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“Great spot, great service: let down though”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
Ranked #15 of 135 Hotels in Karon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed with kids (aged 11 + 3), first the good points: great service and friendly staff, lots of activities for the kids, food was good.

However we were let down by:
1.The filthy beach. The entire high tide mark was strewn with rubbish - it is a disgrace. The hotel should keep the frontage of the property groomed and clean. (we have seen this done elsewhere in Asia - even though it is a public beach, the hotel should take some ownership).
2. The taxi cartel/mafia that makes you pay inflated prices, 200B for 2km to Karon. In Bangkok it would be a 60B ride. Sometimes in the heat of the day, with tired kids, walking was out. Absolute rip off
3. We booked in February and asked for adjorning rooms in the sea-front block, and were told no problem. On arrival, no adjoring rooms and we had to have a major argument and delay before we could get a substitute (further back, with limited views).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank craig_nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 14, 2012

We have just had a 10 day stay in this wonderful hotel for the second time, we were not disappointed we booked the club lounge again and the service was as good as last year, staff seen to our every need and I was unwell one day and had flowers and a get well card sent to the room really lovely gesture and a total surprise.

We met wonderful people from Melbourne and they really made the holiday a memorable one, the room we had was excellent with a jacuzzi on the balcony which was a real treat when we had finished sun bathing all day and a fab view of the beach and the ocean.

If you are looking for a resort to accomodate adults and children this is the place for you, Opas thr manager will see that you have one of the best holidays along with all the wonderful staff, once again a great big thank-you from us xxxxx

