In Brief

Villa One, One&Only Desaru Coast: a hidden gem at Malaysia’s newest resort

This secluded beach-jungle retreat has its own private spa and 27m pool

When the One&Only Desaru Coast opens its doors this weekend it will mark the unveiling of Malaysia’s newest ultra-luxury tourism offering.

Located on the south-eastern shoreline of the country, One&Only’s first resort in Asia is a spectacular tropical retreat positioned between lush rainforests and a private 1.5km white sand beach.  

Facing the ocean or wrapped by the jungle, the resort has a collection of 42 junior suites and two expansive two-bedroom grand suites. Each boasts private plunge pools, abundant indoor and outdoor living spaces, decadent bathrooms and Malaysian-inspired design features.

However, if it’s exclusivity and privacy that you’re after at One&Only Desaru Coast then there’s only one place you should book: Villa One. 

Here we look at what Villa One has to offer and the resort’s design story.

Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast

One&Only

Luxury and relaxation

The secluded Villa One takes luxury and privacy to another level. Interiors are large, spacious and deftly finished with Malaysian details. 

Offering 1,500m2 of space and set apart from the main resort, the two-storey residence has four bedrooms, a home office and a central courtyard garden. 

Its master bedroom features generous dressing space and en-suite bathroom with shower and stand-alone bath, Traveller Made reports, while the three guest rooms have en-suites and terraces.

Guests seeking ultimate relaxation can enjoy their own private spa treatment room, a private 27m swimming pool and direct access to the beach.

At one with nature

Designed by the award-winning Kerry Hill Architects, One&Only Desaru Coast showcases the region’s architectural heritage with a modern interpretation of the traditional Malaysian “kampung” or village. 

Malay traditions and the local landscapes - beach and jungle - played a huge part in the resort’s planning. Design Anthology reports it is “vast, rigorously slick and features an abundance of arrow-straight walkways, sand-hued stone walls, and terraces”.

The team at Kerry Hill Architects were keen to preserve as much of the original vegetation as they could at One&Only Desaru Coast. 

Justin Hill, director at Kerry Hill Architects, said: “From an environmental standpoint, we wanted to be as respectful to nature as we could. This was a priority in our master planning, from minimising tree loss to keeping the site as clean as possible during construction.”

Project co-leader Angelo Kriziotis says the team “resolved to retain as much of the strip of natural beach foliage as possible and to create a sheltered zone between the resort and the coastline”. 

He added: “When walking on the beach, the resort is almost entirely hidden by the canopy of coastal vegetation. There’s a real sense of being at one with nature.”

Bookings for Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast start from £7,940 per night (based on four people sharing); see oneandonlyresorts.com 

In pictures: Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast
Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast Villa One at One&Only Desaru Coast

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