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“Beautiful location, great hotel” 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
Cheshire
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, great hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

We had a great time here as the second stage of our honeymoon. I know there are mixed reviews on here but we completed plenty of research before we went and there were no nasty surprises. The boat ride was exciting and every one of ours worked like clockwork. The sea was once a little choppy but that just made it all the more fun.

We had a Spa room with an ocean view and the room was presented beautifully - a welcome message in rose petals on the bed, rose petals in the bath and a heart shaped cake.

There was a wide range of restaurants and although the prices weren't ideal what do you expect in a luxurious hotel? The mini bar prices were cheaper than the bar so drinks back on the balcony were reasonable value. Happy hour cocktails were great with 2 hours per night.

We really enjoyed exploring Ao Nang going over the cliff path and meeting the monkeys on the far side. They were very respectful and moved out of our way as we passed. From other reviews I expected them to be jumping on our rucksack. Food was a lot cheaper here and the town was a little more varied.

We went on a couple of visits but they just reinforced our underlining views of this hotel in the sense that none of them were as beautiful as the view from our very own balcony. A beautiful place which we can only hope to return to one day in the future.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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Malaysia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2009

We had a really dissapointing time at what was supposed to be a romantic honeymoon for my wife and myself!

Over the years, I have had the experience of living and travelling through Ko Samui, Phuket as well as Pattaya and Bangkok, and have never experienced such indifferent customer service and poor communication between staff and guests.

17th Aug
3pm - My wife had made telephone and email confirmations on the arrangements for a "honeymoon room/service" as a surprise for me, before our arrival.
When we arrived at Soi 13 Centara welcome centre, the lady told my wife that she had no idea of our arrival and arrangements.
She even asked my wife to produce a Wedding Certificate.
(We were later informed by Lukas, F&B Manager, that this was to curb mis-use, but why then did Centara not inform us before we left?)
Then, she told us that the honeymoon room was not ready, and went on to spoil the surprise by saying that the bath and cake was not ready, in my presence.
Talk about spoiling a surprise!
5pm - When we eventually got to our room, despite it being on 3rd floor of the villa, we constantly heard the constant drone of the nearby Electric Generator. This certainly disturbed our experience throughout out stay!

18th Aug
4.17pm - Rang call centre (Tel: +6675637789) who put me through to guest services, I asked what time the next boat was from Ao Nang (which I later found out to be Nopparatara Pier) to the island, and was clearly informed 6pm. The person even informed me that two places had been reserved for my wife and me.
5.54pm - Upon rushing here, the boatman informed me that the boat was at 7pm.
I called up the resort again, was put through to guest services, and eventually spoke with Khun Wattana confirmed that there was no boat at 6pm. I told her I was very dissapointed, and all she could tell me was that it was a "miscommunication".
So, we ended up waiting at the pier for an hour, watching the rain come down. What a downer!

Is this what we should expect from a "world-class" resort?

On the evening before we left, Lukas (F&B) spoke with us, assuring us that this was not a common experience for other couples. I beg to differ, as I have just read other TravelAdvisor travellers' comments!

All in all, a terrible stay, and I certainly will ensure my friends and colleagues (as well as fellow travellers) hear about this experience!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2009

First the good points, location is superb, the service from the staff is as you would expect in Thailand, excellent, and the rooms and facilities were generally very good. The bed was huge, but Rock Hard and so not very comfortable. The biggest negative for us was actually the location. As with most hotels, the prices in house for food and drink was high, and so we generally went into Ao Nang, we had been to Krabi before and so knew what was there. The Hotel advertises free shuttles into Ao Nang, and certainly there are a couple. But for anyone wanting an evening 'off campus' it was expensive. The shuttle either went too early, 5 30 ish, or too late, 8 pm given that the last shuttle back was just after 10. So you were left either hiring a longtail from the concierge, watch the prices as they go up the later you go in/come out, having a very early/rushed meal in Ao Nang or taking on the walk. The walk was ok, but if you were going out, arriving in Ao Nang for an evening after a 30 minute walk or so in the humidity was an uncomfortable starting point. The one evening we hired a long tail in and out of Ao Nang, we were into the thousands of Baht before we were finished, prices go up at several points through an evening. Luckily we were only there for 6 nights relaxation and sun on our way to oz, but thanks to the concrete bed we left more tired than we arrived. Another element that actually is not quite as enjoyable as you would imagine was the check in. After travelling for XX hours to get there, you arrive at check - in, where we then had to wait for almost an hour until all the expected travellers had arrived and completed check in. It was then back into another mini bus for the journey to the other end of Ao Nang beach to the ferry stop to be loaded onto the speedboat. One last point, if you do go, be ready for the wobbly jetty, its floating, which is a good thing, but it takes a moment to get your balance so be careful. Overall, its a nice place, the people are great but we felt they exploited their location with high prices and expensive transfers

