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“Beautiful - but service needs improving” 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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Ranked #8 of 80 hotels in Ao Nang
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful - but service needs improving”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

On arrival by speedboat from Ao Nang the resort is stunning. It is in a secluded cove so only accessible by boat (or the monkey trail, which i will get to later) andarriving in this way you get an amazing view of the whole resort. This isolation was appealing on booking as we wanted to be away from it all in a luxury resort, unfortunately the service did not live up to expectation.

On arrival we were shown to our room. We had upgraded to an 'Ocean View' but when we were checked in we had only a view of the gardens and the staircase of the block in front of ours. I immediately raised this with the manager and was told the room was classed as an 'Ocean View' but the tress had grown and that is why we could not see the ocean. I asked to be moved as we were not happy about the upgrade and was told to come back later. I did so, and was again told to come back in the morning as there was no manager. I returned in the morning and was again told to return later. This time i said i would wait for the manager and after an hour was able to be moved to another room without having to speak to the manager!

The persistance paid off as we were moved to a spectacular room. Very spacious, huge comfy bed in the centre of the room, massive bathroom with rainforest shower and the biggest tub I have ever seen - you could also slide the parting wall aside between the bathroom and bedroom. the balcony wrapped around two sides of the room with table, chairs and chiase long on one side and loungers and hot-tub on the ocean facing side. Fantastic!

We spent most days on the beach, which was busier than expected, but the pool was even busier. It was sometimes difficult to find a sunlounger and when you did it meant dragging them halfway across the resort - at other Centara Resorts I have visited they would have one ready for you before your feet hit the sand.

The pool bar served great food and cocktails, although quite expensive compared to other Centara Resorts - service was also very slow and there was no beach service as advertised.
We visited the Hagi Restaurant and the food was fabulous, however, yet again it was very expensive. After this we decided to venture out of the resort to eat.

Leaving the resort by boat mean you have to stick to the hotel schedule and prebook your seat. It is a lovely ride especially at night and worth doing for the experiencebut we generally used the Monkey Trail to get in and out of the resort. This is basically walking over the side of the cliff that divides the hotel from the resort of Ao Nang. It is steep and not really the safest walk I have ever done but as long as you dont mind a little adventure it is actually great fun. We saw loads of wildlife including tons of Monkeys that will come very close - dont forget, they are wild and not neccesarily the friendliest.

Overall, the Hotel was beautiful and a great place to relax and unwind, however, it just did not live up to the excellent standard of other Centara Resorts which was dissapointing. I would say it is definately a 4* that could be a 5* if the service and price were improved.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Ocean View room with HotTub - well worth it!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, November 11, 2013
Dear Nicola b

Thank you for sharing your comments following your stay in February of this year.

I was pleased to read you enjoyed your stay overall and my apologies for the experience you encountered having the front desk move you to a room that met with your expectation. We have since reviewed the views on all rooms and removed vegetation that was previously blocking the views to the ocean.

I am not sure where you read that we offer beach service as this is not correct. The beach is a public beach and whilst we clean it everyday we do not patrol the beach offering food and beverage service.

Once again thank your for your feedback and recognition and we will continue to work on our service levels so that we can meet the expectation of all our guests.

Yours sincerely, David Martens
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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 (327)
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English first
Lerwick, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

My partner and I booked the Centara as our luxury spend on our 18 day mini tour of South Thaialnd. I had spent alot of time on tripadvisor booking our hotels so kinda felt like I knew what to expect.

The Centara is as described: A beautiful piece of paradise nestled away in its own cove. Ideal for a relaxing stay but for a busy bee like me 3 nights were enough as needed more to do.

The Good:

Absolutely stunning grounds set in own private cove. Transfer on boat was fun and arrival on jetty a good laugh. Check in and transfer to our room was nice and easy. Immediate reaction was wow ....... we paid for the premium deluxe so we had a great sea view and that we had. Beautifully nestled in the trees the room had huge balcony and beautifully decorated interior. Many comments mention maintenance required on many rooms but ours was great. The bathroom was cool with big rain shower and a huge bath big enough for the two of us. The grounds and pool were lovely and signs of updating evident. Due to its remoteness we ate at the hotel 2 out of 3 nights. The set Thai meal really was as good as we had all trip but as we expected rather costly(UK prices). We decided just to enjoy ourselves but a 2 week break would be quite a squeeze on the wallet. We had paid for the breakfast which was probably the best selection we experienced. The cocktails in the lounge bar thing downstairs were delicious but unfortunately there was hardly anyone in there I expect due to the cost. We made most of happy hours though and the girl serving in there was very pleasant. The service is most part was good but will mention few exceptions later.

A must do is Railay beach just round in the next cove - absolutely stunning. We took the double kayak but beware the tide can make it extremely tough and to add to it you get charged for going over the hour (free) hire.

