Luxury holidays in Desaru

From a sleepy beach town to a getaway spot for Singaporean city-slickers, Desaru’s golden sands have been enticing thalassophiles for half a century thanks to its 17 kilometres of unspoilt coastal beauty and laidback local charm. But beyond the toe-in-sand pleasures of this tiny town you’ll find thrills of a different kind: colourful fruit farms, ostrich enclosures, and – for those with more intrepid dispositions – the Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm, home to over a thousand snap-happy reptiles. Glide through the Belungkor forest, where you’ll encounter more than a quarter of the world’s mangrove species, or turn the romance up to 11 with a boat trip through the Firefly Valley Leisure Park where fairy-like bugs illuminate the landscape. And with Johor Bahru old town on your doorstep, there’s ample opportunity to sample the cumin- and coconut-infused flavours of the local cuisine, too.

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When to go

As beaches are Desaru’s headline act, you’ll want to book between April and October for optimal tanning conditions.

Getting there

  • Planes

    There are various routes to the town’s golden sands; Senai International Airport is the closest, just an hour’s drive away, although most flights are domestic. Two hours across the border, Singapore’s Changi International has a wider scope, with flights from the UK, US, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. And, if you don’t mind a longer drive, Kuala Lumpur International is four hours north of the resort by car.
  • Automobiles

    Driving in Desaru is safe and overall a pleasant affair, but be sure to watch out for potholes on the Federal Route 90 which leads from the E22 to the Desaru resort area.