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“Great stay, fantastic staff”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin
Ranked #3 of 141 Hotels in Hua Hin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 29, 2013

We have stopped at the Centara Hua Hin previously at the main hotel and were really disappointed for numerous reasons. Travelling with friends and based on very specific criteria the Centara was the best fit, so we reluctantly booked and my expectations were not high.

This visit we booked two premium pool villa's. I can honestly say that this visit was significantly different to our last experience and I would definitely stay again. Although there are a few areas which perhaps need some attention.

Having booked pool villas our expectations were villas with small pools and sun loungers. Pools are 5 metres so a reasonable size, but no sun loungers, just chairs!?! We had to request sun loungers, which after repeated requests we were given one to each room, fortunate that our husbands had no interest in using sun loungers! If you are booking a villa be sure to book one away from the Hilton Hotel which stands very tall and blocks sunlight and encroaches on any privacy you might expect booking these rooms.

Villa's are well maintained, including a main room with a bedroom, separate bathroom, walk in wardrobe and a further lounge room, with seating and TV and and a second bathroom. Maid and turndown service every day including treats from the chef. The room is fully stocked with water, tea and coffee and if you run short you can ask for more!

The Villas are part of the "Club" so there are extensive benefits from this including evening drinks and nibbles, all day snacks and soft drinks at club and villa main pool, afternoon tea and evening cordial service. Two pieces of laundry washed and pressed every day the list goes on.

The staff at the Villas are amazing, the restaurant manager requires a special mention, she is amazing, her attention to detail, memory and customer service are excellent. Nothing is too much trouble for her or her team and she is always there, remembering what you order, drink and pre-empting your every requirement, a special lady who goes above and beyond in carrying out her job, making all her guests feel special. She is a real asset to the Centara.

Breakfast is of good quality and the restaurant manager and her team know what you want and again preempt you every need.

We did have a small problem with our villa, the flooring around the pool was rotting and unfortunately I did fall through it when it snapped, however no serious damage to me and the hotel were very quick to make repairs and ensure I was not hurt. We understand the same thing had happened at the villa next door the day before, so perhaps a little more maintenance is in order for the villas?

The Villas are very close to all the restaurants and is a 10 minute walk to the night market, with lots of shops along the way. This is a great location.

If you are wanting to sit on the beach every day, this isn't perhaps the right area as the beach isn't great and very busy with small local restaurants and lots of sun beds and somewhat dirty. If you want to lay on the beach, perhaps a hotel a little out of town where the beach is much better.

We will definable go back to the Centara, just not the main hotel, but definitely the villas.

Room Tip: Stop in the pool villas (420/418)
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Kyla64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear Kyla64,

We appreciate your taking the time to explore what the resort has to offer, and thank you for your kind comments about the facilities well as the staff services.

We have taken note of your comment regarding the Villas floor condition and maintenances. Rest assured we will do our very best to improve the product and services as to enhance our guest experiences at the resort.

We look forward to welcoming you back again to the resort again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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1,363 - 1,369 of 2,436 reviews

Reviewed November 26, 2013

We where several families who stayed at Centara for attending a wedding. It is the perfect setting for a wedding with the old classic style, friendly and helpful staff, big enough to get privacy but small enough not to loose anyone.
We where super pleased with everything but if I have to find something negative was the rooms a bit on the small side and the beach was a bit chaotic with galloping horses.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank Lisaontheroad94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear Lisaontheroad94,

Thank you for your kind feedback following your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin. We appreciate your positive and comments about your experience at the resort.

We look forward to having the opportunity of welcoming you again soon.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed November 26, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed in the Centara Hua Hin for a long week-end and were very disappointed. The positives first though. This hotel grounds are beautiful, secluded, and peaceful; and the location is both convenient to the beach and to the small downtown area. The common areas, like the lobby and the tea restaurant, are quite charming. The downsides overwhelm these attractive features however. The hotel is badly in need of renovation; the food was probably the worst we’ve ever had in any hotel anywhere in the world (and we travel extensively); and – most importantly – the customer service was unacceptable for a hotel that bills itself as a luxury resort.

First, up close, the hotel is definitely in need of renovation. This is not only on the cosmetic side but also on the functional side – the air conditioning in the room was quite weak; the lighting was inadequate; and there weren’t enough outlets for today’s plugged-in travelers. The wifi – which is not included in the room price – is also quite slow. As for the cosmetic issues, there were several give-aways that this was not – by any stretch – a five-star hotel. The room was large and clean, but very tired: the walls and furniture needed refinishing and painting; and the shower needed – badly – to be recaulked and regrouted. There were also only two thin bath towels.

Second, the food was terrible, both low quality and expensive. We ate one meal in the main restaurant and ordered two things that we thought were pretty basic (fish and chips and fried rice). The fish was clearly not fresh, and the fried rice was the worst I’ve had in Asia or in the U.S. – completely flavorless. I never thought that a restaurant in Thailand could fail at a dish as simple as fried rice but I was wrong. The food was also overpriced; we ate another meal – which was much, much better – at the nearby Hilton for a fraction of the price. (There’s also a wonderful and inexpensive Italian restaurant called Roma within walking distance that I would recommended to anyone staying in the vicinity.)

The issue that dropped this review down to a one-star, however, was the inept and insulting customer service, particularly the check-out. Check-in was cumbersome, but the staff were well-meaning. We live in Thailand and could attribute the small things that got on our nerves after a long drive through flooded streets to cultural differences (why are there always a multitude of people in Thailand who are necessary to conduct the simplest transaction, and yet no one paying attention to the details with which you actually need help?).

But the main issue with customer service concerned the maid who apparently also doubled as the head of security. Given that this is a spa resort, we planned to hit the gym, the spa, the beach, and the pool – all of which meant a lot of cleaning up throughout the week-end. We asked for extra towels and got two more. Then we asked for more than that – and the maid didn’t want to let us have any until we had “turned in” our dirty towels, something I found to be quite insulting. I wondered if the hotel was seriously that concerned we would steal the poor quality cotton strips they called towels, but I let it go.

Then, on the day we checked out, when we came out of the room with our luggage, the same maid was hovering in the hallway. I don’t even know how she knew we were leaving at that moment, but she was there, and demanded to go check the mini-bar. We stood there while she rifled through the room drawers and checked the mini-bar (we hadn’t had a thing), and neglected to ask us if we needed any help with our luggage (which would have been nice considering there is no elevator – we took everything down the stairs ourselves).

Then at check-out, my husband encountered several problems. One is that they kept asking him about the mini-bar. We didn’t use anything, so we are lost as to why this was such a big deal. Second is that the bill was not ready and the front desk could not tell us what the final room charge was – which was absolutely, totally unacceptable. We had booked through Centara’s own website which they explained – at check-out – sometimes goes through Agoda and they would provide the bill. So we had to leave not knowing whether there was some egregious billing error. Given the outrageous hold they put on your credit card, this was quite disconcerting.

The final problem at check-out, and I admit my own error here, has to do with the laundry bag in the room. I had forgotten to bring a plastic bag for my dirty clothes and there was no plastic bag in the room, only a linen one. I used it the first night of our stay, meaning to change over everything when I bought something in town and got a bag. I then forgot about it. At check-out, they asked my husband – who had no idea – about it and he had to come get me (in the car) and I of course gave it back right away. I admit I made a mistake here, but it was a LAUNDRY BAG, and they made us feel like thieves; it was terribly embarrassing. They also apparently were going over our room with a fine tooth comb before we could check-out. (I read in another review that another guest had this same issue and the response was Centara’s wish to be environmentally-friendly. Please.) Suggestion to Centara Management: If you can’t let something this trivial go, put up a small sign in the closet saying that the laundry bags (and whatever other items) are offered for guest use while at the hotel. If the guest wishes to keep x item, there will be a nominal charge of y.

I’m sorry if the Centara has had issues with theft and needs to treat each guest as a potential criminal, but this is not an acceptable attitude to have with paying customers at a so-called luxury resort. As other reviewers have suggested, the Centara needs a major overhaul both of the hotel itself, and of the staff’s attitude. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth and we will not stay at a Centara again, in Hua Hin or elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank keeksGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded November 27, 2013

Dear keeksGeneva,

Thank you for taking the time to fill up the survey following your stay at our hotel. Needless to say that we are extremely dismayed to read such a negative feed back.

Your comments are none the less very much appreciated and will contribute to rectify most of what went wrong during your visit.

There is no excuse for not meeting guests expectations and, firstly, we would like to sincerely apologize for not having done so.

As you recall, you arrived the day of the tropical storm which so severely damaged our gardens and placed every one at the hotel in an unusual level of stress. The many debris created additional work litterally everywhere. This is no excuse but is just mentioned to replace the context.

We are addressing the difficulties you encountered to get additional towels as this should not be the case in a hotel like ours. The mini-bar check is a standard procedure in every hotel yet we do not want our guests to feel like thieves and this was addressed too with our Housekeeping department and both issues will be monitored on a constant basis.

The room you were in was in the original wing of the hotel opened in 1923 and regularly refurbished.. Some guest requests it adamantly because of its "history" and some, like yourselves don't like it at all. Should you have said something upon check-in, we would have gladly suggested another room with additional features.

We apologize for the lack of luggage service and for the tardiness of our front office to present the bill. There is no excuse for this as everything is computorized.

We obviously failed in performing the kind of service we are know for and are very sorry. We hope that the image of our hotel is not damaged forever and that you will give us another opportunity to show you that this experience was an exception and not the rule.

Sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed November 25, 2013

Well there is a reason we are going to Hua Hin every year and one of these - the other one is Bam Bam restaurant - is the Centara. The gardens are unbelievable, the rooms in classic colonial style simply lovely and the service in all parts of the hotel impecable.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Barba23rossa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear Barba23rossa,

We appreciate your kind feedback of your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin and glad that you had a great time the resort.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed November 25, 2013

The surroundings are just wonderful! Beautiful garden that gives you a relaxing feeling. The swimming pool is located near the beach, this way you can enjoy both sea, swimming pool and the garden. Also the hotel is perfectly located on walking distance of the main part of town.
We can highly recommend the "Railway" restaurant, as we enjoyed the French buffet on saturday evening. They serve only high quality foods such as: lobster, king-crab, foie gras, cheese etc...!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank appeltje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear appeltje,

We are delighted to learn that you had a great time at the resort and that you were fully rested and relaxed. We appreciate for your kind recommended about our French buffet at Railway Restaurant on Saturday night to everyone.

We look forward to your return visit, we remain.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed November 24, 2013

it's a classy, beautiful colonial hotel. right at the city centre, absolutely convenient. good service. the room is beautiful and clean. if you want to play golf, you can sign up in the hotel. they can arrange for you with no hassle at all (we did sign up with a golf centre in the city centre but we found out it's actually cheaper with same package in the hotel). the beach - fine white sand, but the water is quite warm. so we spent more time in the swimming pools i/o in the beach.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank wynsum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear wynsum,

Thank you very much for writing a review about your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin. We are delighted to read that overall you have enjoyed your stay at our resort.

We all look forward to welcome you back to our resort in the near future, we remain,

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed November 22, 2013

My fiance and I stayed for two weeks from 19th April and had a fantastic stay. As stated the hotel is brilliant, very clean and the gardens and pools are as good as the pictures. Actually the gardens are better and tended to brilliantly.

Food and drink at the hotel are expensive compared to outside but with the bars and restaurant so close we made full use of them. There are quiet bars and raucous bars and more than enough restaurants which allowed us to eat at a different place each night. The pizzeria just outside the hotel was perfect for lunch. All food was excellent quality, on occasions we had a bit of a wait for food but it was always worth it. Make sure you eat at one or more of the pier restaurants; all so fresh you can see the fish in tanks underneath the restaurant. Average cost of meal with beer was 15 GBP.

We made our own way to Bangkok for an over night visit. We booked the hotel from the UK but made use of, the 14 seater air conditioned, minibus service in town. The cost was about 5 pounds each way per person. It was a bit of a hairy ride in places but not scary. However on our return trip we were the last two on the bus so had to sit on the back which was uncomfortable – TIP make sure you are early and get the middle seats.

One day we took a tuk tuk to monkey mountain to visit the temple and the monkies and took a leisurely stroll back along the beach. It took us about four hours but we dipped in the sea and stopped at a bar on the beach about half way back where we watched the kite boarders, horses and other walkers. The beach is much nicer than the pictures give justice, horses are beautiful nothing like the the donkies on UK beaches and we were not bothered by the hawkers. You can also walk past the purple umbrella and head towards the pier without any hassle.

We were B&B and the breakfast was top class with everything one could ask for from smoothies to Thai to a full English. Being English we ate outside most morning, to make the most the sun and warmth. The sparrows flying around the beautiful gardens made each breakfast feel like a scene from Disney - Or as close as this 40 plus lady is going to get!

The only downside for us was in the second week we had early risers in the room above who stomped about. So if you are lucky in staying at Centara ask for an upstairs room.

The lobby and the hotel grounds are so serene and the upkeep is exceptional - we stayed need the Tea lounge which has all old photos and equipment from the early days of the hotel. Little touches like cool towels and melon being provided around the pool and sweeties being provided in the room daily added to the quality and service of the hotel.

The location and luxury of the hotel makes this a wonderful place to stay.

We did not use the spa so cannot comment on it.

{sorry for the lateness of the review – I just forgot to upload}

Room Tip: If in a bottom room you can sometimes hear stomping and running children in the room above.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pompeyjaxliv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Dear pompeyjaxliv,

Thank you very much for choosing Centara Grand Hua Hin for your recent holiday. We are pleased to know that you had a great time.

We hope that you can make a trip again to the resort in the near future to enjoy the resort's facilities once again.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin

Address: 1 Damnernkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Prachuap Khiri Khan Province > Hua Hin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Hua Hin
#1 Family Hotel in Hua Hin
#1 Business Hotel in Hua Hin
#2 Romantic Hotel in Hua Hin
#3 Spa Hotel in Hua Hin
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hua Hin
#3 Luxury Hotel in Hua Hin
Price Range: $123 - $348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin first opened its doors in the early 1920s at a time when Hua Hin was still a sleepy coastal village. This five-star beachfront resort was built along the classic lines of that era, with phenomenal gardens and beautifully spacious rooms and suites (up to 170 square metres) with high ceilings, polished hardwood flooring, period furniture, and the warm tones of Thai silk. The resort is also home to 42 single-storey villas that offer privacy and space (up to 120 square metres) and the choice of a Jacuzzi or plunge pool on the terrace. Beside Hua Hin’s gorgeous beach, a stone’s throw away, and a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy to the full, the resort also offers plenty of leisure options for adults and children: four swimming pools and children’s pools, a superb spa, a fitness centre, tennis courts, Muay Thai and Tai Chi classes, and two kids clubs. Plus, the town is outside our door, and some of the best golf courses in Thailand are within easy travelling distance. The dining venues include a colonial style café and all-day dining restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a Thai restaurant located near the villas, and the modern COAST Beach Club & Bistro. With its setting on the beach and its elegant atmosphere, the resort also is the perfect setting for a dream wedding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin Hotel Hua Hin
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas Hua Hin
Sofitel Hua Hin
Accor Hua Hin
Hua Hin Sofitel

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