Johor’s Desaru Coast is Named One of the World’s Greatest Places 2021

Malaysia's Desaru Coast is Named one of the World's Greatest Places of 2021

Located on the southeast coast of Malaysia’s southernmost state Johor, the Desaru Coast has been receiving plenty of attention of late. The opening of five-star luxury resort One&Only Desaru Coast – the luxury resort brand’s first property in Asia – last year was a highlight for sybarites in this little corner of Malaysia.

Further, at the end of 2019, the Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas (below) opened its door while the Westin Desaru Coast Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast opened in 2018, adding plenty of variety in terms of accommodation and F&B options.

A view of the Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas

Now, this integrated destination resort has just been named TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places of 2021. It is an accolade that is certainly to be proud of as this list comprises only 100 unique destinations around the globe and is compiled by the esteemed publication’s international network of correspondents and contributors.

Among the other destinations that made it this year – such as José Ignacio in Uruguay and Lake Khovsgol in Mongolia – Desaru Coast has faced and overcome unprecedented challenges in the past year with the pandemic upending its business and operations.

Thus, this annual list, which is in its third year, is also a tribute to the people who have managed to endure the upheavals brought on by the pandemic and have found ways to adapt and innovate.

The infinity pool at the One&Only Desaru Coast

Covering an area of over 4,000 acres and fringing seventeen kilometres of unspoilt coastline, Desaru Coast faces the South China Seas and houses ultra-luxury hotels and resorts as well as offering world-class golf courses and the region’s largest adventure waterpark, the Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast.

There are also cruises available through the Sedili Wetlands. The imminent opening of the Ferry Terminal will also make it more accessible to those from Singapore and Indonesia.

A view of the long golden sandy beach bordered by thick foliage

“This is an outstanding achievement for a team with only two years in operations, and after what has been and continues to be a challenging time for the industry. With this notable feather in our cap, we look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world once travel resumes,” said Desaru Coast Destination Resort Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Roslina Arbak.

Apart from The Els Club Desaru Coast, a 45-hole golf course with two distinct clubs, the Ocean Course and the Valley Coast, there is also a 23-acre waterfront retail and lifestyle village. Set amid verdant greenery and containing rich bio-diverse plants and wildlife, the coast is easily accessible by road, air and sea.

A man taking a golf shot over the water on one of the magnificent courses along the coast

For further information on this beautiful part of Malaysia, please visit

Read more travel features, news and reviews here.

Johor's Desaru Coast is Named One of the World's Greatest Places 2021 2


Ong Chin Huat

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.

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