by Sneha Rupani
Hailed as Phuket’s father of tourism, Wichit Na-Ranong was born into a family that revolutionized Phuket’s trade industry with tin mining. After hosting a James Bond film crew in the 1970s, Wichit knew he could make Phuket an international destination. His efforts put Phuket on the map, opening up her white-sand beaches and clear blue seas, to the world. Now, his daughter Krystal Prakaikaew Na-Ranong, brings forward-thinking hospitality to the forefront with The Slate – the island’s only avant-garde expression of a true Phuket heritage.
Krystal Prakaikaew’s vision was to create a sanctuary that intrigues and inspires guests through placing importance on intuitive service, satisfying guest’s desires while simultaneously engaging their curiosity. To bring her vision to life, Krystal Prakaikaew recruited one of South East Asia’s leading designers, Bill Bensley to create a seamless marriage of Phuket’s tin-mining heritage and her avant-garde, innovative design philosophy.
The result is a 177-room property that oozes industrial chic. Krystal Prakaikaew’s emphasis on design has resulted in an oasis that borrows heavily from the past but is yet innovative and forward-thinking. The Slate’s strong design elements are a nod to Phuket’s and her family’s tin-mining heritage. Krystal Prakaikaew says, “We wanted The Slate’s design to stand out from the other resorts in the region and offer a distinctive atmosphere that will intrigue urbane travelers but at the same time, not be modern for modern’s sake. Good design has to be rooted in something and in The Slate’s case, it is the history of the island.”
The Slate is just ten minutes away from the airport, but guests will feel like they’ve entered a different world from the moment they pull up into the lobby. Located along Phuket’s northern beaches, The Slate is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Phuket’s southern party zones.
Our favourite is the private pool villa, ensconced within a lush walled tropical garden. Wake up in a cloud-like, oversized bed to the soft chirping of tropical birds and the whispering waves in the background. Cool off in your private plunge pool or lounge in your striped sofa out on your sun terrace. Request your private butler to organize a therapist to come to your own in-room spa area and relax on the luxurious massage beds or enjoy the private sauna and steam rooms.
The Slate offers a myriad of activities for you to explore Phuket. Their concierge team can arrange to charter yachts for you to go island-hopping, deep sea fishing, colourful, coral diving or simply to cruise into the sunset. On land, delve into local culture and customs with temple visits, Thai cooking classes and modern art tours. Fitness fans can enjoy tennis, archery, yoga, tai-chi, Pilates, Fit Ball and Muay Thai boxing. Visit Shore Thing, our beach club overlooking the Andaman Sea, while delighting in fantastical sunset cocktails.
If idling the day away is more your style, the stunning Coqoon Spa was built around a tropical garden with eight treatment rooms-for-two, the highlight of which is a spectacular woven Nest built into a 100-year old banyan- tree. Krystal Prakaikaew designed the Coqoon Spa programme to offer treatments that invoke healing and the relaxation techniques of Thai massage. The Slate’s three sparkling pools have relaxing sun loungers, swaying palms and stunning views.
Foodies can tuck in at any of The Slate’s eight restaurants. Tin Mine restaurant highlights with Steak & Grilled and a selection of Indian cuisine as well as international buffet breakfasts and specialty cuisine evenings. Experience Thai street-food cooking stations which are also featured in this alfresco restaurant. For fine dining, visit Black Ginger, The Slate’s signature Thai restaurant. Set on a private lagoon, it can only be reached via a rope-pulled boat ride and features special dishes from the Phuket region. Rivet is an intimate and artistic venue setting with plush, leather upholstered chairs and unique tables as well as geometric metalwork.
With a distinct story to tell, a combination of gorgeous industrial chic design, top-notch service, close attention to detail and the beautiful backdrop of Phuket’s northern beaches, The Slate offers up the perfect recipe for a beautiful getaway.!