Thailand: Phuket Resort Reflects Island’s Tin Mining Past

Indigo Pearl has been rebranded as The Slate. Located in Nai Yang, which is near Phuket International Airport in Southern Thailand, the five star property has a distinct personality that reflects  the island’s tin-mining past from the cutlery to the decor.


I stayed at Indigo Pearl three times, and it has always been one of my favourite resorts.

I was surprised to learn on a recent trip to the island that the property had been rebranded as The Slate. Much of the hotel’s original ambiance – the industrial chic and tributes to the island’s tin-mining past – seem to have survived the transition.

The following review was published following my last stay at the property in 2012.

Indigo Pearl is 5 star resort with a distinctive personality, excellent food and beverage outlets, and an award winning spa.

I’ve been to Phuket three times now, and each visit has included two nights at Indigo Pearl, which has got to be one of the most unique resorts on the Southern Thai Island.

Long before the tsunami taught the world to pronounce Phuket with a P rather than an F, and long before the island became synonymous with upscale resorts, beachfront cafés, and sybaritic spas, Phuket was home to tin mines.

Tin Mining Past

When Bensley Designs was commissioned to come up with a design for the resort, the brief had one requirement: the hotel would have to celebrate the tropical island’s tin mining past.

The result is a sprawling resort spread throughout beautifully landscaped grounds with 177 rooms, suites, and villas, eight restaurants and bars, three outdoor swimming pools, a library, a fitness centre, and conference facilities.

There is a private beach with an open air club house at the back of the property, a cooking school, and a spa, which is suspended mid-air, hanging from what is reputedly Phuket’s oldest banyan tree.

Award Winning Spa

The Coqoon Spa, which opened in February 2011, was recognized by AsiaSpa Awards for its unique “Garden of Eden” concept.

“We are thrilled to be awarded with Spa Design of the Year for the Coqoon Spa,” says Kelly Lewis, General Manager of Indigo Pearl.

“It is a great acknowledgment for the incredible team we have in place and our designer, Mr Bill Bensley, who has created such an inspired and innovative design.”

Coqoon Spa has six deluxe treatment rooms and an exclusive Coqoon Suite, which has its own accommodation, butler, and private pool, as well as a rain shower, steam room, sauna, and Vichy shower.  Guests can spend up to three days there to follow a tailored programme of health, wellness, and nutritional advice and therapies.

Private Pool Villas

Since my most recent visit there last spring, seven private pool villas have been launched, and the interior of one of them is pictured above.

Set within walled gardens, they range in size from 550 to 2,500 square metres, with each comprising two bungalows. One is for sleeping. The other is a living space with a lounge, dining area, and boutique sized spa. There is even a space for private barbecues.

Three of the villas can be interconnected, creting a three pool, four bedroom complex – perfect for family reunions, corporate getaways, or exclusive parties.

The Verdict

Indigo Pearl has a clearly defined theme built around the island’s tin mining past, which is reflected in everything from the cutlery to the chandeliers to the water glasses to the linens to the tiles lining the swimming pools.

I’ve stayed at more luxurious resorts in Phuket, but this one hs got to be the friendliest and the most fun.

This is where my passion for kickboxing was born. This is where I learned the basics of Thai cooking.

I’ve spent many happy hours bicycling out of the back gate, which faces a waterfront road, which is lined with open air cafés, bars, pubs, inexpensive hotels, coffee houses, pizza joints, massage parlours, and a national park.

Indigo Pearl is as friendly as it is quirky. Once a week, a cocktail party with yummy appetizers is held at its sports bar, giving guests a chance to get to know each other as well as the friendly back of house staff.

Indigo Pearl is one of a kind. This is one five star resort where you won’t wake up wondering where you are.


The Slate – 16, Moo 1, Sakhu Thalang Phuket, Thailand. Tel: +66 76 327 006.

One Reply to “Thailand: Phuket Resort Reflects Island’s Tin Mining Past”

  1. In fact, Thailand is the most beautiful destination which has wide variety of cultures. Good information about spas and villas in Thailand. This would be a nice tourist guide.
    My all time favorite place in Thailand is Pattaya beach. Thanks..

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