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“Best 5* Resort I've ever stayed”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #4 of 107 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best 5* Resort I've ever stayed”
Reviewed March 30, 2009

* Location: extraordinary.
Surrounded by the National Park of Krabi and having the most amazing sea view.
* Rooms: more than spacious, clean, modern and luxurious.
* Service: more than perfect. The staff is very friendly, helpful and highly trained for a 5* resort. We got royal treatment by all the staff.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NADIN_athens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Finland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Stayed there for two weeks in Feb-Mar 2009. Room was excellent with nice view etc. Beach and swimming pool area were nice and reasonably clean except the sun beds which were wery worn out and old, not at all 5* quality. Service at the pool area were friendly. Special thanks to Mr Mom and Mr Golf for their friendliness.

We had two children with us and found it very hard to get to Ao Nang, first days there was no room in the hotel transport boat and we had to carry our kids and buggy over the hill to get to to town. Transportation got better after few days stay but it was still difficult because there were not many boats going there and back.

Service was defenitely not 5* and most of the staff were not interested of quests well being. Prices were also incredibly high which is normal in 5 star hotel but you have to get servise and good food for return! It seemed that the hotel had put the prices up because there were no choise to go and eat somewhere else because guests were kept like prisoners at the hotel. They should have a non stop boat going to Ao Nang and back, even an hourly transportation would help the guests a lot.

The day we left the boat did not leave before minibar was checked, although we told at the check-out that we had not used the minibar. We were charged a bag of sweets, which was "missing" from the room (our daughter was given a small bag of sweets from the smiley chaimbermaid the day we arrived ) As we wanted to catch our flight we did not argue with the staff about the sweets, but it left an ugly taste in to our mouths from this" 5* luxury" .

Only five star thing in this hotel was the beautiful location and rooms and public areas. Couple of years ago we stayed in Centara hotel in Hua Hin and our expectations for service is based on that and other 5 *experiences around the world. In Hua Hin we received good service from smiley hotel staff. We have not complained about hotels before but Centara Grand Beach is defenitely not a five star hotel and I know that we are not the only disapointed guests.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Littlefishfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Here is a brief review of my weeklong stay at Centara in Krabi. There are many more positives than negatives, but I've elaborated more on the negative points so as to be clear what the problems were.

Positives:
- Staff very helpful and friendly.
- Location fantastic.
- Rooms lovely.
- Nice, quiet beach. The other nice beaches in bays nearby were slightly crowded, whereas Phai Plong, exclusively hosts Centara hotel, which means the beach is almost empty.
- Pool a pleasure.
- Nice tennis courts.
- Fun kickboxing lesson.

Negatives:
- Dined one evening in the hotel restaurant Lotus Court and one night in Rim Saai. Both meals were disappointing. In Lotus Court, both my girlfriend and I were served main courses which were a variation from what we had ordered on the menu. The chef obviously didn't have the ingredients. This is rather poor. In addition to this, the meals were very expensive. For approximately a quarter of the price, we had far superior meals in Ao Nang.
- Resort is fairly isolated in bay of it's own. (Obviously, this is also a strength, as mentioned above). Some might get a little bored and want to visit the more lively surrounding areas.There are 3 ways out of the resort to Ao Nang: 1) The shuttle boat, a free service provided by the Centara. We found this to be very good. 2) The monkey trail walk. This takes about 15 minutes, but I wouldn recommend it to the elderly, very young or anyone else during the hottest part of the day. 3) Wade through the sea around the bay when the tide is out. This was actualy easier than the monkey trail.

Overall:
I would recommend this to any of my friends. Only disappointment was the quality and price of food on site. However, this was easily avoided with evening shuttle trips to Ao Nang.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BexleyMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penzance
Level Contributor
110 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2009

We stayed at the Centara for 9 nights in March 2009. Like many others, we read the reviews on Trip Advisor and were slightly concerned at some reports. However, bearing in mind that one man's meat is another man's poison, we went with open minds.

CHECK IN
From the reviews, we were prepared! Our driver from the airport did however inform us that we were to be transferred to another mode of transport at a location in Ao Nang to be taken to the boat. On arrival at the check-in centre, a delightfully smiling young lady informed us that we were in a check-in area and would shortly be transferred to the boat which would take us to the resort. She then asked for a credit card to earmark 25,000 Baht, gave us a drink and snack and we were off! We arrived at Centrara and were whisked amid lush tropical gardens in a golf buggy to our room. Very "Fantasy Island"!

ACCOMMODATION
Wow! We booked a Premium Deluxe Club Room and it was fantastic, with views to match. Absolutely fabulous bathroom and spotlessly clean. We had booked the Club package which came with two items of laundry per day, fruit, turn down service etc. The doorbell rang more times than at home!

STAFF
What can we say? Lovely, friendly, smiling and nothing too much trouble (not that we wanted for much!). We passed many of the same staff everyday who always had a huge smile and greeting. A special mention for Hasun whose smile and genuine interest in our wellbeing was touching. Not only to us, but all guests.

LOGISTICS
The modes of transport to and from the resort are by boat or walk the monkey trail. We used the courtesy boat to Ao Nang on three occasions. We perhaps would have used this more, but the unseasonal weather put us off! We had some seriously heavy rain on many of the first few evenings and stayed at the hotel on most nights. That being said, we never had a problem booking places on the boats of our choice on the few nights we ventured out.

The monkey trail is definitely worth doing - a bit hot and sweaty, but the monkeys are a joy to watch. Yes, be careful if you are carrying bags - they're greedy! They also play to the crowd on the Ao Nang side of the walkway, which gives much amusement. The walkway is a bit wobbly in places and you need to take care. It is also quite steep at either end. Not advisable at night, especially if you've had a drop or two!

The pontoon is a little rocky, but yes great fun. Most definitely not for the disabled.

PRICES
Yes, the cost of meals etc in the resort are, most definitely, more expensive that Ao Nang. This is, however, not unusual in hotels around the world. Wine is expensive in Thailand and this goes for the hotel. That being said, we purchased a cheaper bottle of wine in the hotel (a drinkable Austalian red) than we could find in Ao Nang!

The breakfast buffet is absolutely superb and accompanied by excellent service and also Roberto on the piano!

Although we had purchased the Club package, we did not use the Club room at lunchtime for snacks and drinks, but chose to eat at "On the Rocks" on our days in the resort. Again, lovely staff, especially Jak who always had a smile and polite inquiry of our wellbeing. For two toasted sandwiches (which came with fries and garnish), two beers and water - about £24 - a little expensive!

We found the restaurants however well attended and all with excellent food. The Thai restaurant was superb. There was always a themed evening taking place. A "Full Moon Romantic Dinner" took place on one evening (obviously to coincide with the full moon), which we very stupidly bypassed for a trip to Ao Nang. The evening was clear and rain free and the setting at On the Rocks was beautiful and the event fully booked! Our loss!

SUMMARY
All in all a lovely time was had by us two. We have travelled the world and give the thumbs up to Centara in Krabi. If we put our minds to it, we all can always find fault with something, but there is nothing about this resort which we personally found deterred from our enjoyment. We certainly would return. We were both wet eyed at the send off on departure from the wobbly pontoon!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank mandkPenzance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumbria
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2009

I use trip advisor quite a bit and I was certainly concerned about the mixed reviews about this hotel but having just returned from five nights there I belive it is important to add my views. We stayed in a deluxe club seaview room.
I want to start by responding to some of the negative comments submitted by others. First the loaction. Yes it is outside the main resort but having visited the resort this a truly positve point. Yes you have to get a boat or walk. We had no problem what so ever booking a boat when weanted it. Yes the pontoon jetty does move but it is perfectly safe and is a bit of fun. The staff are more than helpful in getting you on and off the boats. The second way into town is over the footpath which is steep in places but again safe and well lit at night. A small minority of people complained about both aspects when we were there. When asked if they knew about it before coming they all said yes. My reponse was why book then. If you know what you are getting then enjoy it do not complain for the sake of complaining.
The second negative point I disagree with were the comments re the staff. We found them to be very polite and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. They all had a smile on their faces and a warm welcome.
Finally the prices in the restaurant and this one I have to agree with compared to the town it is expensive but you are not made to eat there and it is so easy to get into town were there are loads of choices.
The hotel room was excellent it was spacious and very clean. The jacuzzi was a treat and filled up in no time at all. The pool area is large and there are plently of sun loungers and no need to get up in the middle of the night to reserve one. The gardens are beautifully maintained and do give a truly tropical feel to the place.
I have stayed in hotels throughout the world some have true luxury and others have been complete dives but this place is the first that I feel has been given unjustified criticism.
If you have mobility problems do not go. If you like to moan about anything and everything do not go here. If you like staying in excellent rooms in beautiful gardens on a spotless beach being served by kind polite and attenative staff then go.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank CumbriaBluenose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2009

