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Hotel Highlights

  • Peaceful privacy in exquisite virgin rainforest
  • 18-hole golfer’s paradise
  • Polite and polished service

Overview

Surrounded by lush Langkawi rainforest and drenched in glamour, the Datai is a standard-bearer for luxury hotels in Malaysia. Whether you’re here for the glitz, the golf or the gourmet dining, The Datai is a welcoming and romantic retreat with a classy contemporary edge.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Datai with us:

A half-bottle of champagne on arrival

Facilities

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The Datai – Langkawi – Malaysia

Need To Know

Rooms

125, including 55 villas and 16 suites.

Check–out

12 noon. Late check-out is subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $389.36 (MYR1,227), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include champagne buffet breakfast.

Also

Keen golfers will want to take a turn at the Els Club Teluk Datai – one the very few in the world with 19 holes.

Hotel closed

The golf course is undergoing major upgrades until mid-2013. Guests can still tee off at two courses within half an hour of the hotel.

At the hotel

Private beach, watersports facilities, tennis courts, golf course, gardens, spa, library, DVD/CD library, duty-free boutique. In-room amenities: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, free WiFi, minibar, Molton Brown toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

All suites and villas have sexy Bose sound systems. The spacious End Suites have partitions separating living and dining areas; the Pool Villas have private plunge pools and are well placed for the beach.

Poolside

The stunning upper pool area looks down on the hillside towards the beach and is restricted to adults. Nearer the beach, the Datai’s second pool has a more relaxed, family-friendly splash-about vibe.

Packing tips

Movie-star sunglasses and designer beachwear. A snorkel will come in handy for undersea sightseeing.

Also

The spa centre offers a vast range of treatments and health packages, including Ramuan ritual, Lembut massage and Tungku Batu.

Children

Under-12s stay free. Babysitting can be provided for RM20 an hour. The restaurant has a children’s menu.

Food & Drink

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The Datai – Langkawi – Malaysia

Hotel Restaurant

The Dining Room serves perfectly pitched Malaysian and Western cuisine, whereas the Pavilion is a beautiful, stilted restaurant amid the rainforest canopy that cooks up authentic Thai treats. At rustic-chic restaurant the Gulai House, Malay and Indian dishes are served. For romantic alfresco dinners, opt for a private candlelit dinner. 

Hotel Bar

At 8pm, the Lobby Lounge becomes out-of-bounds to under-12s and mixes its signature champagne cocktails until 1am. The soothing soundtrack alternates between live vocals, laid-back piano and the natural noises of the rainforest.

Last orders

Lunch is available in the Dining Room until 3pm; dinner is served between 6pm and 11pm.

Room service

24 hours. A variety of sandwiches, local and Western dishes, pasta and soup is available while the restaurants are open, with an overnight menu to take you through the early hours.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Casual but coordinated.

Top table

A spot by the balustrade in the Pavilion will provide a fabulous jungle view; the outside section of the Dining Room overlooks the architectural eye-candy of the upper pool.

Local Guide

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The Datai – Langkawi – Malaysia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…
+ Enlarge
Beach meets rainforest

The Datai

Jalan Teluk Datai, Langkawi, Kedah, Langkawi, 07000

The Datai is surrounded by lush rainforests and snow-white sandy beaches on the tropical island of Langkawi, off the north-west coast of Malaysia.

Planes

Get to Langkawi International Airport (www.langkawi-info.com/info/airport) with Malaysia Airlines (www.malaysiaairlines.com; 1300 88 3000 within Malaysia, +603 7843 3000 outside Malaysia) or AirAsia (www.airasia.com) who provide direct flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (www.klia.com.my) to Langkawi Airport. Flights take about 55 minutes. A taxi will take you the 30 minutes to the resort.

Automobiles

Drive to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis on the mainland, they’re the main take-off points by ferry to Langkawi.

Other

Express ferries (www.langkawi-ferry.com) provide regular services daily to Langkawi from Kuala Kedah (one hour and 15 minutes) and Kuala Perlis (45 minutes). You can also get a ferry from Penang which takes about two hours and 30 minutes.

Reviews

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The Datai – Langkawi – Malaysia

Anonymous review

by Toni Jones , Fashion follower

Carlsberg doesn’t design tropical hideaways, but if it did, luxury Langkawi resort the Datai would be its blueprint: a collection of deluxe tree houses perched above a postcard-perfect beach populated by beautiful bodies in designer bikinis. Reclining on a sunlounger over powdery sand, I turn to Mr Smith to see if he thinks I can use a lager analogy in my review, but he’s off… H…
Read more

The Datai

Anonymous review by Toni Jones, Fashion follower

Carlsberg doesn’t design tropical hideaways, but if it did, luxury Langkawi resort the Datai would be its blueprint: a collection of deluxe tree houses perched above a postcard-perfect beach populated by beautiful bodies in designer bikinis. Reclining on a sunlounger over powdery sand, I turn to Mr Smith to see if he thinks I can use a lager analogy in my review, but he’s off… He’s heading straight for the water to zip around the bay in one of the hotel's mini catamarans – his way of working off the four-course champagne brunch that's become our regular start to the day since arriving here.

Though it feels like we’ve been here for ages, we actually only arrived at the Datai yesterday. We’d been driving for a while before Mr Smith spotted the unassuming entrance – lucky, as we’d have ended up somewhere on the other side of the island otherwise – and we turned down a quiet, meandering path that took us through the lushest of lush rainforest. The only traffic we came across was a family of Macaque monkeys playing in the road.

