A LEGEND REBORN
Emerging from an ambitious overhaul, Langkawi’s most iconic resort is set to impress the most demanding 21st- century traveler while staying true to its roots.
Since its debut in 1993 above a secluded cove on the Malaysian holiday island of Langkawi, The Datai Langkawi has wooed discerning guests with its award- winning architecture, intuitive service, and jungle- chic setting amid a swath of ancient rain forest. But that doesn’t mean this beloved resort has been resting on its laurels. This September, The Datai will embark on an exciting new chapter when it reopens following a 12- month, multimillion- dollar renovation that encompasses a complete overhaul of its interiors and exteriors and a host of new or expanded facilities. Reimagined by Didier Lefort, the Parisbased designer responsible for The Datai’s original interiors, all guest rooms, suites, villas, and public spaces have been thoroughly updated while remaining true to their core DNA, which emphasizes simplicity, local materials, and inspiration from the surrounding environment and culture. Three Rainforest Pool Villas have been added to the mix and now all eight units will each feature an impressive deck and pool overlooking the limpid waters of the Datai River. The new five- bedroom The Datai Estate, meanwhile, spans more than 3,500 square meters, making it one of the largest villas of its kind in Asia. Comprising spacious living rooms, games rooms, and two 20- meter connected pools, the Estate will feature 24- hour butler service as well as a private chef. The resort’s lobby and overall landscaping have undergone the most dramatic change of all, while a soon-to- be- completed nature center will be run by a team of naturalists and marine biologists led by highly regarded resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak. Inspired by tribal bamboo longhouses, the center will also host mini laboratories that will afford guests the opportunity to discover more about the marine and forest environment that surrounds them. Nature is also at the heart of the newly expanded The Spa, where skilled therapists deliver treatments that draw on Malay healing traditions and ramuan “potions” made by infusing oils with hand-picked medicinal foliage from the herb garden and surrounding forest. Additionally, celebrity pedicurist Bastien Gonzalez will be opening his first studio in Malaysia at the resort, enabling visitors to experience his exceptional virtuosity and approach to hand and foot care. All told, The Datai Langkawi’s most substantial enhancement since its inception nearly 25 years ago promises to thrill a new generation of travelers while ensuring regular guests still feel very much at home when they return. During the resort’s soft opening, a special 20% discount for stays between 15 September and 15 December 2018 is being offered. Visit thedatai. com for more information.