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“EXCELLENT - no other words can describe it - just EXCELLENT” 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
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT - no other words can describe it - just EXCELLENT”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2010

We stayed at Centara for our honeymoon and I have been meaning to put up a review of the hotel because we both just loved it so much. We arrived and it was bucketing down with rain but you know it's a good hotel when that doesn't even bother you. We were in Thailand for 2 weeks and the only time it rained was at Centara and yet it was our favourite Resort in Thailand.

We booked Club rooms so not only did we get a beautiful room with a spa on the verandah that was really private but we also go access to the Club benefits which was well worth the price.

A VERY quick walk to the shopping areas (just over a cliff) but still further enough away so have the quiet private holiday you want.

The staff were great and I am a VERY picky person and they managed to accept all of my requests with ease (which doesn't normally happen).

The business centre was great for internet (you also got food there as part of the club package).

The restaurants in the resort were amazing too. The food was incredible and I am yet to find anywhere else the serves a better Chicken Cashew nut. Just brilliant.

Will definitely go back again.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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Bournemouth
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2010

HI, I have just returned from the Centara in Aonang and had an amazing time. The hotel is beautiful and location is stunning. You arrive by boat, onto their pier, which I have seen people complaining about - but this is all they can supply due to planning laws. If you take your time it is absolutely fine. The rooms are beautiful with great views. We had an spa room that was ocean facing and could not complain at all.
In the day we chilled by the pool/beach, sometimes took advantage of their free kayaks or strolled over to aonang for lunch as much cheaper.
At night we went over to Aonang every night apart from the last. Yes the monkey trail is a bit tricky and in the hot weather it can be tiring...but I just saw it as a way of building up an appetite for tea. To get home, depending on the time as we often went for a few drinks - if before 1am you could get a long boat back which we paid no more that 400 baht for, or you could do the monkey trail again....one thing that is necessary is a torch.
There were two main complaints about the hotel...one that the room was often not cleaned till late, which was annoying on a few occassions as we went up for a quick nap at 5pm and they were still in there! which i was frustrated about, mainly because i was tired. Then secondly was the price of food and drink. We had a few drinks and lunch there...which was very nice but it is about the same price as the UK if not more. Then as mentioned before we had the beach bbq on our last night, which was again very nice but about £30 per person exc drink. Which is very expensive when you could eat as much as you want and drink as much as you want really in aonang for £30-£35 per couple.
Overall great trip and would recommend to a friend, but main thing is if they dropped prices of food and drink I would have used their facilities much more.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2010

After leaving the madness of Bangkok this hotel is where the honeymoon started for us. From the second we arrived we knew this hotel was going to exceed our expectations. The room was spotless, the views amazing - we arrived an hour before the sun went down and I'll never forget that sight. I have to say I was nervous enough after reading reviews about this hotel over the last 6 months but now I have no regrets with picking this hotel. We went for our honeymoon and after 5 nights we headed onto to Phuket. The food is expensive in the hotel but no cheaper than any of the other hotels we stayed in during our 3 week stay in Thailand. It's good quality food and worth it! I would pay for good food here I have no problem doing the same there. If you want to get a cheap meal you can head over to the local town by speedboat or the monkey trail ( see below about that ) - but I have to say I'm extremely fussy eater and I had no plans to eat off the vendors on the street - not saying that they wouldn't have been nice, just I stick to what I know. We loved the vibe around the hotel - the pool attendants where brilliant, it's nice to see them having as laugh with the guests as well as each other. They would play football with the guests on the beach, any requests were done with a smile. The staff overall where so genuine, friendly - can't say enough on how nice they were. Only saw one monkey though!! I heard them - one thing we noticed about the hotel is the wildlife around can get quite loud, but this is to be expected because of it's location. Right the monkey trail - I did not like this at all, I'm not great with heights - my husband was fine but me, let's just say I wouldn't do it again in a hurry. It's quite steep - some of the handbars are loose. In saying that other guests were flying past us and didn't seem to bother them in the slightest... So if your not great with heights--- get the boat. Overall this made our trip in Thailand - we plan to go back for our ten year anniversary.

  • Stayed January 2010, 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
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brooklyn, bangkok, tokyo
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

LOVE:
1. the private beach
2. the bathroom + closet area in the room
3. the rock formations surrounding the hotel
4. it's just so nice and quiet
5. that i can kayak to railay beach

HATE:
1. the overpriced food. like the 1300 baht for a dinner buffet.
2. the unstable trail from the hotel to aonang beach. ok, i admit i kind of liked this because of the workout.
3. the free boat ride from the hotel to noppara pier from where you have to catch a ride to aonang beach. so in essence, it's not free to get to aonang beach.
4. the 150 baht per person one way boat ride from the hotel to aonang beach. how is it free to noppara pier when that's located further away than aonang beach?
5. the service of the restaurant staff.

