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“Amazing location . . . but not 5 star all the way”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #4 of 107 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Middelfart, Denmark
Level Contributor
178 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Amazing location . . . but not 5 star all the way”
Reviewed 30 March 2014

We arrived at the Nopparatthara Pier just 3 mins to 13:30 and perfect timing for the speedboat to take us to Centara, long drive from Koh Lanta, but excited to go to the bay and stay at something completely different, hat the speedboat driver just calm down a bit, and not burned out the 2 x 200 horse powered engines, then we would have been trilled with the arrival at Centara, now we were strangely wet with our new sea water hair setting . . . what is the rush for - if you spend 5 more minutes (5-10 knobs less), we would all have arrived dried and amazed????

We got the only room you do not want to have at Centara Grand Beach (room 1032) for this we blaim our travel agent, and not Centara, but we spent a day negotiating us up the hill, so sea view is not between restaurant roof tops and when people are not looking at you, but rather a real and full view of the wonderful bay, where only monkeys are looking at you - thank you for saving our vacation for that (Think it was Tongram who made it happen).

The not so good things:

Complementary water means a number of bottles (2 is default) in your room, otherwise you will have to pay in any bar or restaurant and since it's a 5 star resort, the price for water is app 10 times higher than in 7/11 or Family Mart, but most annoying is the extra effort to get water as we tend to consume a couple of liters a day, and it doesn't have to be from Evian France (who cares)
- water being complementary, means served at the beach, in the restaurants a.s.o. - otherwise not 5 star

Boat service is a struggle, why don't you just have 2 speed boats going from and to the resort every 30 mins, seems overly strange that you have an hourly service and then long tail options on the side where you have to pay for a service worse than the speed boat (at least the speed boat is not as wet, when you have to go back to resort in the evening)

The concept of having a price list where 10% service and 7% tax is not included, is just not OK, show the price as it is includng service and tax, and then we can use the line on your receipts for tips as we please, now it seems as a rip off, when you are charging 3,500 bath for a massage and then adding first 10% and then 7%, leading to a 4,200 Bath massage, or your 250 cocktail becomes app 300 bath, then it makes little sense at least to us - adding 10% tips to such a bill is a struggle, and we really mean to tip for the hard working employees you have!!!

We loved:

The room (at least after shifting up hill), we loved the breakfast, sitting next to the fish pond, potentially seeing the lizard (Monitor) - huge creature having a fish for breakfast, and the monkeys in the earlier morning (trying to steal from the morning table) or later afternoon (we did do the monkey trail a couple of times - and yes it's good exercise for a couple in our 50'ties), but absolutely worth the effort and arriving on the Ao Nang Beach, seeing the monkeys looking for crabs or playing with the beach guests is lot's of fun (and a little scary :-)) - take it seriously when the tell you not to feed the monkeys, they can spot a micro banana in a shopping bag way earlier than you would anticipate, and then it's too late to do anything but hand over the bag of be swarmed by monkeys (my wife can tell from own experience :-))

On the Rocks (beach restaurant) was good for lunch snack, Hagi's one of the best japanese restaurants we visited (we are more sashimi type of folks), and Rim Saai is a nice Thai restaurant, so together with Lotus Court (serving breakfast, lunch and dinner western style), you are well covered all day and night. People complaining about the price tag are just not in the right place, what do they expect???

Great fitness and massage also, and we loved the Thai evening and buffet, and yes we do understand it's more expensive to go for a buffet, but having +30 couses a la carte to chose from, it's absolutely OK to pay a little more (and it's really only a little more) for the great selection of all you can eat buffet - thank you

Last but not least, nice smiling and helpful people everywhere, even when we meet at the monkey trail and you are on your way back from a long day at work, you have the professionalism and courtesy not to laugh of the sweating guests, who's trying to just go to Ao Nang for a tourist experience. . . thanks


Improvements:

The Deep blue bar is not a place you want to sit for your happy hour, happy hour belongs with the sun set e.g. On The Rocks, and now that you finalised the maintenance, you should have happy hours there from 5-7 every day, that will boost your turnover and guest experience

