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Reviewed 27 November 2013

We where several families who stayed at Centara for attending a wedding. It is the perfect setting for a wedding with the old classic style, friendly and helpful staff, big enough to get privacy but small enough not to loose anyone.
We where super pleased with everything but if I have to find something negative was the rooms a bit on the small side and the beach was a bit chaotic with galloping horses.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
2  Thank Lisaontheroad94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Lisaontheroad94,

Thank you for your kind feedback following your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin. We appreciate your positive and comments about your experience at the resort.

We look forward to having the opportunity of welcoming you again soon.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

My husband and I recently stayed in the Centara Hua Hin for a long week-end and were very disappointed. The positives first though. This hotel grounds are beautiful, secluded, and peaceful; and the location is both convenient to the beach and to the small downtown area. The common areas, like the lobby and the tea restaurant, are quite charming. The downsides overwhelm these attractive features however. The hotel is badly in need of renovation; the food was probably the worst we’ve ever had in any hotel anywhere in the world (and we travel extensively); and – most importantly – the customer service was unacceptable for a hotel that bills itself as a luxury resort.

First, up close, the hotel is definitely in need of renovation. This is not only on the cosmetic side but also on the functional side – the air conditioning in the room was quite weak; the lighting was inadequate; and there weren’t enough outlets for today’s plugged-in travelers. The wifi – which is not included in the room price – is also quite slow. As for the cosmetic issues, there were several give-aways that this was not – by any stretch – a five-star hotel. The room was large and clean, but very tired: the walls and furniture needed refinishing and painting; and the shower needed – badly – to be recaulked and regrouted. There were also only two thin bath towels.

Second, the food was terrible, both low quality and expensive. We ate one meal in the main restaurant and ordered two things that we thought were pretty basic (fish and chips and fried rice). The fish was clearly not fresh, and the fried rice was the worst I’ve had in Asia or in the U.S. – completely flavorless. I never thought that a restaurant in Thailand could fail at a dish as simple as fried rice but I was wrong. The food was also overpriced; we ate another meal – which was much, much better – at the nearby Hilton for a fraction of the price. (There’s also a wonderful and inexpensive Italian restaurant called Roma within walking distance that I would recommended to anyone staying in the vicinity.)

The issue that dropped this review down to a one-star, however, was the inept and insulting customer service, particularly the check-out. Check-in was cumbersome, but the staff were well-meaning. We live in Thailand and could attribute the small things that got on our nerves after a long drive through flooded streets to cultural differences (why are there always a multitude of people in Thailand who are necessary to conduct the simplest transaction, and yet no one paying attention to the details with which you actually need help?).

But the main issue with customer service concerned the maid who apparently also doubled as the head of security. Given that this is a spa resort, we planned to hit the gym, the spa, the beach, and the pool – all of which meant a lot of cleaning up throughout the week-end. We asked for extra towels and got two more. Then we asked for more than that – and the maid didn’t want to let us have any until we had “turned in” our dirty towels, something I found to be quite insulting. I wondered if the hotel was seriously that concerned we would steal the poor quality cotton strips they called towels, but I let it go.

Then, on the day we checked out, when we came out of the room with our luggage, the same maid was hovering in the hallway. I don’t even know how she knew we were leaving at that moment, but she was there, and demanded to go check the mini-bar. We stood there while she rifled through the room drawers and checked the mini-bar (we hadn’t had a thing), and neglected to ask us if we needed any help with our luggage (which would have been nice considering there is no elevator – we took everything down the stairs ourselves).

Then at check-out, my husband encountered several problems. One is that they kept asking him about the mini-bar. We didn’t use anything, so we are lost as to why this was such a big deal. Second is that the bill was not ready and the front desk could not tell us what the final room charge was – which was absolutely, totally unacceptable. We had booked through Centara’s own website which they explained – at check-out – sometimes goes through Agoda and they would provide the bill. So we had to leave not knowing whether there was some egregious billing error. Given the outrageous hold they put on your credit card, this was quite disconcerting.