The bad/ugly:

There were large sections of the grounds & blocks of accommodation under maintenance. It really never affected us but the pool bar was just a make shift table etc as new bar being finished off. We never heard a thing though and I guess it was low season so the hotel is responding to the many woes of previous guests. Its isolation is great if you want to lay by the pool all day but for me longer would have been too quiet. There were no theme nights, shows, discos or anything which made for a real lack of atmosphere. You would expect things to keep people at the hotel. I was surprised they didn't have a small shop for bits n pieces. Even if they charged over the odds it would still be better for small purchases than paying bar price for water or carrying loads of water back from ao nang on the shuttle boat. I am sure guests would appreciate it.

Service at the hotel was in most part good but let down by a few young lads and a girl at the pool bar. Tbh we had been spoiled in Patong at the Senses Resort which showed us real exceptional service at a much lower price. The check in staff and waitresses were much better though just felt like for a 5 star resort it was definitely a 4 star(if) service.

All in all a good hotel in an amazing piece of isolation. If I could take that room and plop it in other parts of thailand i would but for our most expensive'splurge' the whole package just fell short.

stevie and emma - scotland Sept 2013

Room Tip: We took the premium deluxe over spa deluxe as jacuzzi's not so private. The premium just ensures...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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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, November 11, 2013
Dear sm0254

Thank you for sharing your comments following your stay in September.

I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay overall and that you found our renovated rooms met with your expectation.

As you have mentioned September is our low season so we took the opportunity to work on maintenance and other upgrades around the resort and I am pleased to read that this did not really affect your stay.

Please accept my apologies that the service by the pool bar did not meet your expectation but we will continue to work hard to improve our product and service to meet the expectation of all our guests.

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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Hobart, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

Most of the stuff you read about this hotel is true. Beautiful spot, great pool, friendly staff, good buffet breakfast, a little on the expensive side in restaurants ( although I did find local places also expensive). Management was out and about, regularly seen and available to talk to. What let this place down for me was the service, it just wasn't up there with other places I have stayed. We had two rooms with a shared verandah ( two adults, two kids) but this is very awkward and didn't work for us. You must lock the door at all times as the monkeys come in the room even when you are there. They constantly try the doors to see if they are locked. They poo and wee and do other things all over the furniture so I never sat out there even though it looked great. The monkeys are cute and we all loved watching them but maybe if the verandahs were screened!

  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 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.
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Dear Gabrielle400

Thank you for sharing your comments following your stay with us in September.

I was pleased to read you enjoyed the friendliness of the staff, the breakfast buffet and pool area.

I appreciate your comments about the verandah and monkeys and we do our best to manage the monkey situation however this has become increasingly challenging when guests continue to feed the monkeys from their balcony.

Once again thank your feedback, support and recognition and we will continue to work on improving our quality and service to meet the expectation of all our guests.

best regards, David Martens
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Beautiful location set in a national park. The resort is located in a secluded part of the island with access limited to a shuttle boat or the monkey trail during low tide.

Good facilities, restaurants are reasonably priced and the swimming pools are well maintained. Staff spoke good English and were very helpful. Keep doors locked as there are monkeys everywhere!

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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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, October 16, 2013
Dear MSHAH4

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent with us in September.

We were pleased to read your enjoyed your overall stay and thank you for your support and recognition and we look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi.

best regards, David Martens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fleet, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Don't get me wrong, its a beautiful resort and we had a fantastic time here. Most of the things people have been complaining about, they really should have checked out before they went, these weren't the things that bothered me.

The jetty is a little bouncy but far from dangerous. There are always plenty of staff there to assist and in the unlikely event that you did fall off, the sea is only waist deep at high tide anyway! The boat transfer is fun. The other half suffers from sea sickness looking at water, but didn't really have any problems with the transfers to and from Ao nang. We did the boat trip several times. The monkey trail is an adventure and great fun... we did it in the pouring rain and it was fine apart from the dirty feet. I wouldn't say I am the fittest person, I sit at a desk all day, but managed this no problem - just need to be very sure footed. No fear of Robbers as one person has quoted (stupid idiot) there is security at both ends of the trail and the most you will see are monkeys that really aren't that interested in you and smiley staff who are always friendly enroute.

The rooms themselves were lovely, spacious and clean. We had a turn down service every night and made full use of the jacuzzi in the evenings. The monkeys do visit in the morning, but you ignore them, they will ignore you. At the end of the day, they are only interested in food.

We found the staff very informative, on the whole friendly and accommodating. OK sometimes their English wasn't perfect, but hey it was infinitely better than my Thai and as we were in Thailand absolutely acceptable! I did feel that one member of staff (Bo) in the Lotus restaurant was particularly rude and lacking in customer service skills, when I asked if I could try the wine he was recommending "No just order it" needless to say we didn't! We do RECOMMEND the Nitrox ice-cream here, but 1 portion will feed 4 people easily.

