Splashing good family fun awaits at Desaru Coast
Enjoy globally renowned resorts, a riverside dining haven and a fun-filled waterpark just two hours from Singapore
If you are looking for a practical spot to squeeze in some family downtime but do not want to venture too far away or even get on a plane, head for Malaysia's Desaru Coast.
Your quality holiday is a mere two-hour drive from Singapore.
The new premium integrated destination resort is one of Johor's most anticipated tourism developments.
It comprises a unique blend of globally renowned resorts and villas, a riverside dining haven and a cannot-miss fun-filled water park.
Stretching over 10ha, Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark (DCAWP) - which opened last July - is one of the world's largest water parks.
We were there in mid-April during its inaugural nine-day Splash Festival, which offered next-level water adventures with activities like rhythmic Aqua Zumba, Water Balloon Battle and Water Pillow Fight.
Loosely inspired by Thailand's Songkran Festival, DCAWP's spirited crew splashed and sprayed water at guests to usher in new beginnings.
Set against the charming backdrop of a Malaysian fishing village, the Tidal Wave Beach is one of the biggest wave pools in the world.
Let it literally sweep you off your feet, with giant waves that are great for surfers, and smaller waves that are safe and fun for everyone else.
Once you have got your feet wet, challenge the mighty Kraken on Kraken's Revenge.
It is Southeast Asia's first-of-its-kind combo coaster and flume ride that boasts a 360-degree horizontal loop and a 27m drop.
To further fuel the adrenaline junkie in you, try the Wild Whirl, Super Twister, Riptide and The Tempest slides as well.
Penawar Falls is your classic Swinging Ship ride, where you can scream your heart out as the ship swings like a pendulum, higher and higher each time.
Those who desire something more mellow should drift and float down the gentle Penawar River - it is exactly what lazy afternoons are made of.
The young ones will not be left out, as Kids Ahoy is a selection of 13 water slides and fun water play equipment.
It is also home to Li'l Warriors' Hideout, Scallywags and Starfish Splash.
After all that fun in the sun, you can stay in the water park to dine and unwind as it serves up a mix of food and beverages, from full-course meals accompanied by scenic views to tasty bites and refreshing sodas by the swim-up bar.
Take your pick from Kelong Eatery, River Grill, Surf's Up Juice Bar, Octo-Bites Cafe and The Galley Snack Bar.
Adjacent to DCAWP is Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, which opened last September.
The 365-room hotel promises unique "Rock Star" treatment for holiday-makers and business travellers alike.
Parents will be pleased to know that it is similar to the famous Club Med resort line, with its noteworthy Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club.
Children will delight in the luxurious range of amenities provided within the centre. Several cosy bunk beds are built into one of its walls, and there is an art room for creativity, cushioned floors and a well-furnished computer games room.
Due to the competitive room rates, the Kids Club is free of charge for now.
Music heals the body, mind and soul, so prepare to be rejuvenated like never before as the hotel has injected music into nearly every facet of its structure.
Tunes fill up the lobby and the dining areas.
Taking it one step further, its Rock Spa will soon be offering a massage that blends music and physical therapy - an experience that takes one on a rhythmic massage journey.
The world's first fully-immersive music-centric spa menu will utilise amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns as the foundation of its treatments.
In the vicinity is Desaru Fruit Farm, owned by the charismatic Mr Steve Er, where you will be treated to fruits fresh from the farm and a host of wholesome activities.
Dine in at the farm and get a taste of the innovative use of fruits in almost every dish.
Popular activities include its 40-minute ATV Ride Tour, which also welcomes kids of all ages.
The health-conscious among us will appreciate the educational tour of the beautiful farm itself, as you learn about which plants help fight cancer and more.