The final problem at check-out, and I admit my own error here, has to do with the laundry bag in the room. I had forgotten to bring a plastic bag for my dirty clothes and there was no plastic bag in the room, only a linen one. I used it the first night of our stay, meaning to change over everything when I bought something in town and got a bag. I then forgot about it. At check-out, they asked my husband – who had no idea – about it and he had to come get me (in the car) and I of course gave it back right away. I admit I made a mistake here, but it was a LAUNDRY BAG, and they made us feel like thieves; it was terribly embarrassing. They also apparently were going over our room with a fine tooth comb before we could check-out. (I read in another review that another guest had this same issue and the response was Centara’s wish to be environmentally-friendly. Please.) Suggestion to Centara Management: If you can’t let something this trivial go, put up a small sign in the closet saying that the laundry bags (and whatever other items) are offered for guest use while at the hotel. If the guest wishes to keep x item, there will be a nominal charge of y.

I’m sorry if the Centara has had issues with theft and needs to treat each guest as a potential criminal, but this is not an acceptable attitude to have with paying customers at a so-called luxury resort. As other reviewers have suggested, the Centara needs a major overhaul both of the hotel itself, and of the staff’s attitude. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth and we will not stay at a Centara again, in Hua Hin or elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank keeksGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2013

Dear keeksGeneva,

Thank you for taking the time to fill up the survey following your stay at our hotel. Needless to say that we are extremely dismayed to read such a negative feed back.

Your comments are none the less very much appreciated and will contribute to rectify most of what went wrong during your visit.

There is no excuse for not meeting guests expectations and, firstly, we would like to sincerely apologize for not having done so.

As you recall, you arrived the day of the tropical storm which so severely damaged our gardens and placed every one at the hotel in an unusual level of stress. The many debris created additional work litterally everywhere. This is no excuse but is just mentioned to replace the context.

We are addressing the difficulties you encountered to get additional towels as this should not be the case in a hotel like ours. The mini-bar check is a standard procedure in every hotel yet we do not want our guests to feel like thieves and this was addressed too with our Housekeeping department and both issues will be monitored on a constant basis.

The room you were in was in the original wing of the hotel opened in 1923 and regularly refurbished.. Some guest requests it adamantly because of its "history" and some, like yourselves don't like it at all. Should you have said something upon check-in, we would have gladly suggested another room with additional features.

We apologize for the lack of luggage service and for the tardiness of our front office to present the bill. There is no excuse for this as everything is computorized.

We obviously failed in performing the kind of service we are know for and are very sorry. We hope that the image of our hotel is not damaged forever and that you will give us another opportunity to show you that this experience was an exception and not the rule.

Sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed 25 November 2013

Well there is a reason we are going to Hua Hin every year and one of these - the other one is Bam Bam restaurant - is the Centara. The gardens are unbelievable, the rooms in classic colonial style simply lovely and the service in all parts of the hotel impecable.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Barba23rossa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Barba23rossa,

We appreciate your kind feedback of your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin and glad that you had a great time the resort.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed 25 November 2013

The surroundings are just wonderful! Beautiful garden that gives you a relaxing feeling. The swimming pool is located near the beach, this way you can enjoy both sea, swimming pool and the garden. Also the hotel is perfectly located on walking distance of the main part of town.
We can highly recommend the "Railway" restaurant, as we enjoyed the French buffet on saturday evening. They serve only high quality foods such as: lobster, king-crab, foie gras, cheese etc...!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank appeltje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear appeltje,

We are delighted to learn that you had a great time at the resort and that you were fully rested and relaxed. We appreciate for your kind recommended about our French buffet at Railway Restaurant on Saturday night to everyone.

We look forward to your return visit, we remain.

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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Reviewed 24 November 2013

it's a classy, beautiful colonial hotel. right at the city centre, absolutely convenient. good service. the room is beautiful and clean. if you want to play golf, you can sign up in the hotel. they can arrange for you with no hassle at all (we did sign up with a golf centre in the city centre but we found out it's actually cheaper with same package in the hotel). the beach - fine white sand, but the water is quite warm. so we spent more time in the swimming pools i/o in the beach.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank wynsum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qmgr, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear wynsum,

Thank you very much for writing a review about your recent stay at Centara Grand Hua Hin. We are delighted to read that overall you have enjoyed your stay at our resort.

We all look forward to welcome you back to our resort in the near future, we remain,

Yours sincerely,
The Management

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