Afternoon everyone. Sorry about not reporting yesterday, but the Internet in the hotel was down. :(. So you are going to get a double whammy today instead.
So, yesterday, Day 5.
We started the day in the usual way, but waking with the sunshine shining into our room, blue skies in front of us, looking out at the beautiful sea. We were all tired from the day before, so manage to sleep in till around 8:30. We slowly get up for a day around the pool, with the plan to go to Patong later in the day to explore.
The idea of today's update is to describe the hotel and Patong. Many people on the forums ask questions such as, "are the pool rooms any good", or " should we upgrade our room to the club style". Well each is down to us as individuals, however, we are happy to offer our opinions since we have stayed here for the last 6 days.
Firstly, the checking in to the hotel. We arrived after somewhere in the region of 30 hours of travelling, being chauffeured from the airport to our hotel takes roughly 45mins. Karon sits between Patong (to the North) and Kata (to the South). If you like a great location to explore the entire island, then this may be for you.
The hotel, Centara Grand, is absolutely lovely. It has almost an Italian feel to it, what with the red roofs and columns around the place. Our room, located in block 4, overlooks some of the pool, the club area and one of the main paths around the complex. It is well appointed, with a large bathroom, consisting of a toilet, basin, circular shower (really cool) and can be opened, or separated from the rest of the room by sliding doors, In essence you could have a shower in the morning whilst looking out over the sea...ahhh, bliss.
The main room has a really lovely kingsize bed, feet facing the sea, with mini Doobs bed beside ours. The balcony is huge! I am currently sitting on one of 2 lazy relaxing chairs, with the hot tub to my right, and to the right of that again (imagine an L shape) are the Seatees and chairs. Overall a great place to watch the sun go down in an evening. The club rooms have free Internet, and mostly are on the corner of the blocks, hence being bigger. You also have the option everyday to send in 2 pieces of laundry to be dry cleaned for free. The actual club is located in a different building, but you can get drinks and snacks during the day and cocktails post 5pm. Is it worth the extra cash...hmm.. The larger balcony and free wifi, etc. simply makes your stay easier. For us, as a family of 3, who use the Internet on a daily basis, it makes it easy. So for us, it was the right choice.
We have seen the pool rooms, and from what we can make out, they pool takes most of your balcony. In essence, you can stand on your balcony and lean over in a relaxed manner, posing for a photo. The pool is in your way. However, if you have a fish in the family, who wishes to swim all day in your room, then it might be worth it for you.
The main hotel food area is called the Cove. It's a simple affair, with either alacarte menu or buffet. The buffet changes each night, from thai, to steak to Italian, etc.
The food is good quality, although the service is a little slow, it is always with a smile. The one bad thing is the cost. For a simple meal for 2 adults and a child, it can work out to be as much as 2500bhat! Which in GBP is about £50!!! whereas you know we have been eating a lot up the road at Talays for about 600bhat each meal, including drinks... Massive difference. But hey, there are some people who want the safety of the hotel, and each to their own.
Overall the hotel is excellent, and I couldn't really fault it, to be honest. The rooms are clean, the pool is amazing for the kids, there is a special adults only areas the food is great, the sea is amazing blue/green colour and the beaches are pretty clean. Look out for the little crabs running around !! It is away from the frenzy that is Patong, yet you still feel like you are in paradise.
Kata is slightly quieter this time of year, being the low season, but the beaches are cleaner, longer and more beautiful. So in summary, if you want a quiet hols, stay in Kata, a place to be central, try Karon, and to be in the thick of it, go to Patong.
The original idea of pool and Patong, was to spend the morning here at the pool, then move to Patong in the afternoon. We spent up until 2 pm around the pool which was lovely. We got our towel cards, gave them to the pool man and exchanged them for 3 towels. We found a suitable spot by the main big pool and mini Doobs was off! In the lazy river, jumping off the mini cliff, down the slides. Mrs Doobs and I chilled for a while then joined him. The heat was around 35+ and this was the low season?!?! There were plenty of beds spare and the pools were not full at all. I would definitely come back at this time again. Apart from the mini monsoon the other night, we have been blessed with amazing weather!
So after several hours around the pool, we go back to the sanctuary of our room, get changed and get ready to hit Patong. We climb the ramp to the top of the hotel and the taxi guys there are ready for taking you wherever. We agree the price, 300bhat, say to the man to take us to Jungcelylon and off we go.
10mins or so later, we arrive in the heart of this busy town. We hop out, pay the man and Mrs Doobs says that she isn't feeling too well... :(. So we discuss what is wrong with her and we wonder if she got too much sun. We don't do this ver often, but decided to go to the big yellow arches and have mc(something) or other, Mainly for the salt. She feels a little bit better, so we head into the shopping centre.
It is a large mall, full of all the shops you can imagined, from dunking doughnuts to boots. Everything under one roof.
We head to boots and I try, in pigeon Thai, to ask for some Andrews salts. In the uk, you would know what these are. A offered merbervine, which is for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (ibs) so not right. I eventually find something similar to electrolyte restoration and purchase that. To be fair to the pharmisits they were really helpful and tried there best.
We got some inside Mrs Doobs and she said she would try for a little while longer. We were trying to find a particular jewellers to have some rings made out of silver. I have some Oregon Sunstone that I wish to get made into rings for Mrs Doobs. Anyway, Mini Doobs spots some snazzy watches, and decides he would like one. 200bhat, great price and we have a very happy 9year old. The best part about his watch, is that it flashes like a disco watch!!! Result!!
Anywaym we head down to Bangla road, and Mrs D is not feeling well. I spot a chemist, so we all dive in. The man behind the counter was so lovely. He discussed the symptoms then offered some proper tummy settling medicine, we pay for it as well as some zam buk ( which is great for bites and chap lips etc, - get some whilst you are here!!). The man was amazing, he put the fan on, shut the doors, put the a/c on and gave Mrs D a chair. We sat there for about 20 mins to make her feel a bit better. Sometimes strangers are so friendly. We will not forgot this simple act of kindness.
Anyway, we leave the chemist, thanking him for his lovely attitude, and head slowly down Bangla road. We get to the end and Mrs D says, can we go home please. Of course!!! We hail a tuktuk and then head back to our hotel. Mrs D has a snooze for several hours and feels only slightly better in the evening. She was worried as we had promised Dare, from The restaurant that we would visit, but we can't. Mrs D is too unwell. We head down to the cove at the hotel and have some very plain food, suggested by the lovely waitress.
We retire to bed, hoping that Mrs D feels better tomorrow :(