PHUKET, THAILAND — Think you know Phuket? Think again! This popular holiday island is famous for its sandy beaches, cerulean seas and vibrant nightlife. Nestled in the north of Phuket however, well away from the usual tourist trail, lies another world entirely – unspoiled, untouched and exuding an authentic ambience that has changed little over the generations.
Following the news that international travellers from low-risk countries will be welcomed back to Thailand from November, The Slate, the whimsical, art-inspired resort and member of the exclusive Design Hotels collection, is inviting curious explorers to uncover the secrets of North Phuket. Set on the secluded northwest coast, this remarkable retreat was conceived by Bill Bensley and showcases a unique interior concept that tells the story of Phuket’s rich industrial heritage through original artworks and installations.
This makes The Slate the perfect base for a journey of discovery in North Phuket. Just steps from the resort lies Nai Yang Beach, a stunning stretch of sand that is rarely visited by tourists and retains a laid-back vibe. Guests can spend endless hours strolling along the sand and splashing in the shallows, or head out into the surrounding Sirinat National Park, which is home to verdant forests, dense mangroves and an abundance of fauna, from sea eagles and brahminy kites to monitor lizards and turtles. This makes North Phuket a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Animal lovers can also learn about wildlife conservation at the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. Located in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, this volunteer-run organisation works tirelessly to protect Phuket’s gibbon population, which was on the verge of extinction 40 years ago. Just a short distance away lies Phang-Nga Bay, and iconic seascape of limestone karsts, idyllic islets, hidden creeks, caves and coves that are only accessible by boat. Just 20 minutes’ drive from The Slate, Phuket Yacht Haven offers day trips into this amazing aquatic labyrinth.
North Phuket is a haven of gastronomy where visitors can savour a series of local specialties, including fresh seafood. Nestled next to Sarasin Bridge, which links Phuket to the mainland, Ta Tuay serves the “catch of the day” such as crab, squid, prawns, shellfish and more, amid lush tropical gardens. This rustic restaurant was even endorsed by the Michelin Guide! For an unforgettable epicurean experience, The Slate’s own Michelin-recommended restaurant, Black Ginger, appears to float above a lagoon.
The Slate offers endless opportunities to soak up the spirit of North Phuket. Holidaymakers can take bike rides to traditional moo baans (local villages), learn the art of Thai boxing or southern-style cooking, or enjoy an invigorating Thai massage at the Coqoon Spa. Culture seekers who want to learn about The Slate’s extraordinary interiors can embark on the ‘Art Journey’, a QR code-enabled tour that reveals the influences and inspirations behind the resort’s artworks and sculptures.
There can be few better people to guide guests around this pristine corner of Phuket than The Slate’s new General Manager, Claude Sauter, who has been at the forefront of the island’s hospitality industry for almost a quarter of a century. He will be on hand to share his experiences and provide expert insights into the area, including family-run restaurants, villages, markets and more.
“Phuket is one of the world’s most popular tourist resorts, but precious few people explore the north of the island. Following the announcement that Thailand will allow overseas visitors to return for restriction-free stays, we are delighted to invite our cherished guests to uncover this wonderful part of Phuket. With its rich heritage, undeveloped coastlines and traditional vibe, North Phuket is a truly captivating destination. At The Slate, we strive to tell the story of this enchanting area through immersive artworks and activities, creating memories that will last a lifetime,” said Claude.
Under the “Luxury Getaway” package, European travellers can enjoy the finest elements of The Slate. With rates starting from just From THB 3,800 net per night, this package includes room upgrades, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, resort activities, and generous discounts on treatments at Coqoon Spa and KRU Precision Wellness. Multi-night bookings will be rewarded with extra benefits, such as dinner at Black Ginger, 24-hour car rental and resort credit.
Following the latest government announcement, fully-vaccinated international travellers from low-risk countries will be able to stay in Thailand without restrictions from 1st November 2021, as long as they can present a negative COVID-19 test result. This scheme is expected to be expanded to more countries from December. To learn more, visit the TAT’s official website.
For more information and to start planning your adventure in North Phuket at The Slate, visit www.theslatephuket.com.