The DNA: For various historical and infrastructural reasons, Malaysia’s resorts have all tended to cluster along its west coast, leaving the eastern flank in a remarkably pristine condition, thick with virgin rainforests and soft sanded beaches. Capitalising on this natural bounty is the One&Only group’s first Asia property, One&Only Desaru Coast. Set on a 128 acre estate, the resort’s 45 breezy bright suites are the work of the Kerry Hill Architects. Fans of the Aman resorts, with whom the Singapore-based studio has been a long-time collaborator, will recognise, amidst the swathes of stone, linear perspectives and dense landscaping, a familiar layout of cascading terraces and pools – the centrepiece being a vast network of lawn and boxed gardens that leads, temple-like, past a 50m infinity pool and down to the 1.5 km stretch of private beach and the South China Sea beyond. Special applause, especially, for the capacious Chenot-managed spa, and the manicure and pedicure salon run by the ever-fabulous Bastien Gonzalez.
Seen: design anthology, Top Hotel Design, Wallpaper*
Accolades: Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2021
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 45 suites & villas (105-1,500m2) (1,130-16,146 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2020 • architecture & interior design: Kerry Hill Architects ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible