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“A waning 4 Star” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui

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Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
Ranked #10 of 104 Hotels in Chaweng
cape town
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A waning 4 Star”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

We have just returned after a week stay at Centara Grand Beach. On the whole our experience was good. We enjoyed fantastic weather, the pool and beach were really beautiful and Chaweng Beach Road was a hive of activity, with great shopping and a fantastic variety of restaurants.

However, we were not entirely enamored with the hotel itself. Although it is one of the biggest and most well known on the "strip", it is long overdue a face lift. It is tired and aged.

The rooms, advertised as renovated, are dated, save for new flooring and paint. The bathrooms are old and the shower was one of our major complaints. The shower has no door so is totally open into the bathroom. The design/shape of the shower, makes it impossible to shower without wetting the entire bathroom. There is no shelf in the shower itself, so you need to stretch around the wall to reach the soap, shampoo etc. There is also no towel rail in reach so you need to step out of the shower to get your towel. We found the shower an endless source of frustration.

Another issue was the air conditioner. It was set at a freezing temperature and we weren't able to adjust it at all.

Things to note: the service at the pool was non existent. In fact, service on the whole, from housekeeping to room service was well below the expected standard. We hardly saw a waiter the whole time we were there and one day we had to ask at about 5pm for the previous evenings room service crockery to be removed, albeit that our room had since been serviced. Food and drinks at the hotel are unjustifiably exorbitant. We are happy to pay a premium for the convenience of ordering drinks at the pool, but we felt that charging 90B when you can buy it for 14B at the shop was a bit much. We didn't like feeling like we were being ripped off, which we were.

I would definitely recommend Koh Samui as a holiday destination and we loved being on the main stretch of Chaweng. The hotel is fine for a 3-4 star, but if you want 5 star quality, Centara regrettably is not the place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank carlaCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • 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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (513)
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
90 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

We were not disappointed to return. Got the same connecting room as last year with no fuss despite hotel bieng full. Service remains fantastic (except the Breeze Bar on occasion). Must admit it is nice when old staff recognize you and are generally happy to see you. Location is superb and since it is close to Chaweng's strip, there is no need for a car. Hester and Andrew, both senior manager went out of their way to see to it that we had a great stay offering complimentary dinners and a little check in on how we were ever so often. Try the beach side massage bed ...very relaxing and value for money. Breakfast service was very good as too was pool side service. Pool side attendants only too happy to set up a towel and brolly at your location of choice each day. Small things like this make a huge difference. Will be back.

Room Tip: Ground floor connecting rooms near the pool if you are a large family.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jeff1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary. AB
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

I must admit that the building itself is very elegant. The set up of the lobby overlooking the pools and ocean is fantastic.

The rooms are quite majestic too - our king size bed could not have been more comfortable and the decor is modern and fancy.

However, considering the amount of shops and amazing restaurants in the area, the food options are ridicously overpriced and pretentious. The staff can be quite indifferent too, some to the point of ignoring you altogether.

We ate at Buri Rasa Village twice and that seemed like a much better choice in the end.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BWWblaxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMCSBR, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear BWWblaxx,

Thank you for choosing to share your memories of your stay with us. It is great to read that you loved the building style, lobby location, view and room size and decor. We take pride in these elements as they are our key attractions, a European style building on Koh Samui at a beach resort with the longest stretch of direct beach access on Chaweng Beach. I will ensure our managers are aware of your concerns raised regarding our food and beverage prices and staff.

Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention and I will endeavour to improve the shortcomings which you have raised so that your next stay with us will be a more relaxing and memorable one.

Sincerely,

Hester Yao
Executive Assistant Manager
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2013

We have been visiting Centara on Samui since 2001. As noted by some other reviewers, the property could use an overall face-life, as it is becoming a little dated. A little like a grand old home showing its age. It still remains an excellent property, however. Our last visit required a suite, due to the ages of our children. The bed was excellent and the bathroom quite spacious and luxurious. With so many places to eat along Chawang, the only full meal we at the hotel was breakfast. This was superlative. Huge variety with everything fresh. Not to be missed. We recommend paying the extra for club access if you have children. They can get a late lunch, drinks are available all day. You can then let he kids have their "dinner" there from about 5:30 and the adults can dine where they wish afterwards. The access price more than pays for itself.

People expecting true 5-Star quality along the lines of a Shangri-La or the oriental in Bangkok will be disappointed. For atmosphere and location, however, you cannot beat the Centara. In a nod to some other reviewers' comments, the beach, and even the water, along Chewang has become somewhat cluttered. It is a shame the island government does not do more to address this, as it directly affects one's impression. Beyond that, however, our stay was excellent.

Room Tip: Get an ocean view and pay the extra for club privileges.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMCSBR, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Chris H,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your candid review of our hotel. I am happy to hear that you and your family had undertook the privileges offered by our Club, and found it added to the relaxation and enjoyment of your holiday. As you have rightfully mentioned, and unlike other five star properties, the propertys’ old world charm concept makes us indifferent to others such as the Shangri-Las’ or Four Seasons. We pride ourselves in delivering genuine Thai hospitality, enhanced by our location in one of Samuis’ best beaches. We have once again recommenced improvement maintenance of guest rooms, and hoping to complete this by year end. I hope that upon your next return you will be able to experience the improvements undertaken.

It is a natural part of our yearly cycle here in Thailand that our waters become rough and sometimes dirty during the Monsoon period and this period is usually during November and December. However, as a concerted effort, every Thursday morning the hotel team members, including management, undertakes a cleaning of our beach. Being a public beach, the maintenance and upkeep is primarily dependent on the individual propertys’ located along Chaweng Beach. In this respect, we understand the significance in its maintenance, and want to ensure that our guests are able to enjoy the lovely sand and waters for which they have come for.
Thank you for your constant loyalty to Centara Grand Samui, and I hope that I will have the pleasure to meet you personally on your next return.

Sincerely,

Hester Yao
Executive Assistant Manager
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for 11 nights in June 2012. From the moment we arrived at the hotel we felt very welcomed. Unbeknownst to us our travel agent organised the honeymoon bonus for us. As we were taken to our room, we walked in to rose petals on the bed, sparkling wine on ice, a honeymoon cake, fruit arrangement and a scented bath filled with rose petals and frangipanis, which after a long flight was heaven. We stayed in the pool suite which was very spacious and clean. The staff were friendly and honest. We had an incident where we had misplaced our cameras at the bar. Worried that we would never see them again, we called the front desk only to find that one of the staff had found our cameras and put them aside for us. My only negative on the stay was the price of food and beverages within the hotel. We only ate at the hotel a few times as we mainly went out. My husband and I will definitely stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: The pool room is spacious and private. Definitely worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BecListerSmith25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westmount, Canada
Level Contributor
100 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012

According to locals we have discussed with, this hotel used to be THE best hotel in Samui, and at first glance the grand reception hall, the park in front of the hotel and the view from the hall to the sea confirm this impression.

Then, the service was really below expectations for a so-called 5* hotel: unacceptable waiting time at reception, more than half of employees could not understand English properly. It's a pity, since there are nice & relatively efficient waiters by the pool, for instance, but there are really too many weaknesses for an hotel of this class: barmen not aware of basic cocktails, systematically one thing forgotten from various orders at the restaurant or arriving too late, etc.

For sure, we haven't been lucky since there was a power cut on the whole island for three days, which did not help them to be efficient, but even before that we noticed that portion of the beach in front of the hotel was particularly dirty (plastic bottles, bags, etc...), but they would not clean it because beaches are public in Thailand... Well, in fact, it was low season, and several not-as-push-hotels are taking care of "their" portion of the public beach. So why not the most luxurious one?

After the power cut, the swimming pools were really dirty (this is understandable, since the generators just provide enough power for the fridges and lights in common areas, and sometimes in the bedrooms). After one day when electricity was resumed, we asked a pool maintenance person when they intended to filter the small basin for children. He simply answered "later". We heard other parents asking for the same thing (you don't want to have your toddlers in a basin full of bacteria and nasty things), but it took them more than 48 hours to do the job.

The room (we rented a suite since we were with a toddler and a baby) was really nice, comfortable and spacious. The beds are really nice. The balconies are not great, since they are semi-circular and you can see your neighbors, but anyway we stayed in the bedroom just for sleeping, so this was not a big problem.

The food was generally very good, and we have been impressed by their Italian buffet, Thai buffet and breakfast. This is probably the strongest positive point to mention. Obviously, this is a very pricey hotel for the island, overall not really good value for money, in our view. We really preferred the surroundings of the fishermen village, where there are a couple of boutique hotels we would be more attracted by if we visit Samui again.

Room Tip: We booked a suite - it was really huge and not much more expensive than a double room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jean-Christophe L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMCSBR, Executive Assistant Manager - Rooms at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Dear Jean-Christophe L,

Sawasdee Ka and Greetings from Koh Samui.
Thank you for taking the time to share your recent stay experience at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
I am sorry to hear that on this occasion we had failed to meet our service delivery standards, and unfortunately resulting to your disappointment.
The employees at the hotel are friendly and keen to assist our guest to the best of their ability. However, as you have identified, their conversational English language is an ongoing limitation in allowing them to engage effectively with our guests. We acknowledge this concern, and hence to assist the staff English lessons are provided to all staff working at the hotel, and they are assessed periodically on their skills. Likewise, further to your comment regarding the delivery of standard or basic service etiquettes, training and performance review of our staff are consistently ongoing to develop their skill qualities, many of whom are local and inexperienced in working in a diverse environment as our resort.
Like most resorts on the island, we did experience some difficulties due to the extended power cut. One of which was partial damage to part of our pool pump system which resulted in having to hand vacuum the pools. Whilst the task may seem to have taken longer than expected, considering the situation at the time it was attended to expeditiously as possible. As you have identified, during the monsoon season there is often debris, mainly from the coconut palms surrounding the pool, blown into the pool during thunderstorms. The pool is cleaned nightly by our team, and this itself is done once again by a hand vacuum, rather than by an automatised pool vacuum cleaner. In this respect, we accept that human errors do occur occasionally, and we need to be more attentive to the areas pointed out. All pool lights have been checked and secured, and this is also undertaken as part of our daily pool maintenance program.

The beach is a public area, however, its maintenance is overseen by each resort located along the designated areas. It is accurate that during the latter part of the year there is more debris brought by waves and wind so we have staff on the beach throughout the day to collect materials that wash up. In fact, the sports and leisure team cleans the beach every morning starting at 06:00. Furthermore, various staff members from each departments are required to participate in a weekly beach cleaning program on every Thursday at 8:00am. This does not mean that guests are guaranteed to have a clean beach every Thursday morning, but to only assure you that the maintenance and care of our beach is an important concern to the resort, not just to us but for our guest who comes to enjoy the beach. I agree with your comments, and that we need to be more consistent and vigilant in its upkeep.
Apart from the concerns conveyed, I am pleased to hear that your room and dining experience at the resort was satisfactory to your expectations.
At Centara Grand Samui, and alike our Centara Grand sister properties, we pride ourselves on the colonial charm of which our properties reflect. This differentiates us from most beach resorts and boutique hotels on the island, and offers most guest, particularly our loyal returning guests, a home away from home.
I thank you once again for taking the time to forward your feedback as it only assists us in our continuous improvement endeavours. If you are returning to us in the future, I would be pleased to assist you with your arrangements, and be provided the opportunity to meet you in person.

Sincerely,

Hester Yao,
Executive Assistant Manager - Rooms
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ledbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

Having booked the hotel before we read the reviews we were concerned that Chewang and the centara may be rather 'rough' for our tastes but not at all. The staff were all so excellent that we couldn't select one for special praise as it would be like saying that the others were lacking,in some way. We would describe the hotel as slightly 'faded' glory in style - it suited us perfectly and any women reading this review should note that the shopping is to doe for once you knowmwheremto look. Would we return? - in a heartbeat - it was THE most relaxing holiday ever.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 713 which suited us perfectly - I think most of the rooms are excellent but we are...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank skyfogmum
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 Samui

Property: Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
Address: 38/2 Moo 3, Borpud | Chaweng Beach, Chaweng, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut > Chaweng
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Chaweng
#6 Spa Hotel in Chaweng
#6 Family Hotel in Chaweng
#7 Luxury Hotel in Chaweng
#8 Romantic Hotel in Chaweng
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Chaweng
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui 5*
Number of rooms: 203
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Superbly located along Chaweng, Koh Samui’s finest beach. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui offers first class Thai hospitality. Enjoy the exceptional facilities of this award winning deluxe resort which combines the spirit and culture of the island with a tranquil ambiance and sheer beauty. A choice destination for lovers of water sports in particular and everyone in general. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui Hotel Chaweng
Centara Grand Beach Hotel
Hotel Centara Grand Beach
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand

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