+:
1. if you want seclusion and don't care for the massages or nightlife or dining @ aonang beach, then this might be for you.
2. and don't forget you have to be ok with the overpriced food. think of it as paying for the secluded relaxing atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
london
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

We had booked 2 weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon across christmas and new year and been recommended the Centara Krabi by friends that had stayed 2 years ago and Trailfinders. A couple of months before we were due to fly i thought i would check it out on tripadvisor and saw a real mixed bag of reviews which worried me greatly for our honeymoon. I emailed the hotel and voiced my concerns and had a super reply from the manager putting my mind at ease over the many changes he had put in place across 2009.
Our transfer to the hotel was very smooth and the floating jetty a bit of holiday fun rather than an inconvenience. Guests need to understand that it is set in a National Park so there can not be permanant transport structures, hence the jetty and the monkey walk to Ao Nang.
Our room was gorgeous and always spotlessly cleaned with big bathroom/shower/bath area, very comfy huge beds and a super balcony/seating area with day beds.
We had joined the Club Lounge scheme which cost only marginally more than the B and B rate. The added benefits were super especially the 2 pieces of laundry cleaned per day and the snacks and drinks across the day. The cakes at afternoon tea, evening drinks and canapes were delicious and well worth the upgrade.
The resort itself is amazing with wonderfully kept grounds, beautiful pool area and picture perfect beach for that evening sunset. The beach bean bag beds and bolster pillows were a real luxury and the pool side staff very helpful, just ask.
Food and drink is obviously more expensive than Ao Nang but it was nice to alternate your meals between the two. Buffet theme nights are super and around £20 per head without drink but the quality and variety well worth it. Surf and Turf Beach BBQ and Thai night were beautiful. You can eat fairly cheaply at the various restaurants at the hoteI with a Thai noodle/rice dish for around £5. I always have holiday belly when away but not a hint on this break even with eating PLENTY of delicious seafood both in and outside the hotel.
Getting to Ao Nang is a 10min (we timed it!) walk up across the hill on fixed wooden slats. This is fine for most people and again a holiday novelty. The monkeys are out in the day on the Ao Nang end of the walk, just don't have bags in your hands, but they are not there at night. We actually waited until low tide during the day and walked round to Ao Nang up to our knees in the sea which took only 5mins and was great fun. The evening shuttle boat does have set times but again these are nothing to worry about as even across the busy christmas/new year period we always got a seat. Just make sure you book your seat at the lobby desk in the morning.
The hotel spa is a real luxury and it is well worth booking a package of treatments which were about £60 - £80 for 3 to 4 hours. Although you can get massages for about £4 in Ao Nang along the beach it was a real luxury to experience the tranquil spa and totally bliss out.
Overall the holiday was a dream experience and i would certainly go back as there is so much to do such as snorkeling, rock climbing, island trips, kayaking that there just wasn't long enough to do it all.
The hotel staff and management really are dedicated to making your stay as wonderful as possible, give it a go!

  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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los angeles
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2010

Was a little leery of staying here due to mixed reviews listed on tripadvisor. However, we found the bad reviews to be frighteningly off course. Many people simply do not do their homework when travelling, many disappointments can be avoided by doing this. We found the Centara Grand to be a beautiful hotel in an amazing setting with really great service.

Hotel:
The hotel and private bay are strikingly gorgeous. Similar to Ritz Carlton quality in the US (ie. 5 stars) the landscaping is immaculate and grounds are gorgeous. Please note: the hotel is on a private bay. PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH The Monkey Trail to get to the hotel (if you do not want to wait for the hotel shuttle, or pay a boat driver) is a 10 minute walk thru a beautiful section of forest between the bay and Ao Nang. It is not suitable for old people, those who are not interested in walking on wooden slats for 10 min. or anyone carrying luggage. In the rain and/or the dark this trail can be a little tricky. That being said, it is a generally easy/moderate walk and one with great scenery...and what I felt to be a fun adventure in getting to Ao Nang. If you do not want to walk 10 min. to leave the hotel or wait for the shuttle, this is not the hotel for you. Personally my boyfriend and I did not consider 10 minutes of walking to be troublesome. It was fun to have the comforts of a private hotel but only being a 10 min. walk away from all the action.

Rooms:
Clean, elegant, beautiful. Our bathroom was gigantic and amazing. The two private balcony's and the giant shower room were really neat.

Pool:
The pool is large and has many places to lay out. The view from the pool out onto the bay is amazing. It is sometimes hard to get a beach chair, but asking for help from the pool boy will rectify that easily.

Service:
We were suprised by all the negative service comments listed here as our experience was very different. When we arrived from Krabi Airport, we were told that the next shuttle to the resort was not for two hours. We told our guide to ask the hotel if we could come sooner. They had no shuttle but kindly suggested that we could take the employee boat in immediately if we wanted. So we did. The employees had to land the boat right on the beach in rough water and carried all of our luggage overhead to make sure it didn't get wet. Our check in was easy and everything we asked for was easily accommodated.

