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“Lovely spot, but service lets it down.”

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #4 of 109 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2014

First up, this hotel is beautiful, absolutely no denying the fact that arriving by speedboat and seeing the resort appear is pretty special.

We had two nights at Centara for a friend's wedding. The staff member who met us at the pier grabbed our bags, and let us know we had a bit of a wait for the boat, so go grab a drink. Transfer was fine. Much mentioned pier was slightly rocky, but fine. But definitely can imagine that in rough weather it would be pretty rough to get on or off.

Check In was fine, we were escorted to our room which was quite lovely looking, pointed out a few things along the way. Staff member did forget to mention that buffet breakfast was included, which would have been handy.

I arrived before 4pm, and immediately noticed there was no iron in the room. I ran reception straight away as I needed my shirt and trousers pressed for the wedding the next day. After lots of various answers they said they could get it back to me in time. To speed things up I walked the laundry bag to reception, where I was assured I would have it by 2pm the following day. Needless to say, fast forward to the next day, when arriving back at my room at 3pm, not only there is a cleaner in the room which prevents my wife and I from getting ready, but no laundry has appeared. I quickly call reception to be told it will be delivered by 4.30pm (right during the ceremony...) After a few calls I am told that the shirt will be delivered by 4pm. Now that might seem like a bit of a rant, but this resort claims to be five star. The unique location means I can't simply walk down the street to a Thai laundry and get my ironing done. And 24 hours notice for a shirt to be simply ironed is unacceptable (if it takes that long, put an iron in the room!). Made it to the ceremony a few minutes ahead of the bride.

The room designer was a bit absent minded when it came to the electronic side of things. From bed you can't reach a light switch. There is no clock, and there is no power outlet by the bed, so you can't plug your phone in and use that as a clock. When you turn on the light for the toilet, the light for the bathroom comes on also. However the glass wall means the bathroom light then shines straight in to the bedroom, effectively lighting up the entire room. But then you turn the light off, and stumble back to the bed in the dark...

As numerous other people have mentioned, there is a serious issue with the deck chairs around the pool. By lunchtime we couldn't get close to the pool, with every single chair reserved with a towel - resort staff need to police this. If you're not using the chair, you lose the chair. We don't want to leave our belongings a hundred metres from the pool, but what option do you have?

We ate in the Japanese restaurant, perfectly nice meal, but pretty quiet, I think we were just one of three tables. Quite expensive, but we guessed as much.

Breakfast is good, but wish I'd been told it was complementary, as I'd avoided it the first morning.

Monkey Trail. Perhaps a little more signage, and information at check-in. This is a fairly creaky old walk, and we thought we may see a monkey or two. We saw about 50-60, and we quickly discovered it was their trail, and humans are the imposter. One little guy thought it would be a good idea to jump up on me and give me a nice scratch. Not cool. Not when the little critters commonly carry rabies.

All in all there was nothing terrible about the hotel, hence the 3/5 review, it is too expensive however. Given that it was known we were guests of a wedding I would have thought that cleaning staff would get our room cleaned in the morning, not in the hour before when we would like to be getting ready. Laundry service is hopelessly inadequate (most five star hotels/resorts have either an iron in room, or a 1 hour pressing service), the non-policing of deck chairs makes the pool uncomfortable, and the lights/switches would drive me insane fairly quickly.

To be honest I've read through dozens of reviews of this hotel just to see if I was having a tough day, but the service issues tend to pop up again and again. Very disappointing also to see that the General Manager tends to dismiss negative reviews with sarcasm and ignorance - if you're not willing to improve or ignore the problems guests encounter then don't respond on TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jmadl
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 May 2014

Dear jmadl

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

I was disappointed to read our service did not meet your expectations and that you feel that my responses are not appropriate. However as this is a public forum where guests are free to write what they like and it is only fair that the hotel should be able to respond accordingly.

