Phuket is one of Thailand’s most popular destinations, a magnificent location with at least 40 official beaches. Although an island - the largest in Thailand - it is connected to the mainland and airport by a road bridge spanning the short distance.
The best beaches are to be found on the island’s west coast, the longest of which, Mai Khao, is also one of its quietest due to much of it, and the neighbouring beach of Nai Yang, being part of the protected Sirinat National Park. The park provides a safe nesting environment for the giant sea turtles that come to lay their eggs between October and February.
Mai Khao is home to some superb luxury resorts and is handy for visiting the Splash Jungle Water Park whilst the more laid-back, tree-lined Nai Yang offers lots of shade, tiny fun bars and restaurants and is a popular weekend picnic spot for locals.
Nai Yang is also the home to one of my very favourite hotels, perfect for a standalone relaxing family holiday or as part of a multi-centre Thai adventure, perhaps twinned with the unique Elephant Hills.
Like I was, you may well be unaware that Phuket was founded on tin. It played a major part in the island’s commerce and trade for many centuries and it remained used, as a form of currency, until the 1930s.
The Slate’s owner, Wichit Na-Ranong, wanted his hotel to reflect the island’s history and set about the creation of a perfect mix of the old and new worlds. The result is a superb 5-star luxury resort which has been unusually designed with a very distinctive and quirky ‘industrial chic’ feel.
The resort, just a short drive from Phuket airport, is wonderfully positioned on a spacious property bordering the Sirinat National Park and adjacent to the white sandy shores of the cerulean Andaman Sea.
The Slate offers three swimming pools, one catering specifically for families with an adjacent infant pool, along with complimentary daily activities for all the family to enjoy.
Although the other two pools are adult-only, they do allow 14 years and upwards at the Infinity and 16 years and above at the Pulley, which also features a swim-up bar.
The surrounding marine life can be observed at close quarters with diving and snorkelling available whilst the calm sea is perfect for paddleboarding and kayaking.
Alternatively, simply lazing on the beach may be equally tempting whilst the kids happily paddle in the surf in between building sand angels and sandcastles.
Back at the hotel, an abundance of guest activities for all ages are available.
Kickbox your way to fitness, smash a few aces on the court or perhaps knock up a mean Pad Thai in the cooking school after sourcing the freshest ingredients from the local markets.
If that sounds too energetic, then yoga sessions are at hand for both mind and body wellness or enjoy an invigorating and revitalising treatment in the tranquil surrounds and the serenity of the Coqoon Spa.
The incredibly spacious suites and villas here are expertly decorated in a Steampunk theme, effortlessly paying homage to a bygone era with a modern, sassy twist.
The rich, earthy coloured furniture mixes well with the sleek accessories, giving the suites a feeling of opulent luxury whilst retaining a relaxed and contemporary vibe.
All suites have oversized bathtubs, some of which come with the added twist of being on your private terrace, and a selection of suites also come with their own private pools.
All accommodation is decadently fitted out and interconnecting rooms are also available.
If you are looking for that extra special indulgence, the vast pool villas with the choice of one or two bedrooms may be just the ticket.
Following the hotel’s theme with their unique décor, they offer a fantastic outdoor space with a private pool and jacuzzi in an idyllic setting and the excitement of your very own sauna and steam room.
All villas come with a 24-hour butler service ensuring every need is met in the Slate’s seamless style.
Younger family members will be enthralled with the ‘Tin Box’ kids club that specialises in spectacular activities organised for those aged four and upwards.
Be astounded at the hair weaving, origami or kickboxing skills that they have picked up or the culinary competence acquired from taking part in the cooking classes specifically tailored for children.
In the evening, the intrepid explorers amongst them can continue their hectic schedule as they venture out on a fantastic night safari looking for exciting creatures.
The sublime cuisine on offer across several restaurants and bars will captivate your taste buds. The Slate specialises in crafting authentic dishes with deliciously nutritious locally sourced ingredients that draw on the Earth’s organic goodness.
This is an exceptional resort that offers a wholly immersive experience for your family to absorb themselves in.
Phuket is easily reached by direct flights from airports within Thailand and from Dubai. If you want to incorporate a Slate stay as part of a bigger itinerary, then as well as brilliant multi-centre options within Thailand, stopping in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur en route are great alternatives.
Whatever way you choose, I am certain that the memories you take away will include the irrefutable graciousness and hospitality of the Thai people.
I look forward to helping plan your family trip to Thailand.