Excellent. The smoothest trip I've ever experienced.
As always Jamie arranged a great holiday
Great recommendation from Dale. As always everything was perfectl. We recommend DialAFlight to everyone as you are the best and cheapest. Our families use you too now!
Keep it up, great all round service
From initial plans to changes to flight time, transfers and extra pertinent information (in this case 2019 nCoV) all documentation was provided in a clear and timely fashion. It felt as though we were taken care of, albeit at arms length but if needed help was always available from your travel advisor.
Excellent as always
Thanks Ronnie. All worked OK. Was escorted though KL to connecting flight.
Great holiday all went well. Thanks Kennedy
Superb service. Everything went well and I appreciated your message wishing me 'bon voyage'.
Excellent service as always!
Fantastic service from John at the Croydon office. Everything was organised perfectly and for a great price!
You never let me down, always stay in nice hotels, have recommended you to lots of friends who have booked with you.
Thankyou Travis for organising it all
Third time I’ve used DialAFlight. Always great service from start to finish!
Once again, Wesley sorted everything out for our trip.
I have used Dial-a-flight for the last 5 years and once again Karl Patel put together a fabulous itinerary which surpassed all of our expectations. A slight hiccup at the first hotel was dealt with immediately following an email to Karl who, on his day off, called the office.
Frank was fantastic - perfect holiday from start to finish
Ryan gave us the most amazing holiday from the accommodation to the transfers. The attention to detail provided by both our resorts was superb.
Charles was very helpful. I hope to book again with DialAFlight.
Thanks to Jerry. The usual faultless arrangements and excellent email updates.
The Danna Hotel, Langkawi is top class. Service superb and the airline looked after us well.
We booked through Conrad who was very helpful. We had some issues with a hotel but the hotel moved us to a sister hotel. The flights and hotels were very good
Everything was brilliant - all still lovely. The staff make the resort
Thank you for all your help in booking our holiday. You answered all our questions and we had a great time and your staff were absolutely fantastic thank you.
Had a terrible flight with Malaysian Airlines so may choose not to use hem again. Not DialAFlight's issue at all
Adam Sui did a fab job in sorting me out for this holiday.
Many thanks to Ronnie who ensured the package was perfect for our needs and at the right price.
Michael and Bill were extremely helpful
Many a tropical paradise has snakes in the grass – figuratively, if not literally. Maybe there are jet-skis in the bay or biting insects.
You think you've found heaven – but there's a chance of disappointment.
However, The Datai is perfect. This five-star resort is set in lush rainforest on the north-west corner of the Malaysian island of Langkawi, an hour's flight from the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
An impressive place
There are a total of 121 rooms, suites and villas. The main building stands on a steep hill. Below lie the individual villas, hidden among trees that descend a quarter-mile to the beach.
The hotel has recently had an extensive renovation - but under the supervision of the same architect who worked on the original construction in 1993 to make sure the unique 'Datai DNA' was retained. So all the rooms and villas have been delightfully refreshed and there is a new nature centre to underpin the resort's focus on sustainability. And there's also a new health club right by the beach.
We are visiting this fine retreat for the second year running. Nothing is less than wonderful. At The Datai, every day seems better than the last.
What to expect
The weather, outside the rainy season, which starts in April, is hot but not humid; a breeze keeps the sun's effects in check. High season runs from Christmas to the end of March, then resumes in August.
The private beach is one of the most beautiful on Earth, and runs for a third of a mile below the loungers of the beach club, where we sip cocktails and savour seafood linguine for lunch.
There are four restaurants, in which 60 chefs produce a range of European, Malaysian and Thai food which is never less than delicious – and they also have a good children's menu. And there is the Lobby Lounge for light snacks.
Perhaps to celebrate a special occasion, or just if you feel like it, The Datai can also create a personalised candlelit dinner on the beach for you.
Penny, my wife, accuses me of committing genocide on the local prawn population – but my, they are superb, served with a range of spicy sauces that never get boring.
I pig out on scallops and octopus slices, served on a bed of celery puree with tamarind sauce, followed by lobster medallions and... well, I could go on endlessly.
Penny and I are the world's worst golfers, but play a couple of times a year. The Datai course must be one of the loveliest anywhere, with the sea almost lapping some of the greens. Others lie beneath a towering virgin mountain. I lose more balls than I can count by smiting them into the neighbouring rainforest – but recover plenty by wading into streams where other players have not bothered to retrieve them.
We swim a lot. We collect shells. One evening, we embark on a sunset cruise aboard the hotel's delightful replica Malay sailing vessel.
Penny's favourite active outing is our attempt to circle the bay while standing upright on a paddleboard.
Both of us decide this is pretty good going for a 70-plus-year-old. All around us, young things are falling off their boards. Not that I am any better. My giraffe-like frame cannot hold its balance for more than ten seconds.
Many of the guests are British, many of whom have been holidaying here for years. One-third of the hotel's business is repeat, which is always a good sign – and many of the 420 staff have worked at the resort for more than ten years.
Most visitors stay at least a week, and linger for as long as a month.
Penny strolls to the beach and has the thrill of seeing a big sea otter only a few yards distant, up a little creek. The butterflies are fabulous, too, and the hotel offers guided nature walks as part of its package.
A reason (or two) to return
Fantastic food, natural beauty, stylish simplicity and blissful comfort are the selling points of The Datai. The Malaysians are wonderfully friendly hosts and nothing is too much trouble.
I will not be popular with our fellow guests when we return next year – as we certainly will – for whispering The Datai secret. But we love the place, and it seems mean to keep it to ourselves.
I have stayed in few resorts where we have experienced such contentment, and that sensation is worth a king's ransom.
First published in the Mail Online - November 2018
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