Set in the middle of an ancient and lush rainforest is the captivating resort destination of The Datai Langkawi. The multi-award winning resort recently embarked on an extensive renovation, using Didier Lefort of DL2A to lead the project. The vision for the renovation project was to retain as much of The Datai Langkawi’s DNA as possible to pay homage to the work of visionary architect Kerry Hill, who designed the resort to reflect as much of its splendid natural surroundings as possible.
The refreshed look of The Datai Langkawi, therefore, uses local materials, and is inspired by the environment and rich culture of Langkawi, anchoring the resort as a luxury destination that promotes Malaysian hospitality.
With 121 rooms, suites and villas, a private sanctuary amid enchanting views of untouched rainforest and magnificent vistas of the Andaman Sea awaits all travellers. Three collections – Canopy, Rainforest and Beach – each offer something unique to guests, such as proximity to the resort’s wondrous facilities with the Canopy suites in the main building, Rainforest villas raised on stilts facing dense jungles, and expansive one- or two-bedroom Beach villas with personalised butler service.
Keeping within the theme of elevating its surrounding nature are the dining options available at The Datai Langkawi. Rustic, local Malaysian cuisine from across the archipelago takes centre stage at The Gulai, where diners are welcome to bersila (sit on the floor) like in a traditional Malay kampung (village). Over at The Pavilion, freshly harvested exotic herbs are used in its authentic Thai dishes. All-day dining is available at The Dining Room, which serves a lavish spread for breakfast, an international and local a la carte menu for lunch, and a romantic fine dining experience for dinner. For true romance, pair meals with the restaurant’s exclusive wine collection from its own walk-in wine cellar.
For drinks and nightcaps, head over to The Beach Club and The Beach Bar for signature cocktails, and even freshly grilled seafood by the beach. There’s also The Lobby Lounge, where a fine glass of wine, champagne or whisky can be enjoyed accompanied by the soothing, soulful sounds of a ‘live’ jazz duo in the evenings.
A resort focused on nature will, of course, include a plethora of things to do in nature. The Datai Langkawi sits on extraordinary biodiversity within a 10 million-year-old rainforest with Southeast Asia’s oldest mountain, Machincang, in its backdrop. Make the connection with this wealth of nature at The Nature Centre, which is all at once a reference library for Langkawi and Malaysia, a lounge for guests to listen to tales of the wild by Resident Naturalist Irshad Mobarak and his team, and a tea corner that uses plants native to the rainforest to brew health concoctions. Nature should be xperienced right at its source, so put on your hiking shoes for a walk around the grounds of the hotel, or take a trip to the Datai observatory deck to view the rainforest.
Incorporate more nature into your stay with a cooking class on Malay, Indian and Thai cuisine at The Dapur, which includes a walk to the permaculture garden to select fresh ingredients. From the resort, there’s also a sail onboard the Naga Pelangi, a 97ft wooden schooner available at dawn and dusk, and explorative island excursions to nearby isles.
For those who would prefer to take things slow, venture down to The Spa, which aligns wellness with nature with its catalogue of traditional treatments that uses the purest essence of medicinal plants in its facials and body treatments – a well-deserved treat for guest at The Datai Langkawi.