Myself and my wife visited Centara Krabi for 10nights in January as part of our honeymoon. For the views, we were not disappointed, they are exactly as they appear on their website. But there are lots and lots of niggling faults about this resort:
* Checkin - We expected the checkin in Ao Nang and were fine with that. What we didn't expect and made for a crap start to the stay was the 1.5hrs wait once we had got to the resort, without being offered a drink, cool towels, place to change etc. The room was ready, but they didn't have enough staff (one person alone this time) to show everyone to their rooms...
* The rooms and facilities are quite poorly built and maintained. You can see from the photos there are badly fitted electricity sockets, rusted and worn parasol poles, dangerous paths without rails downhill, etc. Along with this a lot of the sunbeds are torn, as are the parasols themselves, the floors in the rooms are quite heavily scuffed and marked, the bathtub was stained yellow.... Not what you'd expect for the money you've paid....
* Another review said the Centara is inflexible, this is true. Things like in the clubhouse, you can't take their bottled water outside even though it's the same complimentary water you get in the room, you can only book their transfer boats at a certain time and not before etc, all conspire to make it feel like a holiday camp....
* The staff - The majority of the staff here really do not seem like they want to be here, appearing sullen and miserable all their time at work. The pool staff are very friendly and are a ray of sunshine in this resort. Before we stayed here, we stayed in the Conrad Bangkok - their staff couldn't do enough for us, and made us wish we could have planted that hotel in the Centara spot!
We stayed in one of their top rooms, the jacuzzi club ocean view deluxe and it was a good (if poorly maintained) room. Housekeeping was a bit hit and miss, each cleaner would do things differently - some would empty bins, some wouldn't, some would clean the bath, some wouldn't etc. With the club you get 2 items of free laundry a day, supposedly returned in 24hrs - when the resort got busier, it turned into 48hrs and often 3 or 4 calls for a laundry list or someone to collect the laundry....
Turn-down was also a bit hit and miss, sometimes it would be done at 16:30 (!), sometimes later, and sometimes not at all. Their act of moving the expensive Evian water from the minibar to our bedside tables along with a glass to drink it, was quite annoying...
If you are in a 'garden' view room, don't expect a nice lush garden view. We passed room 1162 everyday and their jungle view and amount of sunlight was terrible (see photos). Also, to the left of the resort as you look at it from the sea are very noisy generators and the Centara rubbish dump. Try contacting the resort before you get there and asking to be placed away from there...
The jetty is not a problem, I didn't see rough seas once in our 10 days there and the jetty simply mirrors the waves. Even those very young or those with mobility problems should not fear it.
The pathway over the hill to Ao Nang is also not a problem for most people. It is steep in places, but it is well lit and we were never bothered by the monkeys.
The trick to the sunbeds is, unfortunately, to get a towel before breakfast and place it over the sunbed you want. If you leave it until after breakfast, you won't have much choice left...
Halfway through our holiday, a fairly large and ugly ship turned up on the beach at Centara and stayed for 24hrs. At nightime, they unloaded what looked to be a lot of refuse/rubbish and put it in the Centara rubbish dump!?
Eating isn't overly expensive if you choose from the back of the menus - the cheaper dishes are always at the back in Centara. It's not particularly good quality though - every restaurant we ate in at Ao Nang was much better.
Above all, this resort trades on it's views. If the resort didn't have the views, I don't think it would be still in business, as the attitudes of a lot of their staff take it down. I got the impression that we were there purely to make money from and that was it.
I wouldn't stay here again.
- 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