There’s no need to look too far for a relaxing getaway when our neighbour Johor has quite a few pristine beaches and resorts that are just a couple of hours away from the Causeway.
Forget Bali and Japan when you can enjoy the same dramatic sunsets at these beachfront resorts or dip in a hot spring in Johor.
Some of these resorts are sea-facing and situated on private islands that you may even forget you’re in Malaysia.
With the long weekend approaching and the year coming to an end, you may want to schedule a short getaway at these resorts that requires very little planning but offers just as much enjoyment as a holiday far away.
SEA GYPSY VILLAGE
The rustic Sea Gypsy Village is a beach escape from the hustle and bustle on the secluded Sibu island, which seems to have lost track of time.
Be one with nature when you head down to this part of Johor that has beaches surrounded by hills and mountains — you may even think you’re island hopping in Phuket.
Where: Lot 71, Pulau Sibu, 86800 Mersing, Johor, Malaysia
Batu Batu is a private resort on Tengah Island, a mere 20 minutes from Mersing Jetty, boasting blue waters and fine sandy shores.
The Jungle Villa is tucked away in a tropical forest and the private balcony offers an unparalleled view of the sea, while the large bathroom with a standalone bathtub lets you soak your cares away.
Go for a dip in the infinity pool where the edge of the pool meets the vast horizon of the sea.
Where: Tengah Island, Malaysia
SEA HORIZON RESORT
The Sea Horizon Resort takes glamping to a whole new level, complete with air-conditioning, a private bath and hot shower, a private viewing and dining deck, and a hammock.
Sitting on a cliff overlooking the South China Sea, there are only two Stargazer Domes in the entire resort while the regular suites are Mediterranean-themed.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, here’s where you can cuddle up and admire the stars in bed.
Where: Lot 901, Kuala Sedili Besar, 81910 Kota Tinggi, Johor
ASEANIA RESORT PULAU BESAR
Tranquillity is what you’ll find at the Aseania Resort Pulau Besar, accessible only by boat from Mersing Jetty.
You’ll be staying in wooden huts and there are only 47 rooms on the premises, so the resort won’t be overcrowded with holidaymakers.
While away your time on the deck and watch the sky turn dramatic when the sun sets.
The resort closes during the monsoon season from October to January, so you may want to plan your vacation from February onwards.
Where: Lot 33,34 & 35, Pulau Besar, Pulau Babi Besar, 86800 Mersing, Johor, Malaysia
TUNAMAYA BEACH AND SPA RESORT (TIOMAN ISLAND)
The Tunamaya Resort is truly a hidden paradise, surrounded by the rainforest and the mountains as its backdrop.
The lush villas in the resort resemble cottages in the woods, an inviting change of scenery for urban dwellers who are seeking a short break.
If you’re a nature lover, the nearby forest will trick your mind into thinking you’re hiking in the Western parts of the world.
Where: Lot 20 & 21, Sarang Burung, Kg. Mukut, 26800 Pulau Tioman, Pahang, Malaysia
KSL HOT SPRING RESORT
You don’t need to travel to Japan to soak in a hot spring.
All you have to do is cross the border and make your way to the KSL Hot Spring Resort to enjoy the same health benefits at the six different healing pools.
Unlike the other resorts on this list, KSL Hot Spring Resort is conveniently located in Johor Bahru, 10 minutes drive from the Causeway, so you don’t have to hop on a ferry to get there.
Once you’re done with soaking in the hot spring, you can plan to shop and eat at nearby eateries along the street or hop on a cab to the various malls.
Where: 31, Jalan Kangkar Tebrau, Taman Daya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
RINA BALINESE RESORT
Get a taste of the Balinese life when you check yourself into the Rina Balinese Resort in Johor.
Rejuvenate in the dining pool, where you can soak your feet in the water while chomping on Indonesian cuisine.
Where: 2515, 6, Jalan Seelong Jaya, Kampung Seelong Jaya, 81400 Senai, Johor, Malaysia
ANANTARA DESARU COAST RESORT & VILLA
Slated to open this December, the Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villa joins other luxurious resorts on this revitalised beachfront destination.
Enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean from the infinity pools and book a romantic private dinner to make your partner swoon.