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“Stop Whining !”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #5 of 109 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2007

We've just returned from one of the most relaxing beautiful holidays we've ever experienced.

We read the mixed bag of reviews and decided on balance that the negative remarks that we had read related to topics that probably wouldn't annoy us as much as it obviously had some of the other contributors to this (fab) site.

Personal view.

The Beach - Tidy, secluded, uncrowded, powder white sand, would have liked some beds on the beach rather than just in the grounds. no big deal though. It was less crowded than other beaches we visited.

The Rooms - very well appointed with sea views, big bed, fab wet-room, well stocked mini-bar, Big TV with 3 movie and 2 sport channles (yep, ask for one away from the generator and not on the ground floor so you get a good view)

The Location - Virtually a private bay with FREE boat transfers to the main town of Ao nang if you're prepared to go there on the hotels scheduled services. If not. pay for a private boat c $18. The (well it if a little rickety) walkway over the hill won't suit everybody. I'm 40 years old and lazy. Did it twice and had nothing further to prove so took the boat.

The Spa - Smelt nice and my wife had a good time (no interest to me), as ever, a lot mnore expensive than in town, but that's what you expect. $50 for a massage in the hotel or $9 in town. So what. Pay your money and take your choice.

The Gym - I Don't do gyms, but hey it was there, it had equipment and it had people using it when they could have been relaxing on the beach getting some rays (it takes all sorts)

Dive Centre - Not linked to the Hotel, but really made a difference to the holiday. We're both experienced divers but hadn't dived for 2 years. Paul and Grant eased us back into it fabulously. New stuff to see on every dive. $50 a dive ($100 per 2 dive trip) including equipment and lunch.

Restaurants - Only eat the breakfast which was everything you'd expect, a couple of lunches which were fine, one Thai meal which was good, and one meal on our private balcony which was great.

The Staff - So their English isn't great, but it's much better than my Thai. The hotel has employed local people as well as ttrained staff which helps the local economy and I applaud this. Give them a break, they'll continue to improve.

Pricing - it's the same the whole world over. the hotel was 4 times as expensive as in town which was 3 times as expensive as the locals pay. Your choice. eat / shop in the luxury surroundings of a 5-star hotel, eat / shop in a tourist centre in town, eat / shop off a street stall / night market. Best bet? Mix it up and do it all. It's part of the adventure.

So there were only 2 PC's in the business centre, so the Deep Blue bar was always empty, so there were no pay TV channels, so most of the beds were taken by 10.30am by the Northern European towel squatting brigade, so the staff didn't always understand what you were saying, so the transfer boat stopped running during 3 really low tides and we had to walk along the shore for 15 minutes to town, so I had to order ice for the room every evening for my 2 whisky sours before dinner.

Perlease get some persepctive, after all, you're supposed to be on holiday. It was freezing cold and raining in England while we were away. Kick back and relax. We did and had a fabulous time.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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26  Thank Flashard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,874 - 2,880 of 3,656 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2007

Just back from CKBR and can't wait to tell you all how great it was! If like me, you've been checking the previous reviews then I hope you have as wonderful a stay as us. We didn't encounter one problem as had previous reviewers, in fact, we didn't have any problems at all. The staff are very friendly and helpful and love to chat! The manager was constantly around and the whole team of staff were very attentive and caring. The boats to Ao Nang was never a problem if you are organised and book it early enough (in the morning). Failing that, you can always book the resort's private longtail boat for an extra fee. The seafood buffet in the hotel is an absolute must and you can reserve the table you want outside on the beach front. We went on three trips booked through the hotel and one booked through an agent in Ao Nang. The trips are absolutely fantastic but I highly recommend spending the few extra pounds and booking with the hotel, the service and whole experience is much better. Great food at Tanto's and Eden in Ao Nang but don't expect great service! Overall a fantastic place to visit and a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
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17  Thank Krabilover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2007

We have just come back from CKBR (28th Jan - 11th Feb) and had one of the best holidays of our lives!

The resort is a lovely resort further improved by the fantastic friendly nature of the staff. The Thai people really can't do too much for you and they are such good natured people.

