Just returned from 8 nights at the hotel and had a fantastic time. Highlights for me were the pools (I could stay on the lazy river for hours, and the adult infinity pool was great for "quiet time") and the service - the staff literally could not do enough for us, I will miss the "Sawasdeekaaahs"!
We had a standard room (by that I mean, it wasn't a pool/jacuzzi room) but the room was still really impressive, and you could still get great views from the standalone bathtub!! No problems with insects as reported by other visitors (although when we walked through one particular corridor on the second floor it was buzzing with flies, and not particularly pleasant). The maids did a great job each day and supplied complimentary bottled water and bananas/dragonfruit (I think?!) although we didn't actually eat it!
The lazy river and the slides were brilliant... Great for kids but they can get a bit noisy and disruptive at times so we split our days between the main pools and the adult pool. The sea is really choppy around this part of Phuket and it was reported on the news that two French tourists had drowned in the week we were there, so if you're wanting to go snorkelling perhaps book a day trip to another island such as Phi Phi. The layout is sometimes a bit confusing but we managed to find the unofficial "short cut" to the main pool from the side of the Mare restaurant which helped!
The Luna Bar was great (happy hour 5-7pm and 10-11pm - about 230 Baht for a cocktail which worked out around a fiver for two when they were buy one get one free). If the hotel actually do read the reviews though, please please please reconsider the in-house band that play there most evenings!!!! The singing was so awful that it actually put us off going there for drinks on a couple of nights (and apparently this band are an improvement on the previous one!)
During the day we bought drinks and fresh fruit from "Kai" who had a stall right by the hotel on the beach - about half the price of what the hotel were charging.
I personally loved breakfast - your own pot of tea or coffee if you want it (so you don't have to keep asking for more) and a huuuge selection to cater to all tastes - the roti pancakes and honey frozen yoghurt being particularly special. Kids were running round with plates piled with doughnuts!! We didn't really eat much at the hotel apart from a couple of burgers at lunch when we couldn't be bothered to walk in to town (by no means expensive - around £5), but most days we walked up to Karon (either along the beach or the main road - but taxis are available for 200 baht minimum, so only about £4). Loads of places in town to eat, the Noodle place outside The Magic Bar (down the same road as Two Chefs) was brilliant - we ate there a few times for a couple of quid! My boyfriend ate at the Mare restaurant one night and the food was pricey but good from what I could gather.
Beyond the hotel
The hotel runs a shuttle bus to Patong at 2pm and 5pm daily (and a shuttle back half an hour later) - book in advance though. Otherwise it's around 300 baht in a cab (so, £6ish). Bangla Road has to be seen to be believed! Phuket Town is worth a visit (about 600 baht each way, c.£12) for the night markets on a Saturday or Sunday - grab a taxi from the top of the hill at the entrance to the hotel. Trips can be booked through the rep at the hotel but we've heard it's far cheaper to do it through one of the companies in town (i.e., Karon or Patong). It's also worth noting that it's a long old way from Phuket airport!! Karon has a great deal of bars and restaurants but it's not exactly "in the thick of it", and I wouldn't say this is the place to stay if you're after a party holiday, but it was perfect for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a modern five-star luxury resort built directly on the foreshores of Karon Beach. Designed with distinct Phuket colonial Sino-Portuguese architecture, the luxury accommodation comprises of 262 guestrooms and villas. All guestrooms have a balcony and are ocean facing. Room types consist of spa suites, pool suites, deluxe suites and one and two bedroom villas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Hotel Karon
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon