We just arrived back from The Datai this morning and although severely jet lagged I felt compelled to post a review as quickly as possible.
First of all, having read some previous feedback surrounding the distance to the beach being too far or steep (it isn't and if you really can't face the 5 minute walk from the main complex then there are buggies that will arrive within minutes of placing a call to the concierge). Also if you're booking a Superior Villa in the rainforest then the clue is in the description and if you're in the jungle you will hear all the amazing animals, this is their home and they were there before the hotel, to us it just added to the experience. Yes you're under the canopy of the trees so the villas can be dark but again this just added to the atmosphere for us.
So to our trip, we arrived after a very long flight from London to Kuala Lumpur and then a domestic flight over to Langkawi, we had also been lucky enough to sit next to 3 crying babies for the 12 hour flight so we were exhausted. As we walked through arrivals there was a rep from The Datai holding up a sign for us and who greeted us warmly along with a uniformed driver from the hotel. We had booked private transfers so we watched a little smugly as others piled into minivans and we took our seats in a cool Mercedes with cold water and fragranced cold flannels waiting for us. The driver drove sensibly and told us all about the island and filled us in on some general information, he gave us regular updates as to how far the hotel was (about 30 mins from the airport) and pointed out all the flora and fauna.
On arrival at the hotel we met Joy the resort manager, very friendly and welcoming and assured us we could just drop her a line if we needed anything. We enjoyed our complimentary arrival drinks and then we shown to our deluxe room which, although the most basic accommodation tier in the hotel, was anything but. A huge bed, spacious room with dark wood fixtures and fittings and a large bathroom with 2 sinks, a bath and a separate rain shower, at night our beds would be turned down, chocolates left for us and fresh fruit every day as well as a rainforest newsletter.
The hotel itself is beautiful, very luxurious without being ostentatious and every single member of staff was smiling and helpful without being intrusive, you got a sense they really loved working at The Datai. There are 2 pools, one adults only which we really appreciated and the walk through the rainforest to the second pool was a 5 minutes away, then you are straight on the beach which is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with fabulous sunsets and very warm water.
For those of us that cannot travel without a good wifi connection this was never a problem and I was able to connect in the room and out in the pool areas. The Pavilion which is the Thai restaurant was our favourite, located on stilts over the rainforest with twinkly lanterns leading up to it, delicious spicy food made to your taste and attentive staff you just couldn't ask for more. The Gulai House was an excellent option to try out Malaysian cuisine and the Beach Club and main lobby bar provided more European food. On our second evening we arranged to have a romantic meal on the beach and it is an evening we will never forget, Abanez our personal butler for the evening took great care of us, made us feel really special and the seafood dinner was perfect. They had decorated our table with flowers and many nightlights and we sat eating, talking and listening to the sea - a very special evening.
Whilst there I also tried out the Spa where the treatment rooms are open to the rainforest, I had a hot stone treatment, Indian massage and a rejuvenating wrap. I have to callout out Indra the therapist who made me feel immediately at ease and having had these kinds of treatments in Dubai, Sri Lanka and the US I have to say the standard at The Datai was head and shoulders above any other, I was walking on air for hours afterwards.
My partner also tried his hand at the Thai cooking class which he found really fun and informative and he has picked up a few tips to bring home and try out in our kitchen.
On our last day we decided we would like to try out one of the Superior Villas in the rainforest and request a late checkout as our flight was in the evening. Not only did Joy accommodate this without an issue the villa was complimentary and we also got a tour of the amazing beach villas - truly stunning. With our villa we received a complimentary bottle of wine and to fully appreciate the beauty of these rooms you just have to stay in one, they are worth the extra money to be out amongst nature with the plus of also being in pure luxury with little extras like an iPod and dock and a daybed area.
Remember this is a place for rest and relaxation but I fully disagree with anyone who has written it is boring, you can go to the spa, take a walk through the rainforest, go on a nature excursion, chill out by the beach or pool or go for an excellent meal (they also do fabulous cocktails and mocktails, their mojitos were especially good and for the non drinkers a Datai Cooler was really tasty).
I really can't say enough about this hotel or its staff and we were genuinely sad to leave, special mention needs to go to Joy, Indra and Abanez for making it an unforgettable holiday (I hope this gets relayed to them) and also the bar manager down by the beach (unfortunately we didn't get his name) who organized the beach villa tour. We are already thinking about how we can come back for another visit as soon as possible. Don't hesitate, book The Datai its outstanding and as a frequent traveller it definitely tops any other I've stayed in.
- Also Known As:
- The Datai Langkawi Hotel
- The Datai Langkawi Hotel Langkawi
- Datai Langkawi
- The Datai Hotel Langkawi
- 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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