The Datai Langkawi
What We Love
- The resort’s renowned Gulai House, located on stilts in the rainforest
- Chic new beachfront villas with private plunge pools and direct beach access
- Spa located in the ancient rainforest, overlooking a flowing stream
What To Know
- Primary pool is adults-only
- It’s a hike to the beach from the lobby or pool-view rooms, although buggies can whisk guests there and back
- The Datai is remote and offers little in the way of retail therapy or nearby activities; partygoers should look elsewhere
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The hideaway’s layers of gray slate and contemporary design contrast with its lush rainforest setting, a half-moon bay on the island’s ancient northwest tip. Cheeky monkeys regularly drop by for a visit in the resort’s open-air pavilions and villas, which are decorated in rich dark woods, soft torch lighting and warm neutrals and connect via a series of elevated pathways.
Bed and Bath
The Datai offers 124 elegant rooms, including 54 villas and 16 suites. Most rooms offer views of the verdant rainforest, while some offer vistas over the pool or Andaman Sea. All feature polished timber floors, calming neutral decor, Lavazza coffee machines and spacious bathrooms with Molton Brown amenities. Villas, meanwhile, present the ultimate in privacy with a rainfall shower, twin terrazzo vanities and his-and-her wardrobes. The Datai’s newest accommodation offering, the open-plan contemporary Beach Villas, are smack-bang on the beautiful Datai Bay, with private plunge pools, rainforest showers and direct beach access.
Find four fabulous restaurants, including the renowned Malaysian fare at the open-air Gulai House, the elevated treehouse-like Pavilion and the sea-view Lobby Lounge (be sure to catch live music after 8 pm). Take a catamaran for a spin around Datai Bay, work off the good food in the gym, or enjoy a round of golf on the resort’s 18-hole course. Or, simply submit to the talented therapists at the tranquil rainforest spa, with its long list of Ayurvedic, Javanese, Balinese and Himalayan treatments.
In the Area
Cook with Shuk, in a traditionally built Malay house in the forest, will have guests whipping up satay sticks and rich rendangs before they can say “di sini.” Dev’s Mangrove Adventure is an eco-friendly tour that takes participants either by canopied boat or by kayak to towering limestone outcrops, bat-filled caves, fossil locations and lush mangroves along Langkawi’s various islands. The Langkawi Cable Car, which whizzes to the top of the imposing Gunung Machinchang (708m) in 20 minutes, gives a fabulous aerial view of the island. During the ascent, guests can take in views of almost the entire island, surrounding highlands and Thai islands beyond.
How to Get There
One reason we visit The Datai ( this was our ninth visit ) either as a couple or with our adult children is the welcome we receive from staff at the hotel. Without exception from senior management Lyndon, Indra, Jessica to beach bar waiters we could not be made to feel more at home.
The Data is totally unique and unarguably enjoys one of the most beautiful settings in the world from the surrounding rainforest to the exquisite beach.
Facilities have been given a facelift and infrastructure renewed but the essence of the Datai remains unchanged and that is the wonderful Datai ‘family’. We cannot wait to return with our extended family in March. Thank you Team Datai!
We have just come back from 10 days at The Datai, and in all honesty this is one of the most wonderful places we've ever been to. I'm not a frequent TripAdvisor poster but I feel very strongly that this place needs the recognition it deserves. The hotel's location and setting are simply stunning - it manages something really rare which is the combination of a 5 star set of facilities, with a real boutique feel. You never once feel like you are at a large resort although the hotel has everything that you'd get at a St Regis or Ritz-Carlton etc. It's child-friendly but in a very subtle way so couples don't get bothered by lots of kids running around.
The bulk of the hotel sits in the rainforest and it is stunning, it blends in beautifully with the nature around. Huge, lush vegetation and greenery, and sounds of all the animals - it's unlike any other hotel. The morning walk though the rainforest and gardens from our villa to the beach is a beautiful way of starting the day.
