A Trip Gone Right – Our Visit to Phuket
At Red Elephant Reps we believe it’s important to maintain good relationships with our clients and make sure that the information we have about them is up to date.
That’s why Pete, our Contracting Manager, and myself (Anna, Digital Marketing Executive) went to Phuket, Thailand, in order to get to know our represented properties better.
Do you enjoy travelling? I assume the answer is yes. But let me tell you, travelling for business is a whole other experience. Business trips sometimes make me feel like a freelancer, working from any place I visit, any free minute I get. There are definitely a lot of meetings going on as well!
Our trip to Phuket included meeting the teams of the four hotels Red Elephant Reps represents in Phuket: Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort, SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort, The Slate and Paresa, as well as several other potential clients. With only four days and many hotels to visit, we needed to manage our time carefully.
Day 1 – Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort
Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort offers so many packages and activities, we simply had to stay overnight, but even that wasn’t enough! Most guests stay for three nights minimum and we totally understand why. This is not your usual accommodation, but an experience in itself. After getting to know the resort a little bit better, Pete and I would recommend to stay at least a week, as there are so many things to try and you need some continuity to get the full effect of the wellness procedures. You could easily stay within the hotel for your entire trip – and wouldn’t regret it for a minute!
For Pete and me, the highlight of the stay was, of course, the SPA and Ayurvedic treatments. We started by meeting with a certified Ayurvedic doctor, who told us about our doshas (mind-body types according to Ayurveda) and gave recommendations based on it. Our 1.5 hour spa sessions included an Indian Head Massage and Nasyam, the cleansing of the nasal passage using herbs. Our favourite was the Shirodhara, during which a therapist pours herbal oils onto your forehead to open your third-eye chakra. This treatment is quite unique and isn’t done in many places.
We were also impressed with the resort’s sustainability efforts. Each retreat guest is given a reusable bottle with unlimited free refills; the bathroom toiletries use beautiful mangosteen-shaped ceramic containers instead of plastic; and you are given a basket for shopping – to avoid using plastic bags.
After inspecting the resort, we had a lovely buffet dinner with Rose and Hajo, the founders of Mangosteen Resort, and a business meeting with the team to discuss the results of our partnership so far and the upcoming plans. Then it was a time for us to continue our journey.
Day 2 – SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort
We arrived at SALA Phuket in the afternoon and had just enough time for an inspection before dinner. The design of the resort made a strong first impression, with its well-balanced minimalist approach and clean lines throughout. Add to that, the excellent level of service – from selecting the softness of your pillows and the scent of your bathroom amenities, to the most attentive waiters in the SALA restaurant.This place is definitely meant for minimalist aesthetic lovers. Due to the muted colours, your room becomes your personal heaven for the duration of your stay. It was exactly what I needed to put in a few early morning working hours on my laptop.
Not to run ahead though …
Upon arrival we met the resort’s General Manager, Anthony, for dinner, and were especially impressed with the full eight course vegan menu, available for all guests on request. Sometimes it’s handy to have a picky eater on the team (me!), as we now know which hotels to recommend for people with various dietary requirements.
During the dinner we discussed the upcoming plans for SALA Hospitality, the scheduled promotional activities from Red Elephant Reps, low season vs high season, and the uniqueness of each of the SALA properties.
Day 3 – The Slate Phuket
The third day of the trip was the busiest one on our schedule with lots of meetings with potential clients throughout the day. Our main destination was The Slate – a deluxe resort situated in Northern Phuket.
As we weren’t spending the night we made sure to inspect as many rooms and facilities as possible. It took quite some time to explore the vast grounds full of interesting and quirky details. But with the help of The Slate team, we managed to get the overall impression despite the limited time.
The Slate is certainly a hotel with a lot of character. Designed by Bill Bensley in a concept of mining, every inch of the property is a treat for the eyes. Pete and I both agree that for those who enjoy architecture, fashion and attention to detail, this is the perfect place to stay. Not to forget the many swimming pools, restaurants and bars. One thing is for sure – you will always be entertained.
With the inspection successfully completed, we settled down in the Underground Cafe to have lunch with Matt, the resort’s Director of Revenue and E-commerce. Among all the business talk we found ourselves drifting into the discussion of Phuket versus Bangkok and which place feels more like home to each of us. With the lunch finished, off we went to the next meeting.
Day 4 – Paresa Phuket
After a busy day we arrived at our third night’s accommodation and long time Red Elephant Reps client, Paresa Phuket.
Upon entering, the resort literally took our breath away. From the concept of the levels of heaven, to the mantras playing in the lobby, and the huge Chinese gong that tradition dictates you must hit before entering. This continued with the incredible ocean views from the Miracle Lawn – the resort’s ‘heaven level’ and popular wedding venue.
With Paresa, you quickly understand how unique the location is on the way to your room. The resort has been built to cause minimal impact and preserve as much of the surrounding nature as possible. We even saw a room with a big rock left in the middle of the wall! It was of course, done in style and added something special to the place.
Talking about style, Paresa offers luxury in every part of the design. The minimalist style with big floor to ceiling windows show off the most incredible artwork – the ocean views. The view from every room is a sight to behold, and each room makes the most of this with a private pool, open air shower and a beautiful indoor bathtub facing the ocean.
We arrived at the resort just in time for dinner, where we met the General Manager, Anthony Dupont. Talung Thai restaurant is featured in the Michelin guide to Phuket so it’s no wonder we were impressed with the experience and food choices (featuring a 3-page vegan menu as well).
The next day started with a floating breakfast arranged by the hotel’s staff. We were intrigued how to eat from a tray floating in the pool – should you wear a swimsuit and be in the water – or maybe just sit on the edge? We eventually figured it out and the experience was definitely a bucket list one. Exactly what we needed to end the trip on a positive note.
With a few more meetings on our schedule finished, we headed to the airport. But we’ll definitely be back soon!
All photography by Pete (Panlop Ruenpol) , Red Elephant Reps.