Our first contact with the hotel did not make a good impression. Something went wrong when making the reservations and we ended up being booked for two people and not for three. We contacted the hotel via email several times but received no reply. We also wanted to be certain we could get two beds and not just one. Upon check in we mentioned this to the staff and received a very snippy reply. The staff member angrily told us that we'd have to pay an extra charge for the third person, as if we were trying to hide that fact, and that we'd have to deal with a king size bed. She then told us, when said we wanted two beds and not one, that the resort is set up so that you get whatever beds they have and not what's requested. When asked if we could change rooms she snapped that they were full. So we asked about perhaps later in the week changing rooms and she said we'd have to check everyday if there was one.
After checking in we were taken to the lounge via golf cart and given a quite tour from the staff members who all were very nice. The lounge offers a nice place to wait for your room to be ready and offers snacks and drinks while you wait. Around two o'clock a friendly staff member by the name of Nan showed us to our room, which was a king sized bed. We asked if we could get a cot or roll away bed but she did us one better and contacted someone via her walkee talkee and took us to a room with two beds. Funny how the staff member in the lobby claimed they were booked.
While the room was quite nice and we were happy to have two beds it was clear it needed to be fixed up a bit. The wood floor near the bathroom had turned black (perhaps due to water damage) and part of it had a small hole in it. Next, there was a long black hair on the toilet seat cover. This was most likely from the maid but it was something she should have caught. Upon taking a bath I noticed that there was a bit of candle wax on the outside rim of the tub, this should have been cleaned up. In a five start resort these things should be addressed before the guests see the room.
Like I mentioned there were three of us in this room yet everyday we only got two robes, sets of slippers and towels, despite us calling house keeping and asking for three everyday. The maids should know how many people are in the room and stock it accordingly. Likewise, when we filled out our breakfast room service form it was not picked up and even was knocked off our door. When we did get our room service they never gave us another card to fill out (to order breakfast) and were quite confused when we called to place an order.
Also there were many sports throughout the property that needed to be addressed by maintenance. Such as: The wood on the deck areas near the pool and near the Cove restaurant had become warped and were in danger of breaking. Also there was a strong raw sewage smell on the way to the lobby, which should have been fixed. The beach are in front of the hotel was full of garbage. The hotel seemed to clean it up first thing in the morning but by noon it was gross again. In contrast the beach area in front of the local shops and restaurants was perfectly clean. There need to be trash bins on the beach so guests can throw out their items more easily and cleaning should happen throughout the day.
That being said the staff we encountered, other than the one woman at check in, were all very friendly and willing to help. Nan who helped us get the room we needed and Yai who brought us another umbrella at the pool so we could have shade.
The hotel is set up very well. All the buildings seem to be connected and every room has a view of either the pools or the beach. All the buildings are clearly market and there's always staff around to help you if needed. The food everywhere was very good and timely. The pool area is by far the best we'd ever seen. The pools are huge and offer many different options for swimming and sitting. It's very beautiful, relaxing and good for those of all ages. The swim up bar is very nice and it's impressive that it has a side that is not in the water so you don't have to go in if you want something to eat or drink.
While the breakfast buffet is amazing and offers everything you could ever want and more it's very very pricey 500-700 Baht (17-23 USD) and offers no ala carte menu. I highly recommend ordering breakfast from room service as they DO offer ala carte thus making it cheaper.
The beach is very nice but sadly the water is a big rough making it not idea for water actives other than body boarding and not suited for small children. The hotel is close to some other local restaurant which offer not only Thai food but anything else you could want from hamburgers to fish and chips.
Overall, this hotel is very nice and has great potential to become a great five star resort if they put some real effort into improving somethings. The general consciousnesses was that we'd love to come back!
- 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