Refresh the sun beds, or at least the mattreses, they are not up for the job, and also your parasols (beach umbrellas) are done, it's only because we are nice people that we do not tell you to your face

The long tail motorway going from Ao Nang to wherever is really not a pleasant experience, seem really odd, that you have such a great (and I really mean beautiful) location and then having the all day long noise from Long tail boats going forward and back . . . what a pitty

The entertaiment for the buffet in Rim Saai was more than what we see at similar places, but unfortunately a little difficult to see (no matter where you sit), so perhaps a little maintenance would be in place :-)

Thank you for a great vaction, we did like it, few things to change and we would go the full 5 star...

Room Tip: Go for rooms higher up, be aware that some sea view rooms are on ground floor, so even so you can se...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter S
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear Peter S

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to read we met most of your expectations and I am pleased the staff was able to assist you to change rooms to one with a view that you preferred.

Please allow me respond to some of your comments:
water in the rooms is available it is only a matter of asking and the room attendant to provide more, however as a standard we only set up 2 bottles in the room.

The speedboat service offered is for arriving and departing guests and is provided complimentary where in other resorts in the area you have to pay for this service.

I acknowledge your comments about the The Deep Blu bar, and we are currently reassessing this space with a view to change it to be used as another service.

The sunbeds are currently be replaced with the new styles and we are phasing out the old mattresses.

Thank you for the feedback about the parasols and the viewing of the entertainment during our Thai Hawker night, I will look into this further.

Once again thank you 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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Epalinges,vaud
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014 via mobile

A superbe location very close to aonang anf far enough to get calm. The walking monkey trail is superbe, we have crossed more then 100 monkeys. The hotel has very nice rooms with lovely terasses. Overall lacking details for such a price, broken sun beads, molding in the bath room....
Great bed, nice pool, lovely staff

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lesbiolles1966
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear Lesbiolles1966

Thank you for sharing your comments 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 all the team.

The wildlife around and within the resort is truly unique and I am please this added to your overall experience.

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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014 via mobile

The hotel private beach is the key advantage over other hotels in the area.
Not accessible by cars could be both pros & cons. Remote resort means you have more private during your stay, but free shuttle boat is limited to available seats during peak period, and time table is approx 1-1:5 hours apart each round.

Staffs are nice & friendly, but definitely need more to cope with large numbers of rooms & guests.

Worth the stay.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nat Y
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear Nat Y

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to read you had a wonderful time at the resort and enjoyed your overall stay.

Yes you are completely correct our unique location has its pros and cons and it comes down to individual guests preference.

I appreciate the comments on the number of staff but the resort has been much busier than expected and it takes time to recruit and train new staff, however we will continue to work to meet all the expectations of our guests.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014 via mobile

The hotel is enclosed within a cove. The only way to enter or leave the hotel is via boat or trail. On arrival, we had Coordinated our arrival time with the hotel boat shuttle, that meant that we didn't wait long at the bay. We were warmly greeted by the staff and were taken to our rooms. I highly recommend a sea facing room. Room 1275 and the room next to it has stunning views of the ocean and few steps away from the beach. Do take advantage of the one hour free canoe offered by the hotel. It is beautifully scenic. Once again, we were dissapointed by the lack of halal food at the hotel.
the first night at the resort was a bit of a nightmare. All the shuttles leaving the hotel were fully booked, it was too late to venture the monkey trail and there was no halal food at the resort... Lee Roy, a staff member was very helpful and arranged a fruit basket (at my own expense ofcourse)

My advice to you is always to book the hotel shuttle boats in advance to avoid disappointment. One should always have snacks at hand for the late night munchies. The hotel restaurants seem pricey, But I can't comment on the taste since I was not able to eat.

The private beach is lovely. It was always quiet during our stay .. so we enjoyed thoroughly.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anoor
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear Anoor

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort.

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay and yes the views from the hotel are amazing.

Unfortunately we don’t hold halal food due to the low demand, however this can be arranged, but it does need to be done in advance due our location.