As you can see on this forum our resort has in excess of 1550 reviews and for what we constantly read from so called “well informed”, “world travelers” that “no one told them you can only access the resort by boat, or that there are monkeys is in the resort, or that we have a floating jetty” is pure ignorance and not deflecting the responsibility and I am truly sorry you see it this way.

I appreciate your comments on the design of the room and if they were regularly mentioned by other guests I am confident the company would consider changing the design of the room.

You are right the sun loungers by the pool are very popular and when the hotel is running at 100% occupancy, which it was during your stay, you will need to get in early to get one. We do our best to manage this, but we have not been able to solve how to tell a guest that is using the pool that then decides to use the water sports equipment that they should vacate their sun lounge, or the guests who decides to go and have lunch in the restaurant they should vacate their chair? Please feel free to share your solution. Besides there are numerous other sun lounges for guests to use along the beachfront, in front of the relaxation pool or on the lawn, but if your preference is the pool, then you need to be early.

I am sorry the staff did not mention that breakfast was included in your rate, however I am confident it would have been listed in your reservation confirmation.

Once again thank you for your feedback and contrary to your opinion we do constantly work on improving all our services so that we can meet the legitimate expectations of all our guests.

regards, David Martens

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Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

My wife daughter and myself returned from this hotel on the 20th April, we loved everything about this hotel and holiday.

We stayed in one of the Villa's which was stunning. The double beds were so comfortable I'm missing them already. The bathroom had a free standing bath and wet room shower.The TV had a movie channel which was in English and also had many sports channels which was great so I could catch up on the latest football matches.

The pool area is stunning and the sun beds were always available whenever we wanted one. The views looking out to sea were amazing. The pool bar On The Rocks served very nice food and drinks all day and the staff ( Big thank you to Leroy ) were all so friendly, Leroy was so helpful and very funny, great bar manager.


The hotel is unique as you have to get a boat to get to it ( unless you walk the Monkey Trail ) which was a great experience, it's quite steep in places but worth the walk as you will get to see many monkeys.

The breakfast at the hotel is lovely with a great selection, something for everyone. We had the buffet one night which was lovely. We didn't use the other restaurants as we got the boat into Ao Nang most nights to meet friends for good and drinks but we spoke to people who used the hotels restaurants and they were all very impressed with the service and food.

The Thai people are so friendly and we can't wait to return to this wonderful country. We will also be booking again to return to the Centara Grand as it is a superb hotel.

Stayed: April 2014
Thank glenn 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 May 2014

Dear glenn b

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

It was a pleasure to read you and your family enjoyed your overall stay including your villa and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of Leroy at On the Rocks.

The chef was also happy to read you enjoyed his breakfast buffet which has a lot of variety with many items changing on a daily basis.

Once again thank you for your generous 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

A unique location for a hotel, with arrival by speedboat. The surrounding areas are amazing. The hotel was very busy when we stayed in April (easter holidays and Thai New Year). The rooms are a good standard, and everything you should expect from a high quality resort.
Having read reviews about Mark at the front desk helping out, this was an understatement. Mark was excellent for us. We had a few teething problems, but Mark took it in his stride and resolved them all, with a smile! Thanks Mark.
The hotel is located in a National Park with Monkeys! so you have to keep your windows locked and shut, but its an amazing site. The Monkey trail is a must, and is not too challenging. With the low tide in the afternoons, its possible to walk across to Ao Nang, which is very pleasant.
The service and the standard of food generally good.
The hotel provides a regular shuttle service by speedboat to the mainland, which allows you to get out and about. These can get busy, so its important to book in advance. This is a good service.
Ao Nang is the local Town which has a good selection of restaurants, shops, street food, massage parlours etc.
There is an opportunity to visit the surrounding Islands, which the hotel can organise. This is a popular hotel, and would probably be more enjoyable when not so busy, but a lovely location and good standard nonetheless.

