The Datai, Langkawi

The review:

The Datai

Be cocooned in pristine wilderness at this luxe rainforest hideaway, located in Langkawi, Malaysia

Immersed in untamed jungle, The Datai is a luxury resort on the forest-clad island paradise of Langkawi. With nature just steps away, get closer to a world of wilderness on land and sea.

"Located on one of National Geographic’s top ten beaches in the world, The Datai has stunning surroundings from its tropical coastline, ancient rainforest and the jade-green Andaman Sea. In the midst of it all is an architecturally designed resort, sympathetically built into its pristine environment."

Things to do

As you would expect from a resort of this calibre, there are a range of activities from sailing, windsurfing to snorkelling. There is also an 18-hole golf course and an impressive rainforest spa. But what sets The Datai apart is its immersive experiences in nature. Take a morning walk with in-house marine biologists to spot sea otters or enjoy an after-dark exploration with a guide into the 10-million-year-old rainforest to spy bats, flying squirrels or lemurs. Spend time in the bamboo longhouse, hearing the in-house naturalists stories and learning about the latest sightings in the forest or the ocean.


Sleep in the rainforest, down by the beach or in the main house, wherever you choose is characterised by award-winning architecture within wooden crafted villas. Polished wooden floors, white bed linen and expansive bathrooms are of a high standard and extremely comfortable, but deliberately pared back to allow vivid nature to be the star of the show. Families might like the two-bed beach villa with a private pool and butler service; couples will appreciate the stilted and elegant rainforest villas which allow privileged access to the sights and sounds of the jungle.

Food & Drink

With a range of places to eat and drink, The Datai has five different restaurants, each taking advantage of its magnificent natural setting. You might like to start at the exquisite Gulai House, set within a traditional Malay kampung house where you can sample delectable Malaysian specialities such as crab and lemongrass soup, satay skewers and duck curry. Sample Thai cuisine at the seemingly floating Pavilion restaurant which is stilted over the rainforest. The Beach Club is the ideal spot to refuel after a swim or scuba dive in the Andaman Sea and is also a fine place to while away the day, poolside with a cocktail in hand.

What Stands Out

As part of the Datai Pledge, a robust programme of conservation the resort plays a large part in the protection of its virgin surrounds. Based on four pillars which cover wildlife, fish, the local young community and sustainable business The Datai have a top-to-bottom approach to sustainability including wide-ranging efforts such as hornbill habitat creation, nurturing seedlings to be planted and sponsoring eco programs in local schools to name just a few. It’s an impressive roster of achievements, but unless you’re particularly interested, it all goes on behind-the-scenes. Here you can trust that The Datai take every measure to be as eco-friendly as possible.

Best For

With the resort taking over such a large area, there’s room for all types of travellers at The Datai. Having said that, nature-loving families would be particularly at home here, every day presenting new ways to experience the encompassing wildlife and the thrill of seeing langurs, lemurs, geckos and tree frogs in the wild will make the holiday even more memorable. We also think that The Datai makes a wonderful honeymoon, the rainforest spa will ensure you’re unimaginably relaxed, the food is so delicious you’ll want to linger over it and the romantic rainforest pool villas give you seclusion and space, in the heart of a virgin jungle.

The Verdict

As a standalone resort, we don’t think you can get much better than this. The only thing we would add is that it would make a fabulous end to an exploratory trip of Malaysia, perhaps as part of an itinerary that includes the metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, the cultural foodie hub Penang and the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands. Talk to us about planning your immersive trip around Malaysia.

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

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