However, we were going on a road trip, on account of having rented a car (yes, this is typical of the way we plan trips). And we'd already been to Bintan, where I got sunburnt. So off we went to Desaru, and a good thing it was we didn't go to Melaka, because an eighteen month old child does not like getting stuck into a car seat for more than five minutes.* No, make that four minutes. Next time we'll try putting her in hungry, so she can entertain herself by eating (and throwing up afterwards). That should double the time she's quiet.
We stayed in what was, according to wikitravel and tripadvisor, the best resort: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort. The rooms were amazing, spread over two levels with sunlight streaming in through gauzy curtains slowly moving in the seabreeze, though slightly unsafe with an eighteen month old child when there's no crib available (luckily S. woke up just as she had reached the foot of the bed and managed to grab her leg before she could go off exploring down the stairs).
There were three pools in separate locations (with separate clothing instructions - the one where you had to wear a swim suit was empty except for a few really gorgeous girls and their admiring male companions), a nice stretch of beach with grass and shade, a couple of restaurants of which the buffet one was the nicest (just as in Bintan) and loads and loads of families with children running around, flying kites, blowing bubbles, eating ice cream - the perfect holiday atmosphere.
* In fairness, she didn't mind the car as long as we sang songs for her. Did you know "twinkle twinkle little star" takes approximately 30 seconds to sing? And that there are four versions of this song ("twinkle, twinkle", "ba ba black sheep", "Altijd is Kortjakje ziek", "Olifantje in het bos"), one which has two couplets (yay! "Olifantje in het bos") and one of which is clearly unsuitable for children ("Altijd is Kortjakje ziek" - which tells the story of, well, a prostitute), so that leaves us with four different versions to sing, which in a two hour car drive, minus the four minutes of initial excitement, boils down to 58 times each? How did our parents do this when driving to France, Italy and Spain? We bow to your superior parenting skills in the days before portable dvd-players.