More about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
kept waiting 4.5 hours for a room
I stayed at the central krabi bay resort with my boyfriend at the beginning of April. First of all I wouldn't worry about the finishing work you would hardly tell it was going on - no noise and everywhere looks finished. The location is fantastic and the rooms are lovely (although the air conditioning wasn't quite strong enough in ours). And when you come back from a day trip on a speedboat you'll know from the look on the other tourists faces that you have the best hotel!! The view from rooms in the central area on the upper floor will be spectacular and although all the rooms are sea facing not all have that spectacular view. Some face sideways and have their view obstructed by adjacent buildings which can be a bit dissapointing if you have expectations of the view on the website. I'd say its worth going for the first or second floor rooms because many of the ground floor rooms looked like they would have obsructed views. We didn't have a great start to our holiday there. We were given our welcome drink when we arrived which was nice but no cooled towels like they do at other lower rated hotels we stayed at during our trip and had come to expect. Then we were taken to our room but instead of being taken to a premium delux room that we had paid for we were taken the cheaper delux room (which had most of its view obstructed by one of the restaurants). And when I told the girl this wasn't the room we had paid for she said that there wasn't much difference and left us there. Not willing to accept this we went back to the reception to try and get the room we had paid for. We were told that there would be a room ready in an hour and to go back and wait in our room and they would phone when it was ready. So we were stuck in a room waiting not able to unpack or do anything and not wanting to leave incase we missed the call. After 2 hours we had heard nothing. So starving by this point went for food. When we got back we hoped there would be a message but still nothing. by this point it had been 4 hours. We went to reception again and were told the same - go away and wait and a room will be ready in an hour. I was pretty angry and upset at this point as a day of our holiday had been wasted and told her that we had been told that 4 hours ago. Suddenly she could find a room straight away when we made a fuss. So we got in our room finally 4 and a half hours after we had arrived. Was not happy - expected more from a 5* hotel. Didn't even get an apology. The rest of our stay there was great, the place is lovely. Very stylish, even down to the little details like beautiful glasses on the tables. The restaurants were all lovely with great food and there is a variety of different styles of food. And the service was good. One thing to watch out for is the mosquitoes in the thai restaurant. There were literally swarms of mosquitoes hovering above each table. I wasn't sure if there was room service but thought that that there couldn't be no room service. But there was no menu in our room. The pool is lovely but could do with being bigger and there were not enough sun loungers for everyone. They were usually all taken by 9am - big minus in my opinion. The beach is nice but the best beaches are to be found by going on speedboat daytips to the surrounding islands. We were given a complimentary massage because of the work going on. The spa is very nice. There were also complementary drinks for an hour every night. I think my boyfirend was in heaven - you finish your beer, stick out your hand and another free one gets put in it! If you are going to ao nang ... prepare to get wet! you'll have to walk through the sea to get to the boat. I also WOULDN'T recommend walking back at low tide. We did this one day when the boat back was cancelled and it was pretty hairy!! climbing across slippy jaggy rocks as the tide comes crashing in around you, not wanting to fall in cos you have your passport and money to pay off your hotel bill in your pocket - not fun! They organise trips at the hotel but I would recommend booking them in town as it is much cheaper and I'm sure they are just as good. When it came time to leave we were worried things wouldn't go smoothly because of our experience when we arrived and sure enough they messed that up too. Someone was meant to come up and take our bags down to the boat for us but we must have waited almost an hour before we gave up and took them down ourselves. Even when we phoned still nobody came. So I carried my bags down a couple of flights of stairs even though I had a painful injured chest. Not what you expect when you are paying for 5 star service. So we missed our boat and had to get a later one. And missed our appointment to meet our travel company who were waiting on ao nang beach to take us to the airport. Not a great end to our holiday. The hotel is a great place to stay they just need to sort out their reception service - hopefully that was just down to it having just opened.
We stayed at Central Krabi Bay resort for 4 nights in early September 2006. Overall we loved the place, beautiful resort and rooms, fantastic service, food, and attention to detail. We booked through internet with Asia Web Direct.
The confirmed airport pickup we had arranged didn’t happen as there was some problem with our booking getting onto their system. Once this was sorted out over the phone from the airport (make sure you have their number with you), they found our booking, they organised a taxi to pick us up, were very sorry, and provided complimentary transfer to airport when we left as an apology.
We stayed in a Deluxe Spa room, on top/third level with a Jacuzzi/spa on the Balcony, however found that we never used the spa as the main pool and spa is so great and we found is was unused most of the day. However, our main reason for choosing the room type was to ensure good views out to the bay. The rooms on the second levels (Deluxe?) looked very much the same, just without the spa, and would guess that some would have restricted views. Rooms on the first level would probably not have views out to the bay as they would be restricted by the gardens and other buildings.
Check in process could be smoother: Taxi to Check in point in Ao Nang, then van to Ao Nang pier, then speed boat to the resort, then electric car to room. This being said it was all very streamlined and timed well other than the initial hassle with our airport transfer.
The resort has a floating pier. We found this a real “buzz”. It a weird sensation as it ripples with each wave. It did prove to be a challenge on our departure with some rougher seas.
The restaurants were first class, especially the Thai restaurant. The service was without fault, food presentation exceptional with the food itself fresh and flavours to match.
There is still construction going on at the southern end of the resort, though this is looking like it is getting to the final landscaping stage. This wasn’t an inconvenience other than the subtle rumble of heavy machinery for most of the day.
Earlier reviews have talked about the amphibious vehicle shuttle to Ao Nang, however, only a very comfortable large speedboat is now used. The boat goes to the far north end of the Ao Nang area where there is an inlet. At low tide the boat has to navigate into the inlet quite slowly, so the trip can take up to about 20 mins. You then need to get some transport, like a Tuk Tuk to take the 5 min drive south the main Ao Nang area. We chose not to use the speed boat shuttle into Ao Nang during our stay. We opted for the trail over the headland to Ao Nang, which was fine, though you did have to watch your step on the track which resembled walking along a railway track. It was a full moon when we were at Krabi so the low tides were very low allowing us to easily walk on the sand around the headland for our return in the afternoon. The main Ao Nang area seems to be at the south end, so this means you are right in the main area by walking around.
Ao Nang is a smallish town with a few places to eat and handicrafts shops, massage places, etc. As we enjoyed the food and service at the resort so much, we ate all evening meals at the resort, and went over to Ao Nang a few times for lunch.
Breakfast was truly a highlight … huge buffet selection, all beautifully prepared and fresh, with an open kitchen/chef for eggs/omelettes etc. As in other areas, great attention to detail … eg. every single piece of fruit cut into elegant sections presented standing on trays.
The beach was not a great swimming beach (didn’t see anyone swim there) though this wasn’t a problem as the pool is fantastic. Resort has double kayaks available for free, which we used one day to venture out into the bay.
During our 4 days, we only had 1 day of rain, that started in the morning, but went on a boat trip to Phi Phi that day, and it was all clear in the mid afternoon when we returned, so not sure how long the rain lasted at the resort.
We would definitely return to CKBR without a hesitation.
There has been almost two weeks since me and my girlfriend stayed at the CBKR and bottom line is that we love it. The only thing holding it back is the unfinished construction work aswell as some lack in staff training.
We were welcomed at Krabi International Airport by a private driver which was very relaxing and quite comfortable. It is about 3 times as expensive as going there by taxi but when we were going in style we thought we might aswell go all the way. The check in island will when it is finished be very beautiful and the constant refreshments and wet towels kept us comfortable.
Arriving at the hotel was as easy as I had hoped, transport by car and boat went smooth aswell as check in. We were immediatly transported by a golfcar up to our room were we received fresh fruit and cold water, excellent service!
The room was outstanding, view, bed bathroom and whirlpool was beyond any resort I have been to before. In contrast to other resorts I ahve been to there was no difference in the pictures displayed by the official homepage and the quality off the rooms offered. We stayed at a Spa deluxe room with the club upgrade.
