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“The best hotel ever!” 5 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
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The best hotel ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

We stayed the seaface room with the jacuzi. This hotel offers high quality of services, the rooms are fantastic, the view breathtaking!
If you are in the area, you have to definetely stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, February 17, 2014
Dear Amel_58

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

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay including our ocean facing spa rooms with the great views.

Once again thank your for your kind 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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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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

Having read some of the reviews recently (some of the damning ones that we had told had been posted byother guests whilst we were actually staying there!) here is my perspective.

In my opinion, this is not a 5* hotel. I have been lucky enough to stay in a few in my time (including in Thailand) and I would say this is probably about a 4. I would just say to people...just lower your expectations a little bit.

As I think everyone has said, the location is simply STUNNING, if a little remote. Its has a relatively quiet beach, and lovely cushioned sun beds by the "quiet pool" and the beach. There is 'service' round the pools and facing the beach but our observation was, if you werent round the main pool, service was sporadic.

It is secluded so you do need to book your boats if like me you couldnt do the monkey trail (more later).Prebooking the boats by 8am is a little bit restrictive and sponteneity is taken out of the equation, as you are constantly conscious of the time.
I know there is the monkey trail but I quickly realised whilst half way across it - when I froze- that this was not for me! (not a big fan of ladders or stairs/walkways I can see through).Having said that, the three other people I was with found it absolutely fine and had no problems with it whatsover! Having done it during the day I can completely understand why its difficult to find on the way home, when you've had a couple of Singhas as you have to go through a car park thing and over a little bridge to get to the main beach...and apparently at night there are no lights...And yes they are monkeys, and they are very very cute!

So...while I was there, there were a couple of issue..the power was out in the restuarants and bar and we had issues with hot water..or the lack off, and the cleanliness of the communial areas.

For us, the restuarants/bar being out was not really as issue as we could get Thai food off the al le carte restuarant...sadly not "on the rocks" and having read an earlier review on here...who knew they did a happy hour!!! Anyway, breakfast and what food we did eat at the hotel was all very good...the lotus court was spotless and I particularly liked the variants ie eggs benedict, egg with spinich (the Holandaise sauce was YUMMY!) and the fact you could get cappucino's etc - although this wasnt well advertised.

The power was restored whilst we where there and we ate in the Thai restuarant and the Japanese restuarant and yes, you could say service was slow..but you're on holiday...you're in Asia..who cares...its nice not to constantly rush! I would echo somone else's sentiment and avoid the blue bar or whatever its called, as the "music" was awful, too loud, lacking atmosphere etc etc Rather get some drinks in Ao Nong and sit on your balcony and listen to the entertainment "singing"..(she is laughably awful!).

The bar at "on the rocks " is alledgedly open till 12 but we found this not to be the case haven got of the boat and not quite ready to be finished..(hence the by drinks in Ao Nong and take them home...also a LOT cheaper!)

Another bug bear people seem to have is the jetty..they are essentially giant stickle bricks, which once you see them in daylight - we arrived at night - are absoltely fine...they are alot more secure than people have suggested and its all part of the Thai experience as we saw them at other places when we visited Hong Island etc.

So...the rooms are very well appointed and very lovely...beds really comfy, bathroom is essentially a giant wet room, and providing you have hot water are great...but sadly for us...for 3 days in a row we didnt..as there was a power issue...It would have been nice if someone had communicated with us but sadly no,...when we rang up to ask them about it we were told...yes we know there is a problem...In the managements defence, the lovely Mark, on day 3 of us having no hot water, upgraded us, though I wonder would have happened had we not asked to speak to management...we were moved to a top floor oceon view over looking the rock...this is where my siesta time started...I'd go back early, shower and just look at the view...there are not enough superlatives to describe it!

My main bug bear though was the cleanliness of the toilets etc in the communial area's and whilst I dont think I am a clean freak it astounds me how the management couldnt see what I saw..smears of "mess" on the walls and the glass panels on the door...Also, there were food stains on stairs too rooms etc..it just generally feels like the communial area's just needs a bucket of hot, soapy water and a scrubbing brush - except I might add for the restuarants as they were spotless!
Its all very well cleaning the actual toilets but I'm a girl, I sit down, I have to look at the walls and until I stopped using the communial toilets as it was irritating me so much, the walls were not washed down once! I raised the query to all and I feel I was placated as nothing changed, hence I stopped using them. The hotel advertises itself - and charges as a 5* so in my opinion should be pretty close to spotless....it wasnt...
I think my synopsis would be...lower your expectations a little, its not a 5* IMO, and two weeks is probably two long as there isnt much to do, however, the location is stunning and whilst it can be a bit restrictive, getting a speed boat back from dinner is pretty cool!

Oh and Ao Nang, for me was a little bit too "international". When I am in Thailand I like to eat seafood and Thai food..and there seemed to be more international than anything else...and there wasnt much Thai culture to be found but I guess some tourists dont want to be reminded they are in Thailand?

