Comfort given a mining twist

At The Slate, behind every design element is a story

published : 18 Dec 2020 at 05:00

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Rivet Restaurant.

When one pictures mining, the words luxury, refinement, beauty and utter relaxation are certainly not the first ones that come to mind. But these words aptly describe this tin mine-themed resort along Phuket’s Nai Yang shoreline. Trust me: you can wear your whites here with no fear of them getting covered in soot.

First Impression

Upon entering the resort, I was struck by the fact that it was not trying to look swank or polished. It felt like walking into a well-preserved antique warehouse, still performing an industrial function. After I gained some historical context, I appreciated the resort’s look a lot more. A little-known fact about Phuket is that its main industry until the early 1900s was tin mining. Large-scale mining operations dominated the island and The Slate pays homage to this legacy.

The lobby.

Staying In

The job of developing the vision for the resort fell into the hands of renowned architect/interior designer Bill Bensley. Design elements of a tin mine were fused with contemporary aesthetics and the result is a peculiar construction that draws you in.

There are seven room types available, each decked out in a different style: the rustic Private Pool Suites furnished with intricate wooden details; the Pearl Bed Suites that burst with rich hues of scarlet and royal blue; the spacious D-Buk Family Suites with its own unusual, striking blend of colours; the vibrant Pearl Shell Suites accoutred with wooden and metallic touches; One and Two Bedroom Private Pool Villas; and the single Bensley Suite, a tropical-coloured retreat that boasts more than 504m² of space that contains a courtyard, a pool and a sundeck.

The Private Pool Suite, which I stayed in, is ideal for those looking for a place to withdraw from it all while still being able to enjoy the comfort and ultimate privacy. The vast 112m² space features smooth, polished wooden floors that contrast with the old grungy wooden walls. Carefully crafted wooden decor, antique pieces and dim light fixtures further the rustic vibe of the suite. Space seems to flow freely through the room and it feels natural and unobtrusive. Located in a private courtyard linked to the room, are a plunge pool and a vintage outdoor bathtub. Rates per night start at B7,550.

Private Pool Suite.

When hunger strikes, you have eight options to pick from, between a cafe, restaurants and bars. The most striking one of them all is certainly the restaurant Black Ginger. It sits on a standalone man-made lagoon, which can only be accessed via a raft. The restaurant is in the style of a ruan Thai (a traditional Thai pavilion-type structure), with the interior being dominated by the use of black. This makes the candles and the colourful and eccentric chandeliers really pop. The restaurant serves authentic Thai cuisine and you can expect original, unadulterated versions of the greatest Thai hits, such as panaeng gai, gaeng kiew wan and bua loy. No twists, no fusion elements, just really well-prepared Thai food.

Three swimming pools, a spa and a fitness centre form your leisure options and are all well-maintained. Just be sure not to miss a signature spa session held in a bird’s nest-like structure, which feels like a cozy cocoon and puts one’s mind at ease.

Black Ginger.

Tongkah Tin Syndicate.

Private Pool Suite.

Going Out

One advantage of staying at The Slate is that the chances of you missing your flight are extremely low, given the fact that the resort is a mere five-minute drive to the airport. However, getting to the city will take substantially longer. But who needs to go to the city when one can access to the souvenir shops and numerous dining options at the clean and pleasant Nai Yang Beach connected to the resort?

Value and Verdict

With the rates currently being between B5,800-B32,900, it’s not exactly budget-friendly staying here, but if you’re someone who appreciates design-driven spaces, thought-provoking architecture and attentive service, this resort would impress you.

The resort is offering a stay package that takes guests on an insightful tour of the resort, highlighting Bensley’s unique design concepts and the various artworks dotted throughout the property. The package includes a two-night stay, daily breakfast for two, one lunch at the Underground Café, dinner for a couple at Tin Mine or Black Ginger, private round-trip airport transfer, free car rental for a day and discounts at the resort’s on-site restaurants, bars and the spa. Rates start from B9,900++ for two nights.

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