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.