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“Golden setting, but disappointing service.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   396-396/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand   |  
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Free Buffet Breakfast
Ranked #5 of 88 Hotels in Ao Nang
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Golden setting, but disappointing service.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Beautiful setting and rooms are nice. It really only deserves 3 stars from me but the surroundings are so amazing I had to up it. It's starting to get a little bit tired and I would say it's 4 star rather than 5 star but mainly because the service lets it down. Most of the staff at the various restaurants are very off-hand. You could lie round the pool all day and no-one would come and ask you if you wanted anything. Even when you go to them, you'd be lucky to get a smile. The food at the International, Japanese and Thai restaurants is very good.
Prices are high but the Baht Bonanza thing helps.
The monkeys scare the hell out of you at first - they came in our room, opened the mini bar doors and ran off with the nuts! And they check the doors all the time to see if you've locked them which is a pain if you just want to lie out on your deck - which we didn't because the squabs on our loungers were covered in mildew. We bought a slingshot from town and they got the message and left us alone after a couple of near misses. I think the best thing to tell people would be to stand up to them straight away - they seem to sense fear and can hiss at you with their horrible little teeth showing which is frightening.
Kids club is weird - it's downstairs in a dark windowless room. But it's fine if it's raining. The ladies will babysit at night for you but they charge 350 Baht (which is more than I pay at home).
The floating jetty is scary scary when it's rough.
The monkey trail only takes 20 minutes and is a bit steep but we enjoyed walking it (although did see a poisonous snake). No one told us that it's only a 5 minute walk around the rocks at low tide -we discovered this on the last day!
Basically, I wouldn't send very old or lazy people there. The entire resort has stairs everywhere, but you eat so much that it's good to get the heart rate up.
Ao Nang is much calmer and prettier than Kamala and Patong for sure - I would go back to that area in a heartbeat. Not sure if I would return to Centara but only because of staff. It's a shame because the setting they have is Golden, better than any other in the area and it could and should be a 5 star place.
For $60 NZD we got a guy to take 5 of us in a longtail boat to Phra Nang beach at Railay and he hung out there all day until we wanted to go home. That place is amazing, and we had lunch at the Rayavadee Resort on the beach which was STUNNING. That place is very very special.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Dear KiwiNessB

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts following your recent stay at our resort.

Please accept our sincere apologies that the poolside staff did not meet with your expectations.

Yes the monkeys are a challenge to manage and that is why we instruct all guests as well as place signs in all our rooms not to feed the monkeys. However as you can imagine guests thinks it is novel and cute to feed them until they will not disappear and then wonder why the monkeys return and start to show their teeth when you wont feed them.

Yes you can walk to Ao Nang via the sea but this is on very few occasions, depending on the time of year and tides times. It is not mentioned as it is very irregular.

The chef was pleased to read that you mentioned the food in all the restaurants was very good.

Once again many thanks for your comments and I trust you would consider staying with us again when you are next in Krabi, so we may demonstrate that we have taken your feedback on board and improved the service by the pool.

Best regards, David Martens
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1,847 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed in this hotel in April and had a fantastic time spoiled only slightly by tsunami warning.
It was very scary but staff dealt with a “problem” calmly and reassuringly.
The setting is stunning and a view from our balcony was an absolutely “postcard perfect”.Rooms are spacious ,beds really comfy,shower pressure brilliant. Being woken up by monkeys is an added bonus (remember to keep your balcony door securely closed-the furry friends are very clever and learned to open the door in space of a few seconds).
Breakfast is plentifull and some items change daily, restaurants are hit and miss and quite expensive. However just a short and really not to strenous walk on a famous monkey trail will lead you to Ao Nang and fantastic seafood restaurants and plenty of massage parlours.The other way is by long tail boat(charges) or by resort’s speed boat which you have to book early.
Staff is very nice(apart from some in club lounge).Overall the only major problem is Club Lounge which is definitely not the standard as other Centara Hotels-we’ve been to three others where Club Lounge was a pleasure to be .Service and food was superior to the Krabi offer and I think that a major improvment is needed as the cost of Club facilities is high (bigger room and much better choice of food).Otherwise the place is amazing , peacefull , tranquil ,secluded and
highly recomended.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Dear jtex7

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments following your stay at our resort in April of this year.

I was pleased to read you were satisfied how we handled the tsunami warning although it was a big learning curve for me as I had only joined the resort a few weeks prior to this alert.

I cannot explain what happened with your Club experience back then, but what I can say is that the Club lounge is now getting the highest guest satisfaction results in all the resort from our guest surveys.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and recognition and I trust we will get to see you again when you are next in Krabi

Yours sincerely, David Martens
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Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Totally love the place, We had a great room, nice view, clean and tidy. Staff were more than friendly and always willing to help. House keeping were always on top of things. Was amusing watching the monkeys do their morning raids trying to get into the rooms. It annoys some people but they seem to forget that the resort is actually located in a national park.
Maybe a suggestion to have a fixed jetty out the front, i did see a few people struggle to walk on it.
Restaurants were great, food was a little bit pricey but food quality was great.
Monkey trail was a little awkward to walk on, you need to really watch where you step.
Resort is close to town but is good as you have your own privacy from other tourists and people. A good place to relax ....

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, September 27, 2012
Dear Karen H

Thank you for sharing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.
I am glad to read you enjoyed your overall stay.

In regards to your comments about the floating jetty, unfortunately due to the national marine park, the local authorities will not allow any fixed structures in the water, which is one of the draw backs of having such a amazing and unique location.

The monkeys are always a common topic in the resort and can be amusing most of the time.

Once again thank your for your support and recognition and we look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi

Kind regards David Martens
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edlesborough
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

The hotel is excellant,location is ideal ,the staff fantastic,We would like to thank Yok,Toy,Jack,Caroline,the Buzz band and all the people who worked really hard at the Centara and made it the most special holiday!
The restuarants and service is brilliant,breakfast buffet ace,we had fun on the pontoon and on the monkey trail !!!
I would readily recommend this place and would go back!

Easy access to some of the most stunning islands and sights I have ever seen !

Room Tip: Go for a spa room tub room!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, September 27, 2012
Dear rob f

Thank you for sharing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.
It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of Khun Yok, Toy, Jack, Caroline and the band, these comments have been passed onto them and they are greatly appreciated.

We truly appreciate your support and recognition and look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi

Kind regards David Martens
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Derbyshire
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

Wow - i don't really know where to start. The first thing to say is that this hotel isn't for everyone. If you have any mobility problems, or prefer convenience to the peace and quiet of seclusion, then this probably isn't the place for you. The reason for that is down to the unique quirks of this hotel which have been well documented in other reviews.

The only way in and out of this hotel is either by boat shuttle (which is free and runs mostly hourly, but can vary heavily depending on tides and weather - and often gets booked up especially first thing in the morning) which drops you at Nopparat Thara beach and you then get a tuk tuk for 40 baht each into town. We walked it once during the day and it took about 45 mins to walk, so the tuk tuk stage can't really be avoided. The alternatives are to walk the monkey trail, or by wading round the corner at low tide - but be warned you will get wet.

The best way i can describe this hotel is like something out of Jurassic Park. The animal and plant life are both rich and diverse. The hotel is in a National Park which means that they have to do their best to incorporate guest comfort within the constraints of the regulations that govern them. This means you get the floating jetty and wooden walk ways leading from the hotel centre to the rooms set into the cliff above.

There have been many conflicting opinions expressed in other reviews about the jetty and the monkey trail. My husband absolutely loved the jetty and would often take a stroll to the end to enjoy the view and the undulating platform. There were a couple of rougher days, but the staff are perfectly well aware that not everyone will love it as much as my Husband and they're always on hand to help those who need it.

We walked the monkey trail pretty much every day for 10 days and had absolutely no incidents, however we went prepared with sensible shoes and made sure we were never in a rush. We were fortunate but i can see how a poorly placed footstep could lead to problems. We walked it at day and night, and in dry and wet weather. It is lit at night, but the sandy road that leads to Ao Nang is pitch black, so a torch would be a good idea to help you for the last bit if you plan on walking it at night. My view is that if you're careful, wear proper footwear and take your time - you'll be absolutely fine. And its not as steep and horrible as you might think. We timed it at around 7 mins, but reckon on around 20 mins from leaving your room to arriving in town because the rooms are a good 5-10 mins walk to the start of the trail which is by the security hut at the corner of the beach.

The rooms are staggered up the hill in the shadow of the cliff. This means steep winding trails, or the wooden steps which cut through. We were near the top which suited us fine, but it does mean that you've got a 5-10 mins walk to get to the lobby or pool area. There are golf carts if you don't fancy walking.

In terms of the food, we ate at Hagi and On the Rocks. Both were very good, but obviously aimed at the western tourist's palette, which to be honest wasn't really what we were after. So we preferred to head into Ao Nang instead for something a bit more authentic and of course - cheaper (if you get the shuttle to Nopparat Thara beach but don't fancy getting the tuk tuk into Ao Nang town, then try Krua Thara which was a great seafood restaurant we enjoyed. There is obviously endless choice in Ao Nang, but Nopparat shouldn't be overlooked as just somewhere to pass through on your way to Ao Nang. Other restaurant higlights in Ao Nang were Boat Noodle, Ton Sai and the street food stalls outside Macdonalds).

