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“Bad experience on arrival” 3 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 #8 of 83 hotels in Ao Nang
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Bad experience on arrival”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

I booked and fully paid for Spa deluxe ocean facing room and when we arrived for the 1st night we had been given Spa deluxe garden view room - also we pre-booked pick up service from the airport and no one show up. We needed to call the hotel and waited another half an hour for them to pick us up from the airport and another hour at the pier for a boat (shuttle) - not a good start of our holiday :(

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 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, July 3, 2013
Dear Stewy70

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

Please accept my apologies for the poor arrival experience, however without any more details it is difficult for me to investigate why this occurred.

Please feel free to contact me direct if I can be of any further assistance.

Kind regards, David Martens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (366)
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singapore
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Not recommended to go during the monsoon period June-August whereby there are on-off raining and strong waves in sea. When you take tuk tuk or a cab, remember to tell them specifically which centara grand to stop at because there's the office and the resort at 2 different places. Ask them to stop at the "Last Cafe" which is the starting point of the monkey trails to the resort.

When there are strong waves, there won't by any boat service to ferry you to the town so you will have to walk through the 15-20 mins monkey trails every morning and night. After getting to the "check point" you will need a vehicle to drive u out of the forest or a 10 mins walk by the beach to Ao nang town. It's dangerous especially after raining because it's gonna be slippery, 1 wrong step you will fall from the mountain. Tour agencies won't be able to pick you up by the pier too as the waves are too strong.

Be careful of the window blinds in your rooms because wrong direction of the blinds may result in you been seen naked in your bathroom from the outside pathway. And there's no curtains at all from all the windows. During rainy night there will be 200+ flies waiting outside your bedroom glass door. We can't possibly open the glass doors because the flies will come into our bedroom. So remember to switch off the lights and fan of your corridor which is within your room. So after switching off the lights n fan, some flies left but some remains left on the floor dead.. its like a pile of dead wings on the floor. You may call for room service to clean up the wing mess.

Other than that, the rest of the stuff are quite clean. They change the bedsheets almost everyday. Spa was the great of all. Though it's a little pricey but we thought it's valued for money with the gd service and the gd experience. They have a shower room where you can clean up before your spa and the bed and face cushion were comfortable. Gd massage. Great experience. You wouldn't wanna leave the spa room.

Forget about writing emails to them before your trip cos we wrote twice and there's no response from them for a week. Afterall the resort can be quite nice if not for the location. Plus point of the location may be it being quiet and peaceful.

Room Tip: Choose Spa deluxe with ocean view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, July 3, 2013
Dear Meow86

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

I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your Spa Cenvaree experience, however in contrast I was disappointed to read that you did not enjoy our location as this is one of the most talked about and unique features of our resort.

Unfortunately when you travel in monsoon season there is a risk that you will experience rough seas, rain and changes in our transfer schedule, which you obviously did.

Once again I appreciate your feedback and we will continue to work on meeting all our guests’ expectations.

Kind regards, David Martens
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New Delhi, India
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We were 3 families totalling to of 6 adults and 6 kids. The resort is nicely located with a 15 minute boat ride from the aao nang pier. The resort has its own private beach which is a bliss. One must be a little careful here though with jelly fish bites. Two members of our group got stings by jelly fish, but the beach first aid is fully prepared to handle this very efficiently. The beach quality in Krabi in general is as such average to good but not great because I prefer clearer waters with white sand. The beach cannot be used for snorkelling because of this reason and also the jelly fish issue. Water was also on the rougher side during this season. No complaints with the resort though, it was very well managed and had great rooms with great views if the ocean (we took the premium ocean view rooms). The sad part is that some of these resort in Thailand do not offer rooms right on the beach like Malaysia or Maldives. Food was excellent, swimming pool was good and the kids really had a blast. Guest mostly preferred staying in the pool rather than in the ocean. I would surely recommend this resort to people visiting Krabi and looking for a luxurious stay. Btw the resort offers free hourly boat rides to the aao nang pier so one can enjoy the nite life of Krabi as well. Overall an excellent resort but with average but picturesque beach.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

The hotel cannot be accessed directly by road and if the sea is rough, be prepared to walk the monkey trail (not a part of the hotel and its not the safest - if you're elderly or have kids, this cannot be safe at all!!). This wasn't a big issue for us but it would have been good to have some warning but still not ideal after a 18 hour flight!

During our 6 day stay, we were given incorrect bills for food and drinks on 4 occasions and it would always be several
Items more than we ordered. I can understand it happening once or twice but this was just unbelievable. I don't think I've ever been to a bar or restaurant where I've been charged for three more drinks than I ordered.

The Thai restaurant (Rim Sai) is simply poor. The food was average at best (appalling for vegetarians like my wife) and the service was really bad. I have a lot of sympathy for the waiters and waitresses as they were all really quite young but generally lovely (like all the locals it has to be said) but management need to provide better training. I observed two groups that left having waited for their drinks alone for 45 mins. For Thai food - get the boat and go into town!

