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“Best resort ever!”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #5 of 110 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2012

I stayed two nights at Centara Grand in a Premium Deluxe room and wish I could have stayed longer! It is easily the best resort I have ever stayed at in my life, and I have stayed at a quite a few.

On arrival at the office in Ao Nang they took us to the pier, where White, the friendly transport manager, took us by boat to the resort. We landed on the floating pier, which was fun to walk on though it may be scary for some people.

An annoyance was that we arrived at the stated check in time of 2pm, but we were told the room was not ready, and had to wait about an hour for the room to be ready.

However when we finally got to our room we were not disappointed! The room was modern and beautiful, furnished with bright tasteful colours. The bathroom was very spacious and modern. The bathtub was large and I enjoyed a heavenly bath in that tub every night. There was a big balcony at the front and also a side balcony. The sea view from the room was absolutely stunning, one of the best views ever.

I was initially a bit hesitant to book this resort as I had concerns with ease of access to and from Ao Nang, but I did not regret it, as the beautiful setting more than made up for the inconvenience. It was inconvenient as is true that the boats are not very regular and fill up quickly. There are other ways to get to and from the resort, such as the monkey trail, but I would not have done that at night. On the first day after checking into the hotel, we went out to Ao Nang in the evening, and just missed the boat at 9.30pm back to the resort. We telephoned the hotel to book a place on the next boat, which was at 10.30pm, and they said that was fine. However after waiting one hour at the pier, when we tried to board the next boat we were denied as we did not have tickets. There was another couple who had lost their tickets and were also denied. We had to call the resort again and put them on the phone to the boat people to clear up the confusion, and only after that we were allowed on the boat. This was definitely very frustrating.

For this reason I would not recommend this resort to people who want to frequently travel to Ao Nang and do not have a set timetable about when they will leave and come back, as everything really needs to be planned early and you really need to be on time for the boats or it can be very frustrating.

However the resort is so beautiful compared to Ao Nang that you do not really want to leave the resort that often. The beauty of the resort really outweighs all the annoyances I had with the staff.

The monkeys were very cute and a joy to watch, and were one of the best things about the resort.

There is a beautiful beach out the front of the resort, and there are activities such as kayaking, which I did one day. The kayaking is free for an hour, which was more than enough for me. The swimming pools were great, and had a view to the sea. We went during low season, and we did not have any trouble at all getting sunbeds by the pool or on the beach.

The restaurants at the resort were very good. I ate at the Lotus Court, Hagi, and Rim Saai and was not disappointed with the quality of the food, but the prices were very expensive, bordering on exorbitant for some things. At Hagi I had the best duck sushi I have ever eaten in my life. At Rim Saai the green curry I had was very spicy and a very small serving, but the Tom Kha soup was delicious. At the Lotus Court the seafood meal I had was very good, and we also had the icecream made fresh at your table with liquid nitrogen. It was a great experience to see the icecream being made in front of your eyes. The final product was good, but I have had better icecream and I'm not sure it was worth the $17 for each icecream, a total of $35!

The breakfast buffet was fantastic, it had a wide range of food and something for everyone. The food in the buffet was of a good quality.

This truly is an excellent resort, the best I have ever stayed at, but still could be improved by having more regular boat services, so it isn't so hard to get to and from the resort, and by having the rooms ready more promptly upon check in. This would be perfect for anyone who just likes to stay in the resort and relax, as there could not be a more beautiful and relaxing setting. I would highly recommend it even to people who like to go to town (like myself), as all the positives outweigh the difficulty of access.

Room Tip: Choose a room with a sea view
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Experimentee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2012

Dear Experimentee Melbourne

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts following your recent stay at our resort.

It is always a pleasure to read comments about our staff and thank you for acknowledging Khun Whites efforts at the boat pier. We have passed these comments onto him, which are greatly appreciated.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in getting into your room on arrival, we will try harder for this not to happen again.

The chef was also pleased to read that you enjoyed the food in all the outlets..

Once again we are pleased you enjoyed your overall stay and thank your for your support and recognition and we look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi

Kind regards, David Martens

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2,121 - 2,127 of 3,685 reviews

Reviewed 29 September 2012

This has the potential to be the ultimate romantic getaway, set in breathtaking surroundings away from the main town. Our experience was mixed, some aspects of this resort were very good but others need serious attention, including being ignored by management when issues are raised - they try to fob you off.

The positives...
The resort is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by national park and has dramatic landscapes and scenery.
The staff in restaurants were good, cheerful and the level of service was good overall.
Rooms are spacious, well furnished (although TVs are dated and without DVD option).
Wildlife is interesting and varied: monitor lizards, squirrels, monkeys, frogs, gekkos etc as well as the resident monkeys.
The food in the Thai restaurant is excellent although overpriced (dinner for 2 with cheap wine £100).
Local town has excellent and very reasonably priced restaurants - as you would expect in a country where food is very cheap.

