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Centara Karon Resort Phuket
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Reviews (4,276)
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Reviewed 2 April 2012

We have just returned from 15 wonderful days at the Centara Karon Resort. We went on a family holiday (4 rooms booked in the lagoon wing) and also had some friends meet us there.We have been to phuket before and stayedd at the Merlin (tritrang beach) so had high expectations.What a wonderful place full of smiling happy wonderful staff!By the end of our trip the staff all knew our 4yr old twin boys by name(mind u they are identical and they still never got it wrong!)Our wonderful cleaning lady was the most exceptional housekeeping staff we have ever come across, on a daily basis we had something different arranged on our beds,she even made little dogs out of face washes for my children and we looked forward every day to coming back to our rooms to see what she had left us.She made us feel very special.The bar staff at the lagoon pool especially Tor were the very best.We left feeling sad that we may not meet them again.I cannot tell you what a wonderful place this is.I could go on forever about the amazing gym staff,the wonderful ladies at the kids club,the bell boys who always called my children by name and gave them a high five,the wonderful food(we did not have a bad meal in 15 days and mostly ate at the resort as we used the baht bonanzer).We looooved the buffet nights and the shows, extremely good value and excellent food.We used the vans from the front many times as we found the tuk tuk mafia to be not so nice.Seriously, we got an airconditioned newish van cheaper than it would of cost us for 2 tuk tuks and back.He even came back and picked us up from Kata beach when we were finished and came down when he spotted me to carry my bags!This resort to us had no faults and all up there were 15 of us that would say the same thing.We didnt want to come home.Who ever is in charge of this place needs a big pat on the back for his excellent job at having such an amazing team of people who make this place so wonderful.We would never stay anywhere else again.Also for those on a budget we are still gobsmacked at how cheap drinks and food at this place was.For example you could get an icebucket with 3 smirnoff black vodka bottles for 159 baht!! Thats $1.65 a bottle..We drank many of those!!!Even in the resturants you could eat a fantastic meal in clean comfort for the same as what places like the red onion were charging.Why eat out?So as you can see we loved loved loved it.Now to grow that money tree so we can get back! Ness

Room Tip: Excellent views from the third floor of the lagoon building,the stairs were no problem for two 4yr olds.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank mvhowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management77, General Manager at Centara Karon Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2012

Sawasdee mvhowell (Ness)
Thanks for taking the time to review our property. Whilst your review fell into the middle of some harsh reviews, it was refreshing and timely! We do care for feedback and whilst the vast majority is fantastic like yours, we do get some that tough reviews too. This is a reflection of guest expectations and of course our own short comings. When we get a great review like yours (to quote you) its all ‘high fives’!! Thanks Ness and friends for sharing your stay and your follow up email was received!
Look forward to you growing that money tree and returning soon!
Regards
Darren

