I am writing this in the midst of a 10-million-year-old rainforest – accompanied by the luscious green as well as the cacophony of insects and other mystical creatures. Occasionally, the trees will start dancing in the wind and other times, it is because of the little playful monkeys that would swing from one branch to another. The sounds and ambience that I will indefinitely miss once I am back in the hustle and bustle of the city life. Nature is beautiful and therapeutic. When I am home, I will always take some time to sit in my garden and i will always feel much more refreshed afterward.
When I was a child, we would often visit Langkawi. But all I could remember about Langkawi was the ferry ride and the eagle statue. Imagine my surprise the moment I arrived and seeing the enormous changes here – the resorts, the bed of green hills the beach bars, yachts scattered all over the ocean, etc etc. Just, the fact they had other things besides the eagle statue. It reminds me a bit of my time in Bali but Langkawi, like all other places, has its own sweet charm.
Believe it or not, it was a last minute plan we concocted. I was itching for a getaway and at that very moment, it just felt right. I then, asked for everyone’s blessings (parents, in laws) and my husband just gave me his credit card and went on with it. Without much thought given, none at all, I had impetuously booked the flight and the villa for the next day. It was one of those moments where it felt right and I tend to never second guess myself when such rare of a feeling arises. And from there on, everything flows with such comforting familiarity again – packing and repacking the clothes I do not need, going through places to go online, arriving at the airport that I loathed but missed, check ins, finding the right gate, you know the drill and the next thing I know, the plane was taxiing down the aisle of Langkawi airport. It was a full flight which baffles me a little. You ought to do social distancing everywhere else but in the plane it seems.
When we arrived at the arrival hall, two ladies dressed in traditional Kebaya were holding our hotel’s name card, The Datai and greeted us with a grin and helped us with our luggage. We were then ushered to where the driver was and then, welcomed with hot towels and some water. After about 40 minutes of winding road from the airport, we arrived at the Datai. At first, I felt a pinch of regret choosing the hotel because it was pretty isolated but the moment I arrived, everything changed.
We were greeted with wonderful welcome, a cinnamon-y refreshment and an upgrade to a rainforest villa. I was completely in awe with this resort in its entirety – the architecture, the décor, the ambience, the world class hospitality. The fact that they have so many eco initiatives make everything seem worthwhile. Even their toothbrushes are made out of bamboo. Our villa has its own private pool, with such stunning view of the rainforest, and it was perfect for our pre-honeymoon. They made us feel more special by giving us a heart-shaped cake and a bottle of champagne. (Don’t worry onions, we returned it) The staffs are so professional, so amazing, that everyone here was treated like a royalty. It is truly one of the best resorts I have ever stayed and I have been to a fair share of places worldwide and nothing is quite like this, hospitality wise.
The Datai would go to great lengths to make you feel safe in the midst of the pandemic. They would ask you if you would be okay with a normal service or if you wanted a contactless service. They would even clean your room twice a day.
We would spend most of our times at the private beach, where there isn’t much people and I love how they preserve the beauty of the rainforest and the coastline. The thought about leaving this place is already enough to drown me with sadness.
Some things you should know before you book the Datai :
1) It is pretty isolated from the town and from every possible attraction you could think of. Most of the guests that chose to stay here chose to just laze around in the pool and at the beach all day long.
2) There is no restaurant or supermarket nearby so if you choose to stay here, your only option would be their in-house restaurants. The mee-mamak could easily cost you MYR 80 but the food is amazing so 80 ringgit for a mee-mamak? I’ll have two please. Jk. At least, because it is delicious, it won’t make you feel like throwing the plate against the wall. The risotto is to die for.
3) If you want to explore, you might have to rent a car before you arrive.
4) No one would recommend you driving down and up the winding road at night because a) it is dark. b) You might encounter unwanted guests and I am not talking about the monkeys.
5) If you have some money to spare, get the Rainforest villa. Breathtaking.