The negatives...
Access is difficult to say the least when the weather is wet. The monkey trail becomes slippery and dangerous whilst the pontoon to get to the boat is like a theme-park ride. It is not easy to negotiate in poor weather, even for fit healthy young adults, and some have been known to get tossed into the sea! This needs highlighting in brochures as some guests found it too scary to consider and remained int the hotel for the duration of their holiday.
There was a constant overwhelming smell of blocked drains/sewerage at the rear of the "On the rocks" beach bar.
Unfortunately we were there in the rainy season which the hotel is inadequately prepared for. If it rains there are only 6 dry seats at the beach bar area so socialising is constrained and people tend to go to their rooms.
The gym area was completely flooded and most common areas including restaurants suffered from leaking roofs.
The housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired as rooms were not always cleaned effectively - on several days we had to call at 5pm or thereabouts as rooms were not made up and clean towels, toilet rolls, bottled water had run out.
In-room service crockery is not collected so dirty dishes are left for days!
Watch out for service charges of 10% - plus VAT. This is applied to things like Spa treatments as well as food so not displayed in price lists.
Overall prices are extortionate for an area where food ingredients, wages, costs etc are very low.
If the weather is bad then many guests felt "trapped" at the hotel due to the access limitations and found their costs rising rapidly, along with boredom levels as there is little to do.
Workmen carried out noisy repairs to a room below ours with no warning, waking us up and continued for much of the day, no warning/excuse/apology was forthcoming from management.
Inconsistent levels of service - some guests had no water in rooms, waiter service at beach area favoured some guests while ignoring others. The shuttle service to the main pier/town kept guests waiting at times with inadequate excuses or reason - not dealt with by management following complaints. The boat can also get cancelled leaving guests stranded!

Ao Nang is an area worth recommending but check the weather forecasts and be prepared for sudden changes. Local facilities are good but Centara is not all it claims to be.

Room Tip: Be aware of access to the resort - and also some rooms require physical fitness levels above average...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Kris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 2 October 2012

Dear KrisB

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.

I am sorry to read that we did not meet your expectations and for not being able to deal with you directly as my team know I am always available to meet guests and follow up any concerns they may have.

I acknowledge that the resort is not ideally designed for heavy rain as most of the public areas are designed on traditional thai open air salas.

Unfortunately we did experience a problem in the gymnasium building with a broken down pipe which caused the gym to flood. It has since been repaired.

The information regarding our location and access, including the details of boat schedule changes and cancellation due to weather conditions is listed on our website. I am sorry if you were not aware of this or if you travel agent has not informed you of this.

I have also taken note of your comments regarding housekeeping, the odour from behind the beach restaurant and I will follow this up further to ensure they are rectified.

Once again please accept my apologies that you were unable to resolve your concerns during you stay, but we do appreciate your feedback.

Best regards, David Martens

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Reviewed 27 September 2012

Beautiful setting and rooms are nice. It really only deserves 3 stars from me but the surroundings are so amazing I had to up it. It's starting to get a little bit tired and I would say it's 4 star rather than 5 star but mainly because the service lets it down. Most of the staff at the various restaurants are very off-hand. You could lie round the pool all day and no-one would come and ask you if you wanted anything. Even when you go to them, you'd be lucky to get a smile. The food at the International, Japanese and Thai restaurants is very good.
Prices are high but the Baht Bonanza thing helps.
The monkeys scare the hell out of you at first - they came in our room, opened the mini bar doors and ran off with the nuts! And they check the doors all the time to see if you've locked them which is a pain if you just want to lie out on your deck - which we didn't because the squabs on our loungers were covered in mildew. We bought a slingshot from town and they got the message and left us alone after a couple of near misses. I think the best thing to tell people would be to stand up to them straight away - they seem to sense fear and can hiss at you with their horrible little teeth showing which is frightening.
Kids club is weird - it's downstairs in a dark windowless room. But it's fine if it's raining. The ladies will babysit at night for you but they charge 350 Baht (which is more than I pay at home).
The floating jetty is scary scary when it's rough.
The monkey trail only takes 20 minutes and is a bit steep but we enjoyed walking it (although did see a poisonous snake). No one told us that it's only a 5 minute walk around the rocks at low tide -we discovered this on the last day!
Basically, I wouldn't send very old or lazy people there. The entire resort has stairs everywhere, but you eat so much that it's good to get the heart rate up.
Ao Nang is much calmer and prettier than Kamala and Patong for sure - I would go back to that area in a heartbeat. Not sure if I would return to Centara but only because of staff. It's a shame because the setting they have is Golden, better than any other in the area and it could and should be a 5 star place.
For $60 NZD we got a guy to take 5 of us in a longtail boat to Phra Nang beach at Railay and he hung out there all day until we wanted to go home. That place is amazing, and we had lunch at the Rayavadee Resort on the beach which was STUNNING. That place is very very special.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank KiwiNessB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Dear KiwiNessB

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts following your recent stay at our resort.

