Sep 25, 2018

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark: Three Unique Attractions that make it so FUN for Families!

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There is a new waterpark in Malaysia and it is only a 1.5-hour drive from Singapore! Located in Desaru, Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark is billed as one of the biggest waterparks in the world - and we were there during the September School Holidays to see if it is worth a visit for families.

Set against the backdrop of a traditional Malaysian fishing village, Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark is home to more than 20 wet and dry rides, slides and attractions... which I guess it is a clear indication that we were going to have a splash-tacular time!

Especially with huge water slides like these.

Consisting of 5 different zones, the waterpark offers a unique mix of wet and dry rides.

Yes, there are usual water slide attractions found in other waterparks - and they are really fun! - but the thing I found refreshing about Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark was they had designed the waterpark with families with kids in mind.

So besides the usual water rides, there are THREE other attractions found within Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark that other waterparks in the region do not have.

1. Kraken’s Revenge
Minimum height: 110cn

How's this for the region's FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND water rollercoaster???

Kraken’s Revenge is a combination of a roller coaster and splashing flume ride that takes thrill seekers up 30-metres above the ground in rolling “boats” before swooping and spinning through a full 360-degree horizontal loop.

The ride then takes a 27-metre drop to the shipwrecking Kraken sea monster waiting in the pool of water below! Riders can reach speeds up to 70 km/h as they plummet to a splashing finish. Just take a look at the video of the ride.

IT WAS EXHILARATING STUFF! For once, we were all too happy to be drenched at a water flume ride - because we were in our swim wear!

2. Tidal Wave Beach

There are wave pools at waterparks and there is THE Wave Pool at Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark.

Tidal Wave Beach is one of the biggest wave pools in the world with some of the world’s biggest man-made waves! This signature water feature at Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark spreads over nearly three acres and holds more than 4 million gallons of water.

Oh, and it comes with a 170m-long sandy beach too in case you are wondering.

But frankly, who cares about the beach when one has such as awesome wave pool to dip in???

Why? Because this wave pool generates tidal waves. Yes, waves that actually reach up to 3m in height. 😱😱😱

For that reason, everyone is required to wear a life vest and are not allowed to cross beyond a marked line.

But as you can hear from the video below, we thoroughly enjoyed getting slammed by the waves. 😂 IT'S SUPER FUN!!!

This wave pool is unlike what the monkies had ever experienced so it wasn't any surprise that we ended up spending most of our time in the tidal wave pool.

3. Kids Ahoy (Special zone for kids!)

For most waterparks, younger kids usually will not be able to go on the bigger water slides due to the minimum water height requirement. What this means is they are usually resigned to playing at the giant water play structure with mini water slides. And that is probably all they will get to play.

But not at Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark. Sure, it has the standard huge water play structure, complete with water slides and giant splash bucket.

But what impressed me was the inclusion of other water slides which are specially designed for younger kids.

Kids Ahoy is a dedicated children’s zone with three separate age-appropriate play areas filled with water play equipment with a combination of 13 different water slides designed for the waterpark’s younger guests!

How many times have we seen this giant water barrel slide at other waterparks?

Here, this slide is scaled down to smaller version so that kids can go on it! Ditto for this colouful bendy water slide.

I cannot tell you just how much Ale was happy trying all the slides in this zone. Even though she meets the height requirement to go on the bigger water slides, she is still fearful of them so this zone is just perfect for her!

Got even younger kids or toddlers? There is also a dedicated area - AND SHELTERED! - just for them.

If you are ready to up those adrenaline levels, then head to the left section of the waterpark where all 4 of its signature water slides await.

The Riptide (Min. height 122cm) is a ride that will sweep riders at the steepest angles and fastest speeds giving an unparalleled feeling of weightlessness. Then, riders will travel downhill to enter the first twister where they slide back and forth several times before exiting into the second and third twisters and splash out into the pool.

The Tempest (Min. height 122cm) riders will experience two high-energy funnels throughout the course of the slide as well as a sudden 24-foot drop, which allows for high-banking swings and zero gravity moments. A 55-foot tube slide with a funnel in the middle sends riders on a swirling vortex before completing the descent.

On Wild Whirl (Min. height 122cm), riders on rafts plunge down a steep entrance channel, then shoot into the high, wide-open bowl for peak thrills. As rafts and riders slow down, they move to the centre drop chute for a quick and exciting exit.

