Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas
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TravelPod Member ReviewsCentara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Ao Nang
All of my family had a tiring day of travelling as they are getting in age. But end of the day all of us had enjoy the luxury style of living which we will not get in a busy country of our own country here in Singapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
A real, private secluded beach that is wonderful for kids and couples alike! The only way to this resort is via boat to the floating pier or over the Monkey Trail. Both ways make this an exclusive and special place to be. The villas are just perfect and the marauding monkeys make it even more memorable and special. We've been all over the world and this resort is one of our favorites!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Ao Nang
My comments on this wonderful hotel almost mirror those of the reviewer on the 13th March.
We were aware that the hotel would still have some construction going on during our stay. We were more than compensated for this by the extras given, including an upgrade to a spa room, with our own jacuzzi on the balcony.
We loved our time there, and the odd inconvenience like getting your feet wet at Ao Nang because of the lack of a proper jetty, was more than compensated by having your own private boat (or so it seemed) to take you to nearby beaches and islands for the day.
The staff were so friendly and helpful, and it will be an excellent 5 star hotel when completed.
No customer service
I have to share my terrible expirience with Central Krabi bay resort.
I bookee 1 bedroom villa with pool and before traveling I decided to check if everything is ok with my reservation.
The reply was: sorry sir but you have booked twin deluxe room. There is a problem with our reservation system. After writing again and sending details of my reservation showing clearly that I have villa with pool I received a second e-mail from the resort with the words: I am not going to give you a villa despite you have booked it , wait we are working on our e-system....
This was my expirience with this resort and i can not beleive that they were so rude. this is a new resort, looks nice but I doubt they will have many clients with such a service.
We had a fantastic time at the Central Krabi Resort and provided you accept that the hotel is not fully finished yet we would thoroughly recommend that you go.
The hotel isn't fully finished, for example the land surrounding the hotel isn't landscaped. The view from the back of our room was still just dirt and they are finishing a number of the rooms on one side of the hotel. There are workmen on site during the day but if you are by the pool then you don't see them and can't hear any work going on. If you walk around the resort during the day you will see work ongoing but this really didn't affect us. The spa is finished, we didn't use the fitness centre so can't comment on this.
We had a fantastic room and because it was new and hadn't been used a lot really made a difference. We were upgraded to a spa room and the view from our balcony was fantastic. In fact we think that all of the rooms will have this view as they are all sea facing. Our room was at the top of the block so the view was even better. It was great to sit in the Jacuzzi bath after a long day with a drink and watch the sun go down!
Depending on the price it is definitely worth while upgrading to a spa room. Also as the hotel was in its soft opening period we were given the option of transferring to another hotel or staying put and getting 1000 baht off food and drink every day, plus a free 60 minute massage (for each
person) and free cocktails, wine, beer or soft drinks between 6pm-7pm at the beach bar which was a great time to watch the sun go down. Most days we ate lunch at the hotel or had drinks and then went to Ao Nang in the evening for food. The transfer to Ao Nang was simple you simply book the time slot when you want to catch the boat there and back. If you miss it and are stuck in Ao Nang we found that all you had to do was call the hotel and they would send the boat for you. We don't know if they will carry on doing this when they are fully open which is another reason to go to this hotel now. We also found that it was a great time to visit as it wasn't too busy. The beach and sea around the hotel weren't great the water was a bit muddy but this didnt affect us as we stayed by the pool and for great sea and sand just went on a trip or around the corner to Railay beach.
The staff were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile. They were happy to take you to your room on the golf buggy's even though the room wasn't too far away. They didn't speak great English and we thought the staff that could tended to be wasted on less contact jobs which was a shame.
The food when we did eat in the hotel was very good. The decoration and finer details were all spot on. The welcome we had was great considering we had spent a long time traveling as we were welcomed off the boat by two staff while others took our bag to our room. We were then given a cold towel and welcome drink (which was lovely) before being taken to our room to settle in.
All in all we would thoroughly recommend this hotel especially during this soft opening period provided you realize that the hotel is not fully completed. If you have any questions then just let us know as we would be happy to answer them. The only downside was leaving as we only spent 5 days there before going to the Phi Phi Island Village which just didn't compare to this hotel!
Loved the Central Krabi Resort
I and my husband just returned from Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Great trip ! The Central Krabi Resort is a new upscale hotel, it was opened in December, 2005. Even though the hotel was not completely finished, it was great. The rooms were beautiful, the service excellent, and the hotel provided some complementary things because of the inconvenience of the construction. The hotel is located in its own little bay, 5 min. from Ao Nang by hotel's water taxi or a long boat. The resort offers several restaurants, the Thai seafood restaurant was the best. The hotel also offered scuba diving and, snorkeling and tours to various little islands at extra cost. I highly recommend the resort.
