One&Only Desaru Coast Opens on September 6

The ultra-luxe brand’s first Asian outpost will welcome its first guests this Sunday.

One&Only Desaru Coast’s main infinity pool and main building. (All photos by One&Only)

When borders between Malaysia and Singapore reopen for leisure travel, residents of the Lion City can look forward to checking in at One&Only Desaru Coast, a brand-new seaside retreat on the eastern coast of Johor. Designed by none other than Kerry Hill Architects, the 51-hectare resort is a modern reinterpretation of a Malay kampung, or village, with 42 Junior suites, a pair of two-bedroom Grand suites, and the two-story, four-bedroom Villa One—a 1,500-square-meter refuge set apart from the rest of the property. All suites across the ultra-luxe resort feature private plunge pools alongside indoor and outdoor living spaces.

A highlight of One&Only Desaru Coast is Ember Beach Club, where shaded cabanas, sun loungers, and a terraced bar overlook two infinity pools and a golden-sand beach. Conceptualized by Singapore-based chef and restaurateur Andrew Walsh, the menu here focuses on open-fire cooking with Asian flavors, using sustainably caught fish and vegetables grown in the Cameron Highlands.

The resort’s other dining venues are equally tempting. Signature Japanese restaurant Hoshi specializes in tempura, and is fitted with an open bar where guests can observe chefs preparing their meals from scratch. Ambara focuses on Mediterranean coastal cuisine prepared with seasonal local produce and ingredients sourced from the chef’s garden, and poolside venue Essential dishes up an array of elevated Malaysian specialties. Meanwhile, open-air Dusky Monkey bar offers locally inspired bites paired with creative cocktails, as well as a curated selection of rums, gins, and fine whiskies.

Left to right: Hoshi, the resort’s signature Japanese restaurant; inside Dusky Monkey bar.

Left to right: The main infinity pool; all Ocean Junior suites come with a private plunge pool.

The terrace of an Ocean Junior suite.

Nature is never far away; vacationers can embark on a guided tour of the resort’s jungle surroundings. Led by the resort’s resident naturalist, Call of the Gibbons takes guests into the Panti Forest Reserve, home to various species of flora and fauna such as the endangered white-handed gibbon. Another must-do for nature-lovers is the climb to The View From The Top, a purpose-built lookout point amid the rain forest canopy.

Meanwhile, the wellness-minded should not miss Chenot Spa, whose offerings are based around the four pillars of sport and physical activities, emotional wellbeing, nutrition, and aesthetics. One- to three-day programs are tailored to each guest, with each one incorporating nutritional menus, fitness schedules, targeted spa treatments, and stress-busting activities. Even more pampering awaits at an outpost of Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastian Gonzalez. Other wellness facilities include a gym, a Pilates studio, and a yoga pavilion overlooking the sea.

For other active pursuits, the resort’s Club One is equipped with tennis and padel courts, while golfers are welcome to tee off on the championship-level courses at the Els Club. A range of water sports—such as wakeboarding, kayaking, hobie-cat sailing, and kite surfing—are also offered here. Younger guests spending time at the KidsOnly club can hone their creativity at an in-house art studio, get acquainted with local aquatic life at The Fisherman Hut, and learn more about the area’s tropical environment at the EcoLab.

For reservations and further details, visit oneandonlydesarucoast.com.

The living room of a Rainforest Grand Pool suite.

The resort’s four-bedroom Villa One features a private 27-meter pool.

Inside the master bedroom of Villa One.

A bird’s-eye view of One&Only Desaru Coast.

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