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The Datai Langkawi 5.0

Langkawi, Langkawi District, Kedah

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This hotel is currently closed for renovations.
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Review Summary

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  • Tropical island resort on a pristine stretch of sandy beach
  • Eco-conscious architecture incorporates traditional Malay design
  • State-of-the-art 18-hole golf course with stunning mountain views
  • Five restaurants serve Asian and Western fare, plus room service
  • Free cold drinks and treats served at pool and beach
  • Spacious rooms with huge bathrooms and balconies with sea or jungle views
  • One- and two-bedroom villas with private plunge pools
  • Water-sports center with kayaks and snorkeling gear
  • Open-air spa features outdoor soaking tub for couples
  • Surrounded by local wildlife like tree monkeys and tropical birds
  • Free rain forest walks guided by a renowned naturalist


  • Remote locale far from town (a plus for some)
  • Some rooms and public spaces show their age
  • Rain forest villas can be dark
  • Hotel will close in September 2017 for a nearly year-long renovation

Bottom Line

Set on a crescent bay beach surrounded by jungle foliage and exotic wildlife, the five-pearl Datai Langawi has built an admirable track record among vacationing couples and families since its opening over two decades ago. In addition to a white-sand beach and two pools, the 121-room resort includes a scenic 18-hole golf course, an enticing open-air spa pavilion, and a variety of casual and fine dining restaurants and bars. Guests can stay in a main-building room or suite, or choose a villa with private plunge pool overlooking the rain forest or beach. All rooms are spacious and include luxurious bathrooms, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. However, a number of guests have reported that rooms are showing their age and need updating -- a fact that hasn't escaped management's attention, since the property will close for an eight-month overhaul in September 2017. Travelers might want to compare the similarly-priced Danna Langkawi, a nearby resort with a three-tiered infinity pool and updated rooms. 

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Luxury resort with tropical surroundings and intoxicating views

The Datai Langkawi is a compound of open-air dining pavilions and private villas nestled deep in the foliage or along the white-sand beach. At the center of the resort is a multi-level main building resembling a traditional Malay kampung house. Two giant carved horses flank the entrance to the open-air lobby, where carved teak daybeds and rattan armchairs surround a shallow pool filled with lily pads. A lobby lounge with piano offers views of the rain forest and the Andaman Sea. The nearby Pavilion restaurant resembles a giant bird nest above the jungle canopy. Large tree trunks serve as columns to support the roof, and velvety moss covers the black shale retaining walls. Stretching from the rain forest to the coastline, the resort's golf course features views of the primordial Matchinchang mountain range. 

Guests are almost exclusively well-heeled couples who are here to relax and golf. 


On a renowned beach overlooking Datai Bay, near a UNESCO World Heritage Geopark

The resort is on Datai Bay on the northwest tip of the island of Langkawi, located in Peninsular Malaysia. The nearly mile-long Datai Bay Beach and adjacent rain forest are in the foothills of Gunung Mat Chinchang, the oldest mountain in Southeast Asia. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Geopark that's home to dusky langurs, colugos, hornbills, and 530 different species of butterflies. Langkawi International Airport and the tourist-friendly areas of Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah are both within an hour's drive.


Spacious rooms with posh marble bathrooms and Asian-style decor in need of updating

The Datai Langkawi's 120 rooms are divided between the main building and villas in the rain forest or on the beach. All air-conditioned rooms feature stocked minibars, flat-panel TVs, and free Wi-Fi. On the upper floors of the main building, Canopy Collection Rooms and Suites with hardwood floors and Asian-style decor feature small balconies with rain forest views. Spacious bathrooms accented with posh marble have twin vanities, walk-in showers, and separate dressing areas. 

About 10 minutes by buggy from the main building, Rain Forest Villas with pitched timbered ceilings are private, but dark and in need of updating, according to guest reports. All feature wraparound balconies where monkeys may drop in for a visit, and some come with kitchens and private plunge pools. Pink marble bathrooms with double sinks and walk-in showers are spacious and elegant. 

Bright and airy Beach Villas feature grasscloth walls and light-colored furniture, plus spectacular views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Some villas have stylish soaking tubs, huge closets, and plunge pools with dramatic stone privacy walls. 


White-sand beach, two pools, an 18-hole golf course, soothing spa, and open-air restaurants

The Datai Langkawi's tropical locale, two pools, and crescent-shaped beach create a relaxing getaway for honeymooners, couples, and the occasional family. Active outdoor options include the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ernie Els, free mountain bikes, and water sports equipment that includes snorkeling gear and kayaks. Free rain forest walks are led by the hotel's resident naturalist. Guests might spot dusky leaf monkeys and flying lemurs on the tour. 

Set in four open-air villas, the Datai Spa combines soothing treatments with the calming sound of nature. The gym is equipped with resistance and cardio machines, plus saunas in the men’s and women’s changing rooms. 

Guests can choose from five open-air restaurants and bars that include a breakfast buffet, Thai and Malaysian outposts, a lobby lounge, and a beachside spot serving wood-fired pizza and other snacks. Staff passes free cold drinks and snacks by the pool and beach. Personalized options include a private candlelit dinner or Champagne breakfast on the beach. There's also an experienced events staff available to organize weddings, meetings, and special events.

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Jalan Teluk Datai, Datai, Kedah 07000, Malaysia

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