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Robert organised everything for a special birthday present for my husband. I gave an idea of which hotels and places we'd like to visit and Robert came back with amazing itinerary and price. Kept up to date on every aspect even when away. Service and support is outstanding and highly recommend using DialAFlight.
Callum in particular excelled; thanks for everything.
So easy to book, always helpful. Took the stress out of two recent long-distance journeys abroad. Thanks DialAFlight!
You take the stress out of finding flights.
As always you make it very easy to plan holidays and multi flight trips at competitive prices. Will carry on using you to book flights
Hotels in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were great and in very good locations and all flights were on time. Everything worked out perfectly
Our holiday was excellent - thank you for your assistance throughout.
The Lounge at Birmingham we had access to was awful; also, Turkish Airlines need to get their act sorted out in regard to boarding both at Birmingham and Istanbul - chaos. Don't know if you are aware that Turkish Airlines Business Class offer 2 free nights stay in Istanbul (a good selling point)
Fantastic recommendations on hotels and structure of flights. Really happy with our holiday and we will use you again.
As usual Stacey was fantastic. Another unforgettable holiday!
As always the trip was exciting but very challenging in places. The guide was excellent, patient, supportive and very knowledgeable.
Loved the keeping in touch to make sure everything was OK. Excellent service
Bruce has arranged my flights and many of my customers coming to Asia over many years. Always very good communication, alternative suggestions. Solely because of Bruce and his excellent attitude and help I have not searched for cheaper flights which I know are available.
Lucas always does an amazing job - thanks again
An accomplished travel company which puts the client's interest at the forefront of everything it does. Thank you Calvin. I will certainly do business with you again.
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Molly Smith who arranged my tickets was thorough and helpful throughout the process.
You are the best - that’s why we keep coming back for all our holiday needs.
We were really pleased with Calvin's service and also with the help received when it seemed there was a problem with getting our flight from Chiang Mai.
Overall our flights and holiday were excellent. The arrangements for transfers put into place by DialAFlight took place without a hitch and the drivers were professional. The only change I would have made was our hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The Ritz Carlton is very much in the business district of the city and consequently taxis were needed to visit the various places of interest. Whilst taxis are very inexpensive in KL the traffic is congested most of the time! However, an excellent holiday and we will be booking again with DialAFlight
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We have used DialAFlight and never ever had any problems, which is why we recommend them to friends and family. Staff are professional, helpful, friendful and knowledgeable - thank you, and here's to the next one!
There is a medical insurance required by the Qatari government for all foreign tourists which we were unaware of and caused a delay: 5o Riyals per passenger. They did not accept our Amex Insurance cover. Another money making scheme!
Our holiday was fantastic. The hotel Daniel Webb chose for us was amazing and I can’t thank him enough for arranging our flights, transfer and hotel. I’m definitely recommending DAF to all my friends and relations and will continue to use for all my future travel plans.
Excellent advice and all hotels and flights fabulous. We always use DialAFlight and highly recommend to friends.
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Good efficient service with the knowledge that DialAFlight are always there should anything go wrong.
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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