The Datai

5 Reviews

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Mar, 2009

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Always a difficult question when asked to nominate one's favourite hotel. I would always prefer that the questioner would add a rider along the lines City, Holiday, Retreat or even Business.

Having said that and without any rider being asked I have decided that without any doubt, should I be asked the question, my answer would be a resounding 'The Datai, Langkawi'.

I first visited Langkawi in 1964 as a young sailor in the Royal Navy when ships regularly stopped at the islands of Pulau Tioman and Pulau Langkawi for the traditional naval Banyan – a recreational afternoon on a remote golden sand beach with organised sport, BBQ and of course, plenty of swimming.

Certainly the Langkawi I knew all those years ago bore little resemblance to the Langkawi as our Silk Air aircraft touched down at the island's airport. We arrived for a 14 day holiday having previously seen an article in a British Airways flight magazine.

The Datai is a welcoming and romantic retreat with a classy contemporary edge. Surrounded by lush Langkawi rainforest and drenched in glamour, the Datai is a standard-bearer for luxury hotels in Malaysia and has been developed with the ultimate respect to the environment and Malaysian cultural heritage.

This aerial photograph more than adequately shows its position with respect to both the rainforest and the shoreline of the Andaman Sea. This diverse setting creates the perfect getaway for nature lovers, marine and sea sports enthusiasts, as well as those seeking luxury solitude.

The Datai is some 30 minutes drive from Langkawi's International Airport and the hotel offers a more than excellent limousine transfer service. On arrival at the entrance to The Datai one is immediately taken by the architecture and the manner in which the hotel has been blended into the surrounding area…

The Datai Langkawi has a series of well-appointed rooms, villas and suites with size-able bedrooms, living areas, private verandahs and amazing views of the natural landscape. The Datai Langkawi features some 106 rooms, consisting of 54 deluxe rooms, 40 villas and 12 suites. All rooms have individually controlled air conditioning, ceiling fans, satellite TV, DVD player, hairdryers, international direct dial telephones and personal safes.

We chose a Villa Room for our first visit and were thought ourselves exceedingly lucky with its position. Indeed, through careful contact with the excellent General Manager we have now returned on four separate occasions and always to that same villa.

The Dining Room serves perfectly pitched Malaysian and Western cuisine, while the Pavilion is a beautiful, stilted restaurant amid the rainforest canopy that cooks up authentic Thai treats. For romantic alfresco dinners, opt for a beach barbecue or the different theme evenings at the Beach Club.

To give some measure of the fine dining, on my last visit I was served one of the finest Wagyu Beef steaks which I was reliably informed was flown in from Australia. Just superb.

The beach front looking out to both the Thailand and Malaysian coastlines…

The hotel employs its own naturalist and fully respects the environment in which it operates. Guests are given complimentary guided Tours of the forest surrounding the hotel by the resident naturist, one early morning and one at dusk. This gives guests who do take both tours an amazing contrast of rainforest life at two differing times of the day.

Richard Okill

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