We were due to stay in the central resort mid feb, but after reading such negative reviews we changed hotels 24 hours before departure.
The central asked us to visit and we happily obliged.
In my view the hotel was of an excellent standard, the comments posted were either exaggerated or the work had been mostly completed when we visited.
The hotel is just outside of ao nang and is reached by an amphibious vechicle which i believe runs to midnight. you can walk when the tide is out in the day.
The hotel offers three restaurants which were all operational when we visited, we ate in the thai and the food was excellent.
The hotel also has a bar called blue which was nice to have a drink in after dinner.
The hotel has 10 treatment rooms and the spa was finished to a high standard, the gym was one of the biggest ive seen in a hotel.
Rooms are located over three floors and the standard rooms are at the ground level, with deluxe on the middle and spa rooms on the top.
I was only shown the spa room which was wonderfull, jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the wonderfull view. If your budget can stretch to this its well worth it.
Overall the hotel is 90% ready now and if you have booked to stay in the resort im sure you will be happy once there.
The hotel is excellent choice for families which may put some people off.
The staff are superb and the management team seem excellent.
Having read all the gloomy reports on the forum, I was apprehensive about what to expect. Yes, there is a lot of work being done, yes bits here and there could be distracting but on the whole you forget all this because it is such a lovely place with the most attentive and pleasant staff I have yet to come across. Being driven all round the place on golf buggies, having someone run to help you off the inevitable speed boat just to relieve you of the hotel towels used on a snorkling trip, waking up in a dreamy room with a stunning view - I could go on. Free cocktails at sunset and other discounts make up for any irritation you might feel about the work on site. The deals are very generous at the moment too.
Anyone who cancels their trip is missing out big time because eventually there will be 192 rooms and it will not be possible to get the personal attention you get at present.
Heaven on Earth
I just want to say, I miss the friends that we'd made in Central Krabi Bay Resort. These people are just fabulous! They may be greener when it comes to service but they are totally genuine and sincere in making their guests feel very very special!
Our 6 days stay was the best I can hope for... (although, construction was still on-going, but we were given complimentary stuff as a form of apology from the resort).
Let's start with the different areas:
Just a bay away from Ao Nang, it's like world's apart when you are at the resort's private beach as compared to the rather polluted and populated Ao Nang beach. Waiting for the ferry transfer can be quite a hastle too. Especially when you have to call the resort to inform them that the ferry transfer is late to pick you up. During low tide, you can actually cross to Ao Nang on foot but I guess it also breaks the privacy of the resort with the possibilities of other travellers coming to the resort's private beach.
BIG, clean and very comfortable bed! The rain shower and the bath tub is superb! We were given the Spa Deluxe room so we have a private jacuzzi just at our terrace. The view is spectacular and the sunsets are just lovely. Daily evening turn down proved to be a very sweet gesture with a little gift left on our bed every night.
There are several food outlets namely Lotus Court, Rim Saai, Hagi, On The Rocks and Deep Blu. They serve respectable cuisine although the pricing might be a little bit steep. Breakfast at Lotus Court is always delightful and it is by far the most delicious hotel breakfasts I had so far.
The infinity pool is great! The colour of the pool even matches the colour of the sea in the morning sun! Impressive!
We went to the fitness centre for our complimentary yoga class. I would say the equipment is suffice although it can be a little crampy as compared to the size of the resort. You can even 'rent' kayaks and sail-boats to explore a bit of the cliffs along the sea coast of the resort. Overall, the facilities and activities are definately sufficient to satisfy guests.
We had a body massage and a facial done. The centura spa boasts very polite and professional therapists and the treatment offered was just great.
I guess what truely sets this resort apart from all the resorts and hotels I had stayed with is their people. Their staff is all so friendly and sincere and they will do their best in providing for their guests. I cannot describe any better than to tell you. Go stay in this resort and be mesmerized by the staff who works there. I certainly do hope as the resort is gaining popularity, they will keep this quality in their service as true as when we stayed there in Central Krabi Bay Resort.
Will Be Lovely Hotel WHEN Finished
This Hotel is currently (as of end Jan 06) a hazardous construction site. Major work is still underway involving heavy machinery (bulldozer, JCB's, Crane and lorries) moving around the complex, often on guest pathways. There are no barriers, cordons or adequate lighting of the areas being worked on to prevent accidents happening. This differed from the "non intrusive finishing work" I was advised of by the hotel on arrival.
