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“Stunning hotel and location but some niggles”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #4 of 108 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Stunning hotel and location but some niggles”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Centara was the second stop on our trip in Thailand where my husband and I came to celebrate our anniversary. It is really difficult to rate this hotel because of its absolutely amazing location and picturesque hotel grounds and beach but on the other hand inconsistent service. However, despite several niggles, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and we would probably come back if we did not decide to splash a bit more money on neighbouring Rayavadee.

When we were booking the hotel, we were slightly scared because of some bad reviews here on the TripAdvisor. However, I am glad to say that not all the reviews are true. People complain a lot about the floating peer and the general access to the town. Well, these people then surely did not do enough research because all this is stated on the Centara’s website. Yes, there are only 2 ways to get to the hotel which actually gives you the unique and secluded feeling – these include a free boat transfer (5-10 mins from Noppharat Thara beach) which takes you to not very stable floating pear which is actually quiet fun as you feel like surfing while you are trying to walk to the beach (this is definitely not a place for people with mobility problems), Centara staff will take care of your luggage. The 2nd possibility included the ‘monkey trail’ which consists of a quite steep climb on the wooden stairs around the hill which takes around 15 mins to get to the Ao nang town. In our case, it took around an hour because of the several stops with the monkeys which we absolutely loved. Yes, they are very cheeky and try to grab sunglasses, bags and anything sparkly but if you are not like us and you simply ignore them, they are fairly harmless. I personally love animals so seeing monkeys playing, swimming in the water, eating or even climbing on my back was one of my highlights of our trip to Centara. If you consider using monkey trail, I definitely recommend flat comfortable shoes (no heels!) and as little clothing as possible (yes, you will sweat, a lot!!). If you don’ t fancy the climb, you can always book free boat transfer which will take you to Noppharat Thara beach located around 5-10 mins taxi ride from Ao Nang which offers a variety of restaurants, bars and shops. The monkey trail on the other hand takes you to the beginning of Ao Nang beach which has stunning views but is a bit dirty so we always preferred staying in the Centara beach which was always empty.

More about location: Centara’s location is really unique, offering you beautiful views of the limestone located right in front of its beach. The beach, despite being public, was always very quiet, the water was clean and the distant sound of the long tail boats really did not bother us. The hotel is also just behind the corner from the stunning Railay beaches and Phranang cave beach. You can hire canoe from the hotel (free for an hour) and around £7 for the whole day which I would recommend to everybody who would like see the area without a tour. We have done a whole day trip around the Railay peninsula and the beaches there were breath taking!!! Yes, there were quite a lot of people but not as many to spoil the experience. It takes about 30 mins to get to Railay by canoe. Noppharat Thara beach is another stunning beach close by– no people and peace and quiet – worth spending 2-3 hours there.
The hotel – rooms, food, pool: We stayed in Spa Deluxe Ocean facing room as it was our anniversary and we wanted something special. While booking, we have requested an unobstructed view of the lime stone feature in front of the hotel but from the room we were given we could see only a part of the floating peer which made us feel really disappointed. We were offered moving to another room on our 2nd day, however, it did not have the view either so we stayed in our original room. I do understand it was only a request but I was still very disappointed. The room was really nice, we also got a cake and flower petals on the bed and in the bath which was a nice touch and having the Jacuzzi on the balcony was fantastic. It had very Thai feel to it and its layout was very interesting. I also loved the rain shower in the bathroom! Toilet was separated from the bathroom which is always good and if you wanted, you could open the bathroom door and literally see the ocean. Although the room was visually stunning, we could notice its age – we had trouble locking the main door and the balcony door were getting stuck. Housekeeping could also spend a bit more time cleaning as the floor always felt a bit dirty and lamps and tables were a bit dusty. We also ordered room service one day and that was a disaster. My husband’s burger came completely cold, so was my club sandwich and chips. We also asked for mayonnaise which was forgotten and when we asked again, it took around half an hour to get it. The food was also only cling filmed so no wonder it got cold so fast as there was nothing to keep it warm. However, the issues were rectified as the meal was eventually taken of our bill. Another disappointment came with our evening meal where we meant to celebrate our anniversary. A few days before that day, my husband called to book us a nice table and asked if it could be made special as we will be celebrating our anniversary. However, this was not acknowledged during that evening and no special table reserved – we got a table in the middle of the dining area. The food was, however, very nice – it was ‘barbecue buffet’ which although quite pricey (around £35 pp) was of very good quality – grilled prawns, lobster, steaks. The life music was also very nice touch.

