A Top-to-Bottom Overhaul for The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia

An aerial beach and bay view of Langkawi island in Malaysia
Photo by ErmakovaElena/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A long-time luxury resort destination in Malaysia, The Datai Langkawi is located next to ages-old rainforest and one of the world’s prettiest beaches. This tropical setting—the northwest tip of the island of Langkawi—has enchanted visitors since 1993. There are top-rated restaurants, two swimming pools, and Els Club Teluk Datai, a 18-hole golf course designed by South African golf legend Ernie Els.

Now the resort has shuttered for what Leading Hotels of the World is calling “the most substantial enhancement project since its inception.” Officially closed in September, The Datai Langkawi is expected to reopen in July 2018 after an extensive restoration which will completely redesign the guestrooms, public space and retail outlets, while adding a new Nature Center, spa pavilions and a fitness center by the beach. 

The official announcement stresses management’s efforts to preserve the “Datai DNA”, so the resort has commissioned acclaimed interior designer Didier Lefort of DL2A and Australian architect Kerry Hill who were responsible for the original look of the property almost a quarter century ago. With a focus on integrating into the surrounding natural landscape, the resort was recognized for its groundbreaking architecture (long before “green” was a buzzword) and received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001.

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All accommodations (54 rooms, 42 villas, 12 suites and 14 beach villas) will get a makeover integrating the technology and modern facilities expected by today’s luxury traveler. With the launch of the new Nature Center run by the resort’s resident naturalist Irshad Mobara, sustainability will continue to be an important part of the resort.

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