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“Good location, poor service”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
Ranked #15 of 134 Hotels in Karon
Certificate of Excellence
Mexico City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good location, poor service”
Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

This is not a five-star resort. If you expect that, you will be very disappointed. This is our fifth trip to Thailand. We have visited a variety of hotels in various areas in the country, and this has been our least favorite, and the most expensive, so far. The location is great, the beach is excellent and the rooms are nice. Too bad the service, food and facilities do not match the location.

The service, particularly the check-in process, is horrible. When we checked in, my husband and I were given welcome drinks. We asked for water or orange juice for our two-year old son since we had just gotten off a long flight and hour-long taxi ride, but we were told there was a 200 baht charge. One would think a family resort would be a little more welcoming to its younger guests. We had reserved a jacuzzi suite with king bed, but were given a room with two beds. Our room was directly outside a housekeeper supply closet, and housekeepers stood there and talked loudly in the afternoons while our son was sleeping. The hotel offered to move us, but we were so tired, we decided to stay in the room. The next day, someone called (waking my son from his nap) to ask when we were moving rooms, even though we had told two of their front desk staff members we were not moving. Overall, housekeeping was very slow and unresponsive. We asked for our room to be cleaned, only to return four hours later to find that it hadn't been touched. Management offered us a free buffet dinner to apologize for the inconvenience, which we were reluctant to use since the food quality of the breakfast buffet was so low.

We spent most of our time eating at restaurants outside the resort after disappointing meals in the resort. Although the breakfast buffet had all the elements you would expect (fruit, cereal, pancakes, eggs, Asian and Western options), the quality was very low, sometimes inedible. Bacon was so tough it couldn't be eaten, omelets were runny and raw, and several of the cereals we tried were stale. We had to get up and find waiters to ask for coffee and tea since no one was paying attention.

I was surprised to see in another review that the hotel is only 2.5 years old. It seems much older and worn, and the facilities do not seem well-kept.

Another thing that really surprised us was the unfriendliness of the staff, particularly the front desk and housekeeping staff. On our other trips to Thailand, one of the highlights was always the welcoming and friendly nature of the Thai people. It's one of the many reasons we keep returning to Thailand. However, at Centara, most of the staff we encountered were unfriendly and surly. There were a few exceptions, but overall, we were very disappointed. We salvaged the vacation by trying to focus on the great location, interacting with the staff as little as possible and eating at restaurants on the beach or in town. Next time we return to Thailand, we will not be staying at this resort.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank MexicoCityTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear MexicoCityTraveler

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback. I must apologize for the inconvenience you experienced.

We assure you that the experience you had is not representative of the service we strive to provide.

Your comments are important to us and we have shared them with our team so that we can improve upon the issues you mentioned.

I hope that you would allow us another opportunity to welcome you back and provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Preston, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Just returned from a few weeks at this hotel and would recommend to others esp with families tho we didn t have any with us!! The hotel is lovely and well positioned and we appreciated the lovely setting away from Karon but within easy distance to there or Patong( not for the faint hearted!) . The staff were really helpful especially at the Italian restaurant which was fab but really there are so many places to eat away from the hotel we didn t get to any others.Returning to the hotel after a few days away caused a lot of confusion and we felt the staff on the front desk were not very helpful at all but this was a minor incident overall and a special thanks to all the staff and especially Yu who was always friendly and so helpful.The pools and beach were wonderful esp the adults only pool and we never had any trouble getting sunbeds where ever we were.Everyone seems to rate block 9 but really we found most blocks were well positioned and the rooms were great though we found the cleanliness lacking at times esp in block 6.We went on a couple of trips and our rep helped us hire a taxi for a few hrs which then took us to view points and temples which was great and we used the hotel taxi service nearly daily which was the same price as local firms.I would recommend this hotel as a good beach holiday but get out and about too.We used Kai s for lunch on the beach -the food is cheap and lovely and there are huts to buy drinks melon etc which we also used.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank harry1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear harry1994

Thank you very much for your feedback regarding your recent experience. We are glad that you enjoyed your stat with us, and your favorite Adults only pool.

