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“A Sad Return” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

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Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   683 Patak Road, Karon Beach | Muang, Phuket, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #12 of 69 hotels in Karon
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A Sad Return”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We returned a year later with great expectations. Sadly the booking experience was not what we expected especially for returning guests requesting connecting rooms and no guarantees could be given. We felt that this is not acceptable in the case of returning guest who were now spending more having requesting connecting pool suites. Anyway, we got lucky and got our requested rooms. The hotel recently opened a beach restaurant deck and secured beach space for many loungers on the beach. Regrettably staff compliment was not increased to cater for the increased numbers of sunbathers using the now much larger pool and beach areas. Pool side service has become very slow, new staff brought in have very limited english and ones expectations of a 5 star hotel often not met. For example pool side assistants were reluctant to arrange more umbrellas, sweeteners for teas often not available in some pool side bars, towels at pool side not always available, room service slow, standard of food very variable, construction taking place from early in the morning outside ones rooms during peak Christmas times. A plans needs to also be made to ensure that if pool or beach beds are booked with towels that these are not simply taken over by other aggressive guests. This practice also occurred at breakfast when after finding a table and requesting tea and then going to the buffet one would return only to find some other family at your table with your tea. Complaints to the attending staff were just ignored and shoulders shrugged. We will not go back to this hotel unless management are able to confirm that these issues have been specifically dealt with. They were related to Christoffe who is a senior manager at the hotel and hopefully he can post a reply. Given the hotels great location and facilities it will be a pity and shame if it is not attended to.

Room Tip: Building 8 or 9, Ground floor if you have kids.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear Jeff1996,

Thank you very much for sharing with us the difficulties you have experienced during your recent stay.

As our returning guest we are sincerely distressed to read that it was a sad return and hopefully you will give us another chance to turn that into a happy return next visit.

I hereby confirm that all the issues you mentioned have been dealt with:
-The beach club which is now three month old has been totally finalized and is now up and running properly
-We have increased the number of food & beverage attendants on the beach and by the pool, intensively trained them and hired two more supervisors for better control of our standard of service
-A new lot of pool towels have been received shortly after your stay to cope with a full house
-The breakfast staff is now well supervised with the presence on the floor of the F&B manager or his assistant every service

I do hope you had an enjoyable time at our sister property in Samui and that it made it up for the shortfall encountered during your stay with us.
We all look forward to welcoming you again to demonstrate the improvements made.

Warm regards from Karon beach,

Christophe Gestin
Executive Assistant Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (341)
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Launceston, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Great place, would recommend.. very affordable, free wifi, great air con.. a choice of 4 pools is great, huge hotel.

not very good on checkin but the service was great by ground staff.
photographic gardens could not be Beaton and the terraces are set out very well

Room Tip: rooms up in the terrace are quieter
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear Jonty M

Thanks for your great review and very positive comments regarding the staff and grounds. We apologise for the delay at check-in. This can sometimes occur during peak check-in and out periods but we do offer compensation if the delay is extensive. We are pleased that your overall experience was a good one and hope to see you again in the near future.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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merthyr tydfil
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed over Christmas and New Year 2012/13 and will comment under different headings.
Location.
Good with excellent pools and beach. We used the adult only pool most of the time but the main pool looked great fun for the kids with waterslides and the lazy river for inflatables etc.
The ten minute walk to Karon along the beach was ok in daylight but at night a 200 baht taxi ride was a must as the main road is unlit and dangerous. The same applies to Patong which is too far to walk (about 4k) and entails a 400 baht taxi ride. Over a two week stay this adds up and is worth factoring in your calculations.
Room
We stayed in 447 which has a jacuzzi on the L shaped balcony together with a very comfortable seating area. The super large bed was very comfortable and feather pillows, our preference, were available on request. The Venetian blinds fitted all round were a bit of a pain as they are very low geared and took an age to raise and lower. This is a particular nuisance if one of you wakes early and fancies sitting out on the balcony as they are also noisy to operate thus waking your partner.
The room was quite large with plenty of storage, likewise the bathroom complete with a glass rain shower cubicle and separate toilet. The sliding wooden doors that separate the bathroom from the bedroom were jammed open and despite asking for it to be fixed nothing happened.As the toilet door is glass this meant reduced privacy when using the toilet.
We were supplied four bottles of water daily as tap water cannot be used for drinking. This was adequate for our daily needs and a small jug of fresh milk was delivered within minutes of requesting it for tea and coffee.
We only used the jacuzzi once as the brown water was a bit offputting. A constant temperature was difficult to achieve in the shower, hot and cold fluctuations being the norm.
Restaurants
My partner is a coeliac sufferer so gluten free is a must in her diet. On our first day Sandro Agulero the executive chef (Spanish) assured us that this would be no problem and went out of his way to ensure that her choices from the buffet and a la carte met her requirements. Not all of the staff were as professional and plainly did not understand her requirements,which was a slight worry but thankfully no harm was done. Perhaps a better understanding of this allergy could be incorporated into staff training.
The Cove Restaurant is where breakfast is taken and the choices were very good from the buffet, everything from bacon and eggs to cold meats and cheeses, cereals, yoghurts,fruit, all being offered in abundance together with tea and coffee and fruit juices although the latter could do with real fresh orange juice as opposed to the " made from concentrate" on offer.
In the evenings the buffet was again first class, the seafood nights being particularly good with everything you could ask for including rock lobster and fresh oysters. On other nights the hot meats from the carvery were also very good and again in abundance.The buffet charge of 990 baht although not cheap compared to outside prices is good value for what you get.The cheapest bottle of wine on the list is 1200 baht but is of good quality.
The Italian Restaurant, where we ate three times during our stay gave us the only reason for complaint. The first time it was faultless, food good and service equally so. The second time, a disaster. We waited half an hour for our bottle of wine to arrive, a further half an hour for our meals and when they did arrive were so poorly cooked and presented that a transport cafe could have done better. The excuse given was that several people had ordered at the same time! I complained and offered to pay for the wine but not the food.To be fair they apologised and accepted that it was not to standard and removed the bill for food.I spoke to Sandro the executive chef the following day and he informed me that he had been away the night before but would make enquiries. He was as good as his word and came back to me to apologise and also sent the chef from the Italian restaurant to do likewise (he was European). They both assured me that the next visit would faultless. We decided to visit again on our last night accompanied by a Swedish couple we had met. Sandro himself would do the cooking for us.
The food was excellent, the only problem was that we the men had ours served together, one, which was not that which had been ordered, of the womens a while later, and the fourth one not at all! As it was going cold we ate the first two served, the wrong meal was taken away and finally the two correct meals for the women, freshly cooked, arrived later. Profuse apologies from Sandro for the inefficiencies of the staff followed yet again but for a supposedly five star hotel this is not good enough.

Overall impressions.
We had a good holiday but this is not a five star hotel, it cannot compare with The Penninsula in Bangkok which is a real five star. Also, we preferred the Dusit Laguna where we stayed on a previous visit to Phuket. There, the New Years Eve Gala Dinner included complimentary wine throughout the evening and complimentary champagne at midnight. In the Centara Grand we had the impression that you pay for everything handsomely. The 400% tax on alcohol charged by the Thai goverment does not help but a little goodwill by the hotel would not go amiss on special occasions.
The dress code asked for in the hotel restaurants is ignored by most of the guests (many are Russians) and out of control children a pain in the neck. However, these are paying guests and it is difficult to know how to enforce it without causing offence.
We would not go back there but if you have children and are happy to stay in the hotel complex for the duration of your stay it would be a good choice as there is enough to keep them occupied safely day after day.

Room Tip: The first floors are reached by up to sixty steps from ground level in most of the blocks. This keep...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Dear Keith R

Thank you for your constructive review and your positive comments regarding many of our facilities. We are pleased that generally your room was to your liking but apologise for the inconvenience caused by the maintenance issues. We can assure you that we are diligently trying to address such maintenance requirements.

Again, thank you for highlighting the potential problems relating to guests dietary needs. We are enhancing our training to ensure all restaurant staff have a greater understanding of such issues.

We are pleased that you enjoyed the themed buffet nights but equally disappointed by your mixed experience in the Mare. This is not in keeping with the usual high standards normally demonstrated at this restaurant and the usual experience of our guests. We are constantly reviewing and identifying ways in which we can enhance our guest’s experience and your valued comments will greatly assist us.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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london
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My sister and I stayed at this hotel in November. After our sightseeing and shopping marathon in Bangkok and Chiang Mai it was lovely to get away from it all in this lovely hotel facing the beach at the quieter end of Karon Beach. This is a beautiful resort, even if you don't like the bright pink buildings, the maintenance of the grounds and the location are some of the best in Thailand.

The staff were amazing, so friendly and approachable and keen to help whenever they can especially if you take the time to be polite and patient. They make the resort special and I would go back just because they were so pleasant.

The spa is second to none as far as we are concerned; we selected the 2 day 5 hour treatment and were amazed at the quality, variety of treatment and value for money.

Finally, the breakfast is to die for; I have never encountered such a wide choice in any hotel in any country before. Take your pick and it's already included in the buffet breakfast and the staff no matter how busy were always polite.

This hotel doesn't ever appear to be quiet and for that I really do appreciate the way the staff conducted themselves.

The only cons I can thing off is that the hotel is let down by it's small lobby and receptions area and the rooms are suffering more wear and tear than I was expecting. The rooms are lovely but because of the costant flows of guests they don't get time to make good small damages which you would expect to be remedied in an international five star hotel before new guests arrive.