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Reviewed 28 March 2012

We were a party of seven family members aged from 54-68. Prior to our arrival we received an email from our travel agent informing us the hotel was overbooked and we would therefore be required to spend our first four days at the 5*Centara West hotel with a nice view of the planes landing at the airport. When I suggested our change be to the Centara Grand on Karon Beach our rooms suddenly became available. The hotel is located in a busy restaurant/bar area about 5 minutes from Karon Beach and could be a bit daunting for people who have never been to Thailand before though, as usual, is safe as houses.The check-in was a cinch and was handled very well. Three of of our rooms were on the first floor above the reception area overlooking the hills with the 4th overlooking the town area. As we use the rooms as a base only this was no big deal. The rooms themselves were a bit antiseptic with none of the usual little touches I have found in Thailand, this being my 6th visit. I would not recommend buying baht in the hotel as the exchange rate was some 8% less than the banks. Best rate is for travel cheques. We did participate in the hotel "baht bonanza" which I strongly advise if you like to spend a lot of time at the hotel. I saw from previous reviews some beds were seen as "firm". I beleive that the management have somewhat solved this problem by putting on "padded" overlays and I personally found them to be firm but comfortable. One problem I did find around the pools was a distinct shortage of umbrellas
vs beds and though Darren the manager did take steps to cure this problem there was still inadequate shade around the pool areas though im'e sure this problem is being worked on. We ate in the hotel 3 times and all food was excellent. Cocktails around the pool were very inconsistent with some really nasty margaritas being dished up. Also be aware, the only happy hour bargain is the beer as most 2 for one cocktails were just delivered in smaller glasses. There are hundreds of restaurants in this area all producing excellent meals and to spotlight any would be unfair. A night trip to Bangla Road, Patong, is allways worth a visit but this is not an area for the prudish. Also, there are many tour operators in the area and we just happened to use Karn Travel & Tour who are located just on the beach near the roundabout. Karn, along with her brother Pete, run a good service and like most things in Thailand, prices are negotiable. With Pete being an excellent english speaker and driver, this obviously makes life easier. Tours we did were Coral Island half day, excellent, James Bond Island, brilliant. Simon Cabaret, boring, basically if you like seeing men who are now women or women that were once men and look better than your misses miming western songs then this is for you. Phang Na adventure day (Elephant/ATV/White water rafting) brilliant. Be warned however that the rafting is not for the faint hearted. Further, give the waterfall a miss. This involves a walk down a haphazard path about 300 metres and worstly an up 300 metres and given that your feet will be wet, this is not a journey to be done with children, anyone unfit or in french designer trainers, otherwise known as Phillipe Phlops. Fantasea, OK but dated. Given that this was the 3rd time I had seen it since 2002 it has'nt changed much, in fact I swear I recognised one of the same chickens from my last trip to Fantasea in 2004. The newbies enjoyed it but once is enough. I leave the worst for last. This was with Nikorn Marine and was a deepsea fishing trip on a private launch (just four of us) and to be frank, I would have been happier with the captain of the Titanic at the helm. Its a long story of unmitigated disaster and in short ended up with one of my brothers having his thumb almost completely severed and spending the night in the local hospice having a pin inserted and then having to use every day of the next week having it dressed thereby completely screwing the rest of his holiday. Please note this was no fault of the tour arrangers. Health and safety just didn't exist. Before I complete War and Peace pt.II one final mention of the area. Karon is now so busy it is almost uncomfortable, the weather was decidedly iffy with humidity and heavy rain coming on a regular basis. The beach was full by 1030 with hardly any sunbeds available after this time and the sea, though lovely and clear, is prone to occasional large waves which arrive without warning and if you are not a strong swimmer or also spectacle wearer, this can be very disconcerting. Also, when we were in the water we were plagued by "stingers", the tiny jellyfish that feel like pinpricks. Will I be going back to Phuket?...........Nah. I will go back to Thailand but it will be back to Cha Am where me and me wife went to after this portion of our holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank bewise56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management77, General Manager at Centara Karon Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2012

Sawasdee bewise56,
Thanks for taking the time to review your Phuket holiday experience. It sounds like you party had very active time in Phuket! Your comments regarding our resort such as “food was excellent” and observations such as your check in was smooth and our ‘baht bonanza’ offer was appealing to your party, was great to read. Some issues you mentioned such as our resort over booking. Firstly I apologize for any inconvenience caused. When we have an over booking situation we try and find the best option for our guests. In this case we offered your party the 5 star Centara Grand West Sands as an alternative. As you did not accept, we offered to other guests who happily accepted our offer, hence rooms became available for your party.
I’m pleased you mentioned to me your party wanted more umbrellas poolside and I was able to immediately assist. Also that your bed needed padding and we could assist here as well. The cocktails don’t come out in different sizes for happy hour.
I’m pleased you are returning to Thailand.
Kind Regards
Darren Shaw

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Reviewed 28 March 2012

This is the fourth time I have stayed at this resort. Once again I was totally happy. Check in was speedy and efficient. I was surprised to find my travel agent Flight Centre had booked throu what they call MY TIME. This entitled me to some bonuses. First I was presented with a souvenir glass on arrival along with a discount voucher for the hotel spa for the Living Radiance Package, also a voucher worth 1500 baht to also spend at the spa. I had the Indian head massage and a French manicure. I had an ocean view room but if you arent into sitting on the balcony the lower and less expensive rooms are just the same. If yaounde are a familya traveling then go for a Lagoon room. The childrens pool has slippery slides and waterfalls.a a they also have children's activities throughout the day such as batik painting,face painting, nail painting just to name a few. The children's playground has been renovated since I was last here as well with more playground equipment. The temple markets are on every Tuesday and saturday from around 4:30 to 8:00 pm. Best restaurants in town are The Red Onion, Ying, Baan Karon and Pappas Pizza. Best massage is Nin, ask for Whan, Sa, Emma or Well, it is located one street over price is 400 baht for one hour oil massage. The going rate for a taxis to Patong is 400 baht, to Big C is 500 baht oner way. If you are heading into Patong go to the Jungceylon shopping centre for a great facial at Pimnara Spa, they have a special at the moment 50mins for 349 baht, one of the best facials I have every had. When shopping don't forget to bargin. Although I noticed prices have gone up in the last six months. The hotel has a fully equipped gym too along with pool table and table tennis table

