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Tuesday 31 May 2022

Mix luxury and gourmet experiences in Phuket


Looking for a Phuket resort that also offers a range of gourmet experiences? 

Put The Slate into your diary for next time you are travelling to Thailand. 

Not only does the resort have a unique ambience created by leading designer Bill Bensley, it also features a unique restaurant that is recommended by the Michelin Guide, as well as offering cooking classes and serious wine choices. 

Located at Nai Yang Beach - not far from Phuket Airport - The Slate is within walking distance of food stalls, beach bars and massage options; meaning guests can combine a luxury retreat with some authentic Thai experiences.

The laidback vibe is another bonus. 

The Slate has an impressive collection of suites and villas, including pool villas and the spectacular Bensley Suite, all surrounded by pools and gardens. 

The Thai cuisine at Black Ginger is a standout, along with Sunday brunches at Rivet restaurant.

Black Ginger - worth a visit even if you are not staying at The Slate - appears like an ancient Thai village floating above a floodlit lagoon and is only accessible by raft. 

It is a delightful setting where chef Anongrat “Piak” Meklai uses locally-sourced ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques to reimagine authentic southern Thai recipes. 

Choose from a degustation menu or a la carte and dishes including sun-dried baby prawn with shredded mango tossed with cashew nut; spring rolls with crab claw meat and pork strip; crab meat curry with cha plu leaf accompanied by rice noodle; pork belly with soy sauce Phuket style and Massaman braised beef in thick spiced peanut curry, potato and onion. 

There is a wide array for curries and stir-fries from which to choose. 

With some Californian chardonnay and a taste of Argentine malbec, this was among the finest dining experiences of my recent Phuket visit. 

There are several other wining and dining options on site; perhaps a private tasting in The Cellar, with a high table, six stools and a global selection of wines. 

There are a range of cooking class options to choose from for those who wish to enjoy Thai food at home. 

Food Pilgrimage includes a visit to a local market to select herbs, vegetables and spices before a gourmet cooking session - a self-cooked lunch. 

Unique and whimsical design - based around Phuket's tin mining history - is one of the keys to The Slate's popularity.  

As a member of the Design Hotels Collection, every aspect of the resort is intended to be uplifting and invigorating, from the visual impact of original artworks and installations, which can be explored in a QR code-enabled ‘Art Journey’. 

Coqoon Spa, meanwhile, showcases a customised selection of organic essential oils for its wide range of treatments.

Activities range from yoga to Muay Thai, flowering arranging or snorkelling lessons, or simply strolling along the shores of Nai Yang Beach. This is also a resort where the service never misses a beat, thanks to Thai-speaking Swiss-born and raised GM Claude Sauter, who took over during Covid.

“It is an honour to be appointed GM of The Slate and to work alongside [owner] Khun Moo, who is a truly iconic figure in Phuket’s tourism and hospitality industry," Sauter said. 

"She has successfully created one of the most breath-taking resorts in Asia, which successfully weaves her family’s life story with Bill Bensley’s design and the finest five-star hospitality. 

"As the world starts to travel again, I look forward to ushering in an exciting new era at this outstanding resort, and creating exceptional experiences for all our guests.” 

For details and bookings visit

# The writer flew with Jetstar, which has resumed regular direct flights from both Melbourne and Sydney direct to Phuket.

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