The staff we encountered in the hotel were all very polite and friendly – a massive credit to a lady on the tour desk (morning 27th of Feb) who helped us arranging a day trip with a personal driver (to Tiger Cave and Emerald pool) and also organized the hotel to take our luggage and transport them to their head office in Ao Nang where we could pick them up after our trip and continue to the next destination. She was absolutely brilliant and arranged everything as we asked.

The hotel has also its own spa, which was very expensive so we didn’t try it and free use of the gym which was very good and well equipped! The hotel has 2 pools – a large two tier pool which was absolutely stunning and never crowded and a very small adult pool. They have also a strict policy regarding reserving sunbeds and leaving them which was greatly appreciated! If you desire to stay on the beach (where sun bed are not allowed), you can use the beach towels or borrow a ‘beach mattress.’

Breakfast in the hotel was great and in a beautiful setting – surrounded by a pond full of fish which the kids could feed and with the amazing ocean views. Everything we tried was really tasty – there was a great choice – Thai dishes as well as European style dishes, pancakes, a lot of pastries and cakes, a big selection of cereals etc. and they were changing some items daily. You could also order chef’ s special which was different every day. I also loved the choice of smoothies and freshly prepared yogurts.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in Centara. It has a fantastic location and stunning beach. It is a very beautiful resort and despite the few slips, I think we would be both happy to stay again. Don’t believe the bad reviews.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Veronika C
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, 21 April 2014
Dear Veronika C

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

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay, even though you experienced some inconsistency in our service delivery. Please accept my apologies for these inconsistencies and we will continue to work on these to meet the expectation of all our guests.

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to write such detailed comments and I am sure they will be of benefit to our future guests.

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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English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Keep your doors locked or the monkeys will get in! Seriously, and they are adept at opening the minibar and opening the beer cans...!
A lovely resort, but it is remote. You have to by boat everywhere.
We did an excellent excursion to Phi Phi islands but the boat was full which left no space. However the snorkelling was amazing.
There were young honeymooners and families there.
We went to explore Krabi Town, but I wouldn't recommend as there as nothing really of interest there. Getting a taxi was easy enough and reasonably priced private car, who we kept all day and then kept again for the journey back to hotel.
The hotel do provide a car to and from airport at a hefty price but you don't need this as we found. We were first to arrive at the pier in our hotel car but had to wait nearly an hour and a half for the shuttle boat to take us to the hotel, in the meantime all the other tourists who arrived by bus or standard taxi arrived as well.

Room Tip: Our room was 100 steps up the mountain, so not a place to be if you are ill or elderly - but all roo...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tony M
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, 21 April 2014
Dear Tony M

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

Yes our location is isolated and unique and yes there are monkeys in the national park that do visit the rooms because guests continue to feed them, even though we have signs everywhere in the room not to feed them.

I have to agree with you Krabi town is not for tourists it is mainly an administrative town for the local community. Most of what tourist want is in Ao Nang or further afield.

Due to the number of steps in the resort we do not recommend or market our resort for anyone that has mobility issues.

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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ipswich
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

A lovely relaxing resort set within an idyllic location, my wife and I spent our honeymoon here before flying to Bangkok. The room was very clean and a very large balcony with day beds which was lovely. Overall this accommodation was a little bit of heaven.

Advice we would give to others: This resort is isolated and the only way on to the resort is by speedboat onto a very wobbly floating pontoon, if you are in any way unsteady on your feet, this is not very suitable, the other way off of the resort is by a monkey trail, this has been built by the contractors when the resort was built and is very steep, the steps are small planks of wood and the hand rail is quite unsteady, again not suitable for people with mobility issues or fear of steep steps.

The food and drink at this location are very nice but costly and as you can only get of this resort by a boat which you have to book, it would seem you have to pay the price, on arrival you will be asked to deposit a sum of 20000 baht as a security deposit which we were not expecting.

The resort runs a baht bonaza, this is where you put a sum of money down in advance, they will then give you extra as a bonus, we put down 10000 baht and received 3000 baht extra, this does not go far when the prices are as they are in the resort.

Overall we had a lovely vacation and as previously mentioned this is a little bit of heaven.
We are not in any way moaning with the above review, just felt that had we have known a little more about this resort we would have been a little more prepared for what is there and the costs involved and hope this helps future travellers to this resort prepare for what there is, we spoke to several couples who raised exactly the same points.

Thanks to everyone at the resort, the staff are very friendly and helpful and made our stay that little bit more special.

Room Tip: All rooms are spaced well, there is no noise here as there is no music playing loudly and there are...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lee M
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, 21 April 2014
Dear Lee M

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

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your honeymoon and yes it is standard international hotel requirement that a security deposit of 2,000 baht per night is required upon check-in for signing privileges to your room. This deposit can be done in Thai baht or any foreign currency or by a hold placed on your credit card.

