Locals have known about the allure of the ‘village of soft palms’ (the Malay meaning of Desaru) for decades, it’s their go-to summer holiday playground. But while we could draw parallels to our own seaside jaunts, there is one thing that this area has over our dear British coastal towns – it’s gloriously quiet. As the trees slowly become golden grains while weaving your way through One&Only’s woodland-enveloped walkways, the feeling that you’ve discovered your own secret spot is empowering. Designed by the late Kerry Hill – whose credits include several stylish and design-forward Carrier favourites, from Aman to COMO – the resort subscribes to his nature-loving ethos, with lofty rooms robed in greenery and symmetrical merbau wood lines. Ocean suites offer undeniably beautiful views of course, but rainforest rooms are where more privacy can be found.
Being in the heart of one of the country’s most popular yet low-key holiday sites and surrounded by indigenous wildlife means the resort brings a local flavour to its activities. Making it one of our favourite places to dip younger toes into Malaysia’s traditions, culture and ecosystem. Little explorers take part in science experiments and nature walks to spot dusky leaf monkeys alongside a resident naturalist; while grown-ups discover the ancient art of Silat Melayu defence and gather around a bonfire to the soundtrack of native music and storytellers’ tales passed down through the ages.
Malaysia and Borneo are generally very hot and humid all year. The winter months from November to April are the most popular time to visit Langkawi, with the monsoon season occurring from July to October. Most rain in Kuala Lumpur falls from March to April and from September to November. Borneo experiences sunshine and rain year round, but the heaviest rainfall normally occurs between November and April.
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