The rooms (we had a standard one) were spacious and well laid out. The balcony was wonderful and the bathroom a real treat.

The main downside that people have pointed out is the access to the resort. You either go by a dodgy wooden walk way (which is quite fun once you get used to it and the monkeys are great!) or you get a boat. The boats are a bit infrequent (once every 2 hours) and this does limit you. But if you just take a non-complaining attitude and enjoy the ride, it really isn't that bad! More boats would be nice.

The BBQ dinner is a must (I have never seen prawns that big before! Even in the Maldives!). Otherwise we didn't have dinner in the resort, just in Ao Nang, which is a FANTASTIC area to go to. We stayed 2 weeks yet didn't tire of all the different stuff going on in the town. I have been told it isn't as commercial or busy as Phuket but this was just fine to us.

Our basic day consisted of chilling out by the lovely pool and sea, heading over to Ao Nang before sunset (they are very beautiful!) by the wooden walk way. Having a Thai Massage at one of the parlours on the way into town (200 Baht - £3 - For an hour!!) and then having dinner (rarely more than £13) before getting the 22.30 boat back to the resort (grab yourself a few beers in a local supermarket to avoid the mini bar costs and enjoy them on your balcony in the evening ;-)).

We did one day trip to Phi Phi which was stunning, but sadly a bit over touristy (I wouldn't fancy staying in the resort there). The resort would be great to stay in without going out if you can afford a £50 a night dinner for two. Otherwise going out keeps the cost down (until the wife starts looking at the great stuff some of the vendors are selling on the street! Get your bartering up to speed!).

I am confused as to some of the comments made about service and the beach. If you are overly expectant of high service standard (Maldives or Seychelles standard) then you may not enjoy. If you are more laid back and like to go with the flow then this is definitely the place for you.

Stayed: January 2007
33  Thank Starlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2007

Well, what a hotchpotch of reviews!
I get the impression management have been reading these reviews and are trying to react to them. If not then they should!
We stayed for 10 nights end Jan / early Feb and had a really good holiday.
The good points:
Stunning backdrop of the mountains.
We had a Spa room which appeared to be the highest (and hence most private and not overlooked) of the rooms with spectacular views (room 1146). We used the Jacuzzi on the balcony virtually everyday, usually in the evenings watching the sun go down, no mossie problems at all.
The rooms were great with novel layouts of balconies with outdoor living areas of lounging, dining and spa / sunbeds. We had no problems with reliability / serviceability of equipment.
The minibar prices we thought were quite reasonable.
The restaurants were all good and there were never problems getting tables in any of them. Seating to occupancy levels were high, unlike many resorts where ‘fine dining’ is available if you were lucky!
Breakfast and choice of food were very good.
Restaurant prices were also very reasonable and yes, you can get much cheaper food in Ao Nang but if the only aim is to eat as cheaply as possible why not go the whole hog and also get accommodation in Ao Nang at a fraction of the resort’s prices!
Never any problems getting sun beds and whilst there, (non intrusive) modifications were underway to add more sunbed capacity to the beach front.
The beach was good and efforts were being made by the hotel to clean it each day, even though it is a public beach.
Staff very friendly and helpful, didn’t bump into the ‘mafia management’! Did get invited to their cocktail reception but was otherwise engaged stranded on a pier (see later) and couldn’t make it.
We used room service a couple of times which was very efficient.
The not so good points:
We never saw any monkeys!
There are significant slopes and steps up to the rear of the resort (where we were). To be fair we never had to wait more than a few minutes to get a golf cart type buggy lift up the slopes but then there are additional 3 or 4 flights of steps up to the room. (if you were on the top floor). Not a big deal but you need to consider if you are not fully fit (or with push chairs?). The views are worth it!
The bizarre access via the speed boats has been well covered so I won’t dwell on this too much but would add that access to the drop-off / pick-up point is subject to tides and not all scheduled ferry services are able to sail. Not a problem if you know this (or the hotel should tell you this) but when the hotel issues you with a return ticket it is not unreasonable to expect the boat to be there! In our case (and other guests) we arrived at the correct time, to be told by the locals it would be a couple of hours before there was sufficient water for the hotel boat to land. Of course, with low water level and no boats being able to land, there are no taxis to get you back to civilisation! A captive audience for the longtail boats to name their own price (800 Baht in our case!)
Summary:
A very pleasant 4 star resort which can only get better.


