Established in October 1993, The Datai Langkawi was at the time managed by General Hotel Management (GHM), a hotel management company based in Singapore. This resort was the very first project of the GHM which subsequently came under the current management of Destination Resorts & Hotels Sdn. Bhd on 28 July 2011.
The Datai Langkawi is the brainchild of architect Kerry Hill who worked out a plan to ensure that the resort would be built without any large change in landscape. Timber for the resort was obtained using elephant felled trees, thus eliminating the need of using heavy machinery. Such felled trees were replaced with newly planted trees. The resort has been built using Malaysian inspired architecture.