The stylish Indigo Pearl resort sits close to the quiet Nai Yang Beach in the far northwest of Phuket. Just a five minute drive to the international airport, it’s a popular place to stay for the jet set.
Although you’d never guess it, the resort is located on what used to be a tin mine (the owners are third generation tin miners, and Phuket used to be covered by them until as recently as the 1980s) – hence the mining theme that runs through the resort. It’s the remarkable vision of American hotel designer extraordinaire Bill Bensley, who worked in collaboration with Phuket-based artist John Underwood.
“We worked with John to develop and produce many of the unique characteristics of Indigo Pearl,” said Bensley. “The top hung garage door like dividers in the rooms, the steel columns and floors, and the extensive collection of sculpture throughout [the resort] is the handiwork of Underwood.
“Our first project started from a box of tissues made of woven pandan leaves that I keep on desk in my studio. I remember John telling me that he could do anything with metal, and I pointed to the tissue box and asked if he could weave metal like that,” Bensley said. “We bounce ideas off of each other all the time, and often build on each others thoughts, with the main idea being that there is no bad idea.”
No bad idea indeed. One of the most striking areas in the property is Rivet, the evening grill room that also hosts the daytime Classic 4 Sunday Brunch. It’s an incredible space that seems to be the very definition of ‘industrial chic’, with striking steel floors and columns, steel furniture, French 1940s factory lamps, leather ‘cone of silence’ love seats, and a seven meter high ‘architectural ceiling’.
For anyone entering the room for the first time, it has a wow factor that means you’re as busy looking at the décor as deciding what to drink. It is also the perfect setting for a brunch that manages to be both casual and classy – you don’t have to wear a suit, but an element of sophistication is expected of guests.
As for the spread itself, there are a variety of stations to choose from, including Indian, grill, Japanese, and seafood – which serves amazing mussels, oysters, and lobster. Make sure you leave enough room for dessert, as there’s an entire section devoted to it – including ice cream, cake, fruit and petit four.
So is it Phuket’s best? It’s certainly up there. Make a reservation for next Sunday and you be the judge.
Held every Sunday from midday to 3pm, the Classic 4 Sunday Brunch at the Indigo Pearl costs B2,150++ per adult with free flow beverages, or B1,950++ per adult with soft drinks and juices only. It’s 50 per cent off for children from 5-12 years, while children under 5 years are complimentary. For reservations, call 076 327 006, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit indigo-pearl.com