The club in itself was very nice but the complimentary breakfast although beautiful did not contain a whole lot of different items. The service there was very good most of the time but one of the male servants actually made me feel unwelcome even though I was entitled to the club package.
We received a complimentary thai massage at the spa there and that was simply excellent, I fear that I am running out of compliments here :) The spa was very well run and had an athmosphere that could remove even the deepest stress related muscle knots.
Dining at the CBRK lacked some of the athmosphere mainly because there was not enough people there to fill up any of their excellent restaurants. But as a surprise birthday present to my gf I got a candlelight dinner brought up to our room. The room by the way has an excellent veranda with enough room for both a dinner table and a relaxing area. So in other words, exellent for in room dining. So far nothing I have seen can beat the view at CBKR. The only other bad thing I have to mention is that we got a complimentary birthday cake for my girlfriend(in itself a very good thing!) But the cleaning lady left it out all day and it attracted a lot ants, but a call to the housekeeping fixed that up. Another thing was that we were charged a bit too much on our bill but the cleared that up after we left.
So to summarize, if you go you will definently enjoy the place. It is truly a beautiful resort with all the services a 5 star resort should offer. So if you are thinking about CKBR then it is probably the place for you!
Could become Thailand's best resort
Staring out the window back in Perth, Australia at the winter rain as I write, the CKBR seems another planet away, not just two days in the past! This resort has all the makings of becoming one of Thailand's best, as it nears completion and the little issues are resolved.
We (my wife, two teenage children and I) stayed in one of the newly-completed beachside villas, which is absolutely superb, with a huge dining/lounge flanked by two huge bedrooms and bathrooms. All room amenities are excellent, with a flat-screen TV and DVD in each room (3 in all), separate airconditioning, an espresso coffee machine (bliss) and mini bars.
Outside our villa, a deck or patio for each room, chairs and sun lounges, and of course the beach 10 metres away. What more can you ask for?
The staff were all friendly and attentive, most had great English, and were well trained. Nothing was too much trouble for them, and all services provided with that inimitable Thai smile.
Earlier reviews have spoken of the construction issues. Most has now been completed, ad the remaining work at the far end of the resort, the Marine Centre where the kayaks and Hobie cats will be housed, is about done (July 25). Heavy earthmoving equipment is currently removing all the building rubbish to a beached barge, so all will be pristine again soon, I expect.
The Club facilities were part of our package, and the location was as expected - well appointed, with friendly. attentive staff, internet access, tv, and an outdoor seating area. The food presentations, however, were not up to the level of similar Club services at other 5* hotels. The food was limited in choice and quantity, and seemed designed to send you off to the restaurants to top up!
The remaining issue for the resort, and my major concern, is the transportation to and from Ao Nang. An excellent floating pier has been installed, allowing guests to walk out to the shuttle boat, which is fine in calm weather, but a little daunting for infirm or older guests in rough weather. In such conditions, the boat ceases to run, which traps guests at the resort - fine for business, but not for those who wish to enjoy the varied pleasures of Ao Nang.
Annoyingly, the boat, "cancelled due to unsafe" still manages to bring new arrivals, and despatch those checking out..
There is a ramshackle stairway (lit at night) over the hill to Ao Nang beach, which the staff use daily, and which fit guests can use. It is not suitable for everyone, however, and one needs to take care, especially if it is raining. Also, the Ao Nang end requires a short (or long, depending on the tide) clamber over slippery rocks before reaching the Ao Nang beach.
In discussions with management about this, I was assured they are fully aware of the issues, and are making plans to alleviate them, including investigating towing barges around the point to Ao Nang at low tide, and upgrading the Amphibious craft.
In summary, this resort is fabulous, and will only get better as the small issues are sorted out. I thoroughly recommend it.
Fantastic resort hotel
This is a fantastic resort. I have stayed in lots of holiday resorts around the world and this would be one of my favourites.