The beach is amazing - rivals anything I've seen in the Seychelles, Mauritius or the Caribbean - and is definitely the best hotel private beach I've been to. Sea is warm like a bath. So pretty, lovely white sand, peaceful, secluded, with the rainforest pouring over into it so you just hear the sounds of the animals all day long. There is nature right at your doorstep and it's quite unique. There is also a great nature centre that offers super interesting walks and tours. We saw monkeys, otters, hornbills, kingfishers...
The rooms were very nice, and everything is well kitted out. We had a rainforest pool villa and it had everything one would expect from this type of hotel in terms of comfort, amenities, quality. Lots of complimentary drinks, snacks etc. In the interests of objectivity, I'd say the private pool is a touch on the cold side so we didn't really use it much.
We liked the restaurants a lot. Breakfast at the Beach Club is definitely the way to go!
I think the best food overall was at Gulai House, which we enjoyed a lot, followed by the Beach Club. The Thai restaurant is good but probably the least cosy of the three. We didn't eat at the main house for supper so can't comment on that.
But the main differentiator here is the service. The staff were all so kind, helpful, friendly - everyone, but in particular we'd like to acknowledge Suhan and Daba down at the Beach Club. But everyone learned our childrens' names right away, always smiling, offering to help, go the extra mile. We had a few minor problems during our stay but it was always made good and we then almost felt embarrassed by the deep felt apologies we would receive!
They were still finishing some parts of the renovation - the works never really bothered us although I suspect people staying in the main hotel might feel differently, as there was still quite a lot of drilling and hammering going on. To be honest, we saw it as a benefit as the hotel was less busy and so we had more of the beach and pool to ourselves!
In short - we absolutely loved this place and are desperate to come back soon!!
Thanks to all the team at The Datai for making our holiday so enjoyable.
This was our stay no. 10 at The Datai and we were more than impressed.
First of all, compliments for a great job performed in the careful renovation of a jewel in the rainforest. You have fully achieve what you were aiming for: To bring The Datei up to modern standards without losing its soul and character. Congratulations for that!
We were also glad to find some familiar faces amongst the staff (glad to see Indra is still there!) after the long renovation period. I appreciate their loyalty!
While we arrived in a phase when the works were not completely finished, we were very grateful that we were upgraded to beach villas. While they are new and didn't need renovation, compared to our stay there a few years ago we realised that you have improved the service there a lot by adding butler service and more choice in complimentary drinks and beverages. The private beach section has also been improved significantly. Well done!
We also enjoyed the new gym with the sauna / steamroom facilities and think this is a massive improvement to the resort.
Our favourite restauarant The Pavillion, on the other hand, has got even better!
While we like the idea of offering breakfast at the Beach Club, we didn‘t find we were offered the choice and variations we expected from our former stays and the service lacked attention more than once. We hope that breakfast at the Dining Room will be back to the former standards - alas we couldn’t check it out because it only reopened two days after we checked out.
But please put our favourite dish, Butter Chicken, back onto the Gulai House menu!
One last comment: While we appreciate the effort to avoid plastic waste when serving drinking water, the new glass bottles are too small (0,33 liters) - I drank between 6 to 8 bottles a day alone, creating a lot of waste! We also don‘t agree that water plus glass bottles are being imported from Italy and shipped half way around the globe to Malaysia. There must be more environment-friendly ways to supply drinking water and still avoid excessive plastic waste.
Just out of this world, great care has been taken during the refurbishment to look into all the details of luxury service. I understand the team spent one year preparing for the opening and the hotel made a huge investment by sending those who wanted to go back to study the opportunity to do so.
The feelings and emotions from those who serve you show great care and consideration from a team of people who really enjoy what they do and you can sense they are all happy to be there... to work for an employer who really cares.
Beyond exquisite! For sure my favourite hotel in the world, the staff, and facilities and location create a whole new universe. From airport Bentley pick up down to the softness of the towels this place knows it's place and what it's achieving. The Indian restraunt on-site was incredible!! Thankyou.