Family Holiday Guide: The Ultimate Travel Itinerary for a Trip to Desaru Coast

Jasmine Andria
·7-min read

It is no secret that Malaysia’s brilliantly managed beaches and coastlines have become a coveted getaway spot for both local and international tourists. Desaru Coast, especially, is growing in recognition as one of the ideal beachside destinations within Malaysia because of its beautiful blue beaches and much-anticipated tourism developments such as its family-friendly holiday resort area. 

However, one of the main and most important highlights of Desaru Coast is that it is seemingly less crowded than other destinations in Malaysia, which equals better privacy for your family. 

So, if you are looking to head down to Desaru Coast, here is a rundown of what you should know before you take that family trip. 

What to do at Desaru Coast? 

Enjoy family privacy at the beach 

Located at the eastern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, Desaru Coast beaches are a haven for families wanting to spend some time amidst nature. 

Its 17-kilometre palm-fringed coastline offers white sandy beaches where families are able to enjoy their own peaceful privacy with sunrise and sunset views. Furthermore, you will also find it to be a clean and unpolluted holiday spot due to careful maintenance. 

Take your kids to the Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast

Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast is great for both adults and children. It has one of the biggest wave pools in the world, amazing rides, slides and attractions – you could opt to spend a whole day here. 

There are five zones in the waterpark, all with its own unique offerings from Kids Ahoy with age-appropriate water play equipment and 13 different water slides for younger kids, to cruising down the 350-meter lazy Penawar River with the family. 

For those looking for a thrill, we suggest checking out The Tempest which allows bigger kids who are at a minimum height of 122 centimetres. The Tempest has two high-energy funnels and ends with a 24-foot drop, while its 55-foot tube slide includes a funnel in the middle that will send you swirling before a splashdown! 

Golf at the Els Club Desaru Coast

The Els Club Desaru Coast, a 45-hole golfing course, designed by four-time champion Ernie Els comes with a perfect backdrop of rolling valleys set against the South China Sea. The courses are built with The Three Nines, which are The Ridge, The Coast and The Lakes. 

Meanwhile, the Ocean Course consists of 27-holes which are suited for all skill levels, while the adjoining luxury clubhouse houses a golf shop, casual dining restaurants, locker room facilities, private function rooms, viewing balconies, and a relaxed terrace. Apart from that, the facilities at the golf course also include GPS buggies. 

Indulge in a food affair 

Desaru coast
Desaru coast

You can find plenty of dining options here. Each of the resorts offers restaurants where you can indulge in buffets or a la carte options – some even have beachside dining for you to fully take in the tranquillity of Desaru Coast. 

If you are craving a burger, River Grill at Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast serves a deliciously juicy lamb patty burger and a crispy tender chicken burger with charcoal buns.

Over at the Big Easy Bar & Grill at Els Club Malaysia, diners will love the thali set, while Tumeric at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas serves bold, fresh flavours of Thai cuisine. We also recommend trying out the lamb shank at the Elephant & The Butterfly at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. 

However, there are additional options for seafood restaurants further away from the resort area if you are willing to explore. 

Shop for limited edition souvenirs

Is a holiday ever complete without a few purchases? The Rock, which is Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast’s merchandise outlet sells limited-edition souvenirs including tees, jackets, collectable pins and more. The hotel also has Hard Rock Roxtars which sells children’s plushies, and other exciting toys, as well as colourful sweet treats. 

Meanwhile, the Seafarer’s Gift Shop at Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast offers waterpark essentials such as wetsuits and other apparel.

Where to stay at Desaru Coast? 

The Desaru Coast Destination Resort is the latest tourism attraction that is part of a plan to revamp the tourism landscape in Johor’s south-eastern resort. 

Currently, there are four main resorts at Desaru Coast which you can opt to book a stay at.

Desaru coast
Desaru coast
Desaru coast
Desaru coast
  • Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast: Located right beside Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, the hotel is just a short walk to the beach. There are various amenities here suited for a family stay, including a kids club where your little ones can take part in fun and educational activities. Additionally, the hotel offers a well-equipped fitness centre, state-of-the-art spa and an amazing lobby bar for a perfect night-cap, while their outdoor pool is fitted with a submerged sound system! 

Desaru coast
Desaru coast
  • The Westin Desaru Coast Resort: This five-star resort, which faces the beach, offers a spa, a family kids’ club, a fitness studio and an outdoor pool. There are various room types to choose from including sea view rooms and suites for larger families. As for dining options, the hotel has five outlets, inclusive of a beach bar and a lounge. 

Desaru coast
Desaru coast
  • Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas: Choose between rooms with a wraparound balcony, Malaysian-style villa or a beachfront residence with a private pool. This beachside resort includes a Lagoon Pool, an Infinity Pool, as well as a Watersports Centre where you can try out sailing, paddling, windsurfing, or kite surfing. For some quiet time, Anantara houses a well-furnished library and a modern gym. 


One&Only Desaru Coast: With design inspiration based on local culture and history, the resort is located beside the beach is a short walk to Desaru Coast Riverside. The accommodation options are all inspired by nature and incorporate tropical elements, while the rooms are open, as well as airy.  It is also 500metres away from The Els Club (Ocean Course). Apart from swimming pools, the resort offers top-notch spa experiences and wellness programmes. 

How to get to Desaru Coast?  

Desaru Coast
Desaru Coast

There are two ways you can get to Desaru Coast Hotel from Kuala Lumpur which is via road trip or by taking a flight. 

  • Driving from Kuala Lumpur: It will approximately take four hours via the North-South Expressway. It is recommended to start your drive early in the morning to avoid traffic jams in the city. One of the popular rest areas along the North-South Expressway is R&R Ayer Keroh where you will find a lot of options to eat, drink and stretch before you continue your drive to Desaru Coast. 

  • Flight from Kuala Lumpur: If you choose to take a flight, it will only take approximately one hour to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Senai International Airport. From there, you will have to embark for another hour to Desaru Coast which you can take by shuttle.  

Don’t forget to pack these essentials! 

When packing, it is always good to prepare a checklist especially for family trips – you would not want to miss out your kids’ essentials. So, here is a basic checklist you can start with:

  • Sunscreen

  • Hats

  • Swimsuits

  • Slippers (easier to walk on the beach with)

  • Sand toys & books (during beach relaxation days)

However, apart from the usual beach essentials, bear in mind two of the most important essentials currently are face masks and hand sanitiser – remember, always carry these two necessities with you as you practise social distancing and sanitise your hands at regular intervals. 

More importantly, take time to explain these safety measures to your kids so that they are safe at all times. 

This article was first published on theAsianparent Malaysia.

The post Family Holiday Guide: The Ultimate Travel Itinerary for a Trip to Desaru Coast appeared first on theAsianparent - Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.