Room Tip: Choose room with Jacuzzi, you will not be dissappointed.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank lolly57_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Well what can we say except you guys totally blew us away, we did not expect the level of service, friendliness and helpfulness that we received. We have just returned from a 13 night stay and wish we could have stayed longer!
We don't even know where to begin as this was the best family holiday that we have had.
I should first start off by apologizing to Nok and all the pool crew for not saying goodbye properly, due to unforeseen circumstances, but all you guys were awesome and we will be back for some more "Jessbombs".
What had first attracted us to this hotel was the facilities - the swimming pools, slides, lazy river, kid's club and beach access. But we quickly realised there was so much more on offer here. It just felt like paradise at this hotel.
The hotel was at 95% capacity yet it felt like there was only a hand full of people around. The grounds of the hotel were stunning. The trees, flowers and water features made it feel like a nature retreat which was awesome.
We did a couple of day trips to Patong Beach and could not wait to return to our slice of paradise.... so glad we chose to stay in Karon at this amazing hotel. Away from the hustle and craziness. Still can't believe how quiet and relaxed the atmosphere was.
The water slides and the bombie rocks were so much fun and kept us entertained for hours. The Lazy River is massive and was great just floating around.
The swimming pools are AMAZING!!! The main lagoon style pool is huge and has 2 whirlpool jacuzzi style spas adjoining it. There is also another smaller pool perfect for little kids with it's own slide and then another pool with a garden in the middle and many little coves around it - we loved this pool as it was always quiet and the kids could stand easily and we could relax while watching them.
The adults pool was unreal and a great place to relax quietly and undoubtedly had the best cocktails (this was always where we sneaked away to when the kids hit the kid's club)... and best of all no kids allowed. Lovely views of Karon Beach and tranquil music. It was heaven there.
The kids club was so good we had to pretty much bribe our kids to come back with us to do other things. Many thanks to Pat, Namwah and Tai who were fabulous with our two girls. Plenty of craft activities were on offer for the kids to enjoy and the special activities were reasonably priced and turned out to be brilliant souvenirs (Batik painting handkerchief, soap painting and the candle gel making).
We stayed in an ocean facing room block 7, 3rd level, and had beautiful views of the ocean and the pools. Bedding was 2 double beds, and we found them very comfy. We had the day bed made up as a bed so our girls had a bed each and didn't have to share. Our room was cleaned impeccably every day (many thanks to our wonderful house keeper you were amazing) water bottles replaced a couple of times every day -yes they were glass but we just kept filling up our plastic ones. The bedding turn down service every night was a lovely touch.
We had Club benefits and it really made our stay a totally 5 star experience. All the ladies (and Kee and Beedee) were fabulous and extremely welcoming. The offerings of lunch, arvo tea and cocktails were varied and delicious. We felt totally spoiled with your kindness. Everyone treated our two girls so beautifully also. Thank you!
Kee did an unbelievable job and nothing was ever a problem. Whether it was just some general advice or if something needed fixing it was done straight away. Keep up the good work.
A big thank you to Alex. It was great chatting with you every day, thanks for your help and local knowledge. We loved the tour through the one bedroom Villa (we have already started saving up for next time).
When two of our party were sick on the last day Kee and Sonja were amazing and the helpfulness received was unbelievable. We had access to the Hotel's Nurse, complimentary clear chicken soup and bread, an extended late check out of 5pm and a lovely bunch of flowers. In all my travels around the world, nobody has come close to what you did to help us out and we sincerely thank all of you again.
When we checked out we were able to fully access all parts of the hotel which we have never been able to do at any other hotel.
Yes there are a lot of stairs - if you don't like them request a room near an elevator.
The free evening dance shows were a highlight with our family and it was great because the stage was in a lovely open area... you didn't have to be eating at the restaurant to watch.
We would strongly recommend the Baht Bonanza offered. We paid 20 000 baht and the hotel gave us 12 000 Baht, so we ended us with 32 000 baht credited to our room to spend on food, drinks and spa treatments. Yes the hotel restaurants cost more than surrounding ones but having that baht bonanza kind of factored it in. We enjoyed the seafood buffet, bbq buffet, thai buffet and silk road buffets during our stay and loved the food. Breakfasts were amazing and varied. The pancake machine is fab! Brekkie staff were very friendly and we managed to get a table straight away even at busy times. The coffee was really good - very important!
The Spa was pricey but worth every dollar. Professional, relaxing and heavenly.
To sum it all up..... best hotel we have ever stayed at.
We will be back and will be recommending Centara Grand to our family and friends!
Thank you so much.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better ocean views, block 7 was great.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BinningupKris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Had an ocean view deluxe spa room and the view was spectacular. Room was large spacious and clean. It had a large round glassed shower which we thought was pretty flash. Had a couple of maintenance issues which were quickly repaired and a wi fi problem which tech support also quickly repaired. TV reception wasn't great and had brown water for the first couple of days due to low season and the plumbing not being used but it came clear. None of these issues affected our holiday at all. Breakfast was very good and had a good selection. We had lunch there a couple of times which was also good. At night they have a bar with live entertainment. The pools were fantastic and even though we were two couples with no kids I think we used the bombing platform and slides more than the other kids. If that isn't your thing there is a circuit where you can sit in a tube and float around. If you are planning on going out a few nights karon is a 10 minute walk or a $6 taxi each way and Patong is $10 each way. It can add up over a week. We ride road bikes at home so decided to hire scooters which worked out to be $50 for the week including fuel. What a blast we rode all over the island which cut the cost of the things we wanted to see and do massively, Staff were helpfuf, happy and polite at all times. My wife got a bad stomach bug while here and I read a couple of similar comments on trip advisor about this. To blame this hotel is rubbish this is our second trip to thailand and half the tavellers who come to thailand get it no matter where theIy stay or what they do its just bad luck. We called reception and were told they have a 24/7 nurse and she would be right up at no cost. Since we were going home the next day she suggested a doctor so she would not be sick on the plane. He was there within the hour and gave an injection at a cost of $200 she was fine next morning. Well worth it. Paper work was filled out to claim on insurance. All of this was handled by the hotel staff. Hotel grounds are fumigated every day at night for mozzies.If you don't want the hustle and bustle of patong and just want to relax this hotel is great. In a nut shell, room , facilities pools ,food and staff were all excellent no complaints.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Warren T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

2 families 3 rooms booked direct with hotel.
Rooms were not as requested or confirmed in writing by hotel, minor issue. Big hotel spread out over larger area. A bit of a walk for some to main pool area. Great for kids with pool, lazy river ride, and a 3 metre rock jump into 4 metre deep plunge pool.
Breakfast was fantastic with many choices. Dined in once, Seafood night which was pretty good.
Northern end of Karon Beach - 10/15 minute walk from central Karon, or 200Baht Tuk Tuk.
Beach was beautiful and clean during our visit.
Bed very firm, ask for mattress softener which was promptly provided.
Many people have commented on this site regarding slippery surfaces around pools and corridors. And I think I read somewhere that management has addressed this.
I don't believe this problem is fixed and still persists.
3 members of our group slipped and ended up with minor injuries, as did many other guests,
Really this is not acceptable, and for this reason probably will not return.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank dingo_joe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

