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“Relaxing and enjoyable” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Datai Langkawi

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The Datai Langkawi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jalan Teluk Datai, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 98 hotels in Langkawi
Bergen, Norway
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Relaxing and enjoyable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The cabins was spread all over and located in distance from the hotel / reception area in the middle of the jungle. I was transported back and forth with the buggy. There was no views from the lodge, only treas and jungle, complete releaxing. The cabin was well equipped, broadband, and a short distance to the beach. Good alternative for beloved on holiday. If you wanted to vist the nearest village, you had to go 35-40 minutes by car. About 45 minutes drive to the airport, approximately price was 60RM.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your valuable feedback.

We know that our ancient rainforest echoes the sense of place that guests long for in a holiday. Over the years, the area’s unspoiled beauty, pristine seascapes and host of natural attractions have drawn very special guests like you.

It is our sincere hope that you will return again to experience the enchantment of the Langkawi rainforest.

Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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glasgow
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Stayed here for a week in January at the end of our far east holiday. Absolutely loved the place and would go back in a second.

Yes the hotel is pretty remote. You can walk up the beach to the Andaman but apart from that there's nothing for miles. But for me that was the point. You're surrounded by rainforest, you have a secluded and peaceful beach. It's somewhere to go and switch off an relax.

Hotel was larger than I'd imagined but never felt busy. We were often the only people round the pool. Although they asked you to book dinner at the restaurants in advance we only ever booked that same afternoon and was never a problem - indeed the restaurants never looked anywhere near full. Men are asked not to wear shorts to dinner although a lot of people seemed to ignore this. Food at the restaurants was amazing - loved The Gulai.

It was the small touches that made the holiday. The 'have a nice night' notes written on leaves and left by your bed with your chocolates at turn down, the water and cold towels brought to you as you lay on the beach, reception getting a member of staff to pick up suntan lotion in town for us to save us a trip. Everyone was so friendly and helpful.

And lastly loved spending time 'monkey watching'. Early morning and late afternoon they were everywhere. Some even sat in the trees above the beach bar waiting for an opportunity to steal food.

Only one negative was a morning nature walk we booked on. Had imagined would go a bit off the beaten track but the walk took us through the carpark and up the main road 50m past the hotel entrance and then back again. It was interesting and the guide very knowledgeable but not what I had been expecting

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Allow us to thank you for taking the time to review our property. It is greatly appreciated.

We are happy that you had a lovely time at The Datai this past January. We take great pride in ensuring the every need of our guests are met throughout their rainforest retreat. We are also happy that you made full use of all the amenities and outlets available at The Datai.

We have noted your comment on the 'Nature Walk' and will look into it with the company that provides this service.

It is our sincere hope that you will visit The Datai again soon and we look forward to it.

Thank you.
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Cyprus
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

It only took me and my wife about two hours at the hotel to realise that our stay there would not be a mere holiday, but rather an experience.

With the hotel blending supremely with the surrounding unique location (a rainforest whose soothing bird, animal and insect sounds contribute to the feeling of total relaxation that you get), the service being top notch (every single one of the people working there contribute to you being pampered and feeling like royalty but special shouts must go out to NINA at the reception and FRANCIS, a young waiter who looked after us during a romantic candle lit dinner at the beach and always enquired about our well being thereafter), the spa treatments being the best that we have sampled so far, the food in each one of the four restaurants being mouthwatering to say the least and an almost total absence of non-natural sounds our six night stay gave us a feeling of rest that we would normally expect to get after a much longer stay in other establishments.

Prior to going we were a bit apprehensive about beach/sea level of cleansiness but we were pleasantly surprised in that generally speaking, apart from once in a while that the sea washed out some dirt (no fault of the hotel though we were told by the Manager during a cocktail (!) organised for guests that they have bought a beach cleaning machine) the beach and sea was as pristine as you can get in the notoriously temperamental Andaman sea.

As far as bad stuff, there's not many but:

1) The room furniture is perhaps rather outdated and not of a standard to be expected of a super luxury hotel (apart from the bed which was super comfortable and large).
2) Parts of the hotel (mainly the wood) could do with some renovation.
3) Some villas sit on ugly looking concrete stilts which kinda breaks the spell of everything blending with the rainforest - covering them with bamboo or wood would perhaps be an easy and not very costly solution.

Lastly, a word about prices. People on this site and elsewhere are consistently saying that food, drinks etc are expensive. Compared with restaurants in Langkawi they are. But if you factor in the amazing service, super luxury facilities, high quality of food and bear in mind that it IS a five star luxury hotel, then its not that expensive compared to other similar standard hotels elsewhere in the world. I have to say that after really living it large for seven days with daily spa treatments, full gourmet lunches and dinners and a lot of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks we expected to pay at least double what we did.

