I booked a week in this resort for the occasion of my wife's birthday, and decided to 'splash out' (excuse the pun) on a pool-access room. I planned and pre-paid months in advance to ensure that everything went smoothly, and was truly looking forward to our stay in one of the modern and stylish pool-access rooms shown on the Holiday Inn website.
My first impression was disappointment, as the room we were allocated was absolutely nothing like those shown on the website. It was not tastefully decorated in pastel colours as shown on the website, but was smaller and rather dingy with only two walls that were painted and the others were bare grey concrete. The bathroom had the same bare grey concrete walls. The floor of the entire room was cheap laminate flooring.
I later read that the resort has a new wing (the nice pastel-coloured rooms presented on the website) and an old wing (where we had ended up). I notice other reviewers referring to these as the family wing (new) and the couple’s wing (old). However, I have no idea where the distinction lies as, much to my dismay, the pool directly outside my room was regularly full of noisy screaming kids and inflatable toys.
The disappointment didn’t end there, as we soon found out that – contrary to my explicit request upon booking- noisy Chinese kids had been put in the rooms next to ours. On the second night the din from the kids was accompanied by a 400kg Indian man in the room above who liked to move furniture about. This really was the icing on the cake!
Speaking of cake, I had organised a birthday cake for my wife on her big day, which I confirmed (and re-confirmed) with the hotel. This never turned up on the day. I also made the mistake of booking the hotel’s barbecue buffet for our evening meal. This ranks as the worst food I’ve ever had: A tiny selection of dishes, beef kebabs that were chewy and inedible, something that was supposed to be a chicken kebab but became a gritty, paste-like substance in my mouth. Words simply cannot express how gross this was.
Unlike the new rooms, the old rooms don’t have net curtains, meaning that anyone who was walking/swimming outside the room could just gawk in. The only way to ensure privacy was to draw the blackout curtains, which completely defeated the purpose of a poolside room.
Also absent in these old rooms is a floor drain in the bathroom. Pool access plus regular showering after swimming meant that there was often a lot of water with nowhere to go. On several occasions we had water flooding from the bathroom into the bedroom. Luckily the hotel provides plenty of towels!
After our initial disappointment that ALL of our reservation requests had been ignored, we managed to make made the most of our holiday. We used the pool extensively in the morning when the families were out on excursions or when it was too hot for them to come outside.
When the swarms of kids appeared, we went out by tuk-tuk and ate at the local restaurants or the McDonalds/BK in Ao Nang or looked around the gift shops (which all sell the same thing). Ao Nang town is small and ok for a stroll during the day time; But at night there are ugly drag queens and Indians trying to pressure you into going to their restaurants etc which I’ve always hated. I dearly hope that Krabi keeps control over these aspects of its development, and doesn’t become another seedy place like Phuket.
Plus points about the hotel were: The nice swimming pool; But please Holiday Inn, as a global brand,kindly make an ‘adults-only’ pool so we can all enjoy our holiday in our own individual way. We don't all wish to be surrounded by screaming kids day and night.
The bed was comfortable. The air-conditioning was very effective. There was a reasonable selection of English-Language channels on the TV. Breakfast buffet was good.
The staff were friendly and polite, although inter-departmental communication is obviously not a strong point. Ie: ask for a room away from kids: confirmed by reservations staff,ignored by check-in staff. Ask for a cake: confirmed by reservations staff, ignored by f&b. Book a massage: confirmed by front desk, not advised to spa… You get the picture.
Potentially this is a standout hotel in Krabi, If improvements could be made here to cater equally for ALL categories of travellers (couples, retirees etc) and not just to pander to families with kids. After all, professional,high-earning couples in the local region bring repeat business. four-year-old kids do not.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach. Krabi's best value resort with a playful sense of tropical fun from waterslides to free-form pools and swim-up bar. Treat yourself in our Spa while your children can be entertained in children's playgrounds and our specially designed kids & teen zones. Everyone can stay connected with FREE WiFi throughout the resort. Enjoy a tropical cocktail at our fun pool bar, dine in our Inn Asia restaurant or just relax at our lobby library. Refresh yourself in our modern-designed rooms with comfortable beds whilst enjoying the view from your balcony offering stunning views of the resort pool or scenic Ao Nang Bay. Whether you are looking for a perfect family gateway with the kids, or are a couple seeking a quite romantic break, or if you are simply looking for a great place to spend a weekend away with your friends. At Holiday Inn Krabi, Ao Nang Beach, we know kids are on holiday too. The Kids' Club is designed to make their stay unforgettable and full of fun during your family vacations in Krabi. Kids' Club is open daily and is a free service to in house guests. Kids will enjoy all the indoor and outdoor activities. The children in our Kids' Club are accompanied by our recreation team. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach