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  • Flora Gandolfo


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

Iconic Malaysian resort The Datai Langkawi is delighted to welcome 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 people. 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 support of 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. Guest experiences such as hornbill observation excursions up Gunung Raya mountain, dolphin spotting boat trips, and educational talks at The Nature Centre are regularly hosted in partnership with local NGOs, with all proceeds funding the manifold initiatives under The Datai Pledge. The resort's passion and dedication to sustainability has been the driving force behind several recent award recognitions including becoming the first organisation in the world to receive EarthCheck ECO Certification for terrestrial tourism projects in 2019 and 2021*, 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 the Anak Datai and Sungai Datai rivers. The Datai’s Rainforest Pool Villas also now feature pump heated pools using a system that reduces energy consumption by 30-50 per cent 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 have 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 those they can hand-pick from the resort’s own permaculture garden, where the resort team grows turmeric, chilli, lemongrass, pandan and many more fundamentals of authentic Malaysian fare. Fresh fish and seafood are 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 nine-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. The Datai Langkawi has also launched an exclusive offer valid for stays until 30 November 2022. For more information and reservations, visit


Notes to Editors:

For high-resolution photos of The Datai Langkawi, please click here.

*EarthCheck ECO Certifications were not awarded in 2020 as auditing trips were not possible during the pandemic.


One of the world’s most stunning resorts, The Datai Langkawi is situated on the northwestern 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 of 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 and its own Akar retail range. Leisure facilities include three pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre at The Health Club; an array of wellness activities including silat 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 organisations.

The Datai Langkawi is managed by Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd, an investment holding company incorporated to develop, manage and operate hospitality and attraction destinations.

For further press information and images, please contact: Sarah Harvey (, Nat Frogley ( or Flora Gandolfo ( at Frog & Wolf PR.

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