Food:
The food here was spectacular. Upon entering the dinner buffet dining area and looking around, we were approached by the chef who kindly gave us a 10 min. tour of the buffet area and explained all the food to us....we loved that! Please also note: we were not here on our honeymoon and did not stay in one of the best view/most expensive rooms, so our great service was certainly not due to our high roller status :)
The dinner buffet was the best I have ever had and was stocked and clean and delicious. The breakfast buffet was also amazing. Our only problem was eating at the Thai Restaurant one evening. The food was amazing, however, my boyfriend and I came down with serious hospital inducing food poisoning from the seafood.
Since it was our last day at the Centara Grand and in Thailand we did not have a chance to inform them, so I don't know how they would have handled it. Also, we knew it was a gamble to eat seafood in Thailand, since upon DOING OUR RESEARCH we learned that many foreign tourists are not accustomed to the bacteria in the Thai water and thus the Thai seafood. So we don't know whether this was due to some food handling issue with the hotel or simply bacteria that our American stomachs were not used to.

An important reminder for visiting Thailand: becoming angry or obviously agitated in Thailand will only make everything worse. If you smile and and stay calm and polite, Thai people will help you get anything done you need. While tipping is not always necessary, we found that tipping porters, towel boys and many other employees was a great way to show our appreciation for their services. Thai people make very little money compared to US and Euro tourists and very small amounts of money is greatly appreciated by the employees and will make your stay amazing. The 100$ I spent doing this over the course of two weeks during my stay in Thailand made all the difference, as my boyfriend and I never had anything less than 5 star service wherever we went.

Value:
For Thailand standards this place is pretty pricy, but we thought, worth it. They do charge you for internet and the free shuttle could be more convenient, but those were the only things we thought to be negative.

Overall:
We loved the hotel and the service and the food and the location. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey channel Islands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

I travelled to the Centara in December 2009 with my partner.We are both very well travelled and I have travelled extensively through Asia.I was initially apprehensive about booking the Centara as It was a Thai run chain and the previous reviews on trip advisor were not fantastic.

On arrival at the airport we had a short wait until we were taken to the harbour and then onto the Centara.The boat ride was enjoyable and we got to take in the breath taking scenary. The Hotel looks out onto a huge limestone rock/cliff which catches your breath and it is so relaxing. Whilst the pool area isn't huge in comparison to other hotels we'd stayed at in Asia, I LOVED the idea that the Hotel had giant "bean bags" that you could take down onto the beach and lie star shaped each day. It really was an unusual touch.

The beach front at the Centara is private and can only be accessed by other boats or pedestrians who use the "Monkey Trail" to walk over from Ao Nang. Consequently there were no beach sellers, and we wern't pestered by people wanting to sell us local goods. The sea was clean and safe, and I found an abundance of beautiful sea shells. In December the water was like a bath.

The Monkey Trail was not really for me, but something I endured as a means to an end.There are a number of areas/ steps that I found unsafe and lost my balance.They were also very steep.

I would say that the journey across the Monkey Trail took around 10 minutes as we are both quite physically fit, but I wouldn't recommend it to those who have problems with mobility/ younger children or the elderly. Unfortunately due to people being irresponsible, I witnessed a number of the monkeys leaping from the trees and on to people's backs.This TERRIFIED me, and following this I heard reports that someone had recently been bitten (This is anecdotal and I did not witness this) The monkeys seemed interested in those carrying plastic bags or wearing ruck sacks, I assume, scaverging for food. It really isn't sensible to feed them folks!

There ARE alternative ways of getting off the resort and that is by boat, but make sure you book a few up when you arrive, otherwise you are limited to having to walk home via the Monkey Trail, which isn't THAT well lit at night time.

The rooms at the Centara were really out of this world, and I loved the fact that there were individual comfy sun loungers on the balconies outside. Perfect for honeymooners who want some privacy perhaps.

I only ate at the pool bar whilst at the Centara, but the food was of a good standard and well presented.The service however was poor and it would often take bar staff up to 10 minutes to even offer you a drink.This was something that we finally addressed with the Hotel Manager Mr Thomas.

Ao Nang itself was great. We enjoyed a number of excellent meals out, particularly and WANG SI (40 baht in a tuk tuk) it was great to eat with the locals and you will experience the best Thai curry's ever ! There was also a small Italian called La Casa which was great and the staff were really friendly.

We are both planning to return back to the Centara next November. Overall, the Hotel was amazing. There are a few areas for improvement, and it is a little expensive, but if you eat away from the Hotel at night, and bring your own duty free it's a lot cheaper !! Ie £ 3.50 for a can of coke.. ridiculous.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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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
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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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