Stayed for 8 nights beginning of March. The hotel is beautiful, the staff are all very friendly but food and drink are far too expensive. If they reduced the prices more people would stay instead of going into Ao Nang every night. We only had one lunch and one night meal and it was about 4 times the price of Ao Nang. The management should get their act together and reduce prices and more people would stay. Some nights we could have stayed there but because of the prices made sure we went into Ao Nang.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Veli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2009

My husband and I stayed here on our honeymoon in November. After reading the reviews on here I knew what to expect in terms of the location. The boat trip across to the hotel was a fantastic way to arrive and see the wonderful scenery.
We had a deluxe spa room which was lovely and meant we good sunbathe on our balcony and not have to struggle to get sun loungers. We ate at the pool bar every lunch time and have to say the food was terrific. We also ate in the main restaurant on a few nights, some nights we tried the buffet and other nights we went off the al a carte menu, again the food was of a very high standard, but please be aware it is not cheap. The other nights we got the boat across to Ao Nang and ate reasonable meals at a fraction of the price, however the restaurants we tried in Ao Nang did not have the same ambience as the hotel.
The down side was the last boat back from Ao Nang at 10.30pm, we would get the 8.30pm boat in and this really only allowed time for aquick meal and a drink. One night we stayed on later and walked back across the cliff boardwalk, but as per other reviews this is not brilliantly lit at the Ao Nang side and was quite hard to find (we did have a torch) and definitely would not recommend it in heels.

All in all the hotel was lovely and I would definitely recommend it if you want to stay somewhere which is reasonably secluded but still within easy reach of civilisation.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Holidays99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi

Property: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Address: 396-396/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang, | Amphur Muang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Ao Nang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Family Hotel in Ao Nang
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi 5*
Number of rooms: 192
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden away in secluded Pai Plong Bay and surrounded by emerald waters and a luxuriant national park, this five-star beachfront resort is a tropical paradise for those seeking a romantic hideaway or a relaxing stay with their family. The resort instils an air of understated luxury with generously-sized rooms and private villas ranging in size from 72 to 399 square metres and offering the option of garden or ocean views, an outdoor Jacuzzi, or a plunge pool. Designed in modern Thai style, with high ceilings, spacious living areas dominated by wooden accents, stone features and soothing colours, the rooms and villas are calm oases. Accessible by boat only, the resort offers an abundance of opportunities to relax and explore. To name a few: unwind with blissful spa treatments at Spa Cenvaree, savour Thai, Japanese, and International cuisines at one of the four restaurants, enjoy complimentary water sports (kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding – the first hour is free), lounge with one of the swimming pools while the kids are kept busy at the kids clubs, enjoy carefree days on the white sands of Pai Plong Bay. With warm waters with extraordinary underwater visibility, beautiful coral formations and an exotic marine life, the Andaman Sea is a tropical paradise for diving enthusiasts and those with with a longing for more holiday thrills. The experts at the resort’s PADI dive centre provide everything that is needed for beginners, those with medium skills, and expert divers. Krabi International Airport is 40 minutes away from Nopparatthara pier which is approximately 15 minutes from the resort by boat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Hotel
Centara Grand Beach Krabi
Central Krabi Hotel
Central Krabi Bay Resort
Central Bay Resort Krabi
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi Ao Nang

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