A superlative name in Malaysian hospitality, The Datai has recently emerged from a year long refurbishment phase more resplendent and alluring than ever. The crown is back on this 26 year old stunner that is quite simply out of this (modern) world.
While every inch of this resort is healing - from the breath-taking sea views where eagles head to hunt to the canopy views of the villas where one can catch sight of monkey troops ambling around, the stunning Datai Spa, with suites that open to a rainforest stream, is simply a dream. The Malay massage here is fabulously studied and practised. The Dining Room presents a limited but sophisticated menu (chicken consomme laden with shaved black truffles is divine) while the Pavilion dishes out superb Thai cuisine that works well with the tropical alfresco milieu.
Wonderful attentiveness from staff is well appreciated by guests who have been returning to the resort after 20 years. There is familiarity and finesse in the service orientation of this hospitality institution, which makes its comely rooms and villas such a joy to inhabit.
After a complete renovation that saw every room and villa completely remodeled, the accommodations here still retain their original facades but open to interiors that are comfortingly plush and subtly luxurious. The rainforest villas, which come with patios that seem like portals to another world, are our favourite although the beach villas with separate bed and living rooms are also incredibly inviting.