The 14 top-tier beach villas at The Datai Langkawi are strung in a line mere steps from sand and sea. But what sets apart this bed-to-beach retreat (see Page 8) is its proximity to virgin rainforest estimated to be 10 million years old. Guest accommodation in all categories is surrounded by dense foliage and creatures such as naughty macaques and shy spectacle-eyed dusky leaf monkeys scamper around the estate and the great hornbills herald their arrival with a tremendous beating of wings. Take a butterfly-filled Rainforest Awakening morning walk with resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak (pictured left) or a guided evening ramble for encounters with nocturnal dwellers such as flying lemurs, bats and squirrels. This resort, on the island of Langkawi off Malaysia’s northwest coast, even has a spa integrated into the jungle with four semi-alfresco villas set beside a stream and a menu of healing therapies. Beyond The Datai, explore more of Langkawi, Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark, on excursions with resort guides, and cruise through a mangrove forest hemmed by fossil-rich limestone hills and alive with marine creatures and birds. Then back to that luxury base camp. More: thedatai.com.