Cover Photo: Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas

Exotic experiences greet you at every turn at this luxurious seaside resort in Desaru Coast

Like a mystical doorway to a world of tropical bliss, the lobby at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas frames an azure backdrop of the sky, sea and sand – a welcoming sight for the beach-loving soul who's been cooped up for too long. In one sweeping glance, you see lush gardens, rustic pool villas and serene lagoon pools flanked by palm trees and cabanas, all blending seamlessly into stylish contemporary residences with the beach as their backyard.      

You may start to wonder: Is this all a dream?      

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The luxurious lodgings at Anantara Desaru Coast are diverse. The property boasts 13 standalone double storey one-bedroom and two-bedroom lagoon villas, which are styled after traditional Malaysian kampung houses but with a luxurious twist.

Overlooking the ocean and the green grounds, 90 lavish en-suite deluxe hotel rooms in the main building are also lovingly designed with uniquely Malaysian and Southeast Asian elements, merging wicker furnishings and woven textiles with more contemporary trappings for a refined finish.

The Deluxe Seaview Corner Room, for instance, is a comfortable and cosy hideout that's perfect for couples or small families. The view from its elegant wraparound balcony will make you want to curl up in the chaise lounge chair and people-watch till the sun sets right in front of you. 

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And if your idea of 'cosy' includes having your own little slice of paradise by the beach, book the Anantara Desaru Coast Residences. Consisting of 20 lavish beach residences ranging from three-bedroom to four-bedroom villas with their own infinity pools, this is the ultimate spot for families and small groups of friends to enjoy the wind and waves in the privacy of their own abodes. In addition to well appointed bedrooms with floor-to-window views of the beach, each residence boasts a luxe living area, an outdoor deck by the infinity pool and a full kitchen, complete with your own chef and butler.

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Gourmands at Anantara Desaru Coast will not be disappointed. Guests who are in the mood for some delightfully authentic Thai and Malaysian fare can indulge their cravings at Tumeric. 

There's also Sea.Fire.Salt, the resort's unique seafood and grill concept that lets you enjoy your steak and lobster in style, either at the beachfront or near the show kitchen where you'll watch the chefs in action.

The signature Grilled Seafood Platter here is a veritable feast complete with lobster, prawns, scallops and sea bass dressed in a lemon butter sauce with roasted vegetables on the side.

Other notable favourites here include the zesty Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp tapas) and the hearty tomahawk steak. Both boast flavours that are powerful yet subtle. The nuance in taste and style is probably why the steakhouse has over 12 varieties of in-house prepared salt, from herb-infused grains to spicier flavours with a kick.

For diners who enjoy a more interactive element in the mix, there is the Spice Spoons experience. From piping hot Johor Laksa to traditional Malay desserts dripping in gula Melaka, roll up your sleeves and cook up your favourite local dishes under the watchful eye of a master chef, later enjoying your culinary creations by the sea. Perfect for honeymooners or anyone with a passion for cooking, the Spice Spoons class must be booked at least a day in advance.     

Speaking of dinner by the sea, exceptional bespoke dining experiences await with Anantara Desaru Coast's famous Dining by Design offer. This unique experience lets guests enjoy a specially prepared dinner in a tent on the beach, or at other unique locations on the grounds upon request.

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The hours of feasting, swimming and relaxing by the beach must be balanced with a restorative massage at Anantara Spa, nestled in its own quiet nook on the resort grounds.

Choose your music and your aromatherapy scent, and enjoy a pampering session in one of the beautifully designed treatment rooms. As per health SOPs, one hour is the max you can go for each treatment, but then again, one hour is really all you need to feel rejuvenated.   

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Located just a 45-minute drive from Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru, Anantara Desaru Coast has much to offer every kind of traveller, from families with small kids to couples and urban nomads in search of some long overdue vitamin sea.

Even if you've planned a day of golf on a nearby course or prefer to while away the hours with a relaxing dip in your villa's infinity pool, don't miss the chance to hop on any of the resort's bicycles and get lost for a while among the green gardens and winding paths—there's never been a better place to lose track of time than here.      

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