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
churairat, manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, August 24, 2009
Dear Thommo 39,

Thank you for your comment following your recent stay at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi. We have taken a good note of your comments and we would d like to assure you that appropriate action has been taken to remedy which you have highlighted.
- The hotel bed:
Our rooms offer high quality beds of which for service throughout resorts in Centara Hotels & Resorts chain. It is the No.1 hospitality product.
- The pricing:
Our prices are in line with other neighbor 5 star hotels and we guarantee certified quality and HACCP standards.
- Shuttle boat service:
Our complimentary shuttle boat service is set according to guest’s frequent request times. Apart from that the hotel does not have concierge service for long tail boats. It is service for local boat counter only.
- Walk way to Ao nang:
The walk way is on National Park ground and for emergency access at the users own risk only. We do not encourage to use it. It is outside of the hotel property and we are not permitted by law to improve it to a five star standards. However it only take 8-10 minutes and not 30 minutes as stated.
- The Jetty:
The same reason as above we are not permitted to build a permanent structure of wooden jetty into the sea. Our staff is assisting always to make it as convenient as possible.

Sincerely yours,
The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leeds
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

After reading some of the reviews of this hotel I felt I had to write my own. We stayed here for 8 nights last September and had such an amazing time. From the minute we arrived at the reception centre, it felt like our holiday had begun. Arriving onto the resort by speedboat was a memorable experience which made us feel as if we were in a James Bond film. We arrived in the middle of a storm so tackling the floating walkway was pretty interesting but there must have been maybe 6 or 7 hotel employees, waiting to meet us and practically carry us ashore.
We had already lost a day of our holiday due to flight delays so really just wanted to relax and we couldn't have wished for a more perfect place. The room, a spa deluxe oceanview, was beautiful, with a bathroom to die for and views to match. If you are feeling brave you can shower with the blinds open, looking out onto the mountain and jungle.
The outdoor living space practically doubles the room size and there is nothing better than sitting in your own jacuzzi watching the sun set, whilst the blinds provide just enough privacy. On our first night we were too tired to do anything other than order room service and eat on the balcony listening to the sea and jungle noises around us. Pretty special already. From then on we spent most of our time either on the balcony in the jacuzzi or laying by the stunning pool, where we never struggled to find a bed although the umberellas were like gold dust.
We took the shuttle boat to Ao Nang only once, just to have look around and this was easy enough to do, with tuk tuks waiting at the harbour to take you into town. Mostly we ate in the hotel, which although expensive compared to usual Thai prices, is only what you would pay anywhere in Europe. The food was freshly cooked and delicious, especially in the Thai restaurant and the beach/pool bar did great snacks, from Pad Thai to oven cooked Pizzas. The staff were great, very friendly and polite, even remembering where you liked to sit for breakfast (outside obviously) which was plentiful and varied.
We booked the Elephant excursion and a trip to Phi Phi through the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed both, especially the trip to Phi Phi Islands where we got to snorkel, swim and just lie on the pure white sand.
All in all this was easily one of the nicest places we have ever stayed and the resort was a pleasure. In fact we enjoyed it so much we will be returning in 4 weeks time for our honeymoon.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Bristol
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2009

We travelled to Centrara late July, early August on a last minute package holiday with Southall Travel. It cost around £1200 each for B&B in a Deluxe Oceanview room for 12 nights plus one in a Bangkok airport hotel on flights with Jet Airways and Air Asia, which is reasonable. The location is stunning and I think would take some beating. This is our 3rd trip to Thailand, and it was by far the best in terms of scenery and beaches. (Hua Hin and Koh Samui were our other trips). The weather was great for the majority of our stay - very hot and sunny with just the occasional downpour. However, it can be unpredictable as towards the end, it became more stormy and the sea got very rough with more frequent showers and torrential downpours. This can affect you more at this hotel as it is set in a cove and accessed by boat. (You can access by foot, but not with luggage on the aforementioned 'monkey walk' ). On the last couple of days of our stay, boats were not operating as the sea was extremely treacherous and had a massive swell, which was crashing in to the beach signs and smashing concrete. Obviously all the water sports were off limits for the last few days as well, and jellyfish were a real danger. This contrasted a great deal with the first few days were the water was calm, a nice colour, and safe for swimming and kayaking around the stack island close to the beach, and the caves and limestone cliffs.
The hotel is nice - not exceptional, but nice. (I have stayed in some top resorts, all over the world and would not class the hotel as anything special, although the surroundings are definitely amongst the best I have experienced, and picture postcard in nice sunny weather) I would best describe it as a 4 star, with OK service from most (there are always exceptions) although we occasionally had to wait for over 20 minutes to be served at the beach bar, which was frustrating when happy hour was over in 10! The facilities are OK - sunloungers are slightly old and uncomfortable with no soft cushioning. The rooms are lovely - quite spacious and wooden floors, with fantastic outside space - a chaise-lange (?sp?) and table and chairs on one side, and off the front 2 sun loungers, with soft furnishings and a table. This is fantastic if your room has a great view and gets the sun - ours was quite low down, shaded and not great, but then probably reflects the price we paid, although we were promised a sea view and king sized bed which we did not get- there was a glimpse pf the sea through the spaces in the restaurant in front! The bathroom was excellent - marble floors with the usual bath, sink, toilet cubicle and fantastic rain shower, and all in huge proportions. I would say the bathroom and outside space were the highlight, and perhaps what pushes it into the 5 star category. Having said that if I had to rate this hotel overall I would definitely say it doesn't come close to all the 5 star hotels I have stayed in and put it at a comfortable 4 star just in terms of the facitilities and taking the location out of it, which you can't do. After all, this is why we chose it! It does have pretentions though, and we were shocked at our £50 lunch bill (2 simple fish snacks on skewers, water, 2 glasses of beer and 1 glass of horrible wine). You could buy the same in Ao Nang for £5!! However, happy hour is reasonably good value at 2 drinks for the price of 1, so we drank here, but didn't eat here again. There is currently an offer for lodging money with reception and they give you a 'free amount' back - eg, we lodged 10,000 baht with them (around £200 with our simple calculations) and they gave us another 5,000. The trick is you have to do it within 24 hours of arrival, and you do not get any change at the end of the stay if you haven't spent it all! We were there for 12 nights, and spent around 13,000 just on drink, and that one lunch, so it is pricey and unecessarily so, although I guess it suffers from Maldives syndrome in that it is probably hard to get supplies in given they have to come by boat, and sometimes that is impossible given the sea conditions.
The monkey walk is fine if you are fit and reasonably brave. We didn't find it an issue at all. Yes, there are very steep wooden steps (some of which are rotting, or have nails through) up from the hotel beach onto the cliff path. It then levels out, and is easy for 5 minutes through the jungle, although you do have to have good aim in walking as some of the wooden planks are spaced apart in one section. You then go steeply down steps onto Ao Nang beach. There is a rail and lights all the way, so we never had any problems at all, although when it is wet it can be precarious. When the tide is well out, you can avoid this walk by wading thigh deep through the sea around the headland for about 3 minutes, but we could only do this once, and it is not ideal if you are carrying money / cameras etc, or if you have insect repellent on, which you definitely need in the evenings. Ao Nang is tacky, true, but there are some great bars and restaurants at fantastic prices. The massages are plentiful too, and well priced. We like the inital stretch of walkway before you got to the proper town, where there is a great bar on the beach (The Last Fisherman's Bar) serving a huge menu of drinks and snacks, and a very good restaurant called Thai Thai. Other than that, you can eat at an abundance of places within 5 to 10 minutes walk of the bottom of the monkey walk for a fraction of the price of the hotel.
Centara is a good holiday and you get what you pay for, but my advice would be to check your room allocation and not pay any more than we did for your holiday here otherwise you will be disappointed. If you are adventurous you will love it, and love all the kayaking and exploring you can do around the bay, and trips you can go on to Phi Phi, Railay Beach, etc, walking into Ao Nang. If you like staying put all holiday, you will love the first couple of days as you lounge by the picteresque and huge pool and the towering cliffs, but dislike the crowds who assemble here, and the huge amount of money you will have to spend. You may also get bored! We were glad to come home in the end, which is not like us at all, but there is not much else to do if you are marooned here in bad weather.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Melbourne
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2009

