Veiled from view amongst the tropical trees that surround it, with nothing in sight aside from lush rainforest and its wildlife – including monkeys, long-tailed macaques, the giant black squirrel and oriental-pied hornbills – the Datai Langkawi is a leading, luxurious jungle lodge. It’s an intoxicating Malaysian resort that just has to be seen (and stayed in) to be believed, as rarely do five-star facilities and the natural world combine so brilliantly.
The key to this award-winning gem of a boutique eco-lodge in Malaysia, is a respect for and knowledge of the wildlife which teems all around the property. As such, expert naturalist guides are onsite to lead excursions or answer questions, there are meandering forest trails to enjoy, planned outings including scuba diving and nocturnal treks, even a dedicated conservation research centre and insider tips on where to find the best secluded waterfalls and pristine pools hidden nearby. Whether you’re delighting in the views from a suspended tree canopy bridge or simply strolling the chalk white beach that sits below the lodge, it all adds up to something very special: a nature-lover’s dream that boasts no shortage of elegant touches.
Widely considered to be one of the best hotel locations in Malaysia, indeed one of the country’s finest hotels full stop, the Datai Langkawi covers nearly 50 acres of pristine rainforest. In such a sprawling place, guests are transported via private golf buggy between the various thatched and stilted buildings, four fine dining restaurants and euphoric spa, a nice touch to make it easier for you to enjoy all that the Datai has to offer. In such an environment, there is no choice but to feel entirely serene and completely at ease, particularly thanks to the lodge’s heavenly villas, either nestled between the trees or opening up onto the beach itself. Inside, the contemporary deep soak bathtubs, Oriental-inspired ornaments, designer furniture and flat-screen TVs would not look out of place in a city centre design hotel. That said, bamboo and wooden decking, natural tones and the verdant green of tropical foliage bursting through your balcony windows is a constant and welcome reminder of your enviable, bucolic setting. While all accommodation options are designed and finished to an optimum standard and are supremely comfortable, the private pool options are a cut above and days spent taking a dip or lounging on your furnished terrace will certainly not be wasted.
Outdoor types will have endless activities available to them at the Datai Langkawi, with watersports, snorkelling and surfing, wildlife walks and birdwatching tours effortlessly arranged by an attentive in-house concierge. Meanwhile, the adults-only swimming pool and holistic spa – using ancient Maya techniques and healing therapies, no less – transport you to a world of infinite rest and relaxation. The result is that you are in just the right frame of mind to fully appreciate the gourmet cuisine on offer in each of the lodge’s four restaurants, all offering their own individual atmosphere and location around the grounds. There’s award-winning Malaysian fare to be savoured, Thai food served at treetop level and a nicely relaxed beach bar to grab something light – with much else in between too. Overall, the list of reasons to book a luxury suite or private villa at Datai Langkawi could go on almost endlessly; sometimes things however, are best explained having experienced them first-hand.
The Datai Facilities
122 rooms, villas and suites.
Datai Bay, 40 minutes transfer from Langkawi International Airport.