The disappointing side of this resort was entirely down to the building works which were over running. This was due to be completed before we arrived, but was still ongoing when we left. This only really affected us in the pool bar area, but was forgivable due to the fact they brought the bar service to your sun bed. On one of the rainy days, the constant droning sound of electric sawing, sanding and drilling did drive us a bit mad. We did speak to the Manager about this and to be fair there is not a lot they can do when this kind of thing happens, although they should make a point of ensuring that there website does not say "no construction work going on to interfere with your stay" and that the agents were aware (ours were not).

On the whole, I would highly recommend this resort for a relaxing get away, somewhere to relax, grab some sun and chill out.

If you are planning on not going out of the resort, then do take advantage of the Baht Bonanza, it makes financial sense.

Room Tip: Go for a room thats high up... its a bit of a trek, but well worth the view
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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, October 16, 2013
Dear Clare R

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

It was a pleasure to read that you enjoyed your overall stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the team.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in the renovation of the On the Rocks, unfortunately our contractor let us down with his delivery schedule.

I was concerned to read you comment about one of the staff in the Lotus Court restaurant and I will follow this up with him personally to ensure he is counseled or retrained on his customer service delivery.

I have to agree with you I have never heard of OR ever had anyone report of seeing thieves on the monkey trail and have no idea where this person got that perception from.

The staff is always on hand to help guests on the floating jetty and as you have rightly commented, if people do their research before they come, they have some idea what to expect when they arrive.

Once again thank your for your kind support and recognition and we hope we may get the opportunity to welcome you back when you are next in Krabi.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Krabi Province, Thailand
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

I was concerned about the safety of the boat ride to the island. In Maldives, staff will ask the guests to put on their life jacket prior taking off. I would recommend Centara to do the same, regardless of weather condition. Also, the floating pier is not stable so if guests happened to fall off, and if they still wore the best, at least they will not be drown. Let face it, not all of the guests are sober when they came from Ao Nang.

I would also recommend the staff at Front Office to be trained more effectively, especially night shift. The lady who checked us in was nice but seriously had no clue about resort. She pointed to us the Teppenyaki table and said this is Chinese restaurant. When she walked us to the Thai restaurant, she just disappeared, without saying good night or whether we require any additional assistance, etc.

Originally my family and I planned to stay for 3 nights, but we decided to check out after one night because we felt that this resort was more suitable for romantic stay. Khun Mard who checked us out in the morning was great. I recommend this resort only to honeymooner or lovers

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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, October 14, 2013
Dear Krisada R

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

I can fully appreciate your comments about the boat safety and the boat crew is suppose to be providing guests with a safety briefing including pointing out the location of life vest and if guests choose to wear. I will follow this up further with our transportation manager to ensure this is carried out as per our standard.

I cannot comment on the female staff member who checked you in, in the evening but was pleased that Khun Mard met your expectation on check out.

Once again thank your for your feedback.

Kind regards David Martens
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Having now been to this hotel im staggered by some of the criticisms. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but who books a holiday these days without researching it? If you are writing reviews on here you are reading reviews and, therefore, the limitations of this hotel will be known to anyone before they book it.
Yes, there are only 2 ways in and out - boat and monkey trail. As regards the boat, the staff help to make it as safe as possible within the constraints they operate in a national park. It can get a bit choppy but if you are sensible it is absolutely fine. As for the monkey trail, in the 11 days we were there we went out and back 4 times over it (and the staff use it every day) it took me 8 minutes to get to the other side and I saw no evidence of the hardened criminals ( monkeys and robbers) previously commented on.... Yes, it does get the heart pumping and no, you cant get a push chair over it, but it is fine to use at any time if you are sensible.
As for the hotel, I wonder if I stayed somewhere different to that of some other reviewers. The staff are super friendly, the location is superb, you are given a briefing on the monkeys who are great fun. The savoury food is a delight in all restaurant and the facilities generally are very good.
While we were there, the beach front restaurant was being refurbed and we understand this is due to reopen on 15/10. But you could still sit and eat outside.
Some rooms were being refurbed also. There was some building work noise but it was nowhere near enough to detract from the holiday.
The Club upgrade is something to consider. Good value for what you get.
Overall, I think I got great value for money out of this hotel. Yes, there are some things they can do to make it better but I think its reflected in the price. The only downside was that having travelled 6000 miles we met 6 people who live less than 10 miles from our front door....

Room Tip: Aim for a room/ suite on the top floor for best views
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 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 14, 2013
Dear Kevin c

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

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the team as well as highlighting the many points that people seem to miss or not appreciate when looking to stay at our resort.

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

Best 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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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas

Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hotel
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
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 Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 Family Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
#5 Luxury 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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