The resort itself is set in really beautiful settings, surrounded by limestone rock formations. It is in a private cove - one cove from the main town "Ao Nang" beach area. We found the staff to be very friendly and respectful. Some previous reports on tripadvisor mentioned that the staff were not friendly, but must have been addressed as they were great. The general manager (Thomas) could frequently be seen walking through the resort, and he set the example in greeting the guests. The food quality at the restaurants were of a high quality (obviously more expensive than the food in Ao Nang). The pool was great and the main feature of the resort. They have a cleaner employed to ensure the beach sand was kept clean. Although when we were there, the sea was fairly rough initially and was also the beginning of jellyfish season so we spent more time in the pool than the beach, which was fine. It was low season, and it was sometimes difficult to get the beach chairs in the prime locations due to the number of people - must need to get the prime seats early during the high season. Another feature of the resort for us the fruits served during breakfast - they have a person who would freshly cut fruit to your liking.

The location of the resort was good as it is close to Ao Nang, and this is where it's biggest downfall needs to be mentioned. To get to and from the resort, there are 2 ways: by boat or on foot. To get there by boat, they have a floating pier (made up on small square floats connected together) that ripples with the waves - ie, you can feel every ripple with the waves on the platform. It's ok to walk on during calm conditions, but when the waves pick up (as they had when we arrived), it can be quite an adventure to try to walk on it - note that this is not a short pier either. When we were leaving, it was a very low tide - so low that the boat was not able to reach the ramp, so the bell boys had to carry our bags to the boat on their shoulders, and we had to walk over to Ao Nang instead. But I must say that the hotel staff were very helpful in assisting us to/from the boat safely.

The other way to get to/from there is by foot. This involves walking through the jungle on a very steep ascent and descent with flat middle section. The walk is on rickety wooden planks, and there are wild monkeys in the forest who have become smart to the fact that some people carry food in their bags. But they are generally quite harmless and we were able to walk thru the jungle with no incidences - but hold onto your belongings as we saw a woman lose her bag. Note that it is only a 10-15 min walk through the jungle.

So if you can get past the "adventure" of getting to/from there, we thought the resort was excellent, the best 5 star resort and is also really close to Ao Nang beach area. We would definitely return to the hotel if we holidayed at Krabi again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2009

Just got back from a 10 day stay at the Centara and it was absolutely fabulous!!!

We stayed there 2 years ago and couldn't wait to get back....having read some of the recent reviews we did wonder if it had gone downhill but it certainly has not...perhaps the recent reviews say more about the reviwers than the hotel?? Just a thought.

The rooms remain first class, very clean and the service was superb. Yes the food and drink are very expensive but we simply didn't eat or drink there.

We walked over the monkey trail to Ao Nang every night, stocked up on our goodies for the fridge in our room and ate at some superb restaurants for about a quarter of the price of the hotel food. We can really recommend Tandoori Nights who make the best Indian food to order, asking you how spicey you would like it to be - they also do great Thai food.

The monkey trail is lit for walking at night and, providing you take it easy and are not completely pickled, you won't have a problem.

We won't hestiate to go back.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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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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