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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

The location of this hotel is outstanding, surrounded by the cliffs and monkeys, which didn't bother us in hotel area, just steps away towards public beach.

Hotel itself is huge, so the service is far away from being perfect. Any request we've made via phone or directly to hotel staff, was taking ages to get done, with us reminding them that we were still waiting for the service. This was the most annoying part on our stay.

Rooms are not very clean either, looks like cleaning is done in a rush.

Overall if not the amazing location, this hotel would loose half of the customers.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ieva K
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear leva K

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort.

I was pleased to read you enjoyed the location but in contrast please accept my apologies that the service did not meet your expectation and for any inconvenience this caused.

Please rest assured that we are all committed and are working hard to continuously improve the quality of our product and service to meet all our guest’s expectations.

Once again thank you 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Truro, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

I have to agree with everything MonFish has written in their review, although the beach and outlook were beautiful we felt the hotel was very tired and didn"t live up to 5 stars. We have stayed in Thailand twice before (at the Anantara Hua Hin and Cape Panwa near Phucket) Both these hotels although not in such good locations were far superior as in service and cleanliness. Part of the problem we felt with the service was a lack of communication due to language difficulties
We didn't use the pool very much as it looked cloudy and was quite busy and noisy. There were plenty of sunbeds by the beach, and yes the umbrellas blew over quite often and once hit a woman on the head!
On the plus side, the food was very good with plenty of choice, loads of seafood or your more standard fare of pizzas and pasta. We didn"t try the Japanese restaurant but it looked good.
Wine is very expensive, about £28 for an average bottle of chardonnay including tax. We tended to have a meal at the Hotel one night and then into town the next.
The beach was lovely and fairly clean when we were there, we used the Kayaks which are free for an hour and rowed around the limestone island which was good fun, there were also paddle boards and Hobie cats to use.
We used the monkey trail a few times and there are certainly loads of monkeys! The babies are very cute but some of the older male monkeys have got very big teeth, I'm not sure that they would bite but I got slapped by one when I got in his way!
Although we had a nice time I don"t think we would go back to this hotel, we like fairly quiet but it was completely dead after 10pm with nothing to do except the occasional movie on the beach or football on the tv in an empty bar.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Helen E
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 review, 1 April 2014
Dear Helen E

Thank you for sharing your comments following your recent stay at our resort.

I was disappointed to read we did not completely meet all your expectations on this occasion.

I was pleased though to read you enjoyed the variety of food, the complimentary use of the water sports, and the wildlife added to your overall experience. Yes wine is expensive in Thailand due to the large taxes imposed by the Thai government.

We acknowledge we had an issue with the main swimming pool due to a broken circulation pump, which caused the water not to be crystal clear, however the water was treated and tested daily to ensure it remained safe for swimming. The pump has since been repaired. I trust you took the opportunity to use our second pool in front of the Rim Saai restaurant which had no issues.

Once again thank you for your feedback and we will continue to work towards meeting the expectation of all our guests.

Kind regards, David Martens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
millton keynes
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014 via mobile

Arriving at this hotel by boat you drive past and your just wowed by the beauty of the location this hotel is in. It is pure paradise, bedrooms clean and spacious with a huge balcony and bathroom. Food at the hotel is amazing, slighty more expensive than outside but you find yourself eating there because of the hassle of getting a boat or it being to hot to do monkey trail. That is one thing that lets the hotel down is the limited access to and from the hotel, if the boat is full you then have to pay 150bt to get a taxi boat which is by the hotel they should offer free transport no matter what. Dont do the monkey trail at dusk if you dont like bats and insects, it is steep but if you pace yourself youll be fine you have to experience it. definatly stay at this hotel amazing holiday.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank KLF678
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 review, 2 April 2014
Dear KLF678

Thank you for sharing your comments 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 all the team.

Yes our access is limited however this is also considered a highlight for many other guests, so it comes down to personal preference.

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

Kind regards, David Martens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi

Property: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Address: 396-396/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang, | Amphur Muang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 with 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 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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