Room Tip: Great view from our room in block 5 on the 3/4 floor
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear Good Vacations

We are extremely pleased to see that you had such an enjoyable stay with us. We are grateful for your wonderful comments regarding the friendliness and helpfulness of our staff and the quality of our food and our Spa.

As you correctly point out, it is difficult to constantly maintain the rooms during peak season and with such high occupancy levels but our Engineers are constantly striving to do their best to keep on top of maintenance issues.

We are glad that some of the smaller issues didn’t detract from your overall enjoyment. Please come back and stay with us again soon!

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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Sutton, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

The hotel is set right at the Northern tip of Karon beach, slightly away from the bustling town centre. Great views over the sea. Hotel clean and tidy and away from main roads.

Lovely room (was in black 8) with a fantastic bathroom.

Staff were happy to help with anything. Lazy river and pools were excellent. Breakfast was as would be expected - a large buffet catering to all tastes.

Downsides - Water from the taps not always the cleanest, sometimes did come out a bit yellow, not a huge problem for me, just used the bottled water (hotel provided 2 bottles each day). Apparently this is an issue with the local supply so not a lot the hotel can do about it. There is a large sewage pipe entering the sea next to the hotel, apparently this is safe treated water, but a little unnerving all the same. The pool/beach bars and the hotel restaurants were very expensive compared to everywhere else (even the other hotels restaurants/bars).

The hotel ran a shuttle into the town, but this was only once or twice a day and could have been more frequent (the walk to Karon town is not a particularly nice one! - either down a busy unlit road, or along the beach where you had to cross a stream so would get your feet wet!!)

Sounds like a lot of downsides compared to upsides but this really is a great hotel and I am just picking holes. I really enjoyed my two weeks here and would definetly go back. From what I saw of the other hotels in Karon this was is definetly the best.

Room Tip: Blocks 8+9 are apparently newer so should be better quality. All rooms have a sea view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear Andrew R

Thank you for your very positive review. We appreciate your comments regarding the staff and our facilities.

We do try and ensure that our prices are comparable to other similar hotels but obviously cheaper food can be found at local outlets.

We are very pleased you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again in the near future.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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East Sussex
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We travelled as a family over New Year and had a fantastic experience from start to finish. The team of staff at this resort are a credit to the hotel from the restaurant staff to the fabulous life guards who knew our kids names within the first two hours of being at the pool and were great fun.

We stayed in a premium spa deluxe room above the pool which was very well positioned and nicely appointed. The restaurants were very good, especially the Italian restaurant which was superb and brought the children's meals out early as they were really hungry and getting tired.

The New Year's Eve party was a great event which took days for the hotel to pull together and involved many of the staff who has worked all day in other areas of the hotel but continued to give a smiling service right through to the early hours.

The water park kept the kids entertained every day, but it was the life guards down there that really made the experience at the pool. Ton, Boy and Nok keep the pool safe while making sure that those kids have fun, a big thank you to them from all of us.

Please don't be put off by some of the recent negative reviews especially about the staff here, we witnessed several fantastic members of staff being treated very disrespectfully by a couple of the guests, those members of staff were very professional in the way they handled these unacceptable out bursts. We found the staff here to be great and had no cause for complaint as they often went the extra mile.

One of many examples of the team going the extra mile:

One of the waiters at the pool restaurant noticed that my daughter had scraped her foot. He called over one of the managers who offered to take her over to the health centre for first aid, as she was just about to eat her lunch he called over one of the life guards instead who gave her first aid at the table so that she was ready to go back to enjoy the pool straight away.


Great atmosphere, great team and we will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Rooms over the pool are fun for families.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear 40trip

Thank you for your tremendous review. Your wonderful comments regarding our hardworking and dedicated staff are very much appreciated and warmly welcomed by the staff.

Our Lifeguards are often the key to enjoying a safe but fun time for families and I will ensure your comments are passed on.

We are delighted you enjoyed your New Year stay with us. Come back soon!

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Staying at Centara Grand was the best holiday my family has ever had. The hotel is fantastic and in a great area. We are trying to get back, and I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, and especially families with children that are old enough to use the lazy river, cliff dive and water slides!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear gjv2474

Thank you for your wonderful review. We are so delighted that you and your family had such an enjoyable time. Perhaps it wasn’t just the children who enjoyed the lazy river, cliff dive and slides?!!

We hope to see you again soon.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon
Address: 683 Patak Road, Karon Beach | Muang, Phuket, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Karon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Karon
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Karon
#8 Romantic Hotel in Karon
#9 Luxury Hotel in Karon
#9 Family Hotel in Karon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a modern five-star luxury resort built directly on the foreshores of Karon Beach. Designed with distinct Phuket colonial Sino-Portuguese architecture, the luxury accommodation comprises of 262 guestrooms and villas. All guestrooms have a balcony and are ocean facing. Room types consist of spa suites, pool suites, deluxe suites and one and two bedroom villas. ... more   less 
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