When I was told that I’d be taking a trip to one of the most luxurious resorts in the country, I didn’t realise that I was going to be having the time of my life. The friendliness of the staff, the peaceful rooms, scrumptious hotel dining and the breathtaking bay is just a few of the reasons why my stay at the resort was par excellence.
The best way to describe The Datai Langkawi is that it's a resort that’s literally located in the middle of the rainforest, yet only minutes away from Datai Bay – the ninth best beach in the world, as rated by the National Geographic.
As soon as I checked into my Rainforest Villa, I was taken aback by how large the whole room was. The rustic villa consisted of a combined bedroom and living space. But if I was taken aback by how spacious the room was, I was even more ecstatic when I walked into the bathroom and found that it was as large as the combined bedroom and living space.
The Datai Langkawi isn’t the sort of resort guests check in to just to have a place for some shuteye. Though you may like the Asian cuisine offered around the island, the resort itself offers four restaurants with delicious fare that will leave you feeling full to the brim.
The Dining Room
On my first night there, I was treated to dinner at The Dining Room – a quiet space for international cuisine. My four-course meal was accompanied with great wine pairings - my favourite of the night was the slow braised wagyu beef cheeks paired with Trinity Hill, Hawkes Bay, Gimblett Gravels Shiraz, 2013.
The Beach Club
After a swim in their family pool, The Beach Club provides a casual dining option for lunch or an early dinner. If there’s one cocktail to recommend at The Beach Club, my pick is firmly for their refreshing and easy-on-the-eyes Mango Daiquiri.
The Gulai House
The Gulai House is a great place for top-notch Malay cuisine set in a rustic atmosphere, reminiscent of a traditional Malay kampong house accompanied by the ceaseless tunes of wild birds, crickets and more. I’m still dreaming of their Rendang Daging (spicy meat dish) served with blue ginger, lemongrass and grated coconut.
Of all these restaurants, it was The Pavilion that truly blew me away, not just for the stunning setting but also the prominent spice factor present in the dishes. The beautiful restaurant is elevated on 30m-high stilts and serves award-winning Thai cuisine. Any Thai restaurant should be rated by their Tom Yam Goong, and The Pavilion’s Tom Yam with kaffir lime and lemongrass was indeed an A-listed broth.
At The Datai Langkawi, I was privileged to have a naturalist take us around the resort during the day and night. Due to bad weather, a few guests and I were unable to experience the full length of the night nature walk but our naturalist, Shakira, made the most of it by taking us around the vicinity of the resort to show us the different type of lizards, frogs and colugos around.
Thankfully, the next day dawned with clear skies and we had the opportunity to walk around outside of the resort to be educated about the different kinds of plants, insects and birds around the area. We also got to see a huge eagle's nest along with a number of dusky leaf monkeys.
A visit to the beautiful Datai would not be complete without an experience at their therapeutic spa. Though guests are privy to buggy rides throughout the resort, I would strongly encourage guests to take a stroll to the spa or beach instead.
As you walk from The Dining Room and down a fleet of large stairs, you’ll come upon a path in the middle of the rich green forest that’ll lead you to the spa, followed by The Beach Club and the bay. While walking by this path, you might come across a friendly neighbour or two. I know I did! I was greeted by a couple of dusky leaf monkeys, a mother and her young with curious stares. These herbivores are also known as the more tame primates in the forest.
Once at the spa, I was greeted by the friendly staff who assisted me in answering a short Q&A to figure out the areas of the body I’d like my masseuse to focus on. The different kinds of massages offered here include Synchronised, Shiatsu, Traditional, Abhyanga, Deep Tissue, Thai Foot Massage and their signature, Tunku Batu.
My consultant suggested that I opt for the Traditional massage for the aches and pains I had. Shortly after, I was given a choice of oils to choose from the massage session. I was then introduced to my masseuse who whisked me away from the reception area to my private spa villa.
The walk to the villa itself is a wonder amongst the green mangroves and chirping birds. Once at my villa – an open air room with bathrooms and beds with a view of the forest and ahead – I was instantly brought to ease.
While she gently yet firmly worked her way through my muscles, I could even hear the distant crashing of the waves. It was unlike any spa or massage parlour in the city with generic spa music in the background. This is as authentic as it can get to relax in nature.
After my session, I was treated to a cup of tea on a rattan chair at the villa just before the rain started to pour, just in time for a good long nap.