The Datai Resort, LangkawiCategory: 5-Star Luxury, Location: Datai Bay
Seclusion and exclusivity are probably the two terms that I'll use to define The Datai Resort. The location is as remote as it can be in a small island like Langkawi. It's located at the north western end of the island along a mountain slope covered with dense rainforest that leads down to a beautiful private beach facing the Andaman Sea.
So the seclusion essentially means you will be in a rainforest nestled with the mother nature and amongst many different types of amazing flora and fauna.
From the airport you will be escorted by a friendly driver who offers you cool towels and cold drinking water as you relax at the backseat of a high-end sedan car like Mercedes. As you enter the lobby lounge with a large lotus pool at its center, you will be seated near the lounge bar for the check-in process which usually takes place very smoothly. And while you do so, a welcome drink would be served to refresh yourself.
I was at ease with Bernard, the man in charge of the lounge bar the moment he smiled at me. I needed to know about the layout of the resort which appeared quite vast and spread out. He was free then and took the extra effort to explain all corners of the resort. As we chatted, he asked If I would like a drink from the bar. It was too early to start the day that way and I was just about checking in. But I told him that I would come back some time later during our stay.
The Lobby Lounge, The Datai Langkawi
Rooms & Units
There are several types of stays you can choose. The best is probably to take a villa in the rainforest or closer to the beach. If you really like to be in lush greenery surrounded by rainforest all around, then choose a Superior Villa in the rainforest. From your own private terrace you will able to see some great wildlife like monkeys, monitor lizards and even wild boars. Keep your doors closed... the monkeys know how to open the doors and their first target is to take away the fresh platter of fruits served every day in the rooms.
Another great villa option is the Beachside Villa. As the name suggests, they are close to the beach and have great views of the private Datai Bay beach and the sea. Otherwise the villas are similar. The beach villas are a bit closer to each other while the ones in the rainforest are sparsed out and offer more seclusion and privacy.
Bernard at the Lounge Bar, The Datai Langkawi
The Pool Villas have private a plunge pool but are also nestled in the rainforest. So depending on what you like, the villa choices are plenty. In fact there is a type of suite villa with 4 bedrooms around a central pool with dining room and lounges. Probably an ultimate luxury that you can indulge in with your extended family.
Our Pool Villa, The Datai, Langkawi
The Villas have wooden slanted roofs, wooden floors, private patio or balconies, and the interior finished with molded wood, water stone, rattan and many other exclusive designs that blend perfectly with the nature and at the same time offer a classic touch that you expect from such a high-end resort. Other than suites and villas, the resort also has rooms in the main building just next to the main lobby. There are actually 54 villas, 16 suites and 54 rooms. All rooms and villas are large. I was amazed with the size of the bathroom in our pool villa.
Villa Interior, The Datai Langkawi
Most rooms in the building next to the lobby are excellent for viewing the rainforest and sea, even better with a binocular, and you will be surprised that a high quality binocular is provided in the rooms. If you decide on a room, then choose one at the upper floors for better views.
Coming back to the villas and the private beach... it can be quite a bit of downhill walk from the lobby area to your villa depending on the type you have chosen. The beach is right at the foothill. While getting back to the main lobby, it's an uphill walk through the forest along a paved pathway. But you can always ask for a cart (buggy). There are plenty of them shuttling guests from one point to the other. However if you use a buggy, there may be some wait time. If you like to stay close to the lobby area, then ask for a villa accordingly. The walk will be shorter.
The main building with rooms, The Datai Langkawi
All rooms have amenities like LCD TV, DVD players, iPod docking station, air-conditioning, Coffee maker, WiFi, personal safe, mini bar (soft drinks complimentary), hairdryer etc.
Restaurants, Bars & Lounges
There are several dining options in The Datai. Our most favorite is The Gulai House
nestled deep into the rain forest. This is probably the best restaurant of the resort serving authentic Malay and Indian cuisine. The wood finished architecture with slanted thatched roof creates a fabulous ambience in the forest. It serves only dinner (6:30pm to 11:30pm).
The Dining Room, another restaurant serving Malaysian cuisine is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Pavilion is a Thai restaurant with straw roof in a hut like structure and with alfresco seating. It is accessible from the main lobby area and located in an elevated area with a great surrounding of the rainforest.
The Beach Club Located next to the private beach offers alfresco dining. And the Lobby Lounge offers great cocktails and snacks. From one side of the Lobby Lounge, you get excellent view of the Andaman Sea. So there are several dining and wining options in the resort.
The Private Datai Bay Beach, Langkawi
Note that food and most amenities in The Datai are quite expensive (which is quite expected in a resort like this) and there is hardly any alternative outside the resort as it's located in an isolated area. Most room plans come with complimentary breakfast.
Hotel Amenities & Info
While most luxury resorts in the island offer quality spa treatments, but the way The Datai differs from the rest is with its open room spa plans offered in one of the four pavilions that are nestled right in the rainforest. Where else can you just view and soak in the lush greenery and bird life while taking a signature massage like the Tangku Batu with warm river stones with natural rainforest herbs. The resort offers a range of massage, wraps, scrubs, facial, body & foot polish and even ayurvedic treatments. The spa is open from 9am until 9pm. The Datai Spa
has introduced new treatments.
The resort has tie up with the nearby award winning golf course - The Els Club
which is one of the finest in the world. The concierge will make all arrangements including booking T-time and transfers. In case the golf course is closed for some reason, they will organize a game in Gunung Raya Golf Course in central Langkawi.
The health club with all its modern cardiovascular, weights and other equipment overlook the lush tropical greenery. It has hot and clod plunge pools, sauna and also offers free yoga training.
The private Datai Bay beach
has been rated as one of the 10 best beaches in the world by National Geographic. I have seen many guests spending the whole day at the beach just lounging in the sun, sipping a beverage or a mocktail and reading books under the umbrella, or simply looking at the border-less ocean with tiny island little offshore.
Beach Bar, The Datai Langkawi
The resort has two swimming pools, one adult only (the main pool) and the other one (the beachside pool) is for all including children. It also has two tennis courts. The resort organizes non-motorized water sports from its beach. They also organize guided nature walks (excellent & knowledgeable guide), mountain biking, private yatch charter etc. Other amenities include library, gift shop, several small meeting rooms with all facilities (with up to 60 persons) etc.
The Main Pool, The Datai Langkawi
Although the resort offers some activities for the children like the beach shovels, batik painting etc, in my opinion this is not an ideal resort for families with Children. The mountainous landscape with rainforest, the secluded areas where silence and nature are the main two components of stay, children and kids may not always feel at home.
The Datai offers a complete wedding package with beachside venue and all other arrangements including Western style wedding solemnization ceremony, reception dinner, floral arrangement, videography, live band etc. They also offer great Honeymoon packages.
Update January 2015: The Datai resort has won the coveted international award The Best Luxury Hideaway Resort of Asia at the World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa recently.
Update September 2017: Datai will go through extensive renovation and will remain closed effective immediately for a planned period of 10 months. The suites, rooms and villas will be renovated, new nature center, beach-side fitness center, spa etc will be added.
Update June 2018: The Datai resort is scheduled to re-open in September 2018.
Jalan Teluk Datai 07000 Pulau Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
Map Location of The Datai
The Datai is located at the North Western end of the island and in the rainforest that slopes down to the shoreline. A drive from the airport would take about 35 minutes.
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