The rooms were huge and very smartly appointed. We stayed in a premimum deluxe room with the spa pool. It had the hugest bath which did take a while to fill as it was so big. Two shower heads-one being a huge rain shower head-fantastic for getting wet instantly. Very comfortable beds which were enormous.
The service was fantastic and we had everything done for us instantly in our 8 day stay. I was worried about the lack of English being spoken from past reports but this wasnt an issue at all. They all spoke great English and we had no problems being understood. It is their 2nd language so the odd word was said slightly strangely but this is to be said all over Thailand.
We didnt eat much at the resort although what meals we did have were very good. We caught the boat in each evening to Ao Nang. There is a large plastic carpet out over the sea which is the jetty. It waves with the waves so if you are very elderly or find walking differcult then this may be a problem. You have to climb in and out of the boat which is slightly unladylike! The boat goes to the river mouth where there are always tuktuks waiting for you. 20baht flat rate per person and you are whizzed into Ao Nang. The boat did go every 2 hours so if you missed the first boat you could catch the next one.
We did do the walk into Ao Nang a few times over the workers track. This is steep but easy for the energetic. It is basicly a small board tacked onto rails at uneven steps straight up and then straight down. Not for the high heals or the unnervey. A sweaty walk!
We were never bothered by the workers and the noise of the works is very minimal. It is right up the back of the hotel and cant be seen from the front.
When they have finished this resort it is going to be outstanding. We both had a fantastic time here and would go back in a flash. You wont be disappointed.
Good Hotel But.......
needs to get the floating pontoon sorted. Found this very daunting
when arriving by speedboat in the pouring rain,it was the start of monsoon season and we had to be escorted to and from the boat each time,as the sea was very rough. Boat cancelled a couple of times due to weather so unless you wait until between 5-7pm for tide to go out you have no way of getting into Ao Nang,also gets dark quickly, but the man made walkway through the cliffs is lit at night so you could give it go as we did, but take care as the steps are steep and often wet but with suitable footwear it is ok.
Hotel and staff lovely, nothing to much bother,we had a lovely sea view spa deluxe room- huge, well worth the extra cost, and as the hotel is now in the final stages of completion we were treated to a massage at the spa it was lovely.Ate at the hotel a couple of times the food was very good and not to expensive,good selection of resturants in Ao Nang as well.
Would go back again, but would need to make sure the access to and from the resort was better.
We love Thailand and keep going back.
Consequently we have tried many of the best hotels and resorts this country has to offer. This year we chose The Central Krabi Beach Resort and were not disappointed, far from it.
Not that everything is perfect, yet, but it should only be a matter of time.
As has been recorded already, the check-in procedure can be a little hit and miss. From the airport you are delivered to the Centrals check-in facility in Ao Nang. This building is in the same complex where the staff have their living accommodation, not that you would know that. It's a very stylish and peaceful place where you are allocated your rooms; credit cards are massaged for any additional expenditure etc, everything you normally do at the check in desk at a 'normal' hotel. From here you are whisked to a beach at the far end of Ao Nang for the speed boat trip to the hotel itself. The amphibious vehicle used in the past has died apparently, or as one of the staff put it to me 'is very sick’.
This speed boat trip can be fun once in a while but can become a pain the rear end if you have to do it too often. The alternative is the staff pathway over the side of the mountain, as they call it. It is a pretty steep climb up the wooden pathway and an equally steep drop down the other side onto the rocks (not literally, although that was certainly a possibility if you missed your footing. The good news is that the management have finally seen fit to finish off the pathway and have extended the walkway across the rocks and (at high tide) the crashing waves so that you can now go from hotel to Ao Nang without getting wet or risk falling on wet jagged rocks! I was the first non Thai to do the complete walk on Thursday morning as the hard working carpenters were still finishing off the final steps. Now you need no longer feel trapped in the beautiful hotel premises.
Recent reports have pretty much been spot on with their comments, this will be one of the top resorts in Thailand within the next six months. They plan to have everything completed by Christmas this year and I reckon they will. In the meantime, there is no disruption to guests.
