We had barely touched down before arriving at The Slate, a whimsical modern industrial resort designed by famed architect Bill Bensley. Located on a quiet and secluded northwest corner of Phuket, first impressions of this easily accessible destination are two-fold – first, this is not your typical Thai resort and second, we are in for a highly unique and magical guest experience.
They say the devil is in the details and it is these details which truly elevate The Slate into a class of its own. With a beautifully edgy lobby space, scattered with colourful, eclectic art pieces, the 35-acre sites former life as a tin mine is cleverly and artistically bought to life.
As we head down corridors resembling mine shafts cleverly woven through lush gardens and lily ponds, we reach our haven for the stay – a private pool suite. Modern, luxurious, creative and spacious are the words that come to mind. The private pool sanctuary boasts three different outdoor seating areas including a large day bed, outdoor dining table and pool loungers. The black bathtub beckons us for a warm outdoor soak in the serene tropical evening.
After a restful night in our suite which boasts a full walk-in wardrobe and a modern industrial bathroom designed for two, breakfast is served at one of the many F&B concepts – Tin Mine. With a full buffet and live stations suited to all tastes from Western, to Asian and of course the famous Thai delicacies we are quickly satiated and ready to explore the luscious resort landscape.
Along the way, we discover one of the most impressive features of The Slate – it cleverly caters for all types of lux travellers with not one but three individual pools each designed to suit specific guest needs. From the spacious family pool with waterfall features and a baby friendly splash pool, to the funky adults only swim up pool bar complete with tyre sculpture and vibing tunes, to my personal favourite – the blissfully quiet adults’ only chill pool decorated in an exquisite vivid green snakeskin tile. And not forgetting the beach lovers out there, the quiet Nai Yang beach is just a few metres stroll outside the resort grounds.
Lazing away the morning in the adult’s only pool it was soon enough time to head for lunch at Michelin recommended Black Ginger (booked out for dinners at least a month in advance). I genuinely thought I had gone off-track here as the entrance was a luminescent lagoon set amongst tropical gardens with a rope mechanism leading to a Thai-style water palace.
As it turns out, to access the restaurant one catches a comfortable seated raft across the pond – indeed one way to make a truly unique appearance! Black Ginger serves divine Phuket inspired cuisine drawn from ancient local recipes that are crafted into modern, flavourful, pieces of Thai art. A destination and meal sure to impress even the most seasoned travellers.
As the sun begins to set amidst the palm trees, the most uplifting highlight of our stay commences as we attend the inaugural VIBRATIONS festival Amazonia edition – a much-awaited return of inspiring and creative live festivals. An enticing celebration of all things South American, the evening begins with lively Latin music, a bird show and a painting session by Bangkok artist Trey Hurst – all enjoyed while sipping delicious cocktails from the Coliseum Lawn, an enchanting natural amphitheatre.
A tantalising buffet is served for dinner with dishes drawn from the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aries and Mexico. The evening continues to delight and energise with a spellbinding capoeira performance, an appearance by the one and only MJ and the deck spinning talents of Brazilian born DJ Markus who has us shaking our groove things under the stars until midnight. Indeed it was a much-needed and exhilarating evening of art, music, culture and gastronomy.
Slowly emerging from our sleeping sanctuaries, there is surely no better way to recover than with a restorative session at the designer Coqoon Spa. I opted for a Coqoon Rebirth Massage – a completely personalised experience expertly delivered by a highly skilled therapist in my own private spa suite nestled amongst the serene spa gardens. A blissful and indulgent treat that lives up to its promise of “rebirth”.
Recovered and re-energised we continue with day two of the VIBRATIONS festival, a sensational Sunday brunch (frequently rated as one of Phuket’s top brunches) at the poolside Rivet restaurant. All the classic brunch favourites are laid out in impressive and creative displays including French oysters on ice, pan seared foie gras, live lobster and tiger prawn station, crab, sashimi, lamb, wagyu steak and more. Thai favourites and South American specials round out the gastronomic feast.
All to soon our luxurious and indulgent time at The Slate has come to an end but we will certainly be back and spreading the word about this magical destination. The Slate is truly a resort for all those who enjoy the finer things in life – good times with good vibes, fine cuisine, relaxing moments and plenty of pampering downtime.
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