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The sun, the sea, the Sand and Sandals @ Desaru for an exotic escape within reach!

The sun, the sea, the Sand and Sandals @ Desaru for an exotic escape within reach!

[编辑 Editor 吕大人   英译 Translator 刘大人   摄影 Photographer 黄大人   资料 Sub-editor 郑大人]


Johor, a state in southern Malaysia linked to Singapore by causeways, is known for its beaches and rainforest, with Desaru our favourite seaside “playground” since childhood. The range of nature-oriented attractions, beach resorts and economically priced seafood with laid-back ambience certainly endears the coastal town to many, even till today. With the opening of the Sungai Johor Bridge across Johor River on the Senai-Desaru Highway (E22), the previous 2-hour plus drive on the old, somewhat narrow and potentially dangerous road has been shaved to about an hour on the relatively smooth tarmac!

Covering a long stretch of approximately 22km and lined with beautiful casuarina trees, giving the resort area its name, Desaru was much hyped in the 80s and 90s with quite a few mega projects aimed at attracting foreign investment and visitors, which have since been abandoned. After a period of neglect, Desaru has recently become popular with locals and tourists wishing to see an authentic Malaysian resort without for-tourists frills, especially since the much-delayed expressway from Johor Bahru opened in 2011.

Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa lies in the heart of Desaru, and is Idyllic and ideally located on the unspoilt beach framed by the South China Sea on one side and lush tropical forest on the other. Having undergone extensive refurbishment, rebranded and opened in March 2017, where the sun, sea, sand (and sandals) meet again to create a tropical heaven. Enough said, time to put aside the notebooks and MacBooks and out with the shades and sunblocks instead…

Getting to Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa is now a breeze, with a 30-minute ferry ride from Singapore, 45 minutes drive from Senai International Airport and a 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur being all it takes to transport us to the world away at this resort for all reason and all season. Private transportation can also be arranged for pick up from the Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal by phone: +607-822 2222 or email:


Tropical Pool & Gym

How could we say no to the sparkling blue waters of the Tropical Pool overseeing the spectacular view of South China Sea, while the kids can have a “splash”tacular time at the wading pool just beside the mini waterfalls and water slides? For those of us who prefer to stay dry, there’s also plenty of summer classic lounge chairs to enjoy the sun.

Fret not if we forget to bring any personal belongings, as we can easily pick them up at the convenience shop while taking home some souvenirs to satisfy the tourist in us LOL!


We suggest working out at the fully equipped and air-conditioned Gym standing on the pool to loosen some muscles, while capturing a splendid view of the South China Sea, swim up bar, and the tropical pool before taking the much-awaited dip!


Exclusive Private Beach

Set against a backdrop of lush tropical greenery, the sun-kissed white beaches with clear waters are one of the main reasons why we come over to Desaru, and Sand & Sandals is indeed blessed with its fair share of pristine, white sandy beach to call their own. Is there really anything better than reading or napping in a hammock, with the sea breeze rocking us in the speckled sun as we fall into the most relaxed state ever, we know there’s nothing more indulgent.


Sea Sports & ATV Center

With the sparkling blue waters looking extremely inviting, we couldn’t quite turn down the invitation to explore the thrill of the water sports on offer and screaming out loud. With a host of exciting sea sports options such as Jet Ski, Banana Boat, Canoeing and Viper to the more relaxing Deep Sea and Fun Sea Fishing, we have (literally) decided to throw all cautions to the winds and the sea. It’s GAME ON!!!

*Sea sports operation hours will very much depend on the weather condition.


Still feeling the adrenaline rush and seeking yet more adventure amidst the wild, we continued our exploration of the tropical jungle on wheels with the hell of a ride on the all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Getting ourselves all muddy and messed up was also part of the fun too, so be warned.


Senses Spa

A decent getaway is never complete without us loosening up our body and sooth our minds with some luxurious spa treatments at the Senses Spa by Sand & Sandals. Specially designed for couples, the spa offers 4 luxury outdoor spa pavilions and 2 stellar comfort treatment rooms with an incredibly tranquil atmosphere. Hey wait, there’s even a sauna and salon to return a healthy glow to our face and leaving us feeling fresh and still look our best!


Each spa pavilion contains a bathtub made of love shape, an open-air shower made of bamboo, and a secluded zone that refreshes us in enjoying every bit of nature yet relaxing at a space reserved only for the both of us. Now, that’s what we call a total bliss as if we were in Bali!


Game Room

If you are travelling with kids (above the age of 6) and they are feeling restless, just send them down to the Game Room and let them go crazy and feed their own game appetite while you take some time to relax on your own. The various games look great even for keeping ourselves entertained or perhaps just indulging our own inner child as well.


Kids Playroom

The younger kids (below the age of 6, with parental supervision) can also enjoy movie time, reading, and have lots of fun with a range of toys to spend their afternoon at the Kids Playroom! After all, happy kids translate to a happy family holiday!



Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa offers the some of the most innovative and luxurious accommodations, with a total of 208 rooms and suites practically well thought out to make our staycation a dreamy romantic retreat. The only trouble is deciding what resembles paradise more, the resort facilities or the rooms we were about to check into.