Room Tip: The rooms located higher up provide better views of the ocean.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Rajusidhu
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 May 2014

Dear Rajusidhi

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 Mark our front office manager who was able to make sure any issues were resolved quickly.

Yes the resorts location is very unique being located within the national park and there is a lot of wildlife and I am pleased 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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Reviewed 26 April 2014

This hotel is very first class...Everything from checking in, walkways, staff, and rooms were superb. We had the jacuzzi room with a huge balcony fully furnished room...Very modern with the placement of the interior furniture set perfectly...The huge bathroom with a separate tub felt just like home. I'm not a picky person but even someone who is probably can't say anything bad about this place. Feels like an island because you have to take a shuttle boat (that runs very often) to the main beach altho you can hike up the "monkey trail" which takes you directly to the main aonang beach strip....maybe 15 minutes walk? Great for couples and families....

Room Tip: Be sure to lock your screen doors (sliding doors) when you leave. I was told that monkeys could ent...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paul 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 reviewResponded 2 May 2014

Dear Paul K

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

It was a pleasure to read you enjoyed your overall stay including your room with the Jacuzzi on the balcony in our spa rooms, which are by the far the most popular of our room types.

Yes you are correct, if you don’t lock you doors the monkeys will enter you room looking for food due to the guests continue to feed them (even though we don’t recommend it) and they are conditioned to expect all guests will feed them.

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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Reviewed 25 April 2014 via mobile

Just come back from an 11 day stay at the centara what can I say the hotel lived up to my expectations in everyway and Iam pleased I made the decision to choose this hotel.I had done so much research on the hotel and I knew what to expect. Room was excellent clean and a view you could wake up to each morning and never get bored off yes it was a hike to get to but there is always the buggies if you have had a tiresome day lazing by the pool.Breakfast was good with so many choices.Loved the jetty and getting the boat into Aonang at night it's not everyday you get to go in a speedboat at home so it was something we looked forward to on our nights out.Monkey trail not a problem at all I used it as an excuse to go out in the afternoon to go to a food cart and some free time from the Mrs.Overall I recommend this hotel and would definitely stop here again the scenery wildlife and out of the way of the huddle and bussle suited us down to the ground.ps go for the 10k baht bonanza if your a couple.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Paulnffc1968
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 29 April 2014

Dear Paulnffc1968

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

It was a pleasure to read you and your wife enjoyed your stay and yes our location is truly unique and we also never tire of the views.

Chef was happy you enjoyed the great variety of the breakfast buffet as we have many items that change each day.

The baht bonanza is a unique program to Centara hotels and resorts and I am pleased you took advantage of this scheme.

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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Reviewed 25 April 2014

We have just left the resort after spending 4 days there and had a great time - loved it. We had read all of the reviews before visiting, and yes, some are true but others maybe a slight exaggeration. We booked a pool front villa which gave us the "club" facilities, which was 5+ star treatment from the moment we stepped off the floating pier - which was fun, unless of course you are wearing stiletto's, then you just take them off! You are entering a nature reserve therefore you just cant erect ugly piers, or get rid of the nature such as the monkeys which are harmless, if you are lucky enough to see one!

I would recommend the club facility, even if its not included with your room grade. As a club member, we were greeted immediately by a member of the guest services, taken to the air conditioned club lounge and personally checked in by our club host, whilst taking advantage off the free food and drinks served during the full day (alcohol 5pm to 7pm only). Our personal thanks to Dang who was so nice and caring, she made our entire holiday complete, all the way through until we stepped back on the boat. After 2 days in the pool side villa, because it was Easter and a lot of noise round the pool as there were many kids there, Dang got us a free upgrade to a pool villa, right at the very top, the highest point with stunning views, at no extra cost. We thought it would be an issue walking up and down, but surprisingly it wasn't, although we had the option of the cart, but that meant communication with inconsistent guest services, although Dang to the rescue, once again!

Some comments say the food maybe slightly more expensive than other similar grade hotels, we didn't think so however when you take into consideration the quality, the environment, the excellent rooms, views and location, as they say - horses for courses! In fact, I can honestly say, with the club facilities, we could have gone the entire 4 days without spending a penny as there is food and drink all day long, especially during the alcohol hours with sushi, and lots of other choices.

The MONKEY TRAIL HAS BEEN REMOVED, and is no longer! Apparently this was a total surprise to the hotel. While we were there, it was removed, no idea why! So is this a bad thing? Not for the guests as the hotel now have a free boat to the village where the trail takes you, as well as to the main pier as before. For the staff, my guess is that this could be a problem as this is how they got to work, now they have to take the boat from the main pier which could add a lot more time to their already long day. Perhaps the hotel can give them the boat trip from this village and not the main pier. Yes the boat times can sometimes be a pain, but just make sure you book them in advance, although now they are more frequent this should help.

The hotel know they have staff problems, the location does not help! Their English is not at all good, although the odd member will speak good English, but most of the time when you call guest services, you will wait a long time for them to answer or to speak to someone who understands your request - this really does need addressing, which we did see positive signs of action.

There is a brand new hands on, Assistant Manager who is excellent and also deserves a big thank you, he also went the extra few miles to make sure we had everything we needed - and some!! He has only been there 2 weeks, but already seems to be on top of things and knows what's needed.

So another comment you may have read is the murky pool. Yes both pools were cloudy but were also sorted while we were there, lets hope they keep this up now.

The last comment I kept reading was whether this hotel is 5 star. With the location and the excellent quality of the rooms, and the superb food especially in the Thai restaurant, it a 5 star for me, but in terms of proactive, and reactive staff service, and the pools when we first arrived, its currently a 4 star in my view, although you have to understand how stars are awarded, and therefore by the book, they are a 5 star.

In summary, a great location, but with some staff issues that are being addressed. Next year I understand some employment laws will change and therefore should help solve these problems, but then be warned, for such a location, you may then pay more as for what you experience today, it is already excellent value ONLY if you are looking for a different and rural, island like experience!

Thank you Centara, Dang and Assistant Manager, we also understand your Centara hotel in Maldives is as good, if not better, so that's where we are booking next!

Room Tip: One with club facilities
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Tony G
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 29 April 2014

Dear Tony G

Thank you for sharing your detailed 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 Khun Dang in the Club Lounge. She is a great asset to the hotel and I have passed your comments onto her, which are greatly appreciated.

Yes you are correct to advise that the Monkey Trail is no more! The authorities decided to remove it without notice or reason. Our company is currently negotiating with the authorities to find a solution for the future and in the meantime our staff now access the resort by longtail boat.

The resort has also introduced an hourly longtail boat service into Ao Nang for those people who had planned on using the monkey trail.

We acknowledge your feedback and we know we still have work to do to make sure we can meet the expectation of all our guests.

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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Reviewed 24 April 2014

Just returned from the most amazing holiday I loved this hotel and the fact that it can only be reached by boat makes it more special. We had the most amazing villa and everything about this hotel is first class. The service is excellent and the food is great, we loved speaking to Leroy who managed 'On the Rocks' restaurant and bar. I found the monkey trail a bit scary especially when one jumped on my back but we did use it a few times. Spent the Thai New Year at the hotel which was a great evening with excellent food and entertainment. Every day spent at this hotel was like a dream and I'm so sad to be home would return tomorrow and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel! Thank you Centara Grand for great memories and a wonderful holiday!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Paula 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 29 April 2014

Dear Paula B

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 and for especially mentioning Leroy at On the Rocks.

It was great to also read you enjoyed the Songkran activities (Thai New Year) and that you have such find memories of our resort.

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

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

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: £91 - £348 (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 & Villas Hotel Ao Nang
Centara Grand Beach Resort And Villas
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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