The rooms are fine if not rather dated. On arrival we also had to wait nearly 1 hour 20 mins for our luggage to actually reach our room. Overall service was not great but perhaps we were just unlucky as I've seen plenty of good reviews on tripadvisor.

The setting of this hotel is quite outstanding - complete natural beauty. Rating would have been one otherwise.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, June 24, 2013
Dear M14P

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

I was disappointed to read that we did not meet your expectations and for any inconvenience this has caused.

Unfortunately during the monsoon season there are occasions when it is not practical or safe to operate the transfer boats and the only alternative access is via the monkey trail through the national park. I am sure you can appreciate we cannot plan this in advance as it is totally dependant on the weather, however this information is listed on our website and with our travel partners.

I have also noted your comments on the service in Rim Saai and will look into this further with our food and beverage director.

We acknowledge the rooms are in need of updating and I am surprised you did not see during your stay that we have commenced upgrading all the rooms, which is due to be completed in September of this year.

Once again thank you for taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback.

Yours sincerely, David Martens
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Northampton
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed at this resort in June 2013. Below I attempt to highlight some areas where the hotel could improve but also highlight what we enjoyed.

Arriving by boat, the hotel is hidden in the trees under a high cliff that frames the setting. Be prepared for an interesting walk along the pontoon jetty that takes you from the boat to tera firma, if the waves are high this can be an interesting experience. Staff are always there to welcome you and don’t think you will be carrying your own bags anywhere, there are staff members who are quickly to hand, leaving you to focus on getting to reception without an unscheduled dip!

The hotel itself is open plan and very elegant in its décor. This fits beautifully with its surroundings and the staff are quickly attentive, offering us cool drinks on wet towels to help with the sweat now streaming from us due to the high humidity.

We were chauffeured (in a golf buggy) to our room (which initially was incorrect as we had been offered an upgrade by our tour operator which the hotel had not correctly been made aware of). Once this was corrected, done quickly with minimal fuss, we entered in to a large and stunning room, in which the bed (the beds are very hard, but this was to my liking, not so much to my wifes) takes centre stage – quite literally in the centre of the room with a view out of the floor to ceiling windows, which are conveniently adourned with blinds that can quickly provide privacy. The bathrooms are large and open and everything was very clean. I felt the wood décor and overall feel of the room was excellent and really portrayed the right sense of luxury combined with the nature that was all around.
On the balcony, there was an area for sitting and eating/relaxing which had electronic blinds should you wish to enjoy a little more privacy, plus two sunbeds and a hot tub on the more open area of the balcony. This was a lovely place to spend the evening and watch the quite simply stunning sunsets over the sea.
The only point we would raise here was that there were some elements of our room that could do with replacing or touching up. Also, the hot tub should be covered or cleaned, as when we turned it on large pieces of dirt came out of the hoses which was disappointing and something we spent some time trying to clean up before we got in as it was not particularly inviting.
Overall however we were very happy with our room.

The hotel itself is cleverly laid out in small groups of apartments that share a staircase, providing privacy combined with practicality. Everything is open plan where it can be, allowing you a real sense of being ‘at one’ with nature. We found everything clean and nicely thought out. Our apartment was about as far away as we could have been from the main reception/dining areas, but even that was at most a 3-4minute walk so everything is perfectly close, whilst the vast vegetation and expansive layout means we were never disturbed.

There are four dining options, beach bar, Thai, Japanese and a restaurant offering mixed. We felt the selection was at times limited and should we have spent more than a week here we may have found ourselves going further afield to vary what we ate. However, the quality of what we ate was generally very good, sometimes average but in the main very enjoyable with some particular highlights. Wine is very expensive and not particularly good quality and there are a decent selection of cocktails but as expected these too are not cheap. The restaurant tries to offer a ‘western’ selection of dishes to compliment its asian cuisine. This is a nice touch but perhaps unsurprisingly is not its forte and it was quite often the western food that was disappointing, but you are in Thailand after all.

The swimming pool offers different areas and includes a nice whirlpool bath down from which cascades a waterfall in to the pool, under which can be found a nice cave like space, offering rest bite from the sun and a romantic space to enjoy with your partner. Another point we felt the hotel could have improved on would be more regular cleaning of the pool, due to the vast wildlife here it inevitably meant there were quite often dead bugs (of various sizes) in the pool plus sand from the beach.

Then we come to perhaps this hotels greatest asset. The wildlife. Whilst staying here, we saw many monkeys, some happily sat on balconies, eating fruit, some roaming the beaches. Both my wife and I were able to sit right next to one down near the beach hut and many others walked straight past us. They were completely non confrontational and friendly, happy to not interfere with us if we paid them the same respect. The only other option to get to the hotel is via the monkey trail over part of the cliff. This is steep and very rickety, so watch your step! However, along here you are likely to see many monkeys, many of which will sit on the handrail just inches from you as you pass. One did grab my wife (funny story!) by her clothing but he seemed to just be ‘enquiring’ and immediately let go. Seeing them in their natural environment was awe inspiring and a huge highlight of our holiday.
Also, you should be prepared to see various other types of animals, some not everyones cup of tea. The beach will, at times, be teeming with hundreds of tiny white crabs. You don’t see them until they scamper out of your way and we didn’t once get bitten, but they did put my wife off spending too much time on the beach. We also saw a small and harmless snake on the beach.
Lizards of various shapes and sizes are to be seen daily, meandering around the hotel. Some of these are the size of a small cat, some are typically small. Whilst lazing on our sunbed we were visited by quite a few but all are harmless and passed on by looking for something that interested them. Again this was a tremendous experience. At night it is also possible to see bats swinging down from the cliff but again these don’t bother you.
By far the worst of the wildlife was the mosquitoes. They are particularly rife on the monkey trail, and they like the taste of Caucasian blood! I was bitten over 50 times, despite applying copious amounts of repellent, so if you are going to visit, make sure you take some after bite with you because you will get bitten.

The hotel was very quiet whilst we were there, only about 100 guests. This was fantastic, in that there was always plenty of space around the pool and we never had trouble going to the restaurant we wanted. The Japanese in particular doesn’t have that much room so you should book. The Thai is nicely laid out outside, enabling you to enjoy the sound of the sea whilst enjoying your evening. Likewise with the ‘On the rocks’ bar/restaurant.
The hotel has its own bar, ‘Deep Blue’, and whether you wish to drink or not, a visit here is a must. The fantastic circular entrance welcomes you in towards a large fish tank and whilst the music was a little dated, the bar itself is a good example of modern chic, suggesting London wine bar more than Thai hotel.

There are some activities put on by the hotel if you wish to take advantage and daily boat trips to the mainland if you don’t want to risk the monkey trail and walk to Ao Nang. Be aware that if the waves (which break just in front of the beach) are getting up the boat trips can be cancelled which can cause minor disruption, although they will always run for arriving/departing guests. We wouldn’t recommend the Thai cultural night, which is a shame. The show was very amateur and actually very poor when we saw it, added to which the music was too loud and brash between the show (and completely unnecessary, Thai pop being blasted at you ruins the experience somewhat!) A disappointment towards the end of our trip.

However, overall I loved this hotel. This was my first experience of Thailand and I would definitely come back, not just to the country but also to this hotel. Sitting by the beach on your sunbed, with waiters keeping you watered, whilst watching out for the next monkey or lizard to wander past, listening to the sea just feet in front of you and the post card image of limestone jutting from the water and long tailed boats drifting past on the turquoise sea was just idyllic. If you want a really unique holiday that combines luxury, relaxation and a bit of something different, try this place. We did and we loved it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

we arrived at the hotel when the water was a little rough so we should have know what was to come...more on this later. Everyone was very friendly and attentive.

After we arrived and got settled we tried the Japanese restaurant. Very nice, we were blown away by the quality.

the next few days we did the planned excursions. The Islands trip was VERY touristy so if you hope to go to a secluded beach you've not got a hope!

We had a few days lounging by the pool, snorkelling, kayaking etc which was nice and relaxing. then the weather turned.

I appreciate this is not the hotels fault but with only two methods of getting off the hotel the monkey trail is by no means ideal. Myself and the Mrs are pretty fit but by the time you get to the end you are sweating buckets and if you had planned to have a nice meal/night out youll be stinking before you begin.

When it raining/stormy the boat doesn't arrive so you are left with the monkey trail. We ended up just staying in the hotel for a day.

The restaurants are a bit hit or miss. The Japanese place was by far the best but it was shut for 2 days (no one told us this). The in hotel shows were not the best quality. I would however say, try the liquid nitrogen icecream. YUM!

On the rocks restaurant was good but due to the weather we couldn't use it very often.

In Summary:
The hotel was very nice and if it hadn't been for the bad weather we would have managed to get out and about a lot more/appreciated the resort.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abuja
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Stayed for three nights and it is a great location however do be wary that not all restaurants advertised are open 7 days a week at this time of year. No mention of this made at checkin and all room liteature gives the impresssion they are indeed all open.
We turned up at the Thai restaurant to be given a menu for the Japanese restaurant. When querying this they relented and gave us the Thai menu. The next night we thought we would try the Japanese restaurant only to be told it was closed Sunday's and Monday's. They also advertise a Nitro 'ice cream making experience' but this was not available either.
Transport to the resort is by boat and in bad weather as in our case we where left at the harbour for an hour before they finally decided that we should make a short bus ride to the 'monkey trail' to walk over the headland to the hotel. Not the best way to arrive as this is a rickety wooden path that my wife actually slipped and hurt her leg on due to the state of the wood.
Overall opinion a 4 star Hotel in a 5 star location.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.

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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 Spa Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 Family Hotel in Ao Nang
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
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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