The Slate in Phuket is par­adise on Earth, which is sur­pris­ingly just 10 min­utes away from the air­port

Away from the in­fa­mous tourist traps and over­crowded beaches, The Slate in Phuket is par­adise on Earth that’s sur­pris­ingly just 10 min­utes away from the air­port

Portfolio - - IN THIS ISSUE - BY AN­TON D. JAVIER

I found it dif­fi­cult to imag­ine what Thai­land was like be­yond Bangkok. For some­one like me who ha­bit­u­ally trav­els to the same cities (out of con­ve­nience or lazi­ness), the chance to visit Phuket was both ex­cit­ing and un­set­tling. Would it be the same with­out my usual haunts, the ever-re­li­able BTS, and re­tail ther­apy?

As we drove to The Slate, our home for the week­end that’s merely 10 min­utes from the air­port, I was amazed at how lush the sur­round­ings were – the com­plete op­po­site of Bangkok’s wel­com­ing com­mit­tee com­prised of tow­er­ing bill­boards, build­ings, and high­ways. The sun shone a lit­tle brighter here and the shore was just me­ters away, with vis­i­ble waves call­ing out to us from the ho­tel car.

Once we ar­rived, I im­me­di­ately felt at ease. Freshly brewed tea and cold tow­els greeted us at check in, while the scent of es­sen­tial oils filled the air. At this point, the stun­ning Bill Bens­ley-de­signed prop­erty made me tem­po­rar­ily for­get about Bangkok.

JOUR­NEY WITHIN THE SLATE

With The Slate’s “all villa, all suite” ap­proach, a medi­ocre stay is im­pos­si­ble. With 177 ac­com­mo­da­tion choices — rang­ing from a va­ri­ety of spa­cious suites to ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous pri­vate pool vil­las — fam­i­lies, friends, cou­ples, and solo trav­ellers can find the per­fect place to call their own. Here, the choice is yours: Sink into spa­cious beds, laze out­side on the sun­lit bal­conies, catch up on movies in the liv­ing room, or en­joy a Thai mas­sage in the cav­ernous bath­room that dou­bles as a spa.

The in­te­rior de­sign and dé­cor across the resort takes its in­spi­ra­tion from Phuket’s tin min­ing her­itage, which re­sults in an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion of hard and soft el­e­ments. Tim­ber and metal struc­tures from min­ing fa­cil­i­ties have been given a new lease on life as floor­ing or play­ful sculp­tures. Mean­while, works by lo­cal con­tem­po­rary artists, as well as fab­rics and the lo­cal flora are used to soften the edges.

While nav­i­gat­ing the prop­erty might be a lit­tle overwhelming and con­fus­ing given its size, take it as an op­por­tu­nity to un­earth the gems hid­den within. There are three pic­turesque swim­ming pools to choose from, while fit­ness stu­dios, ten­nis courts, the Co­qoon spa, an on-site cook­ing school, and even an art gallery, are all wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered.

A DIN­ING DES­TI­NA­TION

If trav­el­ling to an un­fa­mil­iar place presents con­cerns re­gard­ing din­ing, this won’t be a prob­lem at The Slate, be­cause within the prop­erty are over seven con­ve­niently lo­cated F&B out­lets.

Each of the res­tau­rants present dif­fer­ent con­cepts, sure to sat­isfy what­ever you’re crav­ing. The crown jewel here is Black Gin­ger, which is loved for its authentic Thai dishes that in­clude lesser­known Phuket spe­cial­ties. Seafood is the main star here, with the crab curry and grilled lob­sters tak­ing cen­ter stage.

Another crowd pleaser, which draws the res­i­dents out from the com­fort of their rooms, is Un­der­ground. Lo­cated next to the resort’s big­gest pool, the open air café is the per­fect spot for peo­ple watch­ing as you sit back, re­lax, and sip on cold-pressed juices and feast on healthy sal­ads and lo­cal spe­cial­ties.

Rivet, which is The Slate’s re­cently re­vamped restau­rant, comes with a new Ja­panese menu, cre­ated by Chef Toshiyuki Koike of Enzo, a pop­u­lar Ja­panese restau­rant in neigh­bor­ing Khao­lak. Per­haps still in its in­fancy, the restau­rant’s menu and plat­ing style has room for im­prove­ment, and has a lot of catch­ing up to do if it wants to be on the same level of pop­u­lar­ity as Black Gin­ger. How­ever, there are hits amidst the misses, such as the in­ven­tive sushi options and fresh sashimi.

RE­FRESHED AN­DRE CHARGED

Time went by sur­pris­ingly quick at The Slate, even if most of our time was spent within the resort. Goes to show that its self-con­tained en­vi­ron­ment of­fers ev­ery­thing a week­end trav­eler needs.

Af­ter a rest­ful stay in one of the Pearl Shell suites, cou­pled with well­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, mas­sage treat­ments, leisurely din­ing, sea­side sun­set strolls, and a sur­pris­ingly en­joy­able cook­ing class, I re­al­ized that a break from the fa­mil­iar hus­tle and bus­tle of Bangkok was some­thing I didn’t know I needed.

For more in­for­ma­tion on The Slate, visit www.thes­late­phuket.com

THE TWO BED­ROOM VILLA’S PRI­VATE POOL

BLACK GIN­GER AT THE SLATE

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