We live for vacations. Because I’ve had too many holidays, said no one. Ever. What’s our checklist when it comes to booking a weekend of sun, sea, and sandy toes? One; location (ideally within two hours travel time from Singapore), two; good food (because we’re greedy and love eating) and three; swish accommodation (because our days of slumming it backpacking are well and truly over).
One seriously sound option that ticks all the boxes is The Slate, Phuket. Travel time? Tick, a one-hour flight plus a 10-minute car transfer is ridiculously convenient. Top grub? Tick, Thai food rocks our world, need we say more? Spiffy hotel? Tick, The Slate (formerly Indigo Pearl) is a beautiful resort on the shores of Nai Yang Beach that is insanely good value for money. Criteria met, we hot-footed it to the land of smiles for a luxurious weekend of sunbathing and sipping Pina Coladas.
Stick with hand luggage only, breeze through the airport, and within a mere 8 minutes, you’ll be in The Slate lobby, welcome drink in hand. It doesn’t get more convenient than this. The sweeping bay of Nai Yang beach can be accessed via a private gate at the rear of the property, but the rest of Phuket’s attractions are a lengthy drive away (it’s an hour to Patong). For those who want to explore the island, this might not be the most convenient location. For those who want to spend a few days lounging by a pool with a good book for company, it’s perfect.
The room situation
There are five categories of accommodation ranging from the spacious D-Buk suites, featuring a daybed, oversized bathtub, and balcony, to private pool villas that come complete with 24-hour butler service, private spa facilities, and swimming pools. Prices start from around $180 per night, per room. We stayed in a Pearl Bed Suite, which had beautiful high ceilings, tons of space, and a large balcony with a daybed, dining area, ginormous al fresco bath, and stunning view over the tropical grounds and infinity pool.
Food and drink
With seven restaurants and bars to choose from, plus a swim-up bar in one of the adult-only pools, you won’t go hungry. Top pick is Black Ginger (a restaurant reached only by boarding a floating platform that is pulled across a moat) which specialises in, quelle surprise, exquisite Thai food. Breakfast is a generous buffet-style feast at The Tin Mine featuring everything from dim sum to pancakes and healthy options to fry-ups. By day hit up the Underground Cafe, where fresh smoothies, substantial salads, and carb-free options sit alongside sinful burgers, Thai food, and pizza. And by night, get boozy at Tongkah Tin Syndicate; a cute bar with pool and snooker tables, boules, and other games for entertainment.
Stuff to do
We spent most of our time lounging around the beautiful swimming pools nestled within the lush, tropical grounds. There are two exclusively for adults, and one with a handy swim-up bar (check out the daily happy hour at 4 pm; half-price cocktails? Hell yes). The Coqoon spa also gets a thumbs up and is an indulgence worth visiting once (but head to the beach for an hour-long oil massage for a tenth of the price the rest of the time!). There are tons of daily free activities, like yoga, tennis, and archery, plus extras with a small cost like waterfall tours, bike rides, and cultural trips to monasteries and markets. There’s also the opportunity to snorkel and dive if you’re feeling adventurous. If you've got mini-me's in tow there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained, plus a huge children's pool and a kids club.
For times when you need a hassle-free, luxurious escape from Singapore, The Slate is well worth a visit. It’s convenient, the staff are exceptionally friendly, the restaurants are top, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied when you tire of sunbathing. It’s also incredibly good value for money; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better hotel that’s so reasonable. It’s also a top pick if you’re on a health kick; the gym and activities will keep you active, and there are plenty of healthy foodie options across all restaurant menus. Would we go back? A resounding yes.