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The Datai Langkawi welcomes international guests back with new nature experiences and enhanced facilities

Chef Azli Ahmad celebrates the very best in Malaysian gastronomy for the next edition of The Chef Series, 22-23 April 2022.

LANGkAWI, MALAYSIA – Malaysian resort The Datai Langkawi welcomes back international guests after two years of border closures due to the pandemic. The Datai’s renowned standards of service and extraordinary guest experiences have been enhanced with an extended nature programme and new facilities, reflecting the resort’s commitment to sustainability, conservation and ecotourism. The reopening also coincides with the continuation of the resort’s signature The Chef Series; with this year’s edition showcasing the best of eclectic Malaysian dining experiences by some of the country’s most distinguished chefs.

From 1 April 2022, Malaysia reopened its borders to all travellers, with no quarantine on arrival for fully vaccinated persons. General Manager, Arnaud Girodon, said “Welcome back to The Datai Langkawi! We are all looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces at our rainforest resort after more than two years. We have taken the opportunity during this time to enrich our services, maintain the property, and improve our offerings. As with everything we do, a key focus has been working further towards our sustainability goals with our programme, The Datai Pledge, and adding even more inspirational as well as educational activities to our nature experiences. We are very excited to show you what we have done when we welcome you back to our little piece of paradise!”

Nestled in the heart of an ancient rainforest, The Nature Centre at the Datai Langkawi is a rallying point for nature enthusiasts and passionate environmentalists, offering unique opportunities to participate in conservation and scientific research. New for 2022, guests can now participate in reef protection activities at the centre’s new Coral Nursery, learn about the resort’s reforestation efforts at the Native Tree Nursery or discover how to harvest the unique Trigona itama honey from the resort’s stingless beehives with a new “Bee a Beekeeper” activity. The resort’s sustainable craft-making centre, The Lab – built from over 9,000 used wine, champagne, and liquor bottles – has also been extended with an open-air annex to conduct upcycling workshops, and the resort’s inspirational Poet’s Trail has been relaunched with a series of poems by Max Wallis, Khalil Gibran and The Datai’s Resident Naturalist, Irshad Mobarak.

Many of these new nature activities are offered in connection with The Datai Pledge, the resort’s ambitious conservation programme that aims to protect nature’s beauty with a focus on the resort’s operations, as well as the wildlife, marine environment, and communities of Langkawi island. Partner NGOs are regularly invited to conduct further guest activities such as hornbill observation excursions up local mountain Gunung Raya, dolphin spotting boat trips, and educational talks at The Nature Centre. All proceeds from such activities go towards funding of the manifold initiatives under The Datai Pledge. The passion and dedication to sustainability has been the driving force behind several awards the resort received including being recognized as the first organisation in the world with the EarthCheck ECO Certification for terrestrial tourism projects in 2019 and 2021 (the year 2020 was skipped as travel for audit was not possible during the pandemic), and the most recent achievement of being named Sustainable Spa of the Year at the World Spa & Wellness Awards.

The Datai Langkawi has also introduced two new room categories: the Canopy Garden and the Rainforest Premium Villa. The five new Canopy Garden rooms are ideal for families offering direct access to an outdoor private patio and seating area; whilst the Rainforest Premium Villa offers enhanced privacy and tranquil views of Anak Datai River and Sungai Datai. The Datai’s Rainforest Pool Villas also now feature pump heated pools using a system that generates 30-50 per cent energy saving compared to conventional electrical heaters, minimising the resort’s energy use and carbon emissions.

Continuing its legacy with new enhancements, The Datai Langkawi welcomes back its revered The Chef Series, a signature chef residency dining experience that welcomes culinary stars to its kitchens throughout the year. In previous years, guest chefs included such luminaries as Michel Roux, Nils Henkel and Michel and Sebastien Bras. The focus for this year is ‘Eclectic Malaysian’ Dining, spotlighting the country’s diverse culinary talents. From 22-23 April, Chef Azli Ahmad, from OpenHouse KLCC, will champion Malaysian flavours based on beloved recipes handed down by mothers and grandmothers.

The Chef Series sees each chef deliver an intimate dining event to guests of the resort, creating specially crafted menus that fully embody their unique culinary style and philosophy. For their exclusive menus, the chefs focus on local ingredients, especially what they can hand-pick from the resort’s own permaculture garden where the resort team grows turmeric, chilli, lemon grass, pandan and many more ingredients essential to authentic Malaysian fare. Fresh fish and seafood is predominantly sourced from Langkawi’s fishermen and organic chicken is available from a kampung (transl: local village) farm. Some of the chef residencies are accompanied by cooking demonstrations and a cooking class, where guests are able to enjoy a unique hands-on gastronomic experience creating and enjoying their very own culinary creations, under the guidance of the chefs themselves.

Bringing such culinary delights to the guests of The Datai Langkawi on a daily basis is newly appointed Chef Chai, Senior Chef de Cuisine for The Dining Room, the resort’s fine dining restaurant. Hailing from Malaysia, Chef Chai has trained in Michelin-star restaurants around the world, including 2 Michelin-starred ABaC restaurant in Barcelona and 3 Michelin-starred Oud Sluis in the Netherlands. Chef Chai has taken inspiration from the rich produce of Langkawi island and created an exclusive 9-course degustation menu, paired by the resident Sommelier with a selection of fine wines and champagne from the resort’s Wine Spectator award winning walk-in wine cellar, holding more than 450 labels of the best New and Old World vintages. Savour the 48 hours slow cooked oyster blade with parmesan cream, charred aubergine pegaga shade and Andaman aromatic juice, expertly paired with a Château Sociando-Mallet from Haut Médoc that brings out the aromas of the meat with its leathery deep cru notes.

With a commitment to traveller confidence, enhanced safety and hygiene procedures have been put in place around the resort and guests can arrange post arrival testing from the comfort of their villas. 


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