Equipped with four sensational funnels where you slide up and down, the Super Twister (Min. height 122cm) leads riders cruising through radius curves before an unexpected drop into a funnel. Here, the riders oscillate back and forth, and then exit back into the enclosed tunnel before heading to the next set of exciting curves and funnels.

There is also a dry ride which comes in the form of the classic Swinging Ship ride (Min. height 110cm). We went on it and I would say that it is mild enough for younger kids to go on it.

Want to try your hand at surfing? Splash your way to Surf Wall (Min. height 110cm), a surf simulator where surfing beginners or enthusiasts can catch and ride artificial waves.

Of course, a must-have in any waterpark is the Lazy River... or in this case, it is known as Penawar River.

The Penawar River is a long, looping lazy river float through lushly landscaped riverbanks and riverside fishing village scenes. It is a 350-metre long waterway that is extrememly suitable for families and kids.

Because nothing is more relaxing than chilling on a float while drfting along with the currents, no?

For the monkies, being able to stop for refreshments at a swim-up bar which was located along the Penawar River definitely upped the experience!

Food options wise, there are a total of 5 Food and Beverage outlets within the waterpark. They sell a variety of food ranging from burgers and pizza to chicken rice and nasi lemak. Prices start from RM22 for a meal and RM18 for a kid's meal. 

Not exactly cheap by Malaysian standards but decent enough as the serving portion is pretty huge.

My recommendation is the Lamb Shank with Mashed Potatoes at the Kelong Eatery. It costs RM38 for a combo meal but the lamb is so tender and juicy that the meat literraly slides off the bone!

If you are planning to head down with the kids, here are a few things to take note:

- The waterpark is currently in a soft-opening phase until 11 November 2018.
- This means that the park will only open from Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm (Closed from Mondays to Wednesdays).
- Admission prices are currently reduced at RM75 (Adult) and RM56 (Child below 12 years old). The normal prices are RM151 and RM113 respectively.
- No re-entry allowed.
- Life vests in various sizes are readily available for free.
- Shower rooms are available.
- Locker rates are RM20 for a small one and RM40 for a large one. Rental is for an entire day and is valid for multiple access. The lockers are accessed electronically, without the hassle of a physical key.
- Bring your own towels.
- No outside food and drinks are allowed. All bags are subject to a security check at the entrance.
- Paid parking is available beside the waterpark.

As for accommodation, the nearest option is Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. It is just beside the waterpark so it's super convenient. And it is fully operational since 24 Sep 2018!

Other resorts near to the waterpark are Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort (Desaru Coast) and Sand & Sandals Resort & Spa which are located a 5-minute drive away.

For us, we stayed at Amansari Hotel Desaru, a no-frills hotel, which is situated at the city centre (about 10-minute drive to the waterpark). We got the Family Suite room for S$80 per night and it came with a queen-sized bed and a double sofa bed. Not too shabby but then, our main objective was to have loads of spalshing fun at Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark.

And judging from the monkies' reluctance to leave the waterpark at 6pm, I think we sure did have plenty of fun!

Useful Information

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark
ADDRESS: Desaru Coast, No. 4 Jalan Danau, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar,  Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia
OPENING HOURS: 10am – 6pm  (Thursday to Sunday) | Park closed from Monday to Wednesday
From now until 11 Nov 2018 - Adult RM75 | Child (below 12 years old) & Senior (Age 60+) RM56 | Toddler (below 3 years old) FREE
After 11 Nov 2018 - Adult RM150 | Child (below 12 years old) & Senior (Age 60+) RM110 | Toddler (below 3 years old) FREE
By Car - 1.5-hour drive from Singapore Checkpoints via Senai–Desaru Expressway
By Coach - Coach from Singapore available at Singapore Flyer. Round trip tickets from S$36.33. Visit HERE for more info.
CONTACT: +603-2203-9696

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Sep 20, 2018

It's a Kid-themed Staycation at Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay + GIVEAWAY!

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One thing that I adore about staycations is it allows the family to enjoy a relaxing break from the usual routine without hitting the road, or skies. No need for passports, no jams and definitely no excessive packing!

Especially if it involves a hotel that designed with kids in mind.

