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Reviewed 2 February 2013

We had high expectations of this hotel as we had spent some time looking at different places to stay in Thailand to celebrate my 'special' birthday.
Having booked through Virgin Holidays, my husband then sent an email directly to the hotel to inform them that I was celebrating a significant birthday and to see what they could do to help make it special (as he had seen that in a number of reviews, people celebrating something special were given either a room upgrade or were treated very well).
He received an email from a manager to confim they would do their best to provide us with the best available room and a birthday cake.
However on arrival, it was quite apparant that the room (despite being nice) was not an upgrade on what had been booked anyway. My husