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“Almost there, but not quite” 4 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 Town, Phuket 83100, Thailand   |  
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Free Buffet Breakfast
Ranked #14 of 73 hotels in Karon
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Almost there, but not quite”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

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!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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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
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Newcastle
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

My family, consisting of myself and my husband, our 10 year old daughter and my 78 year old mother, stayed at Centara Grand for 9 nights at the end of March. We found the resort to be very clean and tidy, and the service from the all of the staff we encountered was exceptional. I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that people who are finding the staff rude or unhelpful should maybe take a long hard look at the way they are treating the staff. A friendly smile goes a very long way with the Thai people and any attempts to communicate with them in their own language, no matter how badly, is guaranteed to elicit a beaming response every time.

The Rooms:

We had two Deluxe Oceanview rooms on the first floor of Block 9 overlooking the Beachcomber Bar and the beach. Both rooms were well appointed and quite spacious and the view was sensational. It can be quite noisy opening the timber blinds to gain access to the balcony but we tend to both wake around the same time so it wasn't an issue for us. Because the rooms faced west, we did find it a bit too hot to sit on the balcony in the late afternoon but we were happy to retire to the infinity edge of the main pool instead and watch the sun sink into the sea. We found housekeeping to be very efficient - our rooms were cleaned spotlessly every day and the orchids on the made beds was a very nice touch.

The Facilities:

The main pool is amazing and even though the resort was at 98% capacity during our stay, the pool never felt overcrowded. The lifesavers do an amazing job, stopping kids from doing things that are blatantly unsafe, but also spending a lot of time playing with and entertaining the kids as well. A big thank you to Nut for making our daughter's holiday truly memorable. The cliff jump was well supervised and all the kids seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. The water slides were great fun too and the lazy river was really nice to just float around and relax in. Some people were even using the lazy river for exercise by walking against the flow of the water. Great idea for some low impact exercise that keeps you cool at the same time. Our daughter also enjoyed the big inflatable ball that you could get in and run around the main pool.

The Restaurants:

Breakfasts at The Cove were fantastic with a great variety to choose from. The omelettes and roti were both big hits with our family, as well as the fresh fruit each day. Staff were efficient and friendly and any requests we made were responded to very quickly.

The Beachcomber Bar was a lovely spot to have lunch right on the beach. Food was great although sometimes a little slow in coming but overall, the service from Sac and the rest of the staff was fantastic. I have to say a huge thank you to Sac for helping my mother when she stumbled and fell. Even though he had a tray loaded with plates and cutlery, Sac threw it aside and raced to help Mum back to her feet, sat her in a chair and arranged for the resort doctor to come and check her over, clean her wounded knee and put a dressing on it. Every day after that, Sac made an effort to seek out Mum and ask her how she was doing and if she needed anything. You're an amazing person Sac, thank you so much.

We only had dinner at Mare restaurant one night but the food was lovely and the service was excellent. Unfortunately I was not feeling particularly well that night after a bit too much sun during the day so probably didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.

The Bars:

Splash Pool Bar in the main pool was a great place to sit and enjoy a cold beer, wine or cocktail. It was also great that the kids could swim up and get a juice or a soft drink. Chon and the rest of the boys did a great job keeping us well hydrated and happy. Thanks guys.

The Luna Bar was an amazing spot to sit with a cocktail and watch the sunset. Service was exceptional and loved the little snacks they give you with your drink. Very nice. Toon was lovely, making sure our drinks were replenished almost before they were finished.

We also ate at the two little Thai restaurants right at the end of the beach - Kai's and Daeng's - both were sensational. The food was great and really cheap (cost us 1200 baht one night for 3 adults and a child, including all of our drinks and desert) and the people were fun and friendly. Thank you. Happy Thailand. Woo hoo lol.

The Beach:

The beach was quite clean while we were there, didn't see a lot of rubbish at all, but the loungers did seem to all be taken quite early in the day. We saw some people putting their towels on them at 6.30 in the morning. We're more pool people so that didn't bother us at all. It was lovely to walk into Karon along the beach though and much safer than walking down the road from the resort. Walk took around 15 minutes at a leisurely stroll.

The Staff:

All of the staff that we encountered were lovely, friendly and helpful. As I mentioned earlier, a smile goes a long way. These hardworking people deserve to be treated with respect, not treated like slaves to do your bidding. They were quite happy to talk with us and answer all of our questions, and share some of their culture with us. I also celebrated a birthday while we were there and it was a lovely surprise to have a member of staff knock on our door and deliver a beautiful little birthday cake. It was a very thoughtful gesture and I appreciated it very much.

I've already mentioned some of the staff by name but I have to also say a big thank you to trainee manager, Thiess, who was never too busy to chat with us and make sure everything was up to scratch and that we were enjoying our holiday.

There were a lot of Russian guests staying at the resort and unfortunately, most of them were extremely rude and could use some lessons in manners. Having said that, we did meet some very nice Russian families that made an effort to include our daughter in their pool games, even though there was a significant language barrier. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Centara Grand Karon and can't recommend it enough. We'll certainly be back again in the future.

Room Tip: Block 9 rooms have a great view and are close to the main pool. Rooms on higher levels of block 9 ar...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centara_Grand_Karon, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear borntotravel68

Thank you very much for staying with us and taking your time giving us a kind review.

We are so delighted that your stay at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket was everything you expected.

We are also grateful for your recognition of our rooms, swimming pools, breakfast, bars and of course the team members. I will make sure to pass these comments along to the mentioned team members’ names

Hopefully we will see you back in the near future.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Came to Centara to stay for two nights (and two nights at another hotel in Patong) for our honeymoon. Was disappointed to be told at the front desk that they had overbooked and we would be downgraded from a Premium Deluxe Spa to a Deluxe Spa. The room turned out to be a lot smaller than we expected. We were compensated with a free dinner which was nice. Our room faced the ocean, which was the main reason we got the room; that was very nice and quite worth it. The beach sits literally in front of the property. The food there was okay; we had buffet for breakfast and dinner at the Cove. Service and hospitality overall was very nice. Enjoyed the pool and the bar at the pool. It was a balmy 85-90 and very humid and hot. Be sure to bring and wear lots of sunscreen. Saw burnt, red skin everywhere you looked! Food prices aren't cheap so try to get a breakfast package if you can. This is about a 15min walk or 5 min cab ride from any local restaurants/massage places if that's what you're into. Our first night, we went to Karon beach by cab and tried to find a Thai place to eat. Most of the places were seafood joints and the place we ended up was pretty horrible. Food was worse than what I eat in LA (you expect more since you're in Thailand) and it was equivalent to what I had at a food court at the mall in Patong Beach. For relaxation and just to hang out, Karon beach and Centara is pretty nice; if you're into being more adventurous and walking/shopping around, you may want to opt for something in a more urban area like Patong. Also, be warned of sewage smell and horrendous looking insects around the property (though they mostly minded their own business).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

This hotel has everything, it has the location, beautiful rooms, excellent food, and I cannot say to many negative things about it! As we had a good time, but it was not, what I would call great, for some silly things they fall down on. I could give the hotel in general 5 stars for our overall experience, but it does fall down in too many areas, it did not cause duress, and we could overlook them, but at a 5 star hotel, we shouldn't have to overlook anything!

I have read in a recent review that the hotel was pricey for food and drinks, but honestly I don't agree, I think £100 for a family of four in a five star hotel on the beach is reasonable, you have to remember your location, views and cost to keep the standards up, however this is where you have to to make your own opinion, based on your budget before you book.
I have paid in London £27 for two vodka and cokes, go to Mauritius and double that! we stayed at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, OMG £11.00 for a bowl of fries, So I think its prices are what you can expect to pay in a resort of this nature! We are well travelled, and these prices are the norm, it's not Butlins, but anyone reading this can decide for yourself, based on what you are used to, and your own budget. There are a lot of cheap eateries around, so this hotel is affordable, it's as cheap as you want to make it.

The food is very very good! Breakfast lets that down though, it was god damn awful, NOT the food, the set up, it's like a canteen, I balk at going on holiday, and having to stand waiting for a glass for orange juice, they do not, or cannot keep up with replacing bowls, and breakfast items! It's a family hotel, we should have know before we booked, that people who let their kids run round a dining room are going to be there, and they were, picking up the baked goods, fingering them and putting them back! Parents do not go and help their kids, so its a free for all!To get over this, I do believe they should have a booking system, something like 2-4 sittings, and you book the night before? That's a thought, maybe not possible, but beware, we went before 7 after our first experience of the zoo they call breakfast, and had experienced the bedlam! But as I said, our mistake, it is a family hotel! On a good note on breakfast, there is huge choice of dishes.

We had a room close to the reception, which is a good to away from the pools and bars, it had a lovely plunge pool, and enjoyed the soak after a long day, major points on that one. We had lovely tit bits left daily, with a great amount of bottled water which was very good! Unfortunately where there is good point, they fall down with a bad one, most nights we had to ring for towels, and they were never white like you would expect, they were grey, like they had been washed with something that had run into them? Peculiar as I have never been to a hotel that cannot keep their whites white. These are little things we overlooked, as they did not spoil our stay, and when we rang for towels, they came pretty quickly, but we shouldn't have to ring at all.

The open drains in Phuket, can sometimes be over powering around the resort, and other days hardly noticeable. Again nothing the hotel can do anything about, and its all over the island, just some days it's bad around the hotel.

The pool area, whoever designed this area, really did not do a good job, it looks beautiful, it has everything. But it's just so not user friendly! Like previous reviews, try to get a lounger, at the back of the pool, they are in rows, so you sit with total strangers not more than a foot away from you, with your feet in sand, round the side of the pool, they have some loungers in the water, thats good if you read, or have items other than your pool towel! (Stupid idea)the others round the sides are scarce, maybe 20 if that, and people keep the towels from the night before, and put them by the pool before 7am! Regardless of the hotel policy that is plastered on the back of loungers, saying first come first served, or we will remove items if you have not used the lounger within 2 hours. (They don't follow up on that at all)

The beach, well on the website it shows a long stretch of beach, that looks beautiful, it is, BUT only a small part is for hotel patrons, the rest is public! So 3-5 dogs on any given day wandering around is not unusual, they do rake the beach, but don't pick much up, so you can expect yesterday's smokers cig ends lying underfoot, and on one particular day we had to avoid the dog muck! That sounds worse than it actually was, and again, I am a dog lover so could overlook it. Not sure the hotel can do anything re:dogs even if they wanted to. But they can put bins out, put some ashtrays out, the kind with sand so they don't blow away, people are usually good and will use them, If they are close at hand. Beach toilets are not the best, they may clean them regularly, but they always seemed to be a haven for a mess of some sort, water on the floor, and just not as they should be, no air freshener, no nice flowers, so I used the Italian restaurant, again, nothing that spoilt my holiday, or my enjoyment!

The staff well they couldn't have chosen happier friendly people, the Thai people are smiley by nature, but at the resort they cannot do enough for you, I would like to say a big thank you to Thai, he was a really friendly and welcoming member of the hotel staff, Mr Manager, he deserves a thank you from your hotel, he is such a proud member of your staff!
Beach bar staff need a jack up, we never had our order right once, once we waited an hour for a panini, they had forgot to order it, by the time it came we had finished a full bottle of wine! They knew we were a "little" upset this time,and took the food off the bill, they should have paid for the wine to! But I don't think they wanted the manager to know why a bottle of wine was drank and not paid for, did they explain a missing panini lol

Apart from these few minor issues, and which if they sorted out, wow, this would be some place to stay, they would be 100% major player 5 star hotel!

All in all, if I had a family, this would be the hotel to go to, I recommend it highly! As a late 50s couple, it was good, but not up to the standard, of what and where we have been before! We enjoyed it, had nothing that we would "really" moan about, while there, but it's not a hotel I would go to next time I visit Thailand, but neither is Phuket! This is a really unbiased truthful review of our experience, and we enjoyed it, warts and all.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We booked in for a “babymoon” in April 2013 to have a relaxing last get away. It was far from relaxing with the resort failing to mention they would be doing major renovations in the room next to ours complete with duelling sledgehammers shaking the walls and floor during the day. We were not told about the work upon arrival / check in and it was this total lack of upfront communication and acknowledgement that this work was to be carried out every day during our entire 6 day stay between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm that ruined an otherwise pleasant stay.

It was very hot outside during our stay and being 6 months pregnant, I liked to go for a swim until midday then retreat to the room and air conditioning to get some respite from the heat (most guests seemed to do this), take a nap and then head back to the pool or beach late afternoon when it cooled down. Ordinarily on trips I would be out sightseeing or doing tourist stuff all day but the purpose of the trip was to rest, sleep and relax. No such luck with any of that unfortunately, with the reno work continuing every day.

The offer to move us after we felt compelled to complain came too late (they were booked out anyway). There was no offer or alternatives to get us away from the noise and out of the heat in the middle of the day when we couldn’t use our room and it was way too hot for me to be outside even in the pool where I would have burnt to a crisp.

It wouldn’t have taken much effort (or cost) on their behalf to appease a hot, tired, cranky pregnant woman however it wasn’t until I wasted nearly 2 hours of my holiday in a hot reception area on two separate days trying to find out when the work would be finished that I lost it and pretty much had to beg for them to find somewhere for me out of the heat and away from the noise during the day so I could rest and just read a book.

It was left to me to suggest giving us access to the Club Lounge in the air conditioning until work had finished for the day (only offered for one day). No other form of compensation, room discount or room upgrades was offered by the resort. Flabbergasted by their lack of thoughtfulness and inability to suggest anything, I pretty much had to insist they book us into the spa to make up for not being able to use our room for nearly 8 hours a day - surprisingly they booked us both in for treatments (30 mins + 45 mins) – not much compensation considering the amount we paid for the room.

It did take us a couple of days to complain, mainly because we usually are pretty tolerant and accepting and kept thinking it would end soon. We understand routine maintenance needs to be carried out but this work was pretty major and the noise unrelenting during the day. I think the management team may have thought we were just after freebies. Ahh… wrong, we paid good money for a room that was pretty much uninhabitable for most of the day.

TIP for resort management team: Let your guests know upfront, explain at check in or put together a nice letter explaining what is happening and offer guests token gestures of compensation e.g. daily access to Club Lounge or maybe some drinks or restaurant vouchers (anything that will give them alternatives).


Good Bits:
Great location with easy access to beach
A variety of pools – the adult pool is a great escape from the crowds / kids, floating tubes and waterfall is really good
Breakfast buffet had a great variety of foods and staff very obliging and friendly
Complementary drinking water in room (although I’m sure you pay for it somewhere in your room rate, just nice to have and not have to restock yourself)
Great resort with everything contained in one area (pool, beach, restaurant, bar, activities, spa)
Looked to have great activities for kids

Bad Bits
Lack of communication from management / operations team
Cleaning and room service VERY inconsistent (maybe a daily checklist might help staff with consistency, it was so random)
Breakfast services inefficient and a bit clumsy (kept running out of basics like glasses and spoons)
Walking from resort to town – they could do with a safer alternative for pedestrians up the ramp from the resort and first couple of hundred meters on side of the road
Deck chairs usually all taken by 10:00 am so get in early

Not really to do with the resort but the beach has a lot of litter and rubbish washed up on the shore and although staff clean this up early in the morning, you still have to dodge floating rubbish when swimming in the ocean which is really disgusting (there was a lot when we were there).

Room Tip: Avoid rooms right next to the pool and cliff/plunge pool (kids screaming). Block 9 was good and fac...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Centara_Grand_Karon, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Myreviews2help

May I commence my reply with a sincere apology regarding the lack of communication relating to the repairs being undertaken during your stay.

As you correctly point out, a letter of explanation would greatly assist in such circumstances. Unfortunately, this was not a planned renovation but an emergency situation with a major water pipe leak behind a wall, so it was not possible to pre-empt the situation. We should have undoubtedly been more forthcoming with information and alternative facilities in relation to the disruption and the difficulties faced with relocating you when the hotel was totally full.

Thank you for comments regarding our location, pool facilities, breakfast buffet, friendly staff and great facilities.

Thank you for your comments regarding inconsistent room service and the ‘clumsy’ service at breakfast. I will assure this is addressed through training and enforcement of our normal high standards.
We are limited with the number of sun loungers we can place around the pool and on the beach and there is a first come first served process. We are attempting to keep the beach as clean as possible and are considering alternative methods to ensure our guests do not add to the problem.

Unfortunately we have no control over the final stretch of roadway you mention, leading to the hotel entrance. There is the alternative option of walking to Karon via the beach or using the free hotel shuttle service or taxis and tuk tuks.

Again thank you for your review. I wish you well on the forthcoming birth of your baby.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

As someone said in an earlier review, take care on which Centara the reviews appertain to. This hotel, the Centara Grand, is the only hotel with direct beach access in Karon. It's located about 1km away from Karon Circle, (about 10 minutes walk or 200 baht taxi ride). The first part of this walk is on a busy road so take care. It soon goes onto a pavement so the walk is generally ok. The taxi and tuk tuk (small open vans not motor cycle driven) rates here are more expensive than Bangkok by some way. It'll cost you 300B to Patong, but having done so, I'd have happily paid ten times that to get away from the place! There is a shuttle from the hotel leaving at 2 and 5, but the 5 o clock one doesn't have a return. Not sure if this is chargeable as we didn't use it. For local journeys the Hotel cars are about 100B more than the taxis at the top of the entrance ramp.

The staff are in the most part very polite and friendly, but I think that dealing with the huge amount of Russians, some of whom can be arrogant and impolite, sometimes affects the demeanour of the staff. One particular diminutive waiter at the Beachcomber bar definitely needs a course in customer relations. Maybe we caught him after a row with the wife!

We stayed in block 3 and although its a bit of a trek to get around, it was quiet, comfortable and clean. The balcony furniture was nice and there's also a fan on the balcony which is useful for the evenings.

The breakfast is ok, if a bit manic and often things run out without immediate replacement, but sitting outside rather than in the air conditioned dining room, does make the experience quite pleasant. There is the occasional wait for a table, but no more than a couple of minutes. It would also be handy if the "please wait to be seated" sign was translated into Russian.

I read that a lot of people don't agree that this is a 5 star hotel and although its very nice, I can understand why, because it does fall short in some areas, but one thing that is unquestionably 5 stars is the price of food and drink!

We came towards the end of April and we had no problem getting a sunbed. It can be more difficult if you leave it late in the morning, but even then, there seems to be plenty around the pools.

We're beach people and here it was clean, totally sandy and the sea nice to swim in. There is an undertow here, not something we experienced, but the swimming flag was always half red, half yellow. Depending on your likes, there are various water sports available. Another plus with the beach is that there are vendors where you can get reasonably priced drinks snacks and massage. A special mention here for the vigilance of the lifeguard. Apart from keeping a constant eye on swimmers, when the Hobie cats were out, he was watching through binoculars for any problems. Please don't think it's dangerous, it's not, but just be aware of the possible hazards.

The swimming pool is good, excellent for children. There's a lazy river plus some water slides that even us oldies enjoyed.

I was initially disappointed that Internet access in the room was chargeable albeit not exorbitant, but these days its not common for 5 star hotels to charge. However there is free access in the lobby and two other bar areas, one of which is the Beachcomber bar whose signal spreads to the beach, so we didn't bother paying any extra, especially as many bars in town also have free access.

At the time of writing Centara are running a promotion whereby if you pay 10000B you get 13000B of services, food and drink. There is a scale that gives greater savings with higher deposits. It's not something we took up, but it might suit some larger parties who can share the cost. Some people have mentioned spurious additions to their bill, we had no such issues.

As a couple nearing retirement age, overall, we enjoyed our stay here. We are so glad we selected Karon Beach rather than Patong, but having stayed in Phuket 15 years ago and having subsequently been to Koh Samui including after this visit to Phuket, I think this will sadly be our last visit to this part of Thailand.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centara_Grand_Karon, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Paul593

Thank you for your honest and open-minded review of your stay at our hotel. Your many positive comments are very welcome.

Likewise your constructive comments relating to areas for improvement will be taken onboard and considered in our improvement programme. You’ll be pleased to note we now have a “please wait to be seated “sign in 7 different languages.

Thank you for your specific comment regarding our beach lifeguard. The safety of our guest is one of our paramount concerns, particularly on the beach and during the April to September period when the seas around Thailand can sometimes become hazardous.

We are constantly looking at ways to provide our guests value for money and our prices remain in line with our neighbouring 5 * resorts.

Should you reconsider returning to Phuket, we would love to have you stay with us again. Good luck on your future travels.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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Horsham
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

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!.

Room Tip: Make sure you inspect your room before you accept it. Do book half board in advance not after, as mu...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centara_Grand_Karon, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Martin K

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the general friendliness and helpfulness of the staff and the quality of our food.

You highlight the high cost of food and drink but I can assure you that our prices are commensurate to the other 5* resorts in our vicinity.

As you allude to, there was very high occupancy during your stay and this has been the case for the last 6 months. The unfortunate consequence of this is an extremely busy breakfast buffet and the lack of opportunity to conduct all of the renovations necessary. As we are now into the low season, we are addressing many of these issues with a phased closure and renovation of rooms. We do not however, have “sewage” tankers travelling around the property as we have a mains system and as with many locations in Thailand, drains often smell after periods of heavy rain.

The electric key card is used by the hotel as a means to saving electricity, reducing costs and protecting the environment and we have placed special matting in the public area most affected by rainfall and slippery flooring.

We carry out a weekly thorough beach clean and a daily tidy-up. Other measures are being considered to encourage guests to discard their rubbish appropriately. This does not excuse the poor maintenance service you received but hopefully shows we are trying to identify problems and make improvements.

We would be delighted to show you these improvements if you considered a return to Phuket.

Warm regards

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

Address: 683 Patak Road, Karon Beach | Muang, Phuket, Karon, Phuket Town, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Phuket Town > 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:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Karon
#8 Spa Hotel in Karon
#10 Luxury Hotel in Karon
#11 Family Hotel in Karon
#11 Romantic 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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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon

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