  • Superior Room – 61 units
  • Superior Room with Garden – 4 units
  • Deluxe Room – 55 units
  • Deluxe Room with Private Garden – 20 units
  • Couple Deluxe Room – 32 units
  • Couple Deluxe Room with Private Garden – 8 units
  • Couple Deluxe Room with Private Pool – 6 units
  • Couple Suite (Duplex) – 8 units
  • Family Suite (Duplex) – 12 units
  • Executive Suite – 2 units


Family Suites, Duplex
(85 sqm)

Ideal for families travelling with young children, the Family Suites (Duplex) comprises two floors separating parents and kids room to enjoy their own time yet a living room space to get together. Designed to be playful and interactive for keeping the kids busy looking for good guys and pirates, the parents finally get a chance to relax and enjoy the momentary bliss, even if it’s just for a day or two.

🖱️ Click here for Room Reservations


Couple Deluxe Room
(85 sqm)

Designed exceptionally for the couple to embrace the enchanting moment, the Couple Deluxe Room offers a harmonious combination of space and privacy across the two floors that slice up the living room and bedroom. There’s even a bathtub that sits privately on the balcony so that we could let our hair down and soak in the spectacular view of the South China Seas.

🖱️ Click here for Room Reservations


Couple Deluxe Room with Private Pool
(55 sqm)

With only 6 Couple Deluxe Room with Private Pool, this is by far our univocal choice to elevate our romance to another level with the preserve privacy for just the two of us. Notably designed for the couple where we could get to be in the moment, we could soak in the bathtub at our own private balcony or leisurely dip in the plunge pool. After all, every minute matters.

🖱️ Click here for Room Reservations


Deluxe Room with Private Garden
(55 sqm)

Due to the high occupancy during the June school holidays, we decided to make do with the equally impressive Deluxe Room with Private Garden which is within touching distance of the sea. Specially designed with the couple in mind to enjoy every moment, it’s easy to luxuriate in the private furnished balcony with bathtub feeling the sea breeze and spectacular view of South China Sea, or take comfort on the swing at our own private garden to reserve a quiet moment.

🖱️ Click here for Room Reservations


潮风 ShioKaze Teppan

Good news folks, “Find Dining” in Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa can be as simple as checking out a host of restaurants and bars (seven to be exact), without having to set foot outside the resort, while enjoying a fascinating menu ranging from authentic Thai and Asian cuisine to modern Western delights in a cosy & relaxing ambience.

Having braved the distance from JB city to paradise, our gastronomy journey began with a taste of Japan at ShioKaze Teppan. The Bento Set and Teppanyaki Set proved to be worthy bang for our buck, as our lunch came packed with many Japanese favourites for a light and lively way to fill us up during the day.

🕙 Daily Operating Hours: 11.00am – 3.00pm | 6.00pm – 10.00pm


Spices & Herbs Restaurant

For those looking for healthy fare or vegetarian options, the Asian and Western menu at Spices & Herbs Restaurant did not disappoint as we helped ourselves to the Vegetarian Fried Rice and their signature Thali Set. The talent of their vegetarian chefs here is undeniable, for the dishes they prepare not only look appetising but taste really good too!

🕙 Daily Operating Hours: 11.00am – 11.00pm


鸿运厅 Fortune Kitchen

Our craving for dim sum never cease even when we are escaping the city’s hustle and bustle at Desaru, and in Fortune Kitchen restaurant, there lie some hidden culinary gems waiting to be discovered. Siew Mai, Har Kau with CAVIAR, BBQ Chicken Bun, Crispy Beancurd Cheesy Shrimp, Fluffy Yam Bites, Molten Charcoal Bun, Charcoal Egg Tartlet, Shrimp Roll, Shrimp Wanton with Dry Egg Noodle, Seafood Congee, Crispy Avocado Roll and our unanimous favourite Herbal Soup serve in a Teapot, need we say more?


Definitely a quality more than quantity situation here, every dim sum dish resembled a work of art that was meticulously prepared by Chef Jay Lee with over 20 years of experience. If you fancy yourself an epicurean, then Fortune Kitchen has one of the most extravagant menus which can set you back a little but rest assured you’re paying for real quality.

🕙 Daily Operating Hours: 10.00am – 10.30pm


Beach Hut Bistro

If Live Music is your kind of jam, enjoy the performance of the Bee Bop Trio Band every Thursdays to Saturdays weekly at the Beach Hut Bistro as they belt out some of the latest tunes, against the backdrop of the waves crashing onto the shore, and the sea breeze of course!

🕙 Daily Operating Hours: 11.00am – 11.00pm


While Desaru may not be as secluded or as unpopulated as it used to be, there is still an unmistakable pristine nature about the place. In Sand & Sandals, we were glad to discover all the amenities and solitude anyone can expect, and the additional benefit of glistening waves juxtaposed unspoilt jungle on one side, and modern facilities and comfortable accommodation on the other.


Sand and Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa

📍 Lot 2263, Jalan Desaru, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
📞 +607-822 2222


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All content and ratings are based on MAGistrate’s collective opinions and experiences, which we hope will be informative and interesting for readers and perhaps, lead you to form your own opinions and preferences. While we make every effort to ensure that our information is current and correct, some items and prices may change without our knowledge.
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