Ooh and try and find Seafood St...its hidden away but fish, fresh and amazing..and cheap as chips!

Room Tip: Try and get a top floor room overlooking "The Rock" as the view is simply stunning.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, February 17, 2014
Dear TJS123London

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

As I have mentioned in my personal email to you we appreciate the feedback and will continue to work on the areas you mentioned to meet the legitimate expectations of all our guests.

We have also acted on the comments about the musicians and they departed last week and been replaced with a new trio.

Once again thank your for your feedback.

Kind regards David Martens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

just returned from 2 weeks at this lovely hotel.David and his team looked after us very well, location is perfect, access is limited but we was aware of this before we went, boats have to be booked well in advance,
Breakfast was good but the same every day,
Food is expensive as are the drinks here, [about english prices] compared to the town, where there are many very good restaurants,
Room was lovely and well cleaned looked after every day,
We was there for chinese new year which a great night, well done Eric for the food and entertainment.
overall we had a greatime. we was there with friends , [allthough there room was opersite side of resort ? ]
now suggestions for improvement,
the boat is only every hour, but the journey takes 7 mins ? at peek times you could make it every 30 mins [the boatmen sit round for 20 mins both ends]
The service in the bar is very slow, perhaps this is because you have lots of staff taking orders but only 2 making drinks ?
You can sit at bar watching a wood fired oven making great pizzas but cant get them there some nights? only the buffett, stupid thing is we just ordered room service, collected our pizzas and took them back down to bar, [not worked out why the bar menu is not available all the time]
As i said room was perfect, nice bowl of fresh fruit on arrival, but never again ?ok if your there 1 night, but we was there 14.
Now a general niggle at all hotels that have a "green policy", ie; if you dont want your towels/sheets changed,we wont and save energy, great but realy it means you will save money, if this money saved was put into a fund which was used for "green project"even at the hotel. im sure more people would take up the option.[it was noted nearly all the outside fans were on all day we no one was in rooms ]
to finish , David,Bull and Eric did a good job allways about and checking so dont take this as critisism, but ideas

Room Tip: deluxe sea view spa room high as possible for best views.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 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, February 13, 2014
Dear Steve W

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort. I was pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the team.

I appreciate the suggestion on the boats, however if I can explain a bit further on some of you comments for the benefit of all the readers of this forum it would be appreciated.

The boat schedule is set according to the flights arriving and departing (not just a shuttle to and from town with passengers) A boat full with passengers and luggage takes longer than 7 minutes for the journey and then there is loading and unloading of luggage and guests at both ends, in our experience this take closer to 20 minutes each end, hence the reason the schedule is hour from each end.

On the Rocks bar is an ongoing challenge due to the volume of business we do in this area. We addressed this late last year when we removed the toilets from behind this building and extended the bar and kitchen area to help us with the volume of business. We will continue to work on ways to speed up the service in this area.

On buffet nights we don’t offer the a la carte menu at On the Rocks because we need a minimum number of covers to participate in the buffet so we cover the costs of offering the buffet. Then there is the allocation of duties by the cooks, the cooks that normally provide the a la carte menu now prepare food for the buffet in a different kitchen. Yes there is a pizza chef available for pizzas but not for cooking any other a la carte dishes.

I acknowledge your comments about the green policy, and of course this helps with costs, however from our research customers still make decisions on booking hotels who offer such programs.

Steve once again thank you for your constructive feedback and we sincerely appreciate it and will continue to work on ways to improve our product and service to meet all our guests expectations. We look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi and please contact me direct when you decide to return.

best regards, David Martens
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Lancaster, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

We went to this resort thinking this is the best place for relaxing in Krabi. My travel agent Andaman Sky advice me not to go in this hotel. I only wish I listen to them because this hotel is very boring and nothing to do. At night, it is not possible to be going out. You are stuck at the hotel. It is a nice hotel but nothing to do. I don't wanting to go back there. If you like being alone then ok. But if you are like me and need a little bit of people around, then don't be going there. Even though we are on holiday and supposed relaxing, it is still too boring.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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, February 12, 2014
Dear billonholiday

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

I was disappointed to read that you did not enjoy your experience because of it being too quiet. I really don’t know how to respond to that as the hotel was over 80% full for the entire month of January.

If you were after bars, night life and a party atmosphere then your travel agent was correct, this resort does not cater to that market.

Hoteliers make a point of educating their travel partners they work with and if a travel agent has been or knows a resort, then usually they have the best advice.

kind regards David Martens
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Shanghai, China
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

I've stayed at Centara Grand with my parents and my own family of 3. I read recent reviews before going and found them not to be very consistent. Here is what cons and pros of this property are:

Pros:
- Great location! Private beach and minutes to town - at low tides you can walk to Ao Nang without climbing the stairs of Monkey Trail (later on the Trail), which is roughly 5-10 minutes by foot. At the same time, you have your private beach, which is clean and free of crowds. If you don't feel like walking, there is always boat transfer (free transfer is somewhat limited, but there are longtail boats there most of the time, waiting to take you to town for ~150 baht/person)
- Well maintained. The property is well kept and is full of great gardening and ponds. There is a very large monitor lizard that hunts fish right off the breakfast bar in the morning (make sure you come early to see him hunt). My room had a broken door lock, which was fixed withing a couple of hours from my arrival (~8 pm).
- Watersports. They have sea kayaks, a little sailind boat and other equipment for you to use free of charge. Railay beach is an easy paddle away is is a great trip if you're tired of laying on the beach belly up. And there is a dive shop as well, which came handy as I am a diver :)
- Breakfast. Is good and choice is great. Selection of dairy/eggs/fruit/cereal/asian foods/bakery. Coffee is pretty strong, just the way I like it.
- Quiet. ALthough you CAN hear longtail boats passing by, it is not nearly as bad as in Ao Nang.
- Spa. Although

Cons:
- Food. For the money it costs you could expect something edible. I may be spoiled, but it is really upsetting when you realize you (or your wife) could cook it better. We ate in town most of the time. My daughter refused to eat anything that came out of the restaurants, but rice (and he is not picky at all).
- Pool. It is small and smells like sodium hypochloride from miles away.
- Live Music. My dear God, why in this world have you destined this poor girl to torture people's ears?! She is a terrible, I mean TERRIBLE singer. The music could be played somewhere further from the restaurant to a group of masochists or to employees as a disciplinary measure.

Other concerns:
- General Manager. I've met the guy several times. Since I did not have any complaints, our communication was limited to saying "hi". There was a French girl at the check in who took care of us, thus I did not have the need to talk to GM.
- Monkey trail. Is an easy walk to Ao Nang. If you're capable of climbing the stairs to the top of a 5-story building over 20 minutes, you're fit enough to go. There are monkeys there (who would have thought, right?), so be careful not to bring food.
- Longtail boats. There are longtails anywhere you go, thus there is only one way to stay away from the noise - stay inland and don't go to the beach. This applies to the whole country.
- Slow service. Nothing gets done fast in South-East Asia. Nothing. This is not Centara's Issue, but rather a regional habit.
- English. Most people don't speak English in Thailand, unlike the Philippines. They try really hard though and if your conversation is in the dead end, they will call an expat or a more linguistically gifted colleague.


Bottom line:

The hotel felt overpriced, the food is bad, but they can keep things this way just because of their location. My only complaint would have been on an employee who forgot to book us transfer to the airport, which my wife asked for 3 days in advance. However, the views were great (sunsets were spectacular!), the place is quite safe (security guards all over) and there is an "excursion desk" in the library where you can buy a trip to PhiPhi, snorkeling or mountain tour. Overall, I am satisfied and the rest of the gang feels the same.

What to fix: The "Deep Blue" lounge is an epic failure. This place is a waste of real estate and needs a major overhaul.
Food. Please, PLEASE, fix your kitchen. And a "happy hour" for people who are about to go out to dinner in Ao Nang (or coming back from it) would keep On the Rocks bar busier.
Music. Find someone who can sing.

Room Tip: Do not overpay for seaview and beachfront if you want peace and quiet. Register for Centara's l...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 4 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, February 13, 2014
Dear XuMuk

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

I was pleased to read you and your family enjoyed their overall stay, including the great breakfast buffet and the water sports facilities.

In contrast I was disappointed to read that the food did not meet your expectations as we receive many comments to the contrary. However with out many more details as to why you made this statement it is hard to comment further.

I acknowledge the current band is not what we expected and I have already taken steps with the entertainment company whose supply these musicians to make some changes.

Once again thank your for your detailed comments.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

The view from the hotel was just spectacular. The room was plush, the pool fantastic (the kids particularly loved the 'bat cave') and the food very reasonably priced for a five star hotel. We had a very good experience with the tour desk recommending the Hong Island tour and really enjoyed heading over to Ao Nang for a little more action. The whole family would happily go back to indulge and relax.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 4 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, February 13, 2014
Dear Danielle P

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

It was a pleasure to read you and your family enjoyed their stay and that you found your trip to Hong Island and Ao Nang added to you overall experience.

We sincerely appreciate the feedback and recognition and look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

Centara Grand Beach resort and villas has been an amazing experience though we stayed 4 years back but whomsoever we have recommended have loved it..Has a private beautiful beach and a the bets floating jetty.The ride from Nopharat pier is 20 mins to the hotel or you can use the stairs and get down on the main aonang beach..The rooms are beautiful facing the ocean and the rock and the lovely openair showers and bath tub connected to the rooms..there is always something special about the centara hospitality though they don't give rooms before 2pm even though u have had a long flight.

Room Tip: Take a room on the higher level to face the ocean and the rock..
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  • Stayed July 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 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, February 12, 2014
Dear Sanjivwalia67

Thank you for sharing your comments following your stay with us last year.

Yes our location is very special and we were pleased to read you enjoyed your overall stay.

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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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
Reservation Options:
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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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