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“Bitter Sweet Experience” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi

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Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Ranked #4 of 105 Hotels in Ao Nang
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Bitter Sweet Experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

We did our homework... we knew about the floating jetty (not so bad once you get your balance!), the monkeys (although sweet for the first few seconds, turning desperate and aggressive), and possibly far walks to our room. This hotel is only accessable via a boat (there is the monkey trail you can walk for access, but we did not try it) and the shuttles from Nopparatthara Pier are on the hour.

For ease of reference, I will divide my review in two parts:

Sweet:

No photo on any brochure or website, will prepare you fully on the location of this hotel. It is nestled at the bottom of sheer limestone cliffs jutting up. It has its own private beach. Absolutely magnificent.

The staff are friendly, and despite the language barrier here and there, they are willing to assist.

Special mention to the staff of Lotus Restaurant. This restaurant received the 2013 Tripadvisor Excellent Certificate and it is clear why. The food is really good and so are the cocktails! You have to try their ice cream, specially prepared at your table with fresh ingredients and liquid nitrogen!!

We stayed in a luxury ocean facing room. Although I had to move my head a bit to the right to catch a glimpse of some water, it was spacious and well appointed. The mosquito doors are a good idea. We could leave the aircon off with just the mosquito doors closed & some fresh air moving in.

We spend an afternoon in Cenvaree Spa. I did not want to leave!!! Such an awesome experience!! Even if you are not a fan of Spas, at least go for a Thai Massage!!

But, unfortunately there were some Bitter experiences. These are just small details that in my opinion, when attended to, will make this hotel even more spectacular:

Against the wall of our room (1224), there are 3 beautiful pictures of shells. So fitting, except that the middle one is badly damaged and I seem to be the only one noticing it. Remove the picture, it is a real eye sore, & it gives the beautiful room an air of cheapness.

The lampshades by the bed can also do with a good scrub.

We ordered room service twice. Both times the next mornings, we returned, to be faced with a clean room, but the dirty dishes still on the table. The second day we requested from the gentleman who was re-stocking the mini bar, to please take the dirty dishes with him. When we left the room about an hour later, we found the dishes unceremoniously dumped outside at the entrance. We returned after dinner and room turned, but the dirty dishes still laying outside. We passed another room, also with dishes laying in the walkway. I found this odd. In any other hotel, dirty dishes are removed by housekeeping when cleaning. The monkeys off course had a field day - no wonder they are so demanding and even aggressive.

For two days in a row, our bathroom amenities were not replenished.

A dead cockroach was not removed when the room was cleaned.

To end off, this hotel is great if you are here for some watersports - they have kayaks for guests' pleasure, as well as a diving centre. Or, you can be as lazy as we were, laying in the sun loungers ordering cocktails from On The Rocks. Either way, you come here to relax and breathe.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Liezel 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, 4 August 2014
Dear Liezel101

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

I appreciate you sharing both your positive and area for improvement experiences. Thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the staff but also for specifically mentioning the Lotus Court staff.

In regards to your constructive comments we appreciate there are issues with our in room dining experience therefore we have recently made some changes to the team managing this department as well as changed the procedure for clearing and collecting plates/dishes which we are confident will improve this aspect.

We continue to work with the housekeeping supervisors who are responsible for checking the details following the service by the room attendants to raise the level of this service.

Once again thank you for your feedback and where we still need to improve to meet your expectations.

Kind regards, David Martens
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

We stayed here for 8 nights recently and had a fabulous time. It truly is an absolutely stunning location. Our two boys loved taking the boat, the monkey trail, e-zone and all the monkey watching. We had a very relaxing stay and moved onto the Sheraton Krabi after this. I preferred the Centara, Sheraton was so huge and spread out, Centara is quite compact and easy for the kids to have some independence whilst being close by and the rooms are far superior. The breakfast buffet was lovely and the Bircher muesli one of the best around.

Very relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StephDuboudin
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, 4 August 2014
Dear StephDuboudin

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 location is stunning, I never get tired of waking up to such a great outlook. I am also happy that your boys enjoyed the interaction with the monkeys as well as the Ezone and hope the rest of their stay in Thailand was a healthy one.

