Marcelo Spina’s Guide to Desaru Beach, Malaysia

The cofounder of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S architectural practice takes the road less travelled to a gorgeous beach

MarceloSpina_linkedInMarceloSpina“When I finished graduate school, I was interested 
in Singapore, an island country that had been growing frantically since the ’70s. The people I was traveling with wanted a place of solitude, so
 we crossed into Malaysia for a trip to the beach. We asked around and heard about a place called Desaru. The fastest way to get there was by boat, but we went by bus, which was cheaper. We found ourselves in the middle of nowhere on a little bus that had to stop every 15 minutes 
to put water in the radiator. We went through all of these villages, and at the end of the road it was just us and two nuns. Finally we reached this amazing beach resort. I’d never seen anything like its white sand and blue ocean.”

theessentials_masa_tGO IN PEACE: Rooms with private balconies are standard at the Pulai Desaru Beach Resort & Spa.

Profile photograph courtesy Linkedin/Marcelo Spina

This story is part of Los Angeles magazine’s March 2015 Great Getaways package