The Datai Langkawi is one of Langawi Island’s institutions, hosting travelers for 25 years in an expansive site of more than 46 acres. Following a 12-month renovation programme, The Datai Langkawi unveiled its newly refurbished interiors and facilities on 18 December 2018. The refreshed resort will offer guests nature- and culture-based experiences, promote Malaysian hospitality to the world and reaffirm The Datai Langkawi as one of the top resorts in Langkawi for years to come.
The Datai Langkawi lies nestled in the heart of a 10-million-year-old rainforest, when the late Australian architect, Kerry Hill, envisioned The Datai Langkawi’s main building on a forest ridge 40 metres above sea level and 300 metres away from the ocean, it was initially met with bewilderment. But he stood his ground, determined to preserve the pristine beauty of the coastline and unveil the hidden treasures of the rainforest. Assisting him was designer Didier Lefort of award-winning Paris-based design studio DL2A.
“The vision was very clear from the start,” says Arnaud Girodon, General Manager. “We wanted to refresh the spaces whilst maintaining the signature Datai DNA. We made sure local materials and inspiration from the environment, surroundings and culture were used so our regular guests will still feel very much at home when they return. We have ensured to preserve what our guests have always loved about the resort and also created incredible new experiences for them to discover. We are ready to embark on a new chapter for The Datai Langkawi and are looking forward to the journey.”
Interior designer Didier Lefort adds, “It was important to maintain a deep connection to the original vision of a luxurious retreat seamlessly integrated into the 10-million-year-old virgin rainforest. The approach marries simplicity, modernity and creativity with inspirations from the local environment, culture and materials. Accommodation is refreshed with lighting enhancements and a warm, sophisticated colour palette while the addition of the latest technology ensures the ultimate in contemporary comfort, with the signature Datai DNA still evident throughout.”
The resort has 121 rooms, suites and villas, all with views of the lush tropical rainforest, some of the Andaman Sea with Tarutao Island on the horizon. Or for a more private stay, you could opt to enjoy the perfect seclusion of a private sanctuary with the resort’s Canopy, Rainforest or Beach Collection.
Canopy Collection — Situated in the main buildings, the Canopy Deluxe and the Canopy Premium rooms are a delightful way to experience The Datai Langkawi and its stunning views and award-winning architecture. Perfect for guests who prefer to be near the main pool, The Dining Room and The Lobby Lounge. The Canopy Suites offer rare rainforest views from their spacious balconies, and also feature a separate living room with dining area and a very large bedroom. At 378 square metres (approximately 4,068 sqft), The Datai Suite is bathed in natural light, boasting unobstructed views of the rainforest and the Andaman Sea from an outdoor private veranda. The spacious indoor living space is furnished with neutral tones and elevated amenities.
Rainforest Collection — Tucked deep inside the lush tropical rainforest and the vegetation that covers The Datai Langkawi terrain estate, the elegant Rainforest Collection villas, including some with 10-metre infinity pools, are architecturally designed to be naturally at one with Mother Nature. Standing proudly on stilts, The Rainforest Villas and Rainforest Pool Villas will either offer scenic views of dense jungle in abundance or a tropical stream flowing along a meandering course.
The Datai Estate Villa — The Datai Estate Villa deserves a prominent introduction as the resort’s newest addition; with its expansive five-bedroom facility, spanning 3,500 square metres (approximately 37,700 sqft). The exclusive space features alluring neutral tones with modern furnishings, living rooms, game rooms, two 20-metre connected pools, 24-hour butler service, as well as a private chef.
Beach Collection — Located directly on the pristine white-sand beach of Datai Bay, the One-Bedroom Beach Villas and the Two-Bedroom Beach Villa are fully enclosed with serene garden views and inviting private swimming pools. The Beach Villas appeal to guests seeking privacy with personalised service from their butler.
Dining options are a plenty with multiple dining establishments with a culinary team that’s helmed by Executive Chef Stephen Jones and Executive Sous Chef Jerome Voltat, providing guests a diverse selection of cuisine, inspired by regional flavours and centred around locally-sourced ingredients.
The Gulai House — Serving authentic Malaysian cuisine, The Gulai House is an award-winning restaurant tucked deep in the rainforest. The restaurant is reminiscent of a traditional Malay kampung (village) house where diners are welcome to bersila (sit on the floor) or at the rustic dining table to enjoy a Malaysian feast. A traditional hand-washing ritual is performed at the start of every meal.
The Pavilion — The signature Thai restaurant overlooks the serene tropical surroundings. Situated atop 30-metre stilts with far-reaching views of the rainforest, Thai cuisine is celebrated with freshly harvested exotic herbs. The sight of the elusive flying colugo, a gliding mammal, will enhance your dining experience.
The Dining Room — A lavish spread for breakfast awaits diners, complete with a juice bar, freshly made pastries and breakfast specials. Lunch is served a la carte. The restaurant transitions into a romantic venue in the evening, serving French fine dining. Wine aficionados will delight in the restaurant’s exclusive wine collection from its walk-in wine cellar.
