Monday, April 25, 2011

Steam Punk Inspiration - Thailand Correspondence Pt. 1

I arrived in Thailand three days ago. The plane journey was knackering, as an eleven hour flight is expected to be, making the arrival in such a gloriously humid and lovely location all the more wonderful. Stepping out of the air-conditioned airport into the stunning Thai heat, my whole body relaxed. The humidity wrapped itself around me like a warm, damp cloth and I wanted very badly to be instantly rid of the jeans and t-shirt I'd worn on the rather chilly plane.

A van scooped us up and took us the relatively short distance to the Indigo Pearl, the hotel where we would be able to rest our feet at the end of each day.

Where I stay when on holiday is of little importance to me. As a child, many family vacations were taken in a big blue Chevy camper van my dad had kitted out with a double bed and an overhead storage cupboard which could be opened up as a 'bunk bed' for my brother and I. Being a girl guide meant camping weekends in tents. Family holidays to more exotic locations were usually in the hands of my dad and could range from a pretty decent condo to a hotel room with so little space that the double bed my parents shared and the single bed I got had about an inch between them.

Either way, I've never been too bothered about where I was staying. For me, it's about the culture, the food and when it's hot - The Ocean.

As it is, my partner likes a nice hotel. Nothing too swish, but she does go for a higher star rating. In the case of this holiday we found a package deal of flight and hotel all rolled into one with breakfast included. Food is very important to me so a guaranteed meal at the start of the day was a huge bonus.

Anything else was just icing on the cake. The fact that the hotel is in a nature reserve, set away from the main cities to be found in Phuket, and therefore less touristy, was a nice plus too. We both looked at their website a few times, reading about the history of the grounds. Tin and rubber were two key industries in Thailand and this hotel used to be an old tin mine.

I didn't realise how very cool this would make the space until we arrived.

As we got off that van we were both bleary eyed and sticky. We were too early to check into our room so the staff sat us on lovely large pads with big comfy cushions, brought us the most delicious spiced iced tea and wet scented cloths, and did a little orientation of the grounds. As we listened to Aon, the lovely woman who patiently explained where everything was situated to our sleep deprived and heat addled brains, I began to notice the distinctly quirky art around us. The twisted chandeliers, tin lined tables and restaurant signs all had an industrial edge to them. Near the main entrance is a TV screen set in what can only be described as a Steam Punk display.

But it was when we finally saw our room that I became so delighted I actually had to do a little dance of happiness. This is by far the best hotel I've ever stayed in simply because of the style. Unlike the sterile boxy rooms of so many hotels I've been in before, this place has character and history. The tin mining theme runs throughout, with delightful little details and finds that inspire a lot of ideas.

It's like staying in a giant art project, all Steam Punk themed and tin mine inspired. As a result I now want to do some Steam Punk of my own, just for the fun of it.

Chair back in restaurant
Box in hotel room
Wicked cutlery
Girly Boy Tin Miner sculpters
My favourite - The Nut and Bolt toilet paper holder... it unscrews to change the roll.

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