- Flora Gandolfo
THE DATAI LANGKAWI CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF NATURAL LUXURY
Updated: Mar 3
Iconic resort presents a diverse programme of celebrations in four ‘Chapters’
Four ‘Chapters’ focus on Community; Arts, Culture and Craft; Nature; and
The Datai Finale. Highlights include:
Interactive craft workshops with local artisans;
Photographic exhibition by award-winning photojournalist SC Shekar;
Fashion show celebrating the works of Malaysian designers;
The Chef Series programme of residencies by world-class chefs;
Serenity - The Datai Well-being Series of leading wellness practitioner residencies;
Educational talks from experts in conservation, wildlife, photography;
Inaugural ‘The Datai Classic’ golf tournament
Malaysia’s legendary The Datai Langkawi will this year tell its 30th anniversary story through a series of celebratory events and special residencies.Over the course of the year, four ‘Chapters’ will celebrate community; culture and nature, before concluding with a ‘30 Years of The Datai’ Finale featuring an exclusive residency by returning Michelin-starred chefs Michel and Sébastien Bras and performances by surprise guests.
First opened in October 1993, The Datai Langkawi has gone on to become one of the most iconic resorts in the world. Famed for its breathtaking setting in the heart of a 10-million-year-old primordial rainforest, The Datai Langkawi embraces its rich natural and cultural heritage in every aspect of its operations - from the late Kerry Hill’s visionary architecture and interior design by Didier Lefort, to the Malaysian-inspired cuisine and wellness offering, to its ground-breaking conservation, sustainability and community support programme, The Datai Pledge.
The Datai Langkawi’s milestone anniversary will welcome a number of creative talents throughout the year to host dinners, workshops, events and special performances. Running in unison with the programme will be The Chef Series, The Datai Langkawi’s signature dining experience celebrating the very best in gastronomy from the region and around the world with a stellar Michelin-starred chef line up for this year, and Serenity – The Datai Well-being Series, a new wellness programme launched in 2023, welcoming a curated line-up of holistic practitioners to host a series of residencies, from podiatry over chiropractic to sound healing.
Arnaud Girodon, General Manager of The Datai Langkawi summarises the resort’s ethos: “Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher, wrote that the only constant in nature is change; ‘you can never step in the same stream twice’. Yet there are values that have endured since the advent of mankind: nature’s power to heal and regenerate, the strength and shared wisdom of community, creativity’s potential to innovate and connect, and the desire to leave a positive long-lasting impact for future generations. In a world of constant change, we have sought to uphold these values, and our commemorative activities around nature, culture, dining, and wellness embrace them.”
Chapter 1: Celebrating our Community
Kicking off celebrations from 10-19 March, Chapter 1 of the anniversary celebrations will be feted under the theme of ‘Celebrating our Community’. Green Growth Asia Foundation, NGO partner of The Datai Pledge, will host presentations and games facilitated by volunteers working with the foundation, highlighting the risks of climate change and microplastics. Guests will also be invited to join artists the resort has partnered with over the years including community project partner KanshaLife to learn about their craft during interactive workshops, and enjoy an artisan food festival showcasing cuisine from Langkawi prepared by the resort’s culinary team as well as representatives of the local community, accompanied by traditional Malaysian live entertainment, for the closing event on 18 March at The Gulai House. Another highlight will be the launch of the interactive gallery along the resort’s main building corridors showcasing photographs by the award-winning photojournalist SC Shekar who is a pro bono contributor to The Datai Pledge. Along with this gallery, The Datai Langkawi will host an exhibition about the resort’s origins and development throughout the years at The Lobby, detailing the construction process and inspiration behind the resort, as well as the full refurbishment that carefully preserved The Datai’s DNA in 2017/2018.
Chapter 2: Celebrating our Arts and Crafts
From 23 June to 2 July, Chapter 2 of the anniversary events is celebrated under the topic ‘Celebrating our Arts and Crafts’. The Datai Langkawi has invited renowned fashion designers from Malaysia for a series of events, including Alia Bastamam who launched a capsule collection inspired by her stays at The Datai Langkawi as part of her Resort 2023 collection named Oasis, and Malaysian fashion brand Kapten Baptik who collaborated with The Datai Langkawi on an exclusive collection inspired by the resort’s leafy brand pattern in 2022. Items from both of these collections will be available at The Boutique during Chapter 2, and Kapten Batik will showcase their art in dedicated batik painting workshops. Guests will also be able to meet representatives of the wider artisan network of the resort, brought to Langkawi by Dia Guild, and try their own hand at new creative skills. A variety of pop-up events and artisan-led workshops throughout the week will include open mic nights for local musicians, poets and entertainers, and artisan’s workshops will be offered at The Atelier, The Beach Club and The Lab. For the closing event on 1 July at The Beach Club, dedicated pieces by local brands will be showcased in an elegant fashion show, all available for purchase throughout Chapter 2 at the resort. To accompany this parade of local fashion and creativity, the resort’s Senior Chef de Cuisine, Chai Chun Boon, whose technical mastery combined with his experimental flair has thoroughly impressed guests with his distinctive degustation menu since his appointment in 2022, will be paired with two outstanding culinary talents from Malaysia in a six-hand showcase to serve an innovative menu to guests.