Once checked in, we found the resort itself to be equally tranquil and back-to-nature. Our private villa, situated on a peaceful hillside, is just made for holing up with a loved one. The rain shower and bath are both big enough for two, there are his ’n’ hers sinks, an oversized daybed that’s perfect for idling away an afternoon and a bed, swathed in 400-threadcount sheets, that’s big enough for four. The hotel have even thoughtfully placed a ‘things to do’ booklet in our room. Ha! No chance. If all the accommodation at the Datai is as inviting as Villa 35, then I can’t imagine the forest walks on offer get too booked up.

After poking around the 20ft sandstone-and-marble bathroom – which features genius derrière-flattering lighting, incense sticks and candles – we step out onto our terrace to take in views of the 50 million-year-old rainforest we’re smack bang in the middle of. Mr Smith and I swore off eco holidays after spending one week too many being ‘cleansed’ by shamen at a Mexican retreat, but, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Langkawi jungle, we begin to see the appeal of being at one with nature. Especially when Mr Smith can check Facebook courtesy of the free in-house WiFi and I can satisfy my cravings for Lavazza courtesy of the coffee machine.

Just how close we are to the wild we are becomes apparent at bathtime when we’re distracted from our Molton Brown bubbles by a family of doe-eyed monkeys, peering at us through the window. Watching our furry neighbours munch on their evening snacks, we realise it is probably time for dinner. What to have? Mr Smith and I have the choice of elegant dining in the treetop Pavilion restaurant or a more low-key barbecue on the beach. As it’s my husband’s birthday today, we opt for the former.

As we leave our villa, freshly scrubbed and eagerly anticipating a good meal, I can’t help but notice how seamlessly the hotel design fits with the Datai’s unspoilt location. All hard woods and soft colours, the delicate detailing we’ve already enjoyed in our room is continued into the elegant, open-air lobby building, which houses a sunken cocktail bar and a frog-filled lily pond. All the Japanese screens, Mayan bricks and Malay wood we can see everywhere were brought in by boats and elephants to avoid disturbing the local ecosystem.

The effort was worth it. Nature and design complement each other perfectly. The hotel buildings are linked by open air walkways, and our stroll up the outdoor Grand Staircase to dinner is flanked by perfectly spotlit 50ft tall trees, which frame dramatic Andaman Sea views as we near the top. Up in the forest canopy, surrounded by the soporific buzz of a million cicadas, we are seated quickly by the nothing-too-much-trouble staff and brought delicious, steaming platefuls of Thai red curry and jasmine rice. Somehow they’ve found out about Mr Smith’s birthday, and an exquisitely prepared cake is brought to the table by a troupe of singing waiters. It’s such a lovely moment that all our innate British cynicism goes out of the window…

Next morning, we awake to the sound of tiny toes padding about on the roof above our heads. Who needs alarm clocks when you’ve got monkeys to let you know it’s breakfast time? After that aforementioned champagne brunch and a couple of coffees, we get down to the serious business of doing as little as possible.

Mere minutes later, we’re reclining on sunloungers by the side of the pool as the helpful attendants lay out cold flannels and jugs of iced water at our sides. It’s blissfully peaceful. Families are welcome at the Datai, but the thoughtful inclusion of an adults-only pool at the resort means that Mr Smith and I don’t have to endure any peace-spoiling gangs of noisy toddlers, leaving us free to devour our books and sip rosé in the shallow end without interruption.  

Later, after a cocktail-fuelled game of Scrabble down on the beach and a knot-erasing massage in the Datai’s forest spa, Mr Smith and I retire to our villa to prepare for our final evening at the resort. Sitting on our balcony with cups of ginger tea, we watch eagles glide above us and fish dart like silver bullets in the glasslike water below, and reflect on our ridiculously romantic weekend in the jungle. This may not be the place to come if you want to party till the wee small hours, but this couple found the grown-up elegance of the hotel refreshing and revitalising. Forget the lager analogy, this gorgeous hideaway is more like a premium champagne: effortlessly stylish, wonderfully palatable and utterly intoxicating.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Datai's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This place was absolute perfection, no single detail went unnoticed! Very helpful and friendly staff, peaceful surroundings, beautiful rooms and such a variety of food choices, which were all amazing. I loved free ice-cream and afternoon mini cocktails by the pool, endless iced water and cold towels to refresh and one of the best things – our mini bar came with free items such as water, soft drinks and juices! First time I've ever seen that in a resort! Also, each night after getting back to our room after dinner there was always a lovely little sweet treat on our bedside, which was such a surprise and delicious! I can't rave about it enough! Hope we're lucky enough to get back there someday!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the relaxed peaceful setting and friendly staff.

Don’t expect

I would've liked better toiletries, faster WiFi and more in-room entertainment options.

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is luxury in the rainforest with a beautiful and quiet beach. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful – there is very little that could have been done better. We even had our room upgraded, which was wonderful. The hotel staff brought glasses of iced water, home-made sorbet and cool towels to you on the beach during the day, which was a nice touch.

Don’t expect

The Wi-Fi in the room did not work – but that was a blessing as it kept us away from the internet. In fact, we asked them not to fix it until after we’d left! It's not a downside, but the hotel is so beautiful and self-contained that we never even thought about seeing any other part of the island!

 

Rating: 10/10 stars