  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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32  Thank jacafoster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2007

We have just returned from two weeks in Thailand where we stayed for 7 night at the Central Krabi.

We could not have wished for a better hotel or location, from the moment we arrived the service and attention from the staff was wonderful.
We checked in at the main office in Ao Nang on arrival at the peir were met by staff who transported us by boat to the resort. Again staff were waiting and we were taken by elecric buggy to our room.

The room was fabulous, we had tried to upgrade but none were available and on reflection it really didn't matter. There was a settee ad table and chairs in the shade with 2 sun beds and coffee table on the balcony. The room had 2 queen size beds with all the usual facilities. There was an amazing wet room which was part of the bedroom but could be closed off with doors it had a massive roll top bath, rain shower an hand shower. There was a seperate area with handbasi etc, toilet and dressing area. Couldn't have asked for more.

The staff were so helpful and kind, nothing was too much trouble. The facilities were good, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing, the pool was well kept and impressive with the water falls and view with a good amount of sun loungers with more being delivered as we left. The 4 resturants were good with 'On the rocks' our favourite especially for lunch and a beer/wine. The prices were rrather expensie but in keeping with that star rating (2500-3500bht for 2 courses and wine for 2 people) Ao Nang was much uch cheaper and good quality.

We used the path over the hill which was well lit although rather steep you can also paddle around the headland at low tide. Remember to book at mai reception for the shuttle boat as you need a ticket.

If I was picky then all I can say is that on some occasions housekeeping forgot to leave teabags and although all are supposed to have ocean view ours barely had, but it didn't matter because it was quiet and peaceful.

I was slightly worried after reading some reviews, but my husband travels extensively and can be hard to impress and he was WELL impressed with the central.

It was probably the best hotel and hotel we have had.

Stayed: January 2007
39  Thank FranStaffordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2007

We watched the reviews all year and they have been SO mixed! A lot of the earlier issues have been sorted and we had a great stay.

Our transfers were perfect, there was no charge to collect us from the Krabi Thai Village and all went smoothly.

Rooms - amazing! We had a Spa Delux and our room 1116 was just about perfect in terms of resort location (centre, back and away from the generator) and facilities. A DVD/CD player would have been appreciated though and I think at the price of the resort all rooms should be kitted out with one.

Keep valuables off the patio as we had a monkey visit one morning it didn't bother us though and once we started moving around in the bedroom it soon shot off.

We were only there 2 nights and spent the previous 5 in Krabi Thai Village (good hotel) - I will post my Ao Nang restaurant recommendations on that hotel. We ate the 2 nights in the Rim Sai which was very good.

We upgraded to club benefits and whilst it was nice it was overpriced particularly when compared to the D2 in Chiang Mai and the Sheraton Grande in Bangkok.

The staff were friendly and the management were making an effort but it is a big hotel so it has a bit of a corporate feel - our next hotel stay at the Layana on Ko Lanta only had about 40 rooms and could give a real personal touch that a large hotel just can not replicate.

I am sure the hotel will go from strength to strength and it is worth a visit.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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36  Thank Bob+Diane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2007

I'll make this short and sweet. Beautiful grounds amazing rooms and great food. Like someone else stated this is where my compliments end. I understand that they have only been open for 2 months, but no one knows what they are suppose to do. The staff can't speak English let alone understand it! We booked a specific room type and when we got there they didn't have it, rooms didn't have paid TV, no dvd players, business center consisted of 2 computers, beach was dirty and ugly and service to the town from the hotel was limited and WAY over priced. I'll stop here. Give it a year and maybe they'll have it together.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with friends
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3  Thank inesitad
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

Address: 396-396/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang, | Amphur Muang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Phone Number:
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 Family Hotel in Ao Nang
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range: $126 - $473 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 by 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 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 & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
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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