The resort was right on the beach at the quieter end of Karon, only a 10 minute walk to Karon itself. It was perfect for us with 4 and 5 year old girls. There were so many swimming pools that the kids could stand up in, two water slides, a lazy river and a jumping pool (from an elevated level). The kids club was fantastic, being complementary it was awesome (you only paid for certain activities like the movie night and painting), this meant there were more kids attending so ours wanted to go all the time. They had a schedule of activities to keep them occupied. It was great to drop them off at 9am so we could have an hour to ourselves, pick them back up for a swim, then take them back in the afternoon for a break from the sun whilst we could enjoy a cocktail by the pool, perfect. One of the kids club carers Rose was lovely and clearly adores all the children.
There was also nightly entertainment outside on a stage on water from 8pm-9pm, the kids loved this too and it was great because we'd ensure we had a table outside overlooking the stage and the kids would join the other children in watching and dancing along to the show whilst we could relax over dinner and drinks.
We did have an issue with the room on arrival, we booked for a family of four and were given a room with one bed, when I called to ask reception where the children were meant to sleep, he replied with "how old are they?" "can't they share the bed with you" from which I promptly replied "urm, no". The room also smelt of cigarette smoke so strongly so we were moved to a better room with two double beds. After we managed to get towels delivered as there weren't any, we were given a complementary fruit basket and a letter of apology for the inconvenience of having to move rooms (we finally got settled 2 hours after arriving), however you get complementary fruit in the room anyway as standard, so a bottle of wine or money towards a meal in one of the restaurants would have been more appreciative. We had a room very close to the beach and it had a spa bath on the balcony, it was amazing to sit in the bath looking over the ocean. They aren't really that private though so you have to be aware that you could be seen.
My in laws had a disaster with their room, having moved rooms to be closer to our new room (the grandkids had to be near nanny and poppy), their air con broke down one night. After complaining and two failed attempts to fix it they were told it would be fixed whilst we went on a day trip. It wasn't until we came back in the evening that they realised it still hadn't been fixed and noone had told them, after another night of a very hot room they complained and were moved to another room for the night. Then were moved to the room they first started in the next night but were told a family would be coming in the following night so they would have to move back to the room with no aircon. They refused to move back so after much complaining were allowed to stay. Only problem was the complex is a maze, so they were quite a distance away from us. I find many of the front of house staff can't understand English that well.
All in all the hotel is fantastic for families with young children over 4 (as they can be dropped at the kids club), the food was fantastic in both restaurants, happy hour in the Luna Bar was lovely, albeit service was slow, the nightly entertainment was appreciated and the gym was good. The best part was the view from our room, amazing (we were in room 147).
Tips - don't order a taxi from the hotel, go up the hill to the entrance to the resort and there is a much cheaper taxi rank. There is a great restaurant in Karon called Red Onion, cheap as chips and food is fantastic, it's always packed out.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a modern five-star luxury resort built directly on the foreshores of Karon Beach. Designed with distinct Phuket colonial Sino-Portuguese architecture, the luxury accommodation comprises of 262 guestrooms and villas. All guestrooms have a balcony and are ocean facing. Room types consist of spa suites, pool suites, deluxe suites and one and two bedroom villas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon