Nestling in the heart of a 10-million-year-old rainforest, The Datai Langkawi is a captivating destination resort that blends into its natural surroundings. Situated on the mystical island of Langkawi, the resort’s lush tropical rainforest embraces each room, suite and villa, from whose private verandas there are breathtaking views. This serene haven is where you can reconnect with nature and uplift your soul.
The Datai Langkawi offers the perfect escape and allows you to nurture to the full the well-being of your mind, body and spirit. Datai Bay is rated as one of the top ten beaches in the world by National Geographic and, together with the resort’s surrounding jungle, is host to a wealth of wildlife, some of which is endemic to the area. You may well spot Dusky langurs, Tokay geckos and Sunda colugos during your stay.
Almost 25 years have passed since The Datai Langkawi first welcomed guests. An homage to the work of the visionary architect Kerry Hill, it all started with the discovery of the Datai Bay and a view so breathtaking that he fell instantly in love with the place on his first site visit with fellow designer Didier Lefort.
The magic of Datai Bay is so inspiring that on entering this ancient wilderness, Hill secretly wondered whether moving one single stone would be sacrilegious but realised that the only way to build a resort in this mesmerising setting was by honouring its natural setting.
His proposal to set the main building on a forest ridge 40 metres above sea level and 300 metres back from the beach was initially met with bewilderment. Surely, a seafront resort with direct Andaman Sea views would attract many more visitors? But Hill stood his ground, determined to preserve the pristine beauty of the coastline and unveil the hidden treasures of the rainforest.
Rather than using heavy machinery, trees were felled by trained elephants and the wood reused in the construction. Where a clearing had to be made, new trees were planted immediately. The construction materials were chosen to align with Hill’s vision for the architecture, celebrating Malay, Chinese and Indian cultural heritage but, primarily, to give the resort a sense of belonging to the jungle. This approach was truly visionary, at a time when green initiatives and sustainability were not even part of the world’s vocabulary.
The Datai Langkawi was born.
Since then the iconic property has featured in a myriad lifestyle publications and coffee-table books. It received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001, inspiring the work of fellow architects worldwide.
Today The Datai Langkawi has embarked on an extensive renovation, the most substantial enhancement project since its opening in 1993. To ensure the resort retains its much-loved ‘Datai DNA’, the management has again appointed Lefort of DL2A, the renowned architect and interior designer (who supported Kerry Hill on the original scheme) who is leading this substantial project.
The refurbishment includes renovations to the resort’s guest rooms, suites and villas and the construction of a new dedicated nature centre underpinning the resort’s increased focus on sustainability. Our commitment to well-being is also being increased by additional spa villas and a health club by the beach. The resort’s landscaping is also being upgraded to enhance the authentic rainforest arrival experience.
On completion of the project, the refreshed look and feel of the resort will offer guests a nature- and culture-based experience, promoting its Malaysian hospitality to the world and reaffirm The Datai Langkawi as Malaysia’s most sought-after luxury destination resort with unrivalled and unique experiences.