Breakfast in the hotel was very enjoyable. Lots of choice, everything from noodles to eggs to cereals and fruit. The fresh waffles and pancakes were my favourites.

The staff deserve special mention because without exception they were all fantastic, and really added to our enjoyment of the hotel. They anticipated all our needs and met them in true Thai style - with a quiet grace. Thank you to them for their attention.

Our room was fabulous, almost like a self contained villa. As you walk in there's a daybed and chairs, then round the corner is the balcony with two more sun loungers. Inside is a very comfy king size bed along with a well equipped sink area, walk in shower and bath. Spacious and comfortable.

We must of course mention the monkeys. They descend on the hotel every morning on the look out for anything you might have left on the balcony. And make sure you lock the door properly - i mistakenly left ours on the latch and we were soon joined by an uninvited visitor who made straight for the mini bar. You'll meet them on the monkey trail too - our experience was that if you leave them alone to go about their business then they'll do the same to you. If you start feeding them or trying to interact with them, then you'll invite trouble. They're very smart and not afraid to show you their teeth if you've got something they want. Remember, we're on their turf.

The pool area is a lovely place to spend some time relaxing. While we were visiting the hotel was quite empty so we had no problems with finding loungers. My Husband also booked a snorkeling trip to Koh Phi Phi with the dive centre. Its run by Kon Tiki who also have a shop in Ao Nang town centre. The staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful, and he very much enjoyed his day with them (a day's snorkeling was 1700 baht including all equipment, transport, lunch and drinks).

As you can probably tell, we absolutely adored our time at this hotel. The unique features you find here were what made our stay exceptional because you simply don't find it anywhere else. We found the seclusion and abundant wildlife fabulous - we couldn't have asked for any more. So thank you to David, the manager, and all the staff for giving us a holiday to remember.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Dear Anna56

Thank you for taking the time to write your detailed comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to read that you enjoyed your stay and we met your expectations in many ways. It is encouraging to know that the hard work of our team is recognized in this way.

I am also confident your comments will assist many travelers who will be able to make an informed decision when choosing our resort.

We really do appreciate your support and recognition and trust we will see you again when you are next in Krabi.

best regards, David Martens
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Surrey
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We returned to Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas as we chose this resort as our original honeymoon destination back in 2009. Not much has changed in terms of additions, alterations, apart from the club has switched with the gift shop but this didn't have any affect on service.
All the restaurants, particularly the Rim Saai Restaurant (Thai cuisine) and the Hagi Restaurant (Japanese) were exquisite.
The club is always worth considering with the added benefit of the free cocktail hour, laundry and after dinner drinks (also free) as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day and Wi-Fi.
Being a national park area, you need to be wary of the monkeys that tend to come down from the trees in bad weather to test the doors, so keep them locked when you can!
We would also recommend a treatment or two in Spa Cenvaree, fantastic treatment options and good prices to boot!
The staff are extremely friendly throughout, but would say that service at their 'On the Rocks' beach restaurant could improve slightly as we were left waiting a while on a number of occasions.
Overall though the location, amenities and service were just what we needed and it was a privilege to return (and we will again I'm sure)!

Room Tip: Try and add 'The Club' to your booking as the extras you get are well worth it! Oh, and also...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Dear bazza1977

Thank you for sharing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to welcome you both back and we were all happy to see that you enjoyed your stay yet again.

You are right to recommend The Club as the added benefits are well received by many guests.

I have noted your comments about the service at On the Rocks restaurant and we have made some changes to the management of this busy outlet which we are confident will speed up the service.

Once again thank your for your support and recognition and we look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Fareham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

My wife and I have just returned from the most relaxing and wonderful holiday at this hotel. Be prepared to be treated like royalty. All staff we encountered were courteous and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble they just want you to have a fabulous time. We never tired of the beautiful views and the sunset from our balcony was stunning. There is casual unpretentious atmosphere yet the secluded beach gives it an exclusive feel. Yes you have to get a boat or walk the monkey trail and yes the floating jetty can be a challenge but there are always plenty of staff to help you. Food was excellent and we really don't have a bad thing to say. Take advantage of the cash bonus scheme and happy hour in "Bar Blu" It really was the stuff that dreams are made of.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Dear Chris M

Thank you for writing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.

We do really appreciate you sharing your great experience with other travelers.

I look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi so we can create some more great memories for you.

Best regards, David Martens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas

Address: 396-396/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Ao Nang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 Family Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 Spa Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 192
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Hotel
Centara Grand Beach Krabi
Central Krabi Hotel
Central Krabi Bay Resort
Central Bay Resort Krabi
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi/Ao Nang

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