The Beach Club and The Beach Bar — A casual venue to enjoy convivial gatherings. Spend the day sipping signature cocktails and savouring fresh seafood, served from an outdoor show kitchen and an open grill, while sunset lights up the horizon with red and orange. At dinner, The Beach Club restaurant transforms into an elevated seafood grill restaurant with tables set on the various decks where guests can listen to the soothing sounds of the waves.
The Lobby Lounge — Overlooking the Andaman Sea and the rainforest, this open-air lounge is the ideal place to relax and take in the panoramic views. Delicious light snacks are available throughout the day and a premium selection of teas is served during the afternoon high tea. A splendid selection of cocktails, refined spirits and champagne is available in the evenings accompanied by a tapas menu and a live jazz duo.
Private Dining — To celebrate a special occasion, the resort can create a bespoke dinner experience, surrounded by the lush rainforest as the backdrop or directly on the white sandy beach.
Led by renowned naturalist and author Irshad Mobarak, the completely new Nature Centre will encompass mini laboratories to enable guests young and old to discover more about the marine and rainforest environment that surrounds them, and will also allow them to participate in conservation and scientific research activities. Resident Naturalist Mobarak says, “The Nature Centre embodies our brand DNA of ‘Man and Nature in perfect harmony’. Our guests will have the opportunity to discover the unique flora and fauna of Teluk Datai through fun, educational nature walks and other activities led by our Nature Centre team, while learning more about conservation.”
Voted as one of the World’s Top 10 Beaches by National Geographic, The Datai Langkawi sits in extraordinary biodiversity and the 10-million-year-old rainforest is home to a wealth of flora and fauna. Against a backdrop of Southeast Asia’s oldest mountain, Machincang, its 750-hectare rainforest ‘back garden’ is every nature lover’s dream, just waiting to be discovered.
The Nature Centre — The design of this unique open-air structure is inspired by a tribal bamboo longhouse. There is a library full of references to the natural world of Langkawi and Malaysia, as well as a lounge for guests to sit and listen to stories from the wild by Resident Naturalist, Mobarak and his team. There is also a Tea Corner serving specially curated teas, by Dr. Ghani, Langkawi’s well-known traditional Malay medicine guru using herbs and spices from plants native to the rainforest. These concoctions are not only delicious but also good for one’s health.
Nature activities — In addition to the many activities at The Datai Langkawi, the newest trail — The Rimba Trail — will have guests enjoy an informative walk that will transition from a coastal forest, on to a 70-metre-long elevated walkway over a mangrove habitat. The journey continues through a lowland rainforest, the highlight of which is a 23-metre-long, 18-metre-high Canopy Walk. There is also a selection of nature activities for children to discover.
To protect this unique natural habitat, sustainability is also a key component of the resort’s strategy with a strong commitment to using less energy, water and single-use plastic. For example, guests are provided with stainless steel drinking flasks for excursions to replace single-use plastic water bottles; sustainable bamboo toiletries are used in all rooms; and drinking straws are made of 100-percent natural bamboo or stainless steel. The Hotel produces its own water from the newly-introduced water bottling plant. The Permaculture Garden is a self-sustaining, zero-waste, organic food production system. Its visitors can discover how saplings and seeds are saved at the Seedling Hut and learn about permaculture in the Outdoor Classroom. At the Organic Wealth Centre, organic waste is transformed into nutrition for the garden at the Worm Farm, where the worms decompose buffalo manure and food waste to produce bio-fertiliser.
In harmony with the resort’s unique natural surroundings, well-being at The Datai Langkawi means embracing the healing properties in plants found in the rainforest in accordance to age-old traditions and philosophies of the Malay culture known as Ramuan. A unique Malay concept, Ramuan, is referred to as the gathering of medicinal plants in its purest essence.
The Spa is situated along a small winding stream surrounded by the sounds and subtle aromatic scent of the rainforest. Focusing on aligning wellness with nature, The Spa has five treatment villas and one studio. The philosophy of beauty through health is complemented by the international expertise of Bastien Gonzalez and Phyto 5.
Bastian Gonzalez is renowned for his exceptional virtuosity and approach to hand and foot care, while Phyto 5’s innovative skincare delivers the ultimate holistic skincare experience.
The Els Club Teluk Datai — Golf legend and course designer, Ernie Els, launched this scenic golf course in 2014. The 18-hole par 72-championship golf course complements The Datai Langkawi experience by providing a world-class arena for golfers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Water sports and recreation — The pristine beach and azure waters invites guests to explore intricate marine life by snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing or sailing.
The Health Club — Work up a sweat while enjoying magnificent views of the Andaman Sea. The facility features a range of the latest indoor and outdoor sports equipment for tennis and cycling.
The Boutique — An extensive collection of locally inspired merchandise crafted by Malaysian artisans and designers.
The Atelier — In an effort to promote Malaysia’s arts and crafts to our guests, The Atelier provides a space for Malaysians artists to exhibit their creative artworks and conduct workshops or classes for the guests to share their creative techniques.
For more information or reservations, head over to http://www.thedatai.com, or email email@example.com or call +60-4-9500-500.
Images by The Datai Langkawi.