Desaru’s rejuvenation is almost complete.

After fading into neglect over the past few years, the once-popular holiday destination now called Desaru Coast has been making a comeback. Big hoteliers like the Westin and Anantara have expanded their portfolio in the area. A sprawling waterpark and 27-hole golf course have also helped with attracting families to the Malaysian coast. But come 2020, it’s set to be more than just a family-friendly tourist trap. Enter the One&Only Desaru Coast, the ultra-luxe resort that will turn the luxury scale in the area up to an 11.

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The design of the One&Only Desaru Coast modernizes the traditional Malaysian village, more aptly known as a ‘kampung’. (Photo courtesy of One&Only)

Spread out over 128 acres of land and flanked by an endless view of the South China Sea, the One&Only Desaru Coast is the resort brand’s first Southeast Asian property, and they’re confident in the Desaru Coast’s potential to succeed. The resort boasts 42 junior suites, two two-bedroom Grand Suites, and an expansive Villa One with four bedrooms across a two-storey villa. Those with a bit more cash to spare can also rent or buy out one of their 50 private homes to call their own.

The entire compound was designed by award-winning Kerry Hill Architects (who were also behind the Aman Kyoto). As a homage to the area, the resort embodies the Malaysian ‘kampung’ or village but with modern sensibilities that reflect One&Only’s ethos of luxury. Each suite, whether facing the ocean or the rainforest, will have its own private plunge pool and feature an abundance of space both indoors and outdoors. The Villa One takes things up a notch with a private spa treatment room, a home office (we highly recommend not working on a holiday), and a huge 27-metre swimming pool.

Dining would not be an issue at the One&Only Desaru Coast with five restaurants and bars for you to pick and choose from. Craving some Malaysian delicacies? Head to Essential by the resort’s infinity pool. If you’re in a tempura mood, there’s the Japanese restaurant Hoshi where you can watch your food prepared in front of you. You can also vibe over at Ember Beach Club with live music and a fine selection of prime meats and fire-grilled seafood.

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We’re calling the infinity pool as the setting to many sunset selfies. (Photo courtesy of One&Only)

Those who yearn for activity are not left out. Whether you want to play a tennis game, learn some Silat, or do a bunch of watersports, the resort can sort it out for you. Families are also not exempt from fun, with the KidsOnly club being on hand to entertain the younger members of the family.

“One&Only Desaru Coast will be our first resort in Asia as part of the continued strategic growth of the brand, and Malaysia’s secluded breathtaking coastline and rich regional heritage makes it the perfect location for us to introduce our brand to the region,” Philippe Zuber, Chief Operating Officer of One&Only parent company Kerzner International said. “We look forward to introducing the One&Only experience to the country, offering modern Malaysian elegance, warm and authentic service and the ultimate in ultra-luxury.”

The One&Only Desaru Coast is slated to open its doors on 23 March, 2020. Nightly rates for the junior suites start at S$1,130.

Josiah Neo
Josiah Neo is a tech writer who contributes occasionally to the fashion, travel, and culture beats. When he’s not busy keeping up with the keynotes, he’s probably stuffing his face with the best Melbournian donuts (at Shortstop, BTW) or watching his favourite esports team, the Los Angeles Valiant, pummel their opponents into oblivion.