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
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had read practically every review ever written about this hotel so we were fully prepared for the floating pier, the monkeys and the schedule of the boats at this time of the year.
I can honestly say that the hotel exceeded all our expectations. Everything ran smoothly according to plan from the van waiting to collect us at the airport, the hotel speed boat that fetched us at the pier and took us to the hotel and even the pier was rolling in the waves on cue. Our 8 year old daughter thought it was better than a roller coaster ride and we had to go for regular 'rides' on the pier. If you aren't steady on your feet there are plenty of staff waiting to escort guests along the pier. I wouldn't recommend this for the elderly or disabled but then I would assume that in this day and age most travelers would do at least a little research before selecting a hotel.
Marc, the hotel manager escorted our daughter, which she felt very special about and we were checked in and escorted to our room with the most magnificent view we had ever seen. We had a spa room on the third floor with a view out over the bay and a jacuzzi tub on our balcony where we all ended up every evening sitting in the warm water looking down at the twinkling lights of the hotel and listening to the waves. We're missing it now just writing about it.
Breakfast was absolutely delicious with more than enough choices. We could choose to sit inside or out but having read the reviews about the monkeys we opted for inside ... a good choice because it wasn't long before they were trying to snatch food from guests plates. The staff are very good at keeping them at bay though. The pianist at breakfast was excellent as were the waiters and waitresses.
On the subject of monkeys, we were not overly bothered by them. They did come onto our balcony when we arrived to check out the 'new arrivals' but when they saw that we weren't going to feed them, they left. We also spotted them one evening on the beach trying to catch baby crabs but were not interested in the humans at all.
We ate a few times at the On the Rocks restaurant. The setting is magnificent and the staff were attentive contrary to what we'd read in some reviews. All of our meals were perfect and special mention must be made of Leroy who went out of his way to make my birthday dinner one evening extra special. He gave us each a glass of bubbly when we arrived, organized a little cake with candles and got the singers to sing Happy Birthday. He also gave us a voucher for a complimentary bottle of house wine. He was awesome!
The waves at this time of the year can be a it tricky for the boat to come in so it often wasn't running. On those days we just checked when the tide would be out and walked around the rocks to the village of Ao Nang. We misjudged our timing with the tides coming back one night however and couldn't walk around and there wasn't a boat so we had no choice but to take the monkey trail in the pitch dark. Luckily we had a phone with a torch so my husband walked ahead using the torch for a few meters while we waited then shone it back for us to follow. It was honestly not a problem at all and there were plenty of hotel staff using the trail too. After that we used the trail a few more times.
The hotel pool is beautiful and the gardens immaculate.
We know that reading this there are probably people out there thinking that it can't possibly be so perfect and that we probably don't get out much but on the contrary we are both airline crew who have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world for the last 25 years so we do have a lot of experience with hotels and are very aware of service and yes we do give this hotel and the staff 10 out of 10.
Thank you to everyone that made our stay there so memorable.

Room Tip: We had room 1105 which was spectacular.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank BMS11
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, 4 August 2014
Dear BMS11

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

I was pleased to read you had done your research before staying, I wish more guests would do the same.

It was also a pleasure to read you all enjoyed your overall stay and thank you for specifically mentioning Leroy at On the Rocks who helped make your birthday dinner special.

Yes the boat trips can be exhilarating and the wildlife around and within the resort is truly unique and I am please this added to your overall experience.

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
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

Our experience of Centara Grand Beach Resort was the holidays the kids were hoping for, from the arrival to board shuttle boat the welcoming did not stop. Yes it was a rough day and one of our party did struggle on day one with the pontoon, but very quickly we moved on and enjoyed the boat transfers for the experience you do not get at other resorts. The staff were always pleasant and very willing to offer assistance as required, It would be a miss of me not to especially mention Dang for attention from the moment we arrived throughout the 5 day stay always a pleasant smile and nothing was too much trouble. Also thankyou Sa, we had a rocky start on the first two days due shortage of a special drink but once in stock Sa ensured we were always looked after and became a laugh we and Sa enjoyed every afternoon during pre-dinner drinks. As has been mentioned in other reviews this is a national park, there are monkeys. Do not feed the monkeys and they will stay away not once did we feel threaten but did see people having problem and nearly always this was following them feeding the monkeys and the monkeys wanting more.
Thankyou again to the whole team.
Definitely will stay here again when heading back to Thailand

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colin 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, 25 July 2014
Dear Colin E

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

It is always a pleasure to receive compliments about our staff and thank you for specifically mentioning Khun Dang and Khun Sa in the Club. These comments have been passed to them and they are greatly appreciated.

I applaud your comment about the monkeys and even though we have signs and notices in the rooms "not to feed the monkeys", guests continue to do this and then wonder why they feel threatened when the monkeys expect more food.

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
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

I absolutely loved my stay at Centara Grand in Krabi. The staff is friendly and helpful. The location is incredible- stunning views of the rock/ocean. I thought it was cool but also a bit annoying that it was only accessible by boat. The shuttle boats run frequently, so it is not difficult to leave the cove but there is nothing around the hotel so if you're bored it is more of a mission to just go walking around. The hotel itself was beautiful! Very comfortable rooms. The only negative thing is we paid extra for a "jacuzzi", but it was really just a small round bath tub outside. Not worth the extra price.

DO NOT feed the monkeys- there are so many of them! I saw a girl get scratched, and we made the mistake of leaving out food and they swarmed our hotel room! It was funny though, and made the experience more authentic.

The pool is amazing, the breakfast buffet is tasty, the beach is lovely, the activities (they provide, such as kayaking) are so much fun. I recommend this hotel to everyone! I will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ashtonem
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, 25 July 2014
Dear ashtonem

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 thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the team.

Please accept my apologies for the issue you faced with Jacuzzi and for any inconvenience this caused.

Yes we constantly request guests NOT to feed the monkeys and we have numerous notices within the room advising this, but most often they are ignored.

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

My cousin and I decided to holiday at this resort because we were under the impression (based on the official website) that it was a beautiful resort and would be a great place to relax.

However, from the moment we arrived to town, we had to take a boat to the most rocky/bumpy jetty we have ever encountered. There is hardly anything to grab a hold of while walking across this jetty (which mind you, is a very long distance. I strongly recommend you ensure the boat is parked closer to shore). There were people in wheelchairs and crutches who had to cross this path. Please learn to cater to your customers. This is not safe for any elderly people nor is it safe for people with physical disabilities. While help was given to us, it was still a very scary experience.

As we were getting escorted to our rooms, it was only then that we were informed of the wild monkeys and were told that we should not walk around with food in our hands because it twould be snatched from us. Further, we were told that the monkeys were smart enough to open our doors and was of the habit of stealing food from the mini bar.

We were tired and famished, and decided to order room service. Mistake! A pack of 6-7 monkeys started surrounding our room. Luckily we locked our room door because sure enough, they were trying to pry open our doors! We were terrified and called the front desk for help. Instead of taking us seriously, we were laughed at. This was no laughing matter and that in itself was highly unprofessional.

Traumatised, we got two staff to help us out of our own room whilst clutching on to our belongings in fear that it would be snatched. We made a complaint immediately but again were laughed at mockingly.

We decided to switch rooms to the spa room which had less monkey incidences. We decided NOT to sit in our rooms during the day as they came around when it was hot. We just sat by the pool for the 3 days we were there.

Also, the customers should immediately be informed of the buggy services up to their rooms. Climbing those steps were ridiculous and it is narrow and steep.

Besides that, the Wi-Fi connection was terrible. For the fee we paid for it, it should have connected better.

I must say though, that the food was excellent from the Japanese restaurant and the restaurant by the beach. The Spa services were excellent as well.

Despite that, this would not be a place I would recommend.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Vid R
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, 25 July 2014
Dear Vid R

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

I was disappointed to read we did not meet all your expectations and I am sure you would have received my email following the comments you left on departure.

For you information we do not market our resort or encourage anyone to book our resort that has any mobility issues, due the fact of the access and also because we do not have any physical challenges facilities within the resort.

Yes there are monkeys in the resort and in Ao Nang and I am sorry you were not aware of this before you booked. Many guests choose our resort because of the abundant wildlife within the resort. Please accept my apologies if the staff misread your anxiety with your interaction with the monkeys.

In contrast I was pleased to read you enjoyed the food and the spa treatments at our Spa Cenvaree, which has recently been nominated in the Thailand Spa awards.

Once again thank you for your feedback and we will continue to work on meet 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
Cairns Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

3 days into a 5 day booking here and I cannot speak highly enough of the resort or the staff. There is a huge amount of information here (Tripadvsor) regarding the boat transport and the jetty as well as its relatively remote location.

The rooms are lovely, the food has been fantastic, the staff friendly and polite. Sometimes nature impacts on peoples plans - make the best of it. I have observed some guests here and in Bangkok who should be ashamed of the way they treat and speak to people trying to serve them. People who complain that there are language barriers mystify me given they are in a foreign country and staff have to cope with travellers speaking huge numbers of different languages - how many should they be fluent in.

Enjoy this beautiful relaxing spot, accept some times it might rain or be windy (as is common in the monsoon season).As someone who travels regularly overseas amd works in hospitality as a career I believe this is an exceptional resort that is run very well and look forward to returning.

Room Tip: Make sure you understand the transport to and from the resort in advance is by scheduled boat that n...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JasEm_10
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, 25 July 2014
Dear JasEm_10

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

It was a pleasure to read you both enjoyed your stay and thank you for acknowledging the efforts of all the team.

We also sincerely appreciate your comments about the staff and as a fellow colleague it is very encouraging to hear that the staff is doing their best to please 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.

PS Best of luck for your future endeavours to join the ranks of hotel management and expatriate life.

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, 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
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Ao Nang
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ao Nang
#3 Family 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
Reservation Options:
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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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