However, your comments on the front desk staff & cleanliness are well noted and will be addressed to ensure a higher consistency of service.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed in an One Bedroom Pool Villa for 7 nights the room was amazing with a warm pool overlooking the ocean. The pool facilities were amazing especially the lazy river. All of the staff were very friendly and went the extra mile to make sure you were happy.Had one bad meal but the hotel took care of it and removed it from the bill. Great beach!!!
Thanks Centara GBP for a great holiday

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gordongordon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Gordongordon G

Thank you very much for your generous compliments. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed our facilities and the friendliness of staff. We look forward to welcoming you on your next trip!

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the centara grand for 9 nights on our honeymoon from the 17th January and had a wonderful time.
After a hectic couple of days in Bangkok, we were very much looking forward to some chill out time in Phuket.
We arrived late in the evening so the reception was a little quieter, with only one person on the desk, however, we were dealt with straight away, and whilst checking in was bought over a fruit cocktail from the bar which was a nice touch, Lydia, who checked us in, then personally escorted us to our room, answering all out questions along the way which I was impressed by as a personal touch.
We stayed in a deluxe spa room, which we could not fault at all, loads of room, and the view was stunning! The spa outside was fab, I was worried about the complaints of yellow water, and I'm happy to say ours was fine, there is a slight tint, but it's certainly not 'dirty' or disgusting as some reviews have stated!
The hotel size surprised me the most, people say it's really big, we didn't find this at all, we went for a walk when we got there, and found everything really easily an quickly and the following day, knew every part of the hotel.
We loved the pools, equally enjoyed the slides and swim up bar and also the quiter adult only pool with its beautiful views.
The beach is stunning and we loved our morning walks along it, the drinks place on the beach is worth a go, every drink going for half the price of the hotel!
Karon is a 15min walk along the beach, or 200 baht taxi ride. We ate out every night, there is plenty of choice in karon, we enjoyed the bamboo house in particular. The best part of here is the well being, we had some of the best spa treatments we have ever had. The hotels spa is simply amazing. In karon you can have a full 1 hr massage for £10 and they are brilliant.
The breakfast at the hotel is what you would expect for a full buffet, plenty of choice. We loved it, in our opinion we thought the people were helpful and polite and wouldn't even think twice about going back, in fact we are booking for next year as we speak!
Have a very happy holiday, I am sick with jealously!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank natalie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear natalie R

Thank you very much for posting an outstanding review. We are pleased to read that you had a wonderful time during your stay with us and I have shared your comments with our team and they are delighted to know about your excellent feedback on service.

We can not wait to welcoming you back.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We had high expectations of this hotel as we had spent some time looking at different places to stay in Thailand to celebrate my 'special' birthday.
Having booked through Virgin Holidays, my husband then sent an email directly to the hotel to inform them that I was celebrating a significant birthday and to see what they could do to help make it special (as he had seen that in a number of reviews, people celebrating something special were given either a room upgrade or were treated very well).
He received an email from a manager to confim they would do their best to provide us with the best available room and a birthday cake.
However on arrival, it was quite apparant that the room (despite being nice) was not an upgrade on what had been booked anyway. My husband told me about the email that he had sent and I pointed out that possibly the hotel was at 100% capacity, hence us getting that room. However, during our stay it became clear that the hotel was not 100% full so that could not have been the case.

We also had to raise a couple of issues during out stay as follows:
The air-con in the gym was broken on a number of days (and never appeared fixed), the temperature controls were broken and fixed at 24.5/25, despite trying to turn the controls down to 18/19 they would go straight back up again.
I informed management of this problem on 3 occasions, they appeared to take on board what I said and told me they would sort it but not once did anyone come back to me with an update and it continued to not work. After the 3 attempts of getting it fixed (and getting no updates from management) we stopped using the gym (which was very frustrating as were wanting to train and it was too hot to do so).

After a few days also we noticed that the floor had not been swept in our room, once again I informed the management and they told me they would get that sorted. I am pleased to say that the room was cleaner after raising that.

On arrival we had met with our tour operator representative Yim who was very helpful and she knew it was my birthday, so she spoke to my husband and confirmed with him that she was also going to speak to the management about making my birthday special and arranged that a cake would be delivered to my room courtesy of the management at 6pm on my birthday.

We returned to the room at that time and firstly I noticed that despite the cards that I had opened that morning being dotted around my room, there was no sign of the hotel recognising it was my birthday. There was no petals on the bed, or towels in the shape of a swan and most importantly there was no cake. I felt an overwhelming feeling of disappointment - this was not the first time I have stayed at a resort hotel for my birthday and have always had lovely gestures from hotels and seeing that this was a special birthday I suppose I just expected more.
We then waited in the room for an hour to see if the cake would appear and nothing...
My husband was very angry by this point as he could tell I was upset and he rang down to reception. It was quite clear that no-one had sorted out the cake and it been forgotten. They then did make a cake and we got it a couple of hours later.
I know this might seem silly to make such a fuss about this, but I was of the impression that the hotel was going to make me feel special for my birthday.
We also discovered during our time that there was a meet the manager drinks reception - we weren't invited - were we not good enough or important enough to meet the manager?

So in conclusion the hotel was fine, the infinity pool was beautiful and the staff very pleasant but the management are at fault for not giving guests that 'something special' that my husband and I have experienced in other hotels around the world.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MrsPodge73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear MrsPodge73

Thank you for taking your time placing the review.

I am sorry that we could not manage to have your room upgraded. Even though we were not 100% occupied, the hotel was running at a very high occupancy there were therefore no rooms of a higher category that could accommodate you for the whole period of your stay. I hope you understand our situation.

Regarding the birthday cake, it was specially ordered one day before your birthday and it was supposed to be served in the room in the evening of your special day, however, we are sorry if it was not there at the time you expected.

The management cocktail is held weekly for different types of guests who booked their accommodation through different channels, I am sorry that the invitation was not sent to your room.

Anyway, thank you for the positive comments on our pool and friendly staff.


Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2013

This hotel has everything from a great Italian restaurant to infinity pools and waterslides. It even has great diving rocks and a lazy river superb for kids. It's right on a beautiful sandy beach with its own FREE sunbeds and parasols. The breakfast buffet is good, Patong is 15 mins away (300bht) and the main town of Karon is 5 mins away (200bht) in a taxi or tut tut. The rooms and service are top notch, but not 5*, and also avoid eating in the hotel if your on a budget. We stayed there at the beginning of Jan and it was overrun with Russians - I'll say no more !! (The second week there was less of them). Overall I was not disappointed and would definitely return again!

Room Tip: get up early to get a free beach sunbed !!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank herbisoxs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear herbisoxs

We are extremely glad to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us including Italian food, water facilities, the location of the resort, plus rooms and the service.

We just can not wait to welcome you back.

Warm regards
Fongfa Eadjongdee
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

WOW !! What can I say, the place is amazing.Everything you want and more. My kids had a fantastic time (8 and 11). The pools, the lazy river, rock jumping and kids club kept them pretty busy. Lifeguards at every pool activity made the kids feel safe. They make an effort with all the kids, they know all the names after one day. Girls at the kids club were fantastic !! AOM Thank you !! We stayed in block 8 which was close to the pool and beach, would highly recommend it for a family. The room was fantastic beautiful, we had fresh fruit everyday, our rooms checked twice a day, and you don't have to worry about bottled water, there is plenty of it !! The resort itself is little out of the way which makes it really peacefully and quiet. It was 15 min walk to Karon on the beach, very pleasant walk. Staff are gracious, kind, sweet and over willing to accommodate you ( big thanks to SAK) Can't really fault it !! We were all happy and we would stay there again any time. One more thing BREAKFAST !! TO DIE FOR !!! you will have a hard time deciding what to eat, you must try the banana roti amazing !!!

Room Tip: Block 8-9 great for families, close to the pool.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank agusiak65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Dear agusiak65

Thank you very much for your kind review. We are extremely delighted that you had a heavenly stay with us.

We do hope to welcome you again soon.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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 classic Sino-Portuguese architecture that characterises Phuket Town, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is set directly on the sands at Karon Beach, backed by a green hill, and grouped around its own water park. The resort offers a memorable holiday experience for everyone: couples and families will love the exhilarating leisure activities, the water sports, and of course the water park, and corporate and incentive groups have fine meeting facilities. The accommodation offers a comforting and relaxing ambience for all, and for guests preferring seclusion, the villas provide exclusivity along with great views, and come with the Club category benefits. The award-winning spa, SPA Cenvaree, is a luxurious treat that everyone will enjoy, and has suites for singles and couples. The drive to and from Phuket International Airport is easy and convenient, and takes less than one hour by road. ... 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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