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Beach escape from Singapore: The Datai or The Surin

Beach escape from Singapore: The Datai or The Surin

Old Jan 6, 19, 2:56 am
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Beach escape from Singapore: The Datai or The Surin

Hi everybody,
Im planning a trip to Singapore beginning of April, and Id like to extend the trip for 10 days to a beach resort.
Currently I was interested to The Datai in Langkawi, that in terms of hardware and location seems to be great!
Anyway, beach quality is probably our number one criteria and, while very scenic, Datai waters do not look that clear and transparent.
Alternative would be The Surin in Phuket, which comes even a little cheaper.
Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks for your support
Paolo
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Old Jan 6, 19, 1:58 pm
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You should stay at The Datai . We stayed years ago before the renovations ( & liked it even then ) but hope to return soon . Some FTers have stayed recently & other friends too , all really enjoyed their visits .

Did not like The Surin , though shares best beach in Phuket with Amanpuri .
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Old Jan 10, 19, 2:26 pm
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Thanks FlyerEC, looking forward to read some reports from other FTers!
May I ask you what you didn't like at The Surin? Would you say the beach is much better than Datai beach?

thanks
Paolo
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:15 pm
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The Datai is still on my to-do list, but the beach at Amanpuri & The Surin isn't all the spectacular. It's the best in Phuket, but Phuket (like Samui) isn't really known for spectacular beaches. I mean, we're not talking anywhere near the level of a place like Pulo, North Island, etc.

Given that The Datai is high on my priority list to visit, I would assume the beach there would be far superior to anything in Phuket (longer, less crowded, etc. even if sand/water quality is similar)???
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Old Jan 11, 19, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by nmuva98 View Post
The Datai is still on my to-do list, but the beach at Amanpuri & The Surin isn't all the spectacular. It's the best in Phuket, but Phuket (like Samui) isn't really known for spectacular beaches. I mean, we're not talking anywhere near the level of a place like Pulo, North Island, etc.

Given that The Datai is high on my priority list to visit, I would assume the beach there would be far superior to anything in Phuket (longer, less crowded, etc. even if sand/water quality is similar)???
Originally Posted by ciswi View Post
Thanks FlyerEC, looking forward to read some reports from other FTers!
May I ask you what you didn't like at The Surin? Would you say the beach is much better than Datai beach?

thanks
Paolo
The beach at Datai is supposedly better
Puri ‘ s is a relatively tiny strip while Datai bay is large and private
White sand but cannot recall how fine

The rooms / suites at The Surin are small . It has lots of steps , especially if you get a room with above or beach level . So either trek up or down to restaurant , spa , etcetera or way down to the beach .
Not an Aman , had links long ago now .

But Pulo ‘ s is best , not to be compared with , the beach that is , for now Datai ‘ s service needs lots of improvement - language ? .. & no more GHM management
Trying to see if we can fit in a trip this month
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Old Jul 5, 19, 10:18 am
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I was wondering if anyone had any more recent thoughts on this particular comparison. I am looking at these options (amongst others) for a easy two night trip from Singapore in late November. I am keen on a lovely location as well as just the hard product. I did Amanjiwo for 2 days a couple of years ago and would love a similarly spectacular position/view.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 10:01 pm
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I just stayed at the Surin Phuket and really enjoyed it. It is not five star, either in hard product or service, but a solid four stars, on a really excellent beach. It's convenient to the airport, yet away from all the craziness and very quiet. They have a large staff and the grounds are very well kept. I would go for the beach cottage, which is right on the sand. The food is very good. Spa is solid, if not spectacular. Overall very good value. There are lots of stairs, so would not be a good choice if mobility impaired.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 10:22 pm
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If you're flying from SIN, I'd consider Bali too, although it really deserves more time than a weekend.

I guess Sentosa isn't far enough?
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Old Jul 14, 19, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by belsize77 View Post
I was wondering if anyone had any more recent thoughts on this particular comparison. I am looking at these options (amongst others) for a easy two night trip from Singapore in late November. I am keen on a lovely location as well as just the hard product. I did Amanjiwo for 2 days a couple of years ago and would love a similarly spectacular position/view.
I was just visiting The Datai a few weeks back, been to The Surin (for visits) plenty. I suspect they're operating at relatively different price ranges though (Surin being a fair bit cheaper) so that might come into play.
The Datai is more spectacular, but I think to really appreciate it you do need a few days (surprised at Amanjiwo for just 2 days too!), but The Surin is just fine for a quick 2 day type stay.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 10:56 pm
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The Datai shares its beach with The Andaman, just as Amanpuri shares its beach with The Surin.

I think the best beaches in the area are those on the East Coast of Malaysia around the Tanjong Jara Resort.

I would never consider Bali for a beach holiday.

Last edited by Pausanias; Jul 14, 19 at 11:50 pm
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Old Jul 16, 19, 5:51 am
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Thats all really helpful thanks. I am probably off topic now but have 5 nights in SE Asia but must start in Singapore and end in Shanghai given some miles redemption limitations. I think it is the breadth of choice that is a challenge plus the desire to limit connecting flights. I did look at the Capella on Sentosa and Sanchaya but could probably strike out further. The Malaysian option looked great too. I could just do 3 cities for convenience but the pictures in trip reports always look so tempting.