Please accept our sincere apologies that the poolside staff did not meet with your expectations.

Yes the monkeys are a challenge to manage and that is why we instruct all guests as well as place signs in all our rooms not to feed the monkeys. However as you can imagine guests thinks it is novel and cute to feed them until they will not disappear and then wonder why the monkeys return and start to show their teeth when you wont feed them.

Yes you can walk to Ao Nang via the sea but this is on very few occasions, depending on the time of year and tides times. It is not mentioned as it is very irregular.

The chef was pleased to read that you mentioned the food in all the restaurants was very good.

Once again many thanks for your comments and I trust you would consider staying with us again when you are next in Krabi, so we may demonstrate that we have taken your feedback on board and improved the service by the pool.

Best regards, David Martens

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

We stayed in this hotel in April and had a fantastic time spoiled only slightly by tsunami warning.
It was very scary but staff dealt with a “problem” calmly and reassuringly.
The setting is stunning and a view from our balcony was an absolutely “postcard perfect”.Rooms are spacious ,beds really comfy,shower pressure brilliant. Being woken up by monkeys is an added bonus (remember to keep your balcony door securely closed-the furry friends are very clever and learned to open the door in space of a few seconds).
Breakfast is plentifull and some items change daily, restaurants are hit and miss and quite expensive. However just a short and really not to strenous walk on a famous monkey trail will lead you to Ao Nang and fantastic seafood restaurants and plenty of massage parlours.The other way is by long tail boat(charges) or by resort’s speed boat which you have to book early.
Staff is very nice(apart from some in club lounge).Overall the only major problem is Club Lounge which is definitely not the standard as other Centara Hotels-we’ve been to three others where Club Lounge was a pleasure to be .Service and food was superior to the Krabi offer and I think that a major improvment is needed as the cost of Club facilities is high (bigger room and much better choice of food).Otherwise the place is amazing , peacefull , tranquil ,secluded and
highly recomended.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jtex7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Dear jtex7

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments following your stay at our resort in April of this year.

I was pleased to read you were satisfied how we handled the tsunami warning although it was a big learning curve for me as I had only joined the resort a few weeks prior to this alert.

I cannot explain what happened with your Club experience back then, but what I can say is that the Club lounge is now getting the highest guest satisfaction results in all the resort from our guest surveys.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and recognition and I trust we will get to see you again when you are next in Krabi

Yours sincerely, David Martens

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

Totally love the place, We had a great room, nice view, clean and tidy. Staff were more than friendly and always willing to help. House keeping were always on top of things. Was amusing watching the monkeys do their morning raids trying to get into the rooms. It annoys some people but they seem to forget that the resort is actually located in a national park.
Maybe a suggestion to have a fixed jetty out the front, i did see a few people struggle to walk on it.
Restaurants were great, food was a little bit pricey but food quality was great.
Monkey trail was a little awkward to walk on, you need to really watch where you step.
Resort is close to town but is good as you have your own privacy from other tourists and people. A good place to relax ....

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear Karen H

Thank you for sharing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.
I am glad to read you enjoyed your overall stay.

In regards to your comments about the floating jetty, unfortunately due to the national marine park, the local authorities will not allow any fixed structures in the water, which is one of the draw backs of having such a amazing and unique location.

The monkeys are always a common topic in the resort and can be amusing most of the time.

Once again thank your for your support and recognition and we look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi

Kind regards David Martens

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Reviewed 23 September 2012

The hotel is excellant,location is ideal ,the staff fantastic,We would like to thank Yok,Toy,Jack,Caroline,the Buzz band and all the people who worked really hard at the Centara and made it the most special holiday!
The restuarants and service is brilliant,breakfast buffet ace,we had fun on the pontoon and on the monkey trail !!!
I would readily recommend this place and would go back!

Easy access to some of the most stunning islands and sights I have ever seen !

Room Tip: Go for a spa room tub room!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rob f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear rob f

Thank you for sharing your comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.
It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of Khun Yok, Toy, Jack, Caroline and the band, these comments have been passed onto them and they are greatly appreciated.

We truly appreciate your support and recognition and look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in Krabi

Kind regards David Martens

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Reviewed 22 September 2012

Wow - i don't really know where to start. The first thing to say is that this hotel isn't for everyone. If you have any mobility problems, or prefer convenience to the peace and quiet of seclusion, then this probably isn't the place for you. The reason for that is down to the unique quirks of this hotel which have been well documented in other reviews.

The only way in and out of this hotel is either by boat shuttle (which is free and runs mostly hourly, but can vary heavily depending on tides and weather - and often gets booked up especially first thing in the morning) which drops you at Nopparat Thara beach and you then get a tuk tuk for 40 baht each into town. We walked it once during the day and it took about 45 mins to walk, so the tuk tuk stage can't really be avoided. The alternatives are to walk the monkey trail, or by wading round the corner at low tide - but be warned you will get wet.

The best way i can describe this hotel is like something out of Jurassic Park. The animal and plant life are both rich and diverse. The hotel is in a National Park which means that they have to do their best to incorporate guest comfort within the constraints of the regulations that govern them. This means you get the floating jetty and wooden walk ways leading from the hotel centre to the rooms set into the cliff above.

There have been many conflicting opinions expressed in other reviews about the jetty and the monkey trail. My husband absolutely loved the jetty and would often take a stroll to the end to enjoy the view and the undulating platform. There were a couple of rougher days, but the staff are perfectly well aware that not everyone will love it as much as my Husband and they're always on hand to help those who need it.

We walked the monkey trail pretty much every day for 10 days and had absolutely no incidents, however we went prepared with sensible shoes and made sure we were never in a rush. We were fortunate but i can see how a poorly placed footstep could lead to problems. We walked it at day and night, and in dry and wet weather. It is lit at night, but the sandy road that leads to Ao Nang is pitch black, so a torch would be a good idea to help you for the last bit if you plan on walking it at night. My view is that if you're careful, wear proper footwear and take your time - you'll be absolutely fine. And its not as steep and horrible as you might think. We timed it at around 7 mins, but reckon on around 20 mins from leaving your room to arriving in town because the rooms are a good 5-10 mins walk to the start of the trail which is by the security hut at the corner of the beach.

The rooms are staggered up the hill in the shadow of the cliff. This means steep winding trails, or the wooden steps which cut through. We were near the top which suited us fine, but it does mean that you've got a 5-10 mins walk to get to the lobby or pool area. There are golf carts if you don't fancy walking.

In terms of the food, we ate at Hagi and On the Rocks. Both were very good, but obviously aimed at the western tourist's palette, which to be honest wasn't really what we were after. So we preferred to head into Ao Nang instead for something a bit more authentic and of course - cheaper (if you get the shuttle to Nopparat Thara beach but don't fancy getting the tuk tuk into Ao Nang town, then try Krua Thara which was a great seafood restaurant we enjoyed. There is obviously endless choice in Ao Nang, but Nopparat shouldn't be overlooked as just somewhere to pass through on your way to Ao Nang. Other restaurant higlights in Ao Nang were Boat Noodle, Ton Sai and the street food stalls outside Macdonalds).

Breakfast in the hotel was very enjoyable. Lots of choice, everything from noodles to eggs to cereals and fruit. The fresh waffles and pancakes were my favourites.

The staff deserve special mention because without exception they were all fantastic, and really added to our enjoyment of the hotel. They anticipated all our needs and met them in true Thai style - with a quiet grace. Thank you to them for their attention.

Our room was fabulous, almost like a self contained villa. As you walk in there's a daybed and chairs, then round the corner is the balcony with two more sun loungers. Inside is a very comfy king size bed along with a well equipped sink area, walk in shower and bath. Spacious and comfortable.

We must of course mention the monkeys. They descend on the hotel every morning on the look out for anything you might have left on the balcony. And make sure you lock the door properly - i mistakenly left ours on the latch and we were soon joined by an uninvited visitor who made straight for the mini bar. You'll meet them on the monkey trail too - our experience was that if you leave them alone to go about their business then they'll do the same to you. If you start feeding them or trying to interact with them, then you'll invite trouble. They're very smart and not afraid to show you their teeth if you've got something they want. Remember, we're on their turf.

The pool area is a lovely place to spend some time relaxing. While we were visiting the hotel was quite empty so we had no problems with finding loungers. My Husband also booked a snorkeling trip to Koh Phi Phi with the dive centre. Its run by Kon Tiki who also have a shop in Ao Nang town centre. The staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful, and he very much enjoyed his day with them (a day's snorkeling was 1700 baht including all equipment, transport, lunch and drinks).

As you can probably tell, we absolutely adored our time at this hotel. The unique features you find here were what made our stay exceptional because you simply don't find it anywhere else. We found the seclusion and abundant wildlife fabulous - we couldn't have asked for any more. So thank you to David, the manager, and all the staff for giving us a holiday to remember.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Anna56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerCKBR, General Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2012

Dear Anna56

Thank you for taking the time to write your detailed comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to read that you enjoyed your stay and we met your expectations in many ways. It is encouraging to know that the hard work of our team is recognized in this way.

I am also confident your comments will assist many travelers who will be able to make an informed decision when choosing our resort.

We really do appreciate your support and recognition and trust we will see you again when you are next in Krabi.

best regards, David Martens

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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:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Ao Nang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £108 - £366 (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 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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