So thank you everybody at the Datai for making our 10 year anniversary such an experience to savour and remember. We shall return!!

Room Tip: If you are afraid of creepy crawlies, serpents and the like there's no real need (other than siz...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Firstly, thank you for providing us feedback on your last stay at The Datai.

We are thrilled that your stay at our property was more of an experience than just a holiday. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standards of service and are happy that this has translated into a wonderful stay for you and your wife.

We have noted your comments on how the resort can better its product and rest assured that every effort to upkeep the property is being carried out.

We hope that you will visit us again soon and look forward to providing more treasured experiences for you and your wife.

Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

This is the eighth year of staying at the Datai. We were greeted in the usual way with a welcome drink (this time of our choice) and the customary hello and welcome from one of the management team. Initially we were told that everything and everyone was the same. Arriving at our room and our second home in the rainforest was as lovely as ever, with a welcoming card and bottle of champagne.
We quickly unpacked and headed down to the beach bar. Having been told all the staff were the same we were surprised to discover that we only recognised two or three faces from last year and the years gone by. There had definitely been a rejig as far as staffing was concerned - some distributed to other areas in the Datai and quite a few left for pastures new. Although the staff were extremely pleasant, as always, there appeared to be an overall air of unhappiness. A large majority of the staff now at the beach bar were from areas other than Malaysia and although extremely pleasant, the level of English, and therefore communication was distinctly lacking and under par.

Yet again the Datai is in between management, having been taken over 60% by Government and 40% by a Malaysian company. Having always enjoyed the food at the Datai we were keen to taste new delights. We headed to the dining room on the first night, which was nice enough but the menu lacked something. The service was very good, but the quality of the food didn't quite live up to the standards of last year. More variety needed I think.
Our second night we tried the Thai Pavilion, previously our favourite.
Over the years the Thai has had its up and downs. Unfortunately the regular chef has left and the new chef stayed a meagre 2 days before heading off to Dubai, leaving the sous chef behind. I'm afraid we were so disappointed by the meal that night we made it the only trip during our visit. Our new favourite is the Gulai house - wonderful seafood counter is an absolute triumph, with delicious Malaysian and Indian delights served every night. Here we discovered some of our old friends and I must say the service was impeccable, treating you like one of the family, pampering to your every need.

I hate to say it but I think there are small cracks starting to appear in this wonderful hotel in the paradise. Small things that would never have been an issue before become more recognisable, changing the hotel from a completely perfect spot to a resort in flux and lowered standards. Such a shame. I only hope that management take on board some of the guests comments and leave the Datai alone. It is impossible to name all the wonderful staff, but those that have been there consistently for years remain outstanding.

A happy workforce makes happy guests and a happy hotel. It has become a lot like the NHS sadly, where it is top heavy with management and decisions being made by those who have no idea what it is like to work on the ground. The ground staff are the ones who know the guests, with their little quirks and idiosyncrasies. The need for introducing a new customer relations officer and hiring several visitors from elsewhere in Asia to improve the standard of service and quality of cocktails to me seems ludicrous.

During our visit there were two extremely concerning things that would really make me consider not returning next year as I want to remember the Datai in its perfect past and not likely present. I was horrified to hear a new member of the team referring to the staff as "stupid staff". Having been coming for 8 years now the staff on the ground are anything but! The staff are what have always in the past ensured return guests with their warm, friendly approach. Clearly anyone who has the former view has never been to the resort, or if so stayed for a very very limited amount of time with no real experience of the level of service. It is the best service I have come across in any hotel in the world and the one I always use as my benchmark. As if that wasn't bad enough we overheard the incoming GM speaking to a colleague very loudly in the lobby lounge as we were leaving about staff members and the hiring and firing of certain individuals. Completely and utterly inappropriate, leaving me to believe that the Datai might be changed beyond recognition, removing the real charm about the place.

Please please don't change the Datai anymore - a few little tweaks to improve the decor yes, but definitely no more hashing of trees and additional exclusive villas that very few guests I imagine really want. Having spoken to several return guests they too shared the same concerns.

The Datai is a fantastic resort as it is/was - an exclusive resort in the rainforest with white secluded beaches a short distance away. Please please please preserve the charm it is due. The staff and the guests deserve this.