The Datai seems maybe a better bet. I did look at Trisara too plus all the numerous Bali threads. The other issue would be that it would be a lower level room (unless an FHR/Virtuoso upgrade kicks in) at an Aman type place versus a top category room at a Surin or Pankor Laut type place.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 3:08 pm
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I also had a hard time deciding where to go last year, arriving from the US in HKG and leaving from SIN. Also wanted to minimize connections. It was December, so there were specific places boxed out for monsoon reasons, and I ended up going to Phu Quoc, as well as Datai and St Regis Langkawi. Did not enjoy Phu Quoc, but Langkawi is always great. Thought hard about the Rosewood Phuket, but avoided it just because the connection from Phu Quoc wasn’t to my liking.

The only other thing I’d mention is that at the Datai, the hotel rooms are way up the hill, and there are only a handful of villas that are legit at the beach. Not sure what room type you were looking at.

Last edited by JeremyZ; Jul 24, 19 at 3:51 pm
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Old Jul 23, 19, 9:58 pm
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After doing my own research on both areas, both beaches receive good approval of visitors with The Datai getting a bit more attention than Surin. Comments on the Datai beach include things like gorgeous, spectacular and beautiful. Surin in Phuket on the other hand, overall comments are on the place in general but no exaggeration about the beach. I am a lover of the beach, so I like to take these things into consideration too. Yes, the waters are clean in both cases but I believe in order to make a choice you can perhaps look at the best time to travel to either of these countries to make sure you are not going during the times of monsoon, hurricane or some rainy season.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
I ended up going to Phu Quoc, as well as Datai and St Regis Langkawi. Did not enjoy Phu Quoc, but Langkawi is always great. Thought hard about the Rosewood Phuket, but avoided it just because the connection from Phu Quoc wasnt to my liking.

The only other thing Id mention is that at the Datai, the hotel rooms are way up the hill, and there are only a handful of villas that are legit at the beach. Not sure what room type you were looking at.
Id be very interested in your pros and cons/comparison and contrast between the Datai, Andaman (if you saw any of it), and the StR Langkawi. Thanks!
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Old Jul 24, 19, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Id be very interested in your pros and cons/comparison and contrast between the Datai, Andaman (if you saw any of it), and the StR Langkawi. Thanks!
Sure thing. The St Regis and Datai are both amazing - I can't imagine anyone having a bad time at either.

I stayed in a Sunset Villa at the StR, and it was really nice. Good amount of privacy, fit and finish very consistent with StR Bali if you've been there. Food overall was very, very good and always a nice surprise left in the room from the butler. The Jetty and Eagle square is walkable on a good day (Kuah proper is a smidge farther), a 7RM Grab ride on a bad day - not that you'll go there very often, but I like to feel like there's an escape nearby. Overall, a very comfortable hotel to ease into.

At the Datai, I was in a beach villa, which was gorgeous. One of them two-building deals with a separate little living room building. Far less gaudy than the StR, but no less comfortable. Beach access was right out the back door of the villa's property, and the beach may be the nicest at any Langkawi resort. Food was good, but not great, and the breakfast can't compare to the amazing StR. Jungle is *amazing* and nobody is too old or too cool to go on the Datai nature walks. The big downside for me was that the overall service tone drove me nuts (I may have mentioned it in another post) - the butler was oppressive. Too much calling me to ask multiple times if I ate, insisting to light 30 candles around the villa, having to go through him to get an answer from the concierge, one time, I contacted the medical office directly to get some ibuprofen, and he told me that the next time I needed to let him know if I had a headache (I know, first-world problems, but eventually, he became my headache). Some people will love that - I didn't.

So maybe in summary:
StR Pros: Great food; euro-luxurious rooms and furnishings; effective, smart service; less expensive than Datai; St Regis bar is always solid; good privacy in the villas
Datai Pros: Authentic, but luxurious accommodations; incomparable jungle setting; villas have wonderful private outdoor space; *amazing* beach, with clear water that's full of life; friendly staff; lots of ceremony at arrival and departure; rooms have great technology, as well as and free snacks and drinks (including alcohol)

StR Cons: The beach is truly goofy since the water's only there part-time, although people seemed to enjoy it; very little real "feel" of Malaysia beyond the amazing staff; the resort's fairly small - not much to discover
Datai Cons: Feels *so* far from everything if you have to drive somewhere; expensive, bordering on overpriced; resort is so large that even the buggy-averse will end up in a buggy

Walked through the Andaman on my initial ibuprofen quest, and wasn't impressed. Feels like mid-range Aruba to me. Not particularly fancy, crowded pool area, beach is very nice, but lots of people and activities going on. The resort itself seemed dark and a little overgrown.

And one other thing to mention: both the StR's clientele and Datai's clientele generally typical for out there - some Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Australians. The Datai had more Europeans as far as I could tell, and was the only resort I've been to in Langkawi where I noticed any same-sex couples. I believe that the StR makes an effort to reach out to Middle Eastern guests, and there were a handful of women in niquabs.

Should note that my favorite hotel in Langkawi had always been the FS, which has lost some luster in my eyes. The beach villas are massive and private with amazing views, service is great and the food's pretty good IMO. The fact that it's walkable to Scarborough is a bonus. It's just gotten so roughed up over the years - I wish they could bring it back to its glory days.
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