Room Tip: The hotel offers upgrades at reduced prices when you check in. Tropical rooms are more quieter no kids. Lagoon rooms is where they put the families with kids and they have a interconnecting room if grandparents travelling too with the family.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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6  Thank BrissieChook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management77, General Manager at Centara Karon Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2012

Sawasdee BrissieChook,
Thanks for taking the time to stay with us at Centara Karon Resort for a fourth time. We really appreciate returnee guests and as a regular Trip Advisor contributor, your comments are interesting on a wide range of topics. Your tips for families staying in the Lagoon wing is valid, close to the waterfalls, water slides and the Camp Safari for kids as well as our upgraded kids play area. Im sure readers appreciate your tips on restaurants, spa’s (dont forget Spa Cenvaree) and taxi fares!
Hopefully we will see you very soon for visit number 5!
Kind Regards
Darren Shaw

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Reviewed 28 March 2012

Stayed here for 5 days in April, had a great time.
The room was well furnished and decorated.
The staff was very courteous and helpful.
Exemplary service, food and hotel. The stay couldnt have been better.
The location is ideal as the beach is a short walk away and shops, bars, massage center, etc are all right next door.
No need to worry about noise as everything closes down by 11 - 12 at night.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank adeelanwer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management77, General Manager at Centara Karon Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2012

Sawasdee adeelanwer,
Thanks for the short and sweet review. Your comment “Exemplary service, food and hotel” is quite the accolade. I look forward to sharing with the team!
See you this April?
Best Wishes
Darren Shaw

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Reviewed 27 March 2012

We booked for March 2012, originally, for 3 Family Deluxe Lagoon Pool rooms but after a death in the family and us cancelling one room 3 days before our arrival, the Hotel cancelled our entire booking by mistake. We were a little miffed when we turned up after a long day travelling but they dealt with it very well and quickley. When we returned the next day after the first night in a another hotel they gave us an up-grade for our two families to Cabana rooms, which was great. They were very apologetic and certainly made up for thier error with Champagne & Chocolates as well as the free upgrade. Cabana rooms have thier own private courtyard front and rear which is great for our kids, 3 under 5. A 6 person spa/jacuzzi is in the front courtyard and the double front doors to the room are great for opening up with fresh air. We had 2 queen beds & a cot which still left plenty of room to move around. Bathroom is huge with a nice marble tiled shower and a 2nd shower in the rear courtyard with a small clothes airer. The hotel is getting tired with furniture getting past its service life but the staff certainly make up for it. They are the friendliest people and always helpful. We were two families of 4 & 5. The kids could'nt get out of the Lagoon pool & with a swim-up bar & cafe was a god send for the adults, it was hard to leave the resort.
The beach is about 400 meters away but its chaos getting there on foot through the traffic and shops etc with a young family.
Patong was about 15 mins in a Tuk Tuk or the hotel has a free shuttle during the day.
Food is great. Breakfast buffet is substantial. Rooms are clean & the gardens magnificent.
The hotel provide us with a 14 seat mini bus on two occaissions to tour the island or where ever we wanted to go at 1800 Baht per day. Bargain. Shopping is always better in Patong.
We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: If you can afford go for the Cabana rooms.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank ajs2483
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management77, General Manager at Centara Karon Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2012

Sawasdee ajs2483,
Thanks for taking the time to write a review.
I am sorry to hear about your booking error but I am pleased the mistake was quickly rectified to your satisfaction. Fantastic to read this early issue did not blemish your stay and you settled into a great holiday. Your comment on our staff is wonderful “They are the friendliest people and always helpful”. Thanks for taking the time to share your comments and I look forward to your return!
Regards
Darren Shaw

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