This was our second trip to the Centara Grand again had a wonderful time, dragged a few friends along with us this time - they were certainly not dissappointed.
From the moment we arrived were warmly greeted by Nan, thanks again so much for honouring my request for the same room as last year Premium Deluxe Ocean Block 9 (911). Even thou we arrived a few hours early fortunately the rooms were ready and moved straight in.
The Club well worth it great foods,afternoon teas and of course cocktails went down a treat everyday. Met some great people will keep in contact (the wonders of email).
Would like to make special mention of the staff - a special thank you to Dao our housekeeper you were a fantastic lady(our favourite),so obliging and the room was spotless everyday, conversing with you was easy and if a promotion becomes available you certainly deserve it. To Sak and all the pool guys great service, you ran a tight ship and your English was excellent - also to Kee,Pong,Koy, Amim and Pai thanks for your service. Denis can you please pass on these comments to your staff /Opas thanks for the recent email regarding the letter i left at reception when we left - May you all have a great Christmas and safe 2013

Will see you again next year July/August 2013 in old room 911.

Trenery Williams

Room Tip: Block 9 - Huge balcony left is the pool in front is the beach
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BOSTAR5026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMCPBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Thank you so much for being so loyal to us and referring us to friends.
I talked to Nan, Dao, Sak, kee, Pong, Koy and Amin. They join me to thank you for your kind words recognizing their effort in successfully looking after you,
till your next visit we wish you a merry Xmas and successful year to come,
Warm regards,
Denis

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for four nights in August and for first time ever in Thailand only eating at this resort and drinking bottle water we got gastro and were sick for two weeks after returning home. The worst holiday we have ever had! After having just stayed at The Shore Katathani (a true 5 star resort) we were extremely disappointed to arrive at this resort and be driven to our room past a stinky smelling river that nearly made us vomit. This smell is everywhere near the whole front of the resort and on the dirty beach. After having left the beautiful Kata Noi beach we were very upset considering the price we were paying for our balcony spa deluxe room.

Having said that one positive is the room, they are quite beautiful with plenty of space and a wonderful view from the balcony of the pool and beach (building 8). The bathroom is large if not a little strange with a spacelike shower and a mirror right in front of it but I still liked it. The cleaning staff were efficient, no problems there. The negatives are the food is terrible for a five star resort, they have a stupid towel/ticket system which I have never encountered anywhere in the world and our lift in building 8 was out of order for nearly our whole stay. We did enjoy the adults only pool but again its not very big with few loungers available. I would avoid this hotel if you are a couple with no children, its more like a cement jungle with crazy kids everywhere.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kyliemac79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMCPBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Thank you for your review,

We must admit our resort is not the type suitable for you.
As stated earlier, the beach was not under our control till Oct 01.

Should we have been informed of your stomach discomfort we would have found ways to help you.

As for the river, in most of South Asia this is an issue the Governments will one day have to seriously address.
In the case you reported it happen for a couple of hours.
I remembered having been very annoyed by the general level of hygiene and cleanliness of so called developed countries recently.

Best regards,

Denis

Report response as inappropriate
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 Phuket

Address: 683 Patak Road, Karon Beach | Muang, Phuket, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Karon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Karon
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Karon
#8 Spa Hotel in Karon
#14 Luxury Hotel in Karon
#22 Family Hotel in Karon
#29 Romantic Hotel in Karon
Price Range: $145 - $590 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket 5*
Number of rooms: 262
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Drawing its design theme from the Sino-Portuguese architecture that characterises Phuket Town, the five-star Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is right on the sands at Karon Beach. The resort is backed by a green hill, and grouped around its own landscaped water park which features a meandering lazy river, waterslides, a kids’ pool with a waterslide, a cliff jumping platform, and an adults-only pool with its own pool bar. You will love the other exhilarating leisure activities on offer, including water sports (kayaking, windsurfing and sailing), snorkelling, tennis, and Muay Thai (Thai boxing). Diving can also be arranged, and there’s a fully-equipped fitness centre. Relaxation seekers will head to the award-winning Spa Cenvaree, a refuge for the senses which combines ancient healing practices that reflects Thailand’s wellbeing heritage with modern rejuvenation techniques to nurture and rebalance the body. The resort also has age-specific kids clubs, free Wi-Fi, and seven restaurants and bars, including COAST Beach Club & Bistro. Each of the spacious rooms, suites and pool villas (49 to 209 square metres of total living space) is designed in a Sino-Portuguese décor and features a balcony or terrace with soothing views of the pools, the gardens or the sea. A number of rooms come equipped with an outdoor Jacuzzi while the suites comprise a plunge pool. Phuket International Airport is less than one hour by road from the resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon

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