I have delayed writing this review but feel it is only fair to other potential guests to share our experience which unfortunately was not as good as those of a number of other reviewers. The reason that we have marked this property as average is purely down to the poor management and lack of courtesy shown to us during our stay. The location, spa etc is very good.
We travelled in October from the UK to meet relatives who were travelling from Australia. It was a particularly special holiday as our cousin was celebrating a renewal of their wedding vows during our stay in Phuket. Luckily the celebrations themselves were perfect and not affected by the choice of Hotel.
When booking we had been advised to ensure that we booked rooms allowing us access to the Club Lounge so we could meet up with family every evening prior to Dinner. We specifically checked with our Travel Agent that this would be the case when we booked the Premium Spa Deluxe room with a Jacuzzi on the balcony.
We arrived at the Hotel in a rainstorm and I would have to agree with other guests who have said that the corridors become treacherous in wet weather as this is very true. On of our group fell over one evening on a wet floor. First impressions slightly marred by the weather were not great but we also put this down to the fact that we had just left the luxury of the Shangri-La in Bangkok where the environment and service is absolutely first class.
On being shown to our room we discovered that whilst it was slightly tired in terms of decor it had the most fantastic view across the beach. In terms of location it is great. However we also discovered that provisions had not been made in the room for a third person and we were sharing with our daughter. We requested immediately some extra towels etc...but waited about 5 hours to have anything delivered. At the same time we also asked for an ice bucket this also took over 3 requests and arrived some hours later.
As I am sure you will have guessed we were informed that we were not entitled to Club benefits. The story changed with each member of staff we talked to but we did manage to establish that the policy of the Hotel changed last year (after we had made our booking) and only rooms of that class booked directly with the Hotel were entitled to these benefits. We were asked to pay extra which we were not prepared to do on principle. Over the first few days of our stay the Hotel refused to let us have these benefits and made us feel like second class citizens excluded from celebrating with family who we had travelled thousands of miles to see. Our travel agent who we have used on many trips and trust fully emailed the Hotel and asked them to rectify the situation. This was begrudgingly done after I had finally had enough of the upset and demanded to see the General Manager or Managing Director. It appears that the Management are quick to respond to reviews that they do not like on Trip Advisor but not available if you have a problem during your stay.
The Manager also holds a weekly cocktail party and also did not invite us to this but did invite all of the group that travelled from Australia. Not that we would have wished to attend but again we felt that we were deliberately being treated differently.
On a plus side the facilities are generally good. The pools are great for children and it is definitely a good hotel for families.
We are aware that a number of people have suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting during their stays here but apart from one incident with 2 of the children everyone else was absolutely fine.
The food was good (breakfast is very hectic and we would say just about reaching average) and reasonably priced in the restaurants.
The spa is excellent and my partner and I had a couples massage which I would definitely recommend.
Another point that is worth noting (assuming that the Hotel is still operating this policy!) is that there is an option called Baht Bonanza. We were again only made aware of this by our family and friends from Australia as the Hotel did not inform us. You have the option within the first 24 hours of your stay to deposit money with the Hotel to cover the cost of food and beverage/treatments etc...during your stay and dependant on how much you deposit the Hotel will match this. This is really useful if you intend to eat at the Hotel or use the Spa. You will not get any monies returned so worth starting on the cautious side and topping up during your stay.
We will not be returning to this Hotel due to the manner in which we were treated. We have previously stayed at the Cape Panwa and the Merlin Beach and both these Hotels deliver a far better all round experience.
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon