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“everything it promised” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Centara Karon Resort Phuket

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Centara Karon Resort Phuket
Ranked #17 of 132 Hotels in Karon
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“everything it promised”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2009

Booked trip last minute due to long awaited trip to mexico cancelled.Holiday last minute but far from disapointing . Upgraded room to superior ocean view when booking and view was amazing.Service always comes with a smile.Breakfast choice caters for all.Located within easy reach of beach,bars restaurants and shops.Fantasea show worth paying to go and see and scuba diving trips njoyed by hubby.Beware if a wine drinker expensive wherever you go but food and local beer lovely.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
1 Thank anderson48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2009

I have been to the far east many times and have always booked good quality hotels
We booked this hotel through an agent in the far east, We read many reviews in the UK which we thought were contradicting so took advice from my agent who said it was a good hotel ??
I booked a Deluxe Lagoon Room, sounds fantastic, unfortunately not, on entering the room we could smell a damp musty smell, the bed was so hard we have slept on softer floors, the matress topper was non existent, on removal of the pillow cases the pillows where brown discoloured and had this stink about them, (use your own imagination) and last of all the air conditioning sounded like working in a ships engine room, and we used a towel to soak up condensation from the air con, on the floor.
TV reception was a snow storm
Overall i would give this room a two star
Next morning i sent a letter to the manager who appologised and was promptly shown another room, an upgrade free of charge as an appology
This room was a lot better, This was a superior deluxe room,
The maid used a duvet as a matress topper, and gave usnew pillows the air con was fine and tv good
We thought we had things sorted, Oh no !, construction started, refitting steel balcony rails, welding and grinding above our room, health and safety non existent men welding without gloves and welding masks, working in flip flops, sparks showering down on people, this went on for 6 days
No wonder they can build anything so cheap as life is cheap !
I have taken many photos and are going to seek compensation even if i get a free week or two accomodation, this would be enough,
The hotel has lots of potential but needs upgrading, the pools are good, poolside bar and snack bar employees need praise as they are always tring to please.
Many que for the buffet breakfast on the morning, so they find it hard to cope, a bit under staffed.
Lots of people complaints about this hotel
May be give it a 3 star

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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    • 3 of 5 bubbles
1 Thank markd2k11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2009

Absolutely loved the Centara and wouldnt hesitate to recommend to friends!!

Be aware that there is currently a building site in close vicinity and the noise sometimes woke us up early in the morning or even during the night but you could request a room away from this area if you find it bothers you and it wasnt enough of a problem to affect our stay too much.

Hotel itself we found to be a quiet pretty tropical oasis in the centre of Karon Town.
Bars, shops and restaurants surround the hotels resort grounds so you're never far from what you need.
Whilst not on the beach, it is within a 5 min walk past the main street of shops, bars and restaurants and we preffered the pool's in the hotel on relaxation days anyway as they were so peaceful.
The sea current on Karon Beach is quite strong and the beach itself, although large with ultra soft powdery sand, sometimes seemed slightly grubby with rubbish left by other tourists which was a shame.

Staff friendly and helpful and hotel facilities were well run and maintained. There are 3 or 4 pools serving the different accomodations areas but you can use any and they all have pool bars and plenty of sun loungers including pool towels.

Our room was in the high rise terrace block and it was modern and comfortable and of a good size. The maids kept it spotless throughout our stay.
The only quibble would be that the shower was quite hard to operate - it was a little eratic with its hot and cold output but we didnt mind the cold showers after a long hot day in the sunshine, and the water pressure was a little poor.

The onsite restaurant food was superb, as was room service.
You dont pay cash for food and drink on site but rather assign them to your room and settle the bill as you please or on departure.
The breakfast buffet was fine, we never had an issue with the temperature of food or availabilty of it as others have mentioned, we were always down for breakfast by 10.15am (they stop serving at 10.30am).
I even got a birthday cake left in my room on my birthday from the staff, I hadnt mentioned my birthday so they must have taken this information from our check in details... very thoughtful and very tasty!

The hotel bar is a nice, relaxed place for a cocktail in the evening and they also show sport for the men out there who dont like to miss out.

The Cenvaree spa is well worth a visit as well, so tranquil and relaxing with professional staff and excellent massages.

All in all we loved our time at Centara and would definately return... I didnt want to leave.

Remember that a small tip for the bell boys, room cleaners etc goes a long way...
Also bartering with prices is a must. You cant do this in main stores where items are pre priced but in markets and other smaller shops then haggle well. For example a dress in one store was quoted at 1000 baht but soon reduced to 500 baht once we seemed less interested...also barter with tuk tuk drivers and taxis.

Karon itself was a great base to explore from, its close to Kata and Patong by taxi or tuk tuk and there is a local bus which takes you to Phuket Town. We took two day speedboat trips to Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay with a company recommended on trip advisor (Simba Sea Tours, see seperate review) and an afternoon safari and elephant trek with Siam Safari - all of which were excellent and both companies highly recommended.
We also saw Phantasea evening show which we really enjoyed.

In Karon itself you will experience lots of local vendors asking you want a suit, tuk tuk, taxi or massage but a smile and a no thanks seemed to be enough at the times you are not interested.

However the suit sellers can be a little more pushy and try to engage you in conversation to draw you into their store. We did actually want to buy a suit while there but were intially put off by their pushiness.

A small tip was that we found out there are only a few genuine thai tailors in Karon (the thai tailors will never be outside their stores touting business, you go to them if you want something) and so we sought out one of these on a recommendation from a fellow hotel guest as we wanted genuine quality, a good price and better more relaxed service. We used CRYSTAL tailors on the main road and would recommend them.
They have set prices dependant on the material you choose but the prices were reasonable compared to some of those quoted by the other vendors and the quality good.

Cant wait to return to Thailand one day...

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
9 Thank SharonBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Coast
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2009

Just got back from a 10 day stay at the Centara with our 3 Children 11,9 & 2. Upon arriving at the resort our room was not ready either. We stayed at the Lagoon family room which we found was probably the best room for a family. The rooms are clean although a little outdated (bathroom in particular). We didn't enjoying showering in the yellow water that was coming out of the taps either.
We did eat a few times in the resort which was nice but overpriced compared to outside the resort. We had our first meal directly outside the resort at the Irish pub called Angus O'Tools, The food was terrible although I will say the drinks were icy cold. Had some lovely thai meals just outside the resort at a Thai restaurant called Papaya. Overall we found the western food was very overpriced and not of good quality.
Went into the kids club a couple of times with my children and found kids where walking in and out freely and the one staff member that was rostered on had no idea who was signed in and who wasn't. A little bit slap happy for me.
Overall we did have a nice time but for our next family holiday we will be looking elsewhere for our next trip.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
2 Thank CazzCentralCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2009

Just got back from 10 day stay at the centara.
was very pleasant stay and would certainly recommend it.

we arrived after long flight and were given drinks while they made up our room. That took just over half an hour which wasn't great. When you have just flown half way round the world 30 mins seems a hell of a lot longer. (bad start).

The room was excellent. We stayed in the cabana. It had 2 big double beds, plenty of space, cable tv, kettle,mini fridge and a very powerful shower which was brilliant.
The cabana was brilliant to cool off and i spent many hours just sitting in it relaxing and reading, very peaceful, plus in the cabana you get 2 free cocktails. just don't have the melon one! my god! that was awful, like a drain blew out into it. not sure what that means but it was bad. have a mai tai or a pina colada......nice.......anyway...

Breakfast was really good, a big selection of all the usual things (cereal,pastries,bacon.juice,fruits)plus a suprise or two. The freshly cooked pancakes
were great!
We had room service quite a bit and it was a decent price and really delicious.
For evening meals i would suggest going out of the hotel because the prices are much better and there are many nice places to eat within a few hundred metres. The hotel right on the doorstep has an excellent menu and we wished we found it earlier.
There are a few 7-11 type shops around which were really useful for getting cold drinks for the fridge or whatever.

We had the same thing at checkout as the review below. Not as bad but we paid our bill the night before we left so there wouldnt be any problem the next morning. all done.
However, next morning a couple of things showed up from the mini fridge that hadnt showed up the night before. A pain to argue over when you are expecting your airport transfer any minute.

Other than that this hotel was brilliant, the pools were excellent, never saw any problems over seating or towels. dont know where people are getting that from.
Just a really relaxing base to explore a little of the island.
would certainly recommend the hotel and also the elephant trek trip.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
3 Thank Randy_marsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2009

Had a very pleasant 4-night stay at this hotel -- until check-out. That was when the cashier said to me that she had been advised by the maid staff that there was an umbrella missing from my room. I thought this was an odd comment given that the only umbrellas in my room were the two we had brought ourselves.

I immediately argued, saying there never was an umbrella in the room. To which the cashier replied: The supervisor inspects each room before a party checks in to ensure everything is there. To which I replied, in an increasingly loud tone: There was no umbrella in the room when we checked in, and we brought our own anyway!!!

The cashier finally said, "OK," and that was that.

So basically, I would say that since I am not the only one who has had these problems at check-out (read some of the other reviews), this hotel is not very smart. When you have a problem at check-out, that becomes your lasting memory of the hotel. So we left angry.

Of course, this is typical of how many Thais do business: When the economy is in shambles and street protests and riots scare away tourists, the natural reaction is to try to extract more money out of those who do visit. I would think the cashier was not thrilled that not only had I gotten a great deal with an online booking service, but I did not spend a single baht at the hotel on the overpriced food or beverages. So why not try to get some cash by accusing me of stealing or losing an umbrella?

But all was not bad...

I think the most important thing to understand about this hotel is that it is not 5-star, and maybe not even a clear 4-star. Some parts are 3 star, others 4 star.

Another thing is, I think the level to which you enjoy the hotel depends a great deal on how much you paid. Like I said, I got a terrific low-season bargain on the Internet. So I was generally pleased. But if I had paid a high-season rate, I would have been very disappointed.

ROOMS: Stayed in a Lagoon deluxe. Good size room, good size bathroom, very clean, good lighting, spacious balcony overlooking the pool . My only complaint would be the furnishings were very old and worn. So again, if I had paid top dollar in high season, I would have been disappointed.

POOLS: No reason at all to complain one bit about the three lovely pools. The Lagoon pool was ideal for kids and seemed to be the most popular pool overall. But our favorite by far was the Tropicale pool. This was the largest pool and had the fewest people. Really lovely. And just a one-minute walk from the Lagoon area. Did not hang out at the Terrace pool but had a peek. Seemed OK, but not nearly as nice as the Tropicale.

BREAKFAST: Very mixed bag here. It's a large buffet in a large and nice restaurant. The food itself was very good, with a nice selection of the usual fare, both Thai and Western. Good selection of breads and pastries. Would have been nice to see a bit more focus on the fresh fruit. The pineapple was not very good, which is hard to believe considering you are on Phuket.

A major complaint was that the restaurant was VERY hot -- especially if you sit in the main part in the middle, away from the sides. So be prepared to sweat while eating. They had some ceiling fans on very low speed which did practically nothing. And no air conditioning as the room is open on the sides.

Much has been written about the wait to get a table at breakfast, and it is all true. I was there in low season, and had to wait three of the four mornings. I can only imagine what goes on during high season. I would imagine some people wait for a pretty long time. What was most disturbing, though, was that there really was no reason to wait. There were plenty of empty tables, but they were not being turned around fast enough. It was very obvious. Also, they have one hostess who has to 1) check the party in (what is your room number? how many people?), 2) scout out the open tables, and 3) bring the party to the table. There should be more than one person doing this.

STAFF: Overall, very nice, though not extraordinary. The room cleaning staff were very good. Our room was cleaned while we ate breakfast.

LOCATION: Pretty decent. Plenty of restaurants and convenience stores just outside the hotel. Five minutes from the beach. But the beach is nothing special, so we spent all our time at the pools, which was more than fine.

So, overall, we were satisfied but had to deduct some points for the way we were accused of stealing/losing an imaginary umbrella.

I'd recommend for couples as well as families -- but only if you get a good deal on the Internet.

5 Thank Erniecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,638 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2,074 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2009

This is a three star resort style hotel in Karon set about 5 minutes walk from the beach. It’s a reasonably priced hotel, Karon has a wonderful stretch of beach, a lively small resort a few miles from Patong. The hotel is a mixture of different styles with high rise blocks, cabanas to mid size white painted terraces that you would see in many Mediterranean holiday destinations.

We stayed in the family deluxe rooms. Check in was drawn out, although we arrived in the afternoon, our room was not yet ready and the staff were reluctant to tell us this. This meant we had to hang about for over a hour, and the welcome drink was as bad as it looked served on a strangely shaped glass. Next time just hand out plain boring Orange juice.

Once we went into the room, the size and amenities were as expected for this type of a hotel. It was a large room for a family unit. The downside was the rather drab colour scheme and the use of black. We are in family rooms in Phuket, how about some bright colours to add some wow.

The pool area was very nice, plenty of activities for the children. There was a swim up bar. There would be sun loungers available in the afternoon, although you would need to get your towels on them early in the morning. There was another large pool in the hotel, but we did not use that much. They had a kids club but we did not use it.

They also have a very good spa and a range of treatments that are reasonable price. Keep a look out for the deals of the day. In fact the spa was a highlight for my wife.

As I have said the resort did look a bit too much like those Mediterranean hotels, you almost forget that you are in Phuket although the Big Buddha on the mountain is visible from the hotel. Its only when you walk around the gardens and see the varied flora you realise you are in the Far East.

The hotel is popular with Scandinavians, although on our visit there was a mixture of Brits, Australians, French and Germans as well. I felt that the Hotel could have done more to mix the guests up. Although the hotel listed plenty of activities I always wondered where they were taking place. In our part of the pool there would be Aerobics and Volleyball only. There needed to be more cajoling done by pool staff to get the kids to play together I felt. They kids club staff could definitely done more to recruit the kids out by the pool. I have seen it done in other hotels. I remember seeing a dressed up kids character once coming to the pool area, shaking hands with the children and then disappearing. Never saw him again and none of the staff mentioned where he came from or use the occasion to get the children to kids club.

Breakfast was excellent. We ate in two locations and considering this is a three star hotel, the quality and range was almost 5 star levels. The croissants were of good, fresh quality, there were freshly cooked omelettes, and fresh fruit. The only downside was that the juices felt slightly diluted and I would like more potatoes such as Hash Browns regularly than something like mashed potatoes which we got some mornings.

The hotel also does themed buffets several times a week. On our first day there, it was Italian night, which did lead the head of food to joke that ‘you came all the way to Thailand to have a pizza.’ The buffet meals would be accompanied by a cabaret show. We tried the Thai night and saw the Thai dance show. You do not have to eat the meal to see the show, but unlike many other hotels I felt the show was on a bit too early at 8:00 pm.

Although Karon is more subdued than nearby Patong, there is enough liveliness. There are bars, restaurants, 7-11s, dentists, Thai massage shops, market stalls, and internet cafes. The hotel provides regular one way shuttles to Patong at 100 Baht per person.

Overall I found the hotel to be a decent resort hotel. It may be a three star but it sets it sights high. Good food, good price, good accommodation but it could be better in some areas, such as brightening up the hotel. Also although the bell boys were friendly I found the other staff to be rather distant and at odds with the welcoming image of Thai hotel staff.

It may be more to do with management issues, I could not help noting that Centara executive managers were Europeans (The hotel has a newsletter of the Centara group and I did not see any Thai in high positions in their resort hotels) that may have something to do with it.

We wanted late checkout for our final day and the reception wanted us to pay the day rate. We reminded them that we had to wait to check in so they extended check out for us for two hours for free.

However the one major surprise I did have was an attempt to sneak in some extra charges at the end of my stay. The hotel delivers two glass bottles to the room per day. Not sure why it’s not plastic bottles. If the empty glass bottles are not there the next day, they give you a small fine which I discovered when I got the interim bill on my final night. It was only a couple of Baht so it was no big deal. Not sure where our missing bottle went. But that was not the problem.

However upon checkout the receptionist wanted to charge us an extra £40.00 because they said we damaged the bed sheets and presented the evidence. It seems our youngest child whilst doodling on his sketch pad left some pen marks, something that would be washed out rather easily. But no they wanted £40.00 for one white sheet for a double bed with a few pen marks that I could buy for few pounds in any supermarket in the UK.

What upset us more that although this damage happened in the middle of our stay and picked up by the maids, they did not list it in the interim bill but kept it back until we checked out. I would say it was sneaky and I will deduct one star from my final ratings for this.

My wife was not impressed and informed reception that one of the sheets when we checked in had burn marks. Did they charge that guest £40.00 for the damage and then re-used the sheets? After a little bit of negotiation the bill was reduced to £10.00. In all our travels it’s the first time we have encountered something like this and obviously far from pleased. They were hoping we would be in a rush when checking out and would not argue the point. So beware the sneaky maids who snitch on the guests.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
5 Thank PrestonGuild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Centara Karon Resort Phuket

Property: Centara Karon Resort Phuket
Address: 502/3 Patak Road | Karon Beach, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand (Formerly Central Karon Beach Resort)
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Karon
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Karon
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Karon
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Karon
#10 Spa Hotel in Karon
#15 Family Hotel in Karon
#16 Luxury Hotel in Karon
#18 Romantic Hotel in Karon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Centara Karon Resort Phuket 4*
Number of rooms: 335
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Centara Karon Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
Centara Karon Hotel Phuket
Centara Hotel Karon

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