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Press Release | 29 July 2021

Malaysia’s Desaru Coast Named in Time Magazine’s Greatest Places in the World 2021 List

Desaru Coast, Malaysia’s up-and-coming luxury travel destination, has been named in Time magazine’s list of World’s Greatest Places 2021. The 17-kilometre stretch of pristine beach in the state of Johor is poised to make the most of its newfound prestige as destinations are reopening around the world.

The only Malaysian locale to make the list, Desaru is in fact no stranger to the spotlight. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, its unspoilt beaches, mangrove forests and fruit farms were a popular playground for holidaymaking residents of Singapore to which Desaru is linked by causeways. Today, its sandy shores are drawing crowds once again thanks to the arrival of Desaru Coast — an ambitious integrated resort that is home to championship golf courses, a water park boasting the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia and ultra-luxe hotels including Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas.

As befits a prestigious destination, Anantara Desaru Coast caters to the tastes of the most discerning travellers. Multi-storey residential villas offer private chef and butler services and come with multiple bedrooms and full-size swimming pools; Sunshine Butlers are on hand with face misters and iced towels at the infinity and lagoon pools; while the spa promises to wipe away all signs of jet lag and fatigue. Beauty and wellness options range from the decadent 24-carat gold facial to the signature Roots of Malaysia massage combining indigenous healing traditions and techniques. 

Families with kids will appreciate the breadth of activities on offer. From beach volleyball and paddle boarding to kayaking and kite surfing, Anantara Desaru Coast makes active living an easy choice. In addition to supervised activities at the kids’ and teen clubs, there are also guided nature walks with an in-house naturalist. The popular Belungkor Mangroves Eco tour focuses on traditions and customs of local fisherman, as well as planting mangrove saplings and tasting local fare and Kampung Linting Village.  

Off-property, guests can join a cruise through the Sedili Wetlands, a freshwater swamp that is home to the endangered water trumpet; join Anantara’s foodie tour introducing them to the tastes and flavours of the old town of Johor Bahru; or explore the spectacular nature around Desaru on foot or by bicycle with Anantara’s handy downloadable maps charting the most scenic routes.
Commenting on Desaru Coast’s inclusion in Time magazine’s 2021 list, Christian Gerart, General Manager of Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, said: “The timing of the announcement couldn’t have been more perfect. With the imminent opening of the Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal, reaching our shores from Singapore is about to become even easier. Being recognised as an aspirational holiday destination that stands out for its unspoilt beauty is an honour, and we look forward to showcasing the best of Malaysian hospitality through signature Anantara touches.”

For more information about Anantara Desaru Coast or to make a reservation, please email or visit


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Mark Thomson
Senior Director of PR & Communications

Camilla Coburn Davis
Assistant Director of Public Relations & Communications