The staff are great and really friendly and is quite touching to hear and see them clearly putting into practice what they have been taught. 'I do hope you enjoy your dinner this evening' said in a slightly wonky English but with a broad smile as wide as the beach outside is very endearing.
We did have a strange experience on arriving at our room on the first day. While being shown the amenities of the room and as the bags arrived, a clipboard with letter attached was thrust under my nose with a request that we tick which box applied to us and our stay, 1. Accept the issues as previously discussed (what issues and what discussion) or, 2. Move to another hotel. If we stayed we were offered free massages and 2000 baht a day in food and drinks as compensation! Compo for what I asked, 'oh, nothing, everything is working as it should'
This is a strange welcome to a 5* hotel, well any star hotel actually. We stayed, enjoyed the food, wine and room upgrade (forgot to mention that) and had absolutely no regrets.
A great place in a great location staffed by lovely people.
What more can you want.
I stayed at the resort from August 10th - 15th with my Mum and two children aged 6 and 9.
I agree with the comments that all the other reviewers have made in the last few reviews. There are special offers on at the moment as it is in its "soft opening" stage so the hotel is cheaper than it will be in the future. The building works did not affect us at all. The beach did have a lot of construction equipment at one end but I understand that the GM had staff clean up the mess after I had left.
I was a little disturbed by "the letter" that was presented once arriving at the hotel which gave us a free massage and complimentary drinks. The staff did not explain to me that it was a disclaimer incase I was unhappy (another guest explained the letter to me) and we did not get 2000 bahts worth of free food a day!!!
The resort is lovely - great rooms, lots of choice for restaurants, great kids club, nice pool etc.
If you are elderly, scared of boats etc. then this is not the resort for you. The boat rides were quite hairy in August due to the rainy monsoon weather. I liked the exclusivity of the hotel as it is difficult to get to but some people may feel trapped there.
All in all, I would recommend the hotel. I probably wouldn't go back but only because I travel all over Thailand and prefer the other side of Thailand in general.
The best at Ao Nang
Great room, fantastic view and sourrandings...
The rooms are full of amenities and the resort is fantastic.
The access by speedboat specially at night is a bit strange cause there is almost no light ... but we always felt safe.
The way through the mountain is not easy and the staff don´t even mention it. The staff is great and very friendly...
Great room, great staff, great resort....
Centara Krabi resort - getting to Railay/Tonsai
I heard that resort is nice, but quite difficult to get out of on a daily basis. I plan to do some climbing in Railay/Tonsai, I don't quite understand yet how the place is laid out, is it easy to walk between the hotel and Railay/Tonsai? Or do I have to take the boat?
Re: Centara Krabi resort - getting to Railay/Tonsai
I'm planning to stay in Railay in October. I haven't been before but I've done a lot of research on this. The area is accessible by road but it will take you FOREVER to get there from the Krabi airport. It's faster by boat. I'm staying at the Sand & Sea Resort which will provide the airport transfer (by boat) for 1200 baht which seems reasonable since I've seen other prices of 2000 baht. The beach is very secluded. Boats are the common mode of transportation if you want to go to any other beaches in Krabi. The hotels are set back away from the sand but are right on the fringe of the trees/forest. East Railay is full of mangroves and not a beach for water activities but I've read that there are some great restaurants over there.
I hope I answered some of your questions.
Re: Centara Krabi resort - getting to Railay/Tonsai
I was in Railay last November.
The only way to get to Tonsai/Railay is by long-tail boats from either Ao Nang or Krabi.
Better to go to Ao Nang. Just take a cab from Krabi airport to Ao Nang pier and it'll be a 10minute boat ride to Railay/Tonsai.
You can walk from Tonsai to Railay, I think, we didn't make it to Tonsai, if it's low tide. We saw people walking between places.
Railay is more laidback than Ao Nang and the beach on Phra Nang is good. Lots of rock-climbing in Railay and Tonsai.
Railay is less crowded, but limited dining options. And if you're in Ao Nang in the evening - dining, drinking, partying - be sure to check the last boat that'll go to Railay/Tonsai.