Say hello to the 'Roarin' Kids Kingdom' family suite at Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, a hotel located smack in the middle of the city. Yes, relaxation has never been so accessible.

But first, can I just mention that this hotel was where the wifey and I got married 15 years ago??? Back then, it was known as Hotel New Otani so just for remembrance sake, we visited the ballroom and asked Ayd to snap a photo of us at the place we we waited to march in. Oh, the nostalgia!

Everything looked almost similar but in a much newer and elegant condition of course, given that Novotel had done a great job in refurnishing the place after it took over.

Check-in was a breeze and we soon found ourselves in our family suite. And from the moment I opened the door, it was not difficult to predict the monkies' response.

How cute are these cartoon animal wall murals that adorn the suite corridor leading to the rooms?

By contrast, the main bedroom of 1 king-sized bed looked pretty normal.

At least the bathroom was HUGE.

And it came with a jacuzzi too!

But jacuzzi or not, the monkies' first instinct was to gravitate towards the other half of the family suite.

How not to when the kids' portion of the suite is so colourfully decorated!

From the cheery bedlinen (it's Tsum Tsum Frozen-themed so major brownie points scored in Ale's books already 🤣), kid-sized furniture, to even their own DVD player and cartoon DVDs , it was hard for the monkies not to fall in love with their very own cozy space.

See the bookshelves? The room also came stocked with story books for kids!

ALL hotel rooms should be dressed up like this for kids. Period.

Personally, I was definitely pleased to see that the room was super spacious and that its design was actually simple but contemporary. Everything looked new, and not dated.

There is also a swimming pool for hotel guests on Level 6 and although it's nothing to shout about, it is good for a few laps.

At the hotel lobby, there is a mini corner for kids too with an XBOX Kinect console and interactive touchscreen table to keep them busy.

Besides the  'Roarin' Kids Kingdom' family suite, Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay is currently offering a Hotel Transylvania-themed room for families too!

To mark the release in Singapore of Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation animated movie, the hotel has dressed up some of its rooms with Hotel Transylvania fittings.

For starters, kids will be presented with Hotel Transylvania 3 welcome gifts on arrival. On entering the room, they will discover a space entirely designed based on the movie: door hangers, eye masks, bed linen, cushions, mugs, foil cups and children’s bath robes to offer a truly unique experience of the animated movie’s world!

But that's not all - during your stay (and depending on the weekend of stay), the children will be entertained by the different Hotel Transylvania 3 activities like movie screenings, mask parties, storytelling sessions, canvas painting and pizza making.

The great thing is the activities are open to ALL guests, not only for those staying in the Hotel Transylvania 3-themed rooms. During our stay, the activity for that weekend was pizza making and there was absolutely no way the monkie would miss that!

The Hotel Transylvania 3-themed rooms will only be available until 31 October 2018 and should you be staying during this period, here are the activities that the kids can look forward to.

I think I can safely say the highlight of our staycation was the family suite. In fact, I think we spent more time chilling in our room than venturing outside! But that is exactly how a staycation should be - relaxing, unhurried, and kid-friendly.

That last bit is precisely what Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay's “Family&Novotel” package entails:

- Family room designed for two adults and two children: a study area for drawing, TV channels and cartoon DVDs for children
- Accommodation and breakfast are free for two children under the age of 16 sharing a room with their parents or grandparents
- 50% reduction on the cost of a second room for children aged 8 to 16
- Baby equipment available free of charge on request (cot, highchair, bottle sterilizer, etc.)
- Welcome gifts for children
- Children’s menu

Now that is what I call a staycation.


Thanks to Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, I have ONE F&B voucher for a family for 42 adults and 2 children (under 12 years) to give away!

- Valid at The Square Restaurant only
- Valid for until 21 December 2018 (Not valid on eve of & PH and special occasions).
- Valid for both lunch and dinner buffets. (My advice: go for the dinner buffet since it is more expensive 😂)
- Reservation has to be made in advance

To participate, all you have to do is the following:

1. LIKE Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay's Facebook page HERE.
2. Leave your comment either in the corresponding Facebook post HERE or in this blog post after you have done so.

SHARE this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook for a BONUS chance! Remember to set your profile to public so that I can see the shared post.

Giveaway ends on 30 Sep 2018, 2359 hours.


Useful Information

Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
Address: 177A River Valley Rd, Singapore 179031

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