ABOUT THIS PROJECT
The tourism industry can take nature, its greatest asset, for granted. But the opposite is true at The Datai Langkawi, an iconic resort on the northwest tip of Langkawi, where dense virgin rainforest frames a perfectly formed crescent bay. Created half a billion years ago, it's a nature-lovers' paradise, home to over 263 species of birds and 535 species of butterflies alongside lemurs, turtles, and dusky leaf monkeys.
The Datai Langkawi gives back by placing the natural world and its careful protection at the front and centre of everything on offer. Lush rainforest canopy, left undisturbed in design and construction, cocoon private villa pools, and resident naturalists and marine biologists await guests eager to learn and explore at The Nature Centre.
Spa treatments draw on the Malaysian philosophy of 'Ramuan', and The Atelier invites guests to meet local artists and craftspeople. It's a destination where walking the talk on sustainability and conservation looks and feels utterly indulgent.
Committing to preservation with The Datai Pledge
Established in 2019, The Datai Pledge is committed to improving the well-being of Langkawi's environment, wildlife, and local community.
Initiatives are far-reaching, including working towards consistently achieving zero waste to landfill and partnering with local NGOs, social enterprises and the local community to allow young people to research environmental issues in the resort's 46-acre, 10-million-year-old virgin rainforest.
Ambitious targets look to a more sustainable future alongside celebrating achievements so far. The resort aims for carbon neutrality and to work with more local NGOs to increase positive impact.
Leave a positive footprint
When it comes to nature, The Datai Pledge aspires to leave a positive footprint. Success in 2022 alone included planting 2,570 saplings from the resort's nursery to the rainforest, doubling biodiversity and increasing fish biomass on the regenerated reefs surrounding the resort, and working with the Langkawi Development Authority to create a wildlife corridor.
The latter will reconnect fragments of forest spanning Langkawi Island to ensure the safe passage of all species. Through guest donations and The Datai Pledge, the resort funds local conservation and community projects, as well as pillar partners: MareCet, the only NGO in Malaysia dedicated to marine mammal conservation; Gaia, a social enterprise dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and specialising in the welfare of hornbills; and Green Growth Asia Foundation, an NGO championing ‘green projects’ that drive economic growth through education.
Introducing low-impact luxury
The philosophy 'man and nature in perfect harmony' has always been central to this resort, evident in the original biophilic architecture by Kerry Hill and Didier Lefort and recent renovations.
Besides leaving the rainforest and bay untouched in construction, the 121-room villa and suite property minimises its footprint by diverting 94.8 per cent (as of September 2023) of waste from landfills, developing local, sustainable enterprises through activities like recycling resort candles and harvesting organic honey, and working towards carbon neutrality by carefully monitoring emissions.
Sustainable holiday experiences with a purpose
The Nature Centre, inspired by the ancient designs of bamboo longhouses, is a constant hive of activity. Whether looking for talks from resident marine biologists, guided hikes, or hands-on exploration for budding ecologists, there's something for all ages.
A PADI-certified marine research dive centre is on the way, to facilitate more hands-on research dives for guests. At The Lab, constructed from over 9,000 glass bottles and crushed plastic, upcycling and sustainability spring to life through workshops like soap and candle-making.
For a more conventional slice of well-being, The Spa overlooks a stream in the middle of the rainforest. Akar (meaning “roots” in Malay) products, created by The Datai Langkawi, are 100 per cent organic and natural. Each collection – the sea, the mangrove, and the rainforest – draws on the bounty of the inspiring surroundings. A holistic pavilion hosts yoga, pilates, and natural healing methods, while Mandi Embun, a form of forest bathing, is offered at Crystal Creek.