along with warm lights and music paraphernalia gives the place a cosy feel in spite of its massive size. 

You can also have your meal outdoors, where there is a drinks bar and a small playground with padded flooring for the kids to go crazy on. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

You can expect a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes including freshly made Nasi Lemak and an omelette and pancake station with a variety of toppings like chocolate sprinkles and maple syrup. They also have an a la carte menu if you’re looking for specific food items that aren’t part of the buffet lineup. 

They even have a teh tarik cart that goes table to table with a service staff who pulls the tea and serves it directly to you, much like the famous HDL noodle man. They’re open from 7am 10.30pm so do drop by if you’ve been hit by the hunger pangs. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Located next to Sessions is Constant Grind, the go-to place in Hard Rock for a good cup of joe. The furnishing is quite a departure from the cosiness that Sessions provides, opting for more vibrant colours and an overall contemporary vibe to it.

The menu is decked out in espresso-based coffees and a wide selection of sweet treats like cakes and cookies. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Those looking for some sun to go along with their afternoon tea should head down to GMT+8, the hotel’s lobby bar. The use of massive ceiling-to-floor windows allows plenty of light through, giving it an airy feel and an unobstructed view of Adventure Waterpark next door. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

The lounge is also the place to be after sundown as it hosts live band performances every Wednesday night. And with Happy Hour starting at 4pm, GMT+8 is a great place to end the night with a bang. 

Image adapted from: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

The final restaurant, The Butterfly and The Elephant, is located next to the Outdoor Music Pool which has a laid-back beach club atmosphere with its deck chairs and blue wall art. 

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast 

The place is known for its Mexican cuisine, something that is unique to the menu of The Butterfly and The Elephant. Mainstays like Quesadillas (RM34, ~S10.42), and the Signature Mexican Burger (RM58,~S$17.87) with jalapenos and ground beef patty are top recommendations by the chef.   

To round off a scrumptious meal, try out the velvety Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème (RM 35, ~S$10.73) as you lay back on the deck chair and watch the sunset across the pool. 

Prime location with many nearby attractions & free shuttle service

Besides the unique amenities available in the hotel, Hard Rock’s location makes it convenient for exploring Desaru.

It’s situated right beside Adventure Waterpark so guests can gain direct access to the park via a private entrance at Level 1 of the hotel and enjoy the 20 different rides the park has to offer. 

The park is open from 10am6pm daily except Tuesdays, when it’s closed for maintenance. The hotel also offers a special 37% discount to its guests. Tickets are RM75/pax (~S$23.08) for Malaysian citizens and RM110/pax (~$33.85) for non-citizens, with multiple entries and exits allowed. 

Guests at Hard Rock can also use the private beach behind The Westin hotel. With multiple deck chairs and free towels available, you can sit back and enjoy your Pina Colada from the Beach Bar while getting your tan on. 

There’s also a free shuttle bus service that comes every 20 minutes. It takes you from the hotel to other key locations around the coast including Anantara Hotel, One&Only hotel, Elm’s Golf Course, The Westin hotel and the ferry terminal, so you won’t have to pay for a cab or walk long distances. 

Check out deals for Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast.

Visit Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Since the end of the year is coming, holiday plans are next on the agenda for many Singaporeans. While flying to another country may be out of the cards for some, Desaru Coast is just a 90-minute ferry ride away, which is definitely cheaper than a plane ticket. 

And when it comes to hotels, there are plenty of options scattered across the countryside, each with its own unique offerings and traits. But if you want a place that gives you the best bang for your buck, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, with Adventure Waterpark next door, is a great option for you and your family. 

Book a stay at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast


Address: Jalan Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +60 7-838 8888

For more hotel reviews, check out:

Photography by Poh Jin Ron.

Brendan Yee

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