Say NO to big changes and ideas!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

i love the service and food here but it is so expensive. The place is serene with wildlife roaming around the hotel but it is very far away from Kuah Town. Taxi fares are exorbitantly high. They have all sorts of facilities from gym to spa to watersports.

Room Tip: Higher floor rooms are nearer to lobby.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Allow me to thank you for your feedback of The Datai.

We are happy that you were impressed by not only the service but the food as well. It is all we can hope for that guests are pleased with our service and products.

We understand your concerns that The Datai may be expensive but rest assured that we provide competitive pricing within the luxury hotel industry and are continuously monitoring our rates to ensure our guests are provided with only the best.

We look forward to receiving you again on the island.

Thank you.
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Kent
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

If you are planning a holiday to Langkawi then please consider this hotel. It's set in the middle of a rain forest and has its own beautiful sandy beach with comfortable recliners, staff to look after you and a lovely beach bar.
Rooms in the hotel were spacious and very comfortable with a seating area, large bed, dressing area and wardrobes, separate sinks, bath with a separate shower. it was lovely to come back after a hard day's sun-bathing and watch the monkeys walking along the balcony - very entertaining!
The best restaurant by far is the Gulai House which has splendid service and the fresh fish is amazing and cooked to your own specification. A buggy will collect and pick you up from the restaurant.
A really, lovely relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We appreciate your feedback on the hotel and thank you for it.

We are delighted to hear that you had such a wonderful stay here at The Datai. We know that our ancient rainforest echoes the sense of place that guests long for in a holiday. Over the years, the area’s unspoiled beauty, pristine seascapes and host of natural attractions have drawn very special guests like you.

We are also happy that you found a favourite in The Gulai House.

We sincerely hope to have you back at The Datai, where you can once again immerse yourself in the tranquillity and celebration of the Langkawi rainforest.

Thank you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We went to the Datai hoping for 10 days of peaceful relaxation, and had the most wonderful holiday. The hotel is set right in the middle of the rain forest, with all of the buildings positioned so that you really feel that you are in the forest, rather than just beside it. So much so, that you can eat breakfast on the terrace by the pool while watching the dusky leaf monkeys eating their breakfast in the trees around the pool, and competing with the hornbills for space in the trees. We stayed in a normal deluxe room in the hotel, which was excellent. We didn't spend much time in it (as we were mostly by the beach, by the pool or in one of the four restaurants or the main bar), but it was large and extremely comfortable. Super king, super comfortable bed, bath, walk in shower, good air con and the usual TV and mod cons (although we enjoyed ourselves enough not to turn the TV on the whole time we were there). After breakfast every day, we strolled down through the forest to the beach, which is beautiful, secluded and private (apart from the Andaman hotel down the other end of the bay), and which has a restaurant, bar and pool. We sat in the comfortable beach seats all day, looked after to the nth degree by the lovely staff and kept supplied with a constant stream of iced water, fruit juices, cocktails, food and iced face towels. After a day on the beach, we had dinner in one of the four restaurants (we liked the Malaysian Gulai House the best - the food was excellent and the staff so lovely you felt you had known them for years). We tried the spa, and that was amazing as well. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The hotel is exceptional, the staff are universally friendly, welcoming and extremely helpful and it is really hard to think of anything to criticise, even slightly. Well worth the flight to and from KL (13 hours on the way back). We would definitely go back to this hotel. One tip - this is a great place to go if you like bird (and monkey) watching, so if you do, make sure you take your binoculars (we did).

Room Tip: We had the lowest grade of room (deluxe) and thought it was fine, but the separate bungalows in the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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GeneralManagerTD, General Manager at The Datai Langkawi, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your generous feedback.

We are most pleased that your experience at The Datai was enjoyable and are even more pleased to hear of your return.

We hope to continuously raise the level of service and eagerly await your return to your home in the rainforest.

Thank you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Datai Langkawi

Address: Jalan Teluk Datai, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Kedah > Langkawi District > Langkawi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Langkawi
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Langkawi
#3 Spa Hotel in Langkawi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Datai Langkawi 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in October 1993, The Datai Langkawi sets a new standard of luxury and Asian-inspired design, and quickly became one of the world’s most sought-after and award-winning hideaway resorts. Located on the north western tip of the lush tropical island of Langkawi off the coast of West Malaysia, The Datai is truly an oasis of relaxation and tranquility surrounded by centuries-old virgin rainforest with a private footpath leading to an idyllic white sand beach, swimming pool and spa, and nearby golf course. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Datai Langkawi Hotel Langkawi
Datai Langkawi
The Datai Hotel Langkawi

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