There was extensive noise throughout the site during my stay at the end of Jan 06 (angle griders, pnuematic nail guns, hammering and concrete breakers) from 8am to 6pm (typically) and up until 10.30pm on one building which is close to most of the villas being occupied and the restaurants. There is still significant work to do, though all main guest facilities are fully operational. The hotel believes the work will be completed in "a very short while" - I have my reservations.
The rooms were stunning, the overall site will be impressive when complete, the food was excellent (if somewhat expensive for this standard of hotel in Thailand) and the staff were fantastic.
Long term issues:
- Constant low level drone from passing long-tail boats which transit between Ao Nang and Railay from 8am till 6pm.
- Anyone with physical disabilities needs to establish clearly how they will be safely transferred to/from the hotel, as transfer is by speed boat or amphibious vehicle from open beaches. This may be more of an issue during the wet season when rough seas can be encountered. Movement on the resort is straight forward (though there are steps to negotiate to get into the rooms. There are plenty of golf buggies for those who do not want to climb the slight hill to the accomodation, and the staff are keen to ferry guests around.
- When fully operational (with high occupancy levels) space may be limited as the beach is relatively small (about 250 metres by 20 metres)
We loved Krabi! CBKR was great and with excellent seaview!
We stayed at Central from Jan 15 to 19. I called the hotel during the airport transfer (arranged by ourselves) to ensure that they had the amphibious ready at Ao Nang. I was still thinking that they had a reception at the Beach (from the website, they said they had it there). At the beach, the driver stopped the car on the side in the mid of the beach road, we came off the car trying to find the so called reception but didn't see it whatsoever, ....then all of a sudden 2 ladies wearing CBKR shirts approached and greeted us. Then they told us the reception was not ready yet, and the drop off/pick up points of guest by boats was near a Christmas tree. The amphibious was really tall in a way to prevent guest's belongings wetting, and we had to climb up about 10 steps ladder in order to board the boat. When arrived at their private beach, we were greeted by the guest manager and treated with welcome drinks, and taken directly to our room.....this warm welcome was fabulous and friendly, we didn't have to check in at the lounge.
We have been treated with Spa Deluxe Room. The room was excellent, well appointed, with gorgeous seaview, the CBKR rock looked like just in front of us when viewed from our king bed. The king bed was excellent. The bathroom was great and spacious. They have rainforest shower (yet the water was not as strong as that of Westin or Ritz Carlton) and the temperature of warm water was consistent (Rayavadee's shower was relatively disappointed compared to CBKR). The bathroom amenities were average, we had to ask for toothbrushes and toothpastes. The spa tub on the terrace was good, we had it once at nighttime. The most worried thing was electricity. We had at least 3 times in a day that all the electricity were gone in our room. They fixed it at least 3 times to get the system being stable for our last 2 days.
Restaurants and Food:
All the restaurants had been already opened. For breakfast, we had it in Lotus Court except for 1 day we had to had it in Rim Saai (an outdoor area) because of floor polishing at Lotus. We loved the environment of having meals at Rim Saai during day time because we can enjoy the seaview and green pasture. Breakfast was good, had a lot of varieties. We liked the boiled rice, salads (has various kind of veg to choose from). I loved the famous Malaysian/Singaporean soup called "Spare rib tea soup", they used the same soup base but put in chicken as substitute.
For dinner, we had 1 in Rim Saai and 1 dinner in Hagi. The Hamachi sashimi was excellent though a bit costly, it was fatty and just melted in mouth. The vegetables tempura was good. However, their teppankayi food was just okay, needed improvement to reach a 5 star hotel standard. I don't have much comment about the food in Rim Saai as it was okay. The only thing that I've commented to the food and beverage manager was the "Peppercorn soft shell crab". I expected it should be a little crispy, yet it turned out too soft and wet and didn't carry enough flavour of peppercorn. I suggested to the manager they could consider to offer black pepper crab which was a popular dish.
On the second day of our stay, the deep blu bar just opened. In the bar, we could enjoy seeing fishes moving around in the tank. We were provided with nuts snack, but the nuts were not chunky, not the same as I used to have in a bar.
On our last day before we transferred to Rayavadee, we had 2 appetizers and a margarita pizza at the beach bar. I t was supposed to be good as they baked it in a wood oven. The pizza base was good but because they put in too much cheese that the pieces got too soft.
Beach, Activities and Facilities:
We had thai massage in our room but involuntarily, then we figured out with the spa receptionist that thai massage had to be served in room (but didn't specify the reason). Only single rooms in the Centara Spa was opened They had a gym room but the room size was small. Other facilities such as kids room, club room looked like were close to opening. The sea activities were available for renting. Their beach was nice, my husband said in fact their sand was very good and powdery, just thatbecause too many transports moving around during this construction period, the water didn't look clear and the sand was muddy.
Their staff were pleasant, serving with their hearts and smiles, always want to do the best they can to make you feel like "king and queen", and most of them were young......which meant they were less experienced than those of Rayavadee which we stayed after this resort. Because they were so green, they were like always trying to "practice" what they've learnt from training through serving us. There were 2 buggy drivers honestly telling us that we were their first guests on board, and they didn't know where was our room, not even for the second ride with him....but we didn't really mind.
Transfer in-out to Ao Nang:
Boat departed for Ao Nang hourly at 9, 10, 11...etc., and departed from Ao Nang also hourly at 5:30, 6:30p.m. etc. Could ask the staff for the exact schedule. As there weren't many guests, everytime we phoned their staff to re-confirm the schedule, so there may be chances they would skip the trip for nobody reserved it in advance. We had a late night trip at10:30p.m., it was no scare and no problem, their cruise staff was experienced.
There were noises, and many wokers working day and night that we didn't expect that many in the so called "Soft opening period". This had not happened when we stayed at Phuket Marriott in the same kind of opening before. Having said that, we didn't request to transfer out because we loved the room, the view, a place where only few guests around (but with lots of workers), and we had 2 day 4 hrs trips so we weren't in the room at all times...even when we were in our room, we didn't feel disturbing, we had nice naps.
We liked their room the best because of its seaview, the bed and the bathroom. The food was average. The facilities would be great after all things were up and running. Their service was great, friendly, pleasant, making us feel warm and welcome.
Honestly speaking, this resort shouldn't accept guest during my period of stay..i mean for a 5 star ratings resort, I guess nobody wants to be "greeted" with so many workers day and night. But if I had a second chance to choose, I would probably still stick with CBKR because it offered a great seaview and service, and a great chance with little guests so everyone rushed to serve us, and we were offered with great deals....so consider this, we felt we're already been compensated. I'm sure when everything is up and running, CBKR will be fabulous and wonderful place to stay, and will be my top 3 resorts. I already told the staff we have to return, and we will. We loved Krabi!!!!
Central Krabi Resort - Great people
My wife and I stayed at the Central Krabi Resort between Christmas and New Year. First of all you will have read about the construction, over our stay the noise level and visability diminished significantly - but they still have some way to go (March 2006 by my estimate).
Whilst we were there the spa/gym was not open, nor 3 of the restaurants, nor bar or club, so I can't comment on these.
The Lotus restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet or a la carte) all the food was great (and I am a self-confessed foodie) - the buffet was as good as the a la carte but it was nice to have a change (this was the only restaurant open at the start of our stay...). Breakfast was great, fresh friut, eggs as you like them, and hot and cold buffet as well, do try the guava juice!
The "Rock" was then opened by the beach - great pizza and tandoori oven and their indian chef is from New Delhi. Also a great place to have cocktails and watch the most incredible sunsets.
The room we had was lovely - great view over the beach, excellent finishes on all aspects of the interior, large and spacious - no downside what so ever. There are currently generators on the northern side of the bay, I don't know what the plans are for these (i.e. if they are going to be moved or sound supressed) but at night they were audible from our room which was also the most northern block.
The location of this resort is second to none, I have stayed at Railay previously and Krabi Bay is more convenient, and just as beautiful- the water is not quite as clear as the beaches of Railay but these are a boat trip away, as are the islands just off shore which are amazingly clear. Ao Nang is either a boat trip or at low tide you can walk around the headland, or there is an unofficial track over the headland (although not advisable at night). We ate in Ao Nang at night on a couple of occasions and the resort launch or amphibious vehicle picked us up around 10.30pm. Ao Nang is great for cheap shopping, cheap but good food, cheap massages etc.
As this resort was just opening when we arrived the processes and procedures of handling guest requests or know what do when were just getting going - but will no doubt run more smoothly in the very near future.
When the Central krabi bay resort is finished it will be a world class resort. The most impressive aspect of this resort though is the staff, without expection they were fantastic, friendly and genuinely nice people.
We cannot wait to return, after March sometime, to see the finished product and say hello to the many staff members we befriended during our stay.
Above average for now, but expecting excellent once completed.
TripAdvisor Reviews Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Ao Nang
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Donna and Helen sat by the pool and finally around 2pm I appeared had a quick swim in the luxury pool and then sat in the pool side bar having a pina colada - another tick !
(see pictures below)
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