Chapter 3: Celebrating our Nature
From 22 September to 1 October, Chapter 3 rings in the theme of ‘Celebrating our Nature’. The Datai Langkawi will honour its unique natural setting with a host of workshops, talks and special nature excursions. Sessions will be led by social enterprise Gaia, dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, and especially the increasingly endangered hornbills; MareCet, the only NGO in Malaysia dedicated to marine mammal conservation who conducts ongoing research in the waters around Langkawi on its population of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin and other porpoise species. Global tiger conservation charity Save Wild Tigers will end their Malaysian Odyssey 2023 at the resort, while celebrated wildlife photographer Peter Ong will showcase some of his stunning captures in an exhibition and guide guests in bird spotting excursions, and famed, passionate naturalist Irshad Mobarak will impart his wisdom on the challenges Langkawi faces as an island historically rich in biodiversity. This penultimate chapter of celebrations will close on 29 September with a sophisticated fundraising gala event, featuring live performances, dining hosted by a star guest chef from the region, and a live auction with proceeds going to Save Wild Tigers and The Datai Pledge.
Chapter 4: The Finale: Celebrating 30 Years of The Datai
The anniversary celebrations will culminate on 8-17 December with a ‘30 Years of The Datai’ Finale. As well as an array of artisanal bazaars, showcases and workshops, guests can join the inaugural ‘The Datai Classic’ golf tournament at the resort’s award-winning 18-hole course, The Els Club Teluk Datai. The year-long celebrations will conclude with a gala event on 16 December at the resort’s fine dining venue The Dining Room, featuring the return of Michel and Sébastien Bras –holders of a combined five Michelin stars at Bras and Le Suquet in Laguiole, France, who also honoured the grand re-opening of The Datai Langkawi after the refurbishment of 2017/2018 with an exclusive dinner for guests. The evening will see surprise guests who will entertain with live performances and a fundraising auction with all proceeds going to programmes under The Datai Pledge.
For more information on The Datai Langkawi’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, please visit the dedicated website here www.thedatai.com/events-and-occasions/30-year-anniversary, call +60.4.9500 500 or email email@example.com.
Notes to Editors:
For high-resolution photos of The Datai Langkawi, please click here.
ABOUT THE DATAI LANGKAWI
One of the world’s most stunning resorts, The Datai Langkawi, is situated on the northwest tip of the island of Langkawi in Malaysia. Located in an ancient rainforest rich in wildlife and overlooking the tranquil Datai Bay awarded by National Geographic one of the Top 10 Beaches worldwide, the iconic property enchants with mesmerising nature, visionary architecture, understated elegance, and Malaysian hospitality. All the 121 rooms, villas, and suites at The Datai Langkawi, including the five-bedroom The Datai Estate Villa, offer breath-taking views of the surrounding nature. Elevated among treetops, set in the very heart of the rainforest, and located directly on the coastline, the dining outlets which include the award-winning The Gulai House, The Pavilion, The Dining Room, and The Beach Club, pay homage to the exotic flavours and culinary traditions of the region and beyond. Bespoke facilities include The Nature Centre, an educational facility and home to resident naturalists and marine biologists, and The Spa featuring Ramuan treatments, its own Akar retail range, and Voya facials. Leisure facilities include three pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre at The Health Club; an array of wellness activities including Pilates and yoga, retail outlet The Boutique, a reserved space to showcase local arts and talents at The Atelier, as well as one of the most scenic golf courses in the world designed by golf legend Ernie Els, The Els Club Teluk Datai. The resort has founded The Datai Pledge in 2019 - a sustainability and conservation trust that supports Langkawi’s unique fauna, flora, and communities. All proceeds from The Datai Pledge aid this work and contribute to local non-profit organisation. The Datai Langkawi is managed by Datai Hotels and Resorts Sdn Bhd, a company incorporated to manage and operate hospitality properties in Malaysia and beyond.
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