We all want that dream family holiday – and there’s no shortage of island escapes close to Singapore for families, but I have to confess: part of me had given up on the idea of a truly relaxing holiday with my kids. I’d come to think of travelling with children as ‘parenting in a different location’, and just enjoyed the change of scenery… But my recent trip to Phuket, staying at The Slate resort (previously Indigo Pearl) changed all of that. Yes, I think the kids’ club is fantastic – but here’s why else we’ll be back!
1. The beautiful grounds
The Slate is massive! Think green lawns, towering palm trees, beautiful landscaping, three pools (two adult pools and one kids’ pool), eight restaurants and cafes, tennis courts, and probably a whole lot more we couldn’t find – because it was so big! I don’t usually like big resorts, but this five-star destination is very unique in its design. There’s a tin mining theme throughout – which may sound quirky, but it was very well done and lovingly maintained. Due to the resort’s size and lush greenery, it was so peaceful and relaxing – we felt as if we were the only ones in the resort. And I have to say, a visit to the adult-only pool is absolute bliss. Every resort needs this.
2. Nai Yang beach
The resort backs onto the sleepy white-sand Nai Yang beach. It’s nothing like Phuket town – it’s a tiny little strip of about five restaurants and just as many budget hotels, with a few food stalls and fruit carts that back onto a beautiful calm bay-like beach. It’s a walk back in time from the usually buzzing Phuket. We hired a longtail fishing boat and explored the neighbouring deserted beaches, snorkelled off a rocky island and cruised around the coastline. This was truly the highlight for me. Adventurous families can easily access the James Bond islands or travel into Phuket for the Phuket zoo or ATV safaris: there are heaps of options and activities for the restless.
3. The kids’ club
Oh my, the kids’ club. I have seen a few in my day, and more often than not they are an air-conditioned room with a TV and a few broken toys. But The Slate is serious about its kids’ club. Not only is it well-appointed with new wooden toys, there are activities every hour. Think bracelet making, seashell collecting, art from nature, a blow-up water slide activity, pom pom making, Thai kick boxing and rock painting – you name it, my kids did it, and loved it! It was just a perfect way for them to have fun, without the parents having to do all the hard work. My kids are aged seven, five and two – the wildest of course being the two-year old…. and with that, I had zero expectations that the kids’ club would take on the challenge of keeping my little one alive, unharmed and entertained without parent supervision. But they did that too! Now I’m impressed.
4. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) accommodation options
The Slate has spacious rooms called D-Buk Suite, which at 76sqm is great for a family stay – and definitely cheaper then getting two interconnecting rooms. These rooms have an oversized daybed that’s 2×2 metres, so can comfortably fit two children – it even has a curtain drawn across the daybed to give parents additional privacy. We also enjoyed the outdoor patio, perfect for a bottle of wine after you have put the kids to bed. With breakfast included for our family of five, at around $190 SGD a night, it’s excellent value. Especially if your kids are as excited by buffet breakfasts as mine are!
5. The totally kid-friendly travel time
Okay this is an important one. Phuket is only 1.5 hours from Singapore, and the resort is five minutes from the airport – I am not exaggerating! Yet strangely, there was hardly any airport noise. We were door to door in four hours! Boom. (As my seven-year-old would say.) Another big tick for travelling with kids, because we all know what it’s like trying to survive a long-haul flight with children.
Tip: Good weather is possible in Phuket all throughout the year, but tropical monsoon season typically runs from May to October. We say pop The Slate on this year’s travel to-do list for that escape you’ve been dreaming of!
Stay at The Slate, and as HoneyKids reader your kids will enjoy a complimentary ‘Little Sommelier’ experience: a kids’ club program that encourages children to learn about different tastes and smells. Simply quote HONEYKIDS when making a reservation via [email protected]. This offer is valid for two children per family, for bookings made until the end of 2017.
Thank you to The Slate for hosting HoneyKids on this visit – we plan to become regular guests!
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy!
12 months of family holidays from Singapore: when to go on a beach, skiing or cultural vacation
Natural wonders and amazing national parks in Asia
Take your helper with you on holiday: guide to travel visas for FDWs
The 10 best family holidays we’ve enjoyed around Asia
Fun things to do with kids at Changi Airport