February 23, 2024

Barefoot luxury at The Datai Langkawi

Tired of the pandemic lockdown and longing for a breath of fresh air, when I headed to Langkawi a few months ago, there was no doubt in my mind about where I would stay. It had to be The Datai. It was a special anniversary break for me, and so I was expecting nothing but the best. And I am glad to stay the Datai turned out to be just that. Right from the warm welcome at the expansive lobby with its lotus pool on one side and the views of the swimming pool stretching all the way out to the sea on the other, it was an experience that lifted my spirits (and heaven knows that is so sorely needed in these times).

And that is indeed one of the most stunning things about The Datai – its location right in the heart of an ancient rainforest, bordered by the sea on one side.

We stayed at the Rainforest Pool Villa, surrounded by the lush green rainforest, which meant waking up to the sound of birdsong, afternoon naps to the comforting noise of crickets and cicadas, marathon reading sessions on the outside porch by the poolside, lazy splashes in the pool itself, and long late evening walks inside the property, exploring its many hidden nooks and corners, keeping our eyes peeled for birdwatching and animal spotting.

Speaking of nooks and corners, I discovered the library rather late in my stay, but I did manage to sneak in some time there, browsing through the books and curling up on an armchair with a few glossy magazines. I also paid a visit to the ecology centre – the stunning facade created out of old glass bottles – and learned to make soaps and candles. I found the Datai’s overall commitment to conservation itself commendable, and this centre that repurposes materials from inside the resort is only one such example. The title of this post – barefoot luxury – is a nod to the resort’s commitment to nature in all its green glory.

Of course, I also enjoyed a couple of spa sessions, again almost falling asleep the sounds of birds tweeting and cicadas chirping in the wilderness. The hour long massage with two therapists was particularly good, my tired and achy muscles relaxing under their expert strokes. And all I could after that was drag myself back to my room for a long snooze, followed by another splash in the wading pool outside the room. The larger swimming pool close to the coffeeshop always seemed inviting, but really, who needed it!

Finally, the food. My husband and I are vegetarians, and while travelling in Malaysia, it has so far been a bit of a challenge finding good (or sometimes, any) vegetarian food at all. The Datai not only had a small special vegetarian menu, but also catered to our dietary needs with great care. And you will agree that good food is an important part of any stay, and since we were there for four days, it became particularly significant (you can make do with whatever is available for one or two meals but not for days on end). Add to this fancy cocktails by the seaside, and a surprise anniversary cake at the end of dinner, and you know why I had a happy smile through the stay.

That’s it, folks – the photostory of my short but oh so sweet stay at The Datai, Langkawi earlier this year. Suffice it to say that we spent our entire time at Langkawi inside the resort, stepping out only to the forest nearby for a couple of exploratory walks (more on this in my next post about Datai’s greens) – there is enough to see, do and eat right there, so why step out in the Malaysia heat?!

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