My wife and I stayed her for 9 night over Easter. I think I'll review the resort as:
If you don't like wildlife i.e. monkeys on your balcony or monitor lizards, book elsewhere
If you hate noisy long tail boats and smelly engines, don't stay here
If you don't like staying on the resort most of the time, but visiting, not the ideal place to stay
If you like wildlife and want to see monkeys on your balcony, come here
If you enjoy a culture where water travel is essential to the locale, this is the place for you
If you enjoy coming and staying at a resort and relaxing with awesome scenery, this is a must
Anyway, that's just the start. What did we think about the Centara? 5 Star location with private beach, fantastic weather (35+ degrees C every day), restaurants excellent, staff friendly and generally helpful, service............ hmmmmmmmmm!
Yes, OK, we did have a couple of issues with the service (specifically room service and on-the-beach service). However, we did speak with the general manager and his 2iC and it most certainly improved dramatically (they kicked butt...). We understand the issues and feel the management have an uphill struggle. But give them their due, they are trying - and we do believe it will all improve. But the service MUST be 5 Star as well to keep the level of any resort at that same level. Good luck, David M.
Now for the good bits! As mentioned earlier, the scenery is simply breathtaking. Yes, there is the constant dawn till dusk drone of boats going to Railey Beach and other islands and picking up passengers from the pier. But this is part of the charm of Thailand - their long tail boats are part of the culture. And it is the only way in and out of the resort now that the Monkey Trail has been closed down (sadly). And the floating pier can be a bit of a hazard, especially if the sea gets lumpy - but the kids love it as it becomes a roller-coaster adventure for them. We had no issues with it (four Chang beers and its perfectly straight in all conditions - teehee).
The food is exquisite - the Thai restaurant, the Rim Saai, was simply the best. We ate there quite a few evenings and have to say, compared to flavour of the food in the local Ao Nang restaurants, we think its better. Price wise, a more expensive but definitely competitive. We recommend the soft shell crab and the crispy pork in green curry rice - mouth-watering!!!! Sadly, we cannot remember the name of the lady who looked after this restaurant, but she deserves a mention as she was simply fabulous - she brought the service up to 6 star...... And she had help from Honny - who was 6 star herself! Not just helpful, she was a delight to talk to, she couldn't do enough for us. Honny - a personal thank you!
We must mention a few of the other staff. Zafer, the Food and Beverage Manager, really made our stay exceptional. He'd only been at the resort for 2 weeks and was the @iC - and he was the whirlwind amongst the staff. We were convinced he was triplets as he was everywhere and doing everything - and giving the rest of the staff an example of what service should be! Well done, Zaf - and thank you. The 3 wonderful girls in the Club facility - Sa, Dang and May - what we have done without you looking after us? Brilliant - the Centara needs more like you. Jason who met us off the boat and helped us check in - top bloke! And to all the others who we haven't mentioned - thank you for upholding a quality of service that was sadly let down by others.
As to the room - we loved it. Modern, clean, fantastic design. The upper rooms are the best as you get the views out across the water - and you get monkeys. Good storage, beautiful bathroom layout, big bed, big TV, mini-bar, very big balcony. The bed is hard, so may not be to everyone's liking. We hate soft beds, so perfect for us. You'll never please everyone with this....... We spent a few nights on the balcony watching the tropical thunder storms and the lightning show. Fantastic.
Just for those families with children - we would recommend it big time! As the only way to get into the resort now is by boat, you won't get multitudes of other tourist invading the beach (unlike the Rayavadee on Railey beach - we went there and thought - never!! Wouldn't stay there if you payed us). It is definitely very private and VERY safe. The pools are great for kids, as is the beach and the sea. Maybe the water is not as clear as other beaches around, but at least you won't have to worry about them.
Would we recommend the Centara and go back? If we were to return to Krabi, this is the only place we would stay. And will we recommend it? Most certainly if you want to go for a beach holiday in Ao Nang.
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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