Yes our baht bonanza is a unique offer that only Centara offers, and I am pleased you took advantage of this scheme.

Thank for your acknowledging the efforts of the team including their friendliness.

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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Stockport
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2014

We stayed here for ten days towards the end of March, upgraded to club which was worth every penny. The staff in the resort were always very helpful and. Nothing too much trouble. Our particular thanks go to Dang, Sa and Cha in the club lounge who made our stay amazing. I got sun stoke whilst I was there and Dang went and bought some presents for me to save me the trouble of leaving the resort. The Manager observed I was not well and arranged for me to see the nurse on site who sorted me out.
The rooms were lovely, but on occasions the air conditioning could have been cooler. Unbelievably we didn't get any monkeys our balcony a shame because I love monkeys. The breakfast were lovely and the Thai restaurant delicious and good value for money. We would definitely visit again.

Room Tip: Ocean facing, room 1066, may not see the monkeys on your balcony here.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JanBJZ
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, 17 April 2014
Dear JanBJZ

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 that the Club upgrade met with your expectations. Thank you also for specifically mentioning some of the key staff who made your stay memorable such as Khun Dang, Khun Sa and Khun Cha in the Club lounge. I have passed these comments onto them are they are greatly appreciated.

I have taken note of your comment about the air conditioning and will follow this up with the engineering team.

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

best regards, David Martens
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2014

the centara grand resort in krabi ao nang is located behind a mountain in front of the ocean , after the flight we take taxi 30 min drive to the port and from there a speed boat servcie taking you to the hotel .
when we arrive we waite for the rooms to be connected for us but the reception team was great!
the food in the resturants was very good and the happy hour in the swimming pool , what i didnot like is that if your room is located high you need to order a bagy car or to walk up to your room its not easy to get on all steps , the spa is not chaep but its wanderfull !
good hotel good service i think i will come back more !

Room Tip: if you are going with littel children or big take the bechfront villa they close to the swimming poo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MHJ090980
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, 17 April 2014
Dear MHJ090980

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 specifically the food and your treatments at Spa Cenvaree,

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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Banbury, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2014

This hotel far exceeded my expectations!!! Arriving on the ferry to that floating pier was so fun.

We had a room round the side which was lovely as the view out the front was straight out on to the ocean and to the side was Monkey Land... Who I loved, they are so inquisitive.

The food was divine, we tried three of the restaurants. Rim Saai a particular favorite of ours, especially on the nights they have the entertainment. We also went on a day with the Elephants, this was so much fun.

I found the entire complex really clean and the service I cannot rate highly enough. The staff were immensely polite and courteous always with a big smile on their faces... Writing this I just want to go back.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kira C
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, 17 April 2014
Dear Kira C

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

It was a pleasure to read we exceeded your expectations on your honeymoon and thank you for acknowledging the staff friendliness.

The chef was also pleased to read you enjoyed the food especially in Rim Saai our Thai restaurant.

Once again thank you for your kind 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
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We couldnt have asked for more from Centara on our Honeymoon. Arriving by boat and seeing the resort from the water was stunning. You couldnt ask for a better setting for the hotel, being surrounded by towering cliffs that encompassed the property.

When we arrived we met with Mark who gave us a free upgrade to one of the pool villas! it was absolutely breathtaking. The villas itself was comfortable, huge and spotless. Being in the back of the property up on the hill we were secluded and had breathtaking views of the beach and rock formations in the water.

The service was phenomenal. Truly some of the kindest people we have ever met while we stayed at Centara. Everything was prompt whether it was ordering food to the room or the restaurants or getting our luggage to and from the room or getting the last of the laundry before we had to pack up and leave. We couldnt say enough about the service and people at Centara.

Plenty of activities to do right on the property from Monkey Trail to stand up paddle boarding to kayaking. The beach was also beautiful. Very private because the cliffs that surround the resort cut off access to the public. Clean and incredibly soft sand. Emerald green water that was incredibly warm. All of it was amazing.

Room Tip: Pool Villas are fantastic. Very private and secluded. You could be in the all week and not know that...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank SteveK9202013
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, 14 April 2014
Dear SteveK9202013

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

I was pleased to read you enjoyed your overall stay.

It is always such a pleasure to receive compliments about our staff and thank you for acknowledging their kindness and for specifically mentioning Mark our front office manager who made sure you were allocated a room you were happy with. These comments have been passed to Mark and they are greatly appreciated.

Yes our location is truly unique along with our relatively private beach any many watersports to enjoy, our resort is ideal for couples and families alike.

Once again thank you for your generous 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
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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
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
#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 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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