When we planned our trip to Malaysia during August this year, it was absolutely clear that one hotel had to be on our list: The Datai Langkawi is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world and combines sustainability, nature and luxury like no other. If you’re interested in eco-conscious travel or searching for luxurious hotels in Malaysia for your upcoming trip, then you’ve come to the right place.
The Datai Langkawi – Review
The Datai Langkawi is nestled on the northern shores of Langkawi, one of the most beautiful honeymoon destinations in the entire world. Here, you’ll spend your vacation surrounded by ancient rainforests, beautiful wildlife, unparalleled luxury, and some of the best food in Southeast Asia.
When Florian and I planned our trip to Malaysia, we were overwhelmed. Above all, because Malaysia is packed with so many beautiful destinations that we simply didn’t know where to travel first to. However, we did know that we wanted some days of pure relaxation within our otherwise adventurous trip and chose to stay in Langkawi.
For our stay we chose The Datai Langkawi, a world-renowned resort that honestly left us speechless in so many ways. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what makes The Datai a destination like no other, beckoning travellers to experience a slice of paradise.
How to get to The Datai Langkawi
Firstly, you have to travel to Langkawi airport. It’s only a short flight from surrounding cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. When booking your room at The Datai, make sure to book a package that includes airport transfers or arrange the transport by yourself. It’s a 45 minute drive from the airport to the hotel.
We chose the airport transfers from the hotel itself and got picked up by a white, already air-conditioned Jaguar with beautiful black leather interior. They also had cold towels and a refreshing drink placed in the car and made sure that our vacation started right at the airport.
Similar to other hotels, the check-in time is after 3pm and the check-out time is before 12pm. Especially the check-out time is very comfortable as you get to enjoy your breakfast and then still have time to pack everything up and return to the airport.
Unfortunately, our flight had a delay on our arriving day. As a result we arrived in Langkawi around 7pm. Our driver then picked us up and we checked in before 8pm. The check-in was very lovely. Again they offered us fresh towels, drinks and snacks. After some relaxation, the friendly staff explained the resort and facilities to us. To be honest, this is very much needed, because the resort is absolutely huge.
Accommodation at The Datai Langkawi
The resort itself has 121 rooms, suites, and villas and they all come with a mesmerising view of the surrounding rainforest. Some even offer views of the Andaman Sea.
During our time on Langkawi, we had the pleasure to stay in one of their Rainforest Pool Villas which absolutely blew our minds. First of all, these villas are 175 square metres in size. Compared to other rooms, this is really spacious. Secondly, the pool villas have their own 7.6-metre pool and an outdoor living area with sun loungers.
We do not normally use the pools when we’re at a destination right at the sea, but the pool by the villa was mesmerising. Imagine stepping outside your villa and being surrounded by ancient rainforest. You can hear the chirping of the birds, the rushing stream in front of the pool and there’s nobody but you. This had to be paradise.
Moreover, the Rainforest Pool Villa is breathtakingly beautiful from the inside as well. The dark wood furnishings combined with the light marble elements simply make the villa look as if it had come out of a catalogue.
Breakfast & Dining at The Datai Langkawi
If you’re a fan of fine dining and great food in general, The Datai is your place to be. The resort offers a diverse choice of dining experiences and every restaurant has a different menu and different setting. Of course, they all come with spectacular views and high luxury.
Breakfast: The Dining Room
The breakfast at The Datai is served at The Dining Room which is set beside the resort’s main pool. From here you can overlook parts of the resort, a few hectares of the rainforest and you can even see the sea at the horizon. The signature buffet breakfast includes everything you can possibly wish for: from fresh croissants, pastries and bread to a made-to-order juice bar and fresh fruits as well as typical Asian dishes. If that’s not enough, you can always order from the complimentary a-la-carte options. Fancy having eggs benedict for breakfast? No problem at all. If you’re a sweet-tooth and want to have pancakes or French toast, that’s also just one order away.
The breakfast at Datai really surprised us in a positive way: Florian and I have already been to some 5-star hotels and thought that it couldn’t get much better. But the Datai really has everything your heart desires. Despite the size of the hotel, the breakfast room and the surrounding outdoor area are really quiet and the staff is always attentive and helpful.
Lunch: The Beach Club
Food plays a big role at The Datai Langkawi. That’s why, in addition to the Beach Club, you can also have lunch at The Dining Room. The Beach Club is located right beside the Datai Bay. Hence, you can overlook the Andaman Sea while having lunch.
Combining a lounge bar with a casual dining restaurant, it’s the perfect place to freshen up and eat something delicious while relaxing on the beach. Don’t miss out and try the signature cocktails while enjoying the sunset.
Dinner: The Gulai House
On our first night at The Datai Langkawi, we had reservations for The Gulai House. Luckily, you can order yourself a complimentary buggy to get from one place to another when staying at The Datai, because otherwise we would have been lost trying to find the restaurant. Since The Datai owns such a huge property, it’s all very spread out. No worries, you can still walk from your room or villa to the restaurants. But it has been a pleasant feature that you can go wherever you’d like to by buggy.
Fun fact: The Gulai House is an award-winning restaurant and you have the chance to enjoy it as a guest. Here, The Datai serves authentic Malaysian cuisine in a traditional Malay kampung house styled restaurant. Everything is super romantic and the atmosphere is magical. You can hear the sounds of forest wildlife while eating local authentic food. I can totally see myself sitting in this restaurant on our honeymoon, sipping a good glass of wine and enjoying the great food.
Dinner: The Pavilion
Have you ever had dinner in the canopies of a rainforest? Now it’s the time to do so, because the Pavilion appears to float on the canopy of the virgin rainforest. That is so, because it’s sitting on 30-metre stilts, which allows far-reaching views over the rainforest.
Actually, The Pavilion is another award-winning restaurant serving traditional Thai cuisine. Every restaurant at The Datai Langkawi has another focus, so that there’s really nothing to be missed during your vacation. Even if you’d like to have typical Italian pizza or a BBQ burger.
The Pavilion is another deeply romantic, beautiful restaurant that charms with great cuisine, friendly staff and amazing views. If you’re lucky you can even see flying lemurs and giant flying squirrels in the surrounding treetops.
In summary, there’s nothing to be missed during your stay at The Datai Langkawi and it’s actually one of the best hotels that you can choose if you’re a food-lover.
Afternoon Tea: Exquisite sweet and savoury culinary
In case we haven’t raved enough about the good food at The Datai, here’s another terrific experience: the Afternoon Tea. Available between 2pm and 6pm, you can experience typical English Afternoon Tea here. Florian and I have been to London a few times now and thought that the Afternoon Tea certainly couldn’t be topped. But the presentation at Datai is another 10/10: you get small bites and treats served in an etagere that looks like a black lacquered birdcage.
You can also choose two teas and then marvel at each treat individually. We especially liked the fact that there were two versions of each appetiser. This way, everyone can taste and evaluate for themselves. So our Afternoon Tea started with two delicious teas. Afterwards, we were each served a mini burger and a small pancake. On the etagere itself were other savoury snacks and sweet pastries like macarons and cupcakes. To be honest, I’m not the easiest person to convince when it comes to food, but everything was incredibly tasty.
The Datai Signature Cocktails
As mentioned earlier, the signature cocktails are not to be missed when visiting The Datai. You can get them either at the Beach Club or in the Lobby Lounge. The cocktails all have a special story, which the staff will tell you when you make your selection. Of course, you can also specify what you like and ask for recommendations. My absolute favourite was the Butterfly Cocktail, which changes colour. Moreover, the signature cocktails are all made with The Datai Vodka or The Datai Gin.
Swimming in the Andaman Sea at the Datai Bay
The resort has a private beach and associated private bay, The Datai Bay, in the north of Langkawi. What’s so special about The Datai Bay is that you have a view of the rainforest from the hotel and after a few metres you arrive at a perfect white sandy beach with crystal clear blue water. In addition, the beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire island, but actually one of the most beautiful in the entire world. It has earned the title of one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Beaches in the world.
Since only hotel guests have access to the 1.5 kilometres long beach and the sea, you can take a lounger, read a good book and enjoy the view towards Thailand. If that’s not what you like, you still have the opportunity to participate in a variety of water sports including snorkelling, sea kayaking, windsurfing, catamarans and sailing boats.
Experiences at The Datai in Langkawi
Whether you stay at The Datai for a long weekend or a whole week, you won’t get bored. Besides the things listed above, the hotel has a whole other range of experiences. In the morning, let one of the drivers take you to the nearby golf course with a view of Mount Machinchang or enjoy the forest bathing experience. At lunchtime, you can take one of the two cooking classes and cook your own lunch. Or learn more about sustainability and upcycling in one of the workshops.
During our stay we did the forest bathing experience, took advantage of the golf course, learned how to cook and walked through the on-site rainforest. If you’re interested in learning more about the experiences, we’ve linked them for you here.
All in all, we found the experiences well designed and you learn even more about the hotel, its employees and the nature that surrounds it. We’d definitely recommend one or two experiences during your stay.
We particularly liked the sustainability at Datai: The hotel attaches great importance to upcycling and thus recycles used objects. In addition, The Datai owns 1,800 hectares of rainforest, which the employees constantly take care of. The wonderful thing about this is that the rainforest is not changed and the animals are not disturbed despite the large property. So it may happen that you see hornbills, monkeys or lizards during your visit. The resort even has its own sustainability initiative and focuses on land, sea and youth.
Our stay at The Datai Langkawi
Now let’s review and summarise our stay at The Datai Langkawi. To be honest, I find it very difficult to even put the hotel into words as the experiences have been so beautiful and almost surreal. The Datai truly has everything you could want in a holiday: warm hospitality, attention to detail, commitment to nature and still offers all the luxury you could possibly want. We will definitely visit the resort in Langkawi again and can highly recommend it to you.