Let the countdown begin. Come December, The Datai Langkawi will officially unveil the results of a $60 million renovation. As we reported last year, the tropical resort—a long established luxury resort destination in Malaysia—closed its doors for an overhaul that Leading Hotels of the World called “the most substantial enhancement project since its inception 25 years ago.” Nothing was left untouched, from the guestrooms and public spaces to the new additions like the Nature Center, spa pavilions and a fitness center by the beach. Since September 29, The Datai Langkawi has been in soft opening mode, meaning not all facilities are open. (There is still some finishing work to be completed before December.)
Here’s what to expect with the makeover: Australian architect Kerry Hill—responsible for the resort’s original look almost a quarter century ago—worked in tandem with interior designer Didier Lefort of DL2A to preserve the essential Datai personality. Built to blend into the lush rainforest landscape on the northwest tip of the island of Langkawi, the resort offers 121 rooms, suites and villas—all completely upgraded with the latest technology. Due to its popularity, the Rainforest Pool Villa category has been expanded with three more such villas. The crème de la crème is the new five-bedroom The Datai Estate, one of the largest such villas in Asia at more than 37,600 square feet.
The Datai Spa has been expanded and now offers a Bastien Gonzalez manicure and pedicure studio. The fitness center has been relocated to the beachfront, while The Pavilion and Dining Room restaurants have been extended. Need to know: The new Nature Center, run by a team of naturalists and marine biologists, offers guests the chance to participate in conservation and scientific research activities. In the center’s tea corner, learn about the medicinal properties of local herbs.
The overhaul wasn’t just cosmetic; The Datai Langkawi is also relaunching its brand and visual identity. The agency Sarah Miller & Partners is overseeing the rebranding which includes a new logo, website, photography and video content.
During the resort’s closure, the staff could enroll in university classes through the “Datai Investing in People” initiative, allowing further hospitality certifications.