Well on first impressions this 18 month old massive complex is nice looking and the welcome slow but friendly. However we were disappointed, first thing that hits you is the cost of its drink and food, you can expect a family of four to, pay approximately at best £100 per night in the Cove restaurant, you can expect to pay £3 for a coke tin and £8 for a Panini and chips at the beach bar. They push the food hard, but the reason is the restaurants are less than 30% due to the price and when you can get a taxi and eat at some amazing places nearby for less than £50 for 4 including drinks or less, just sadly you are sometimes too tired to go out and they have you! Don't get me wrong the quality of the food is excellent. Then should reduce their prices a bit and then they would never look back, excellent breakfast but get there before 9.30 or expect to queue.
Beach absolutely one of the dirtiest grubby beaches I have been to anywhere in the world, actually I feel it’s the worst. I must emphasise this is not the hotels fault, its just people don't care about rubbish and leave it on the beach and to be honest we never used it because of this, its too dirty, even their small roped off area was only adequate.
Pool area is very busy and again by 10am you won't get a seat unless you are down and reserve a seat before this time, best to go down by 9 am find your seats then sadly as in Europe put your towel down. You can always if full get two beach sun beds, just 100 meter walk back to the pool. Tip get your beers and coke from the beach bar (not owned by the hotel) about 50% cheaper and very friendly. (The monkey is ok, its not subject to cruelty it is let off and content, we saw the kindness shown by the owners many times.)
We had several issues while we stayed there, water dripping for the ceiling , quite serious and it took 3 calls and even me assisting the mechanic to solve the issue, we had power cuts when there was lightening, the electrics are a pain as when you take your card out the room, power dies so it was hard to charge anything, tip get two keys , the sewage system or lack of it seemed to rely on a tanker emptying at various times round the complex "not a nice smell for up to 24 hours later". Another day we had no hot water, this was a real pain! The kid’s room Internet did not work, I called down but never saw a repair man came so ended up having a look at the access point was hanging unconnected so I sorted that out and it worked fine afterwards. One area i was concerned is the area outside the cove has wooden planks, many of these were held down with screws that were protruding, and this needs sorting before someone hurts themselves. Also be careful when it rains the place has marble floors which are very slippery when wet.
Even though the hotel is quite new it was looking tired and obviously I don't think the maintenance staff were keeping up. We will be making a severe complaint of this area to the hotel.
Staff, were on the whole nice and helpful, the pool guards were lovely with the kids (especially round the pool, river rapids and at the jump, these staff need a big pat on the back for being so kind to the kids). A few of the pool bar staff were moody and abrupt which is unusual in Thailand!
Bottom line we don't know how this compares with other so called 5 star resorts in Thailand but we feel by USA and European standards its a 3-4 Star and by Dubai standards a 3 star. To be fair it’s a very hot country and 38'C must account for some of the wear and tear.
We were generally disappointed as indeed were so many guests, it would be so east to sort! The Hotel did provide a nice evenings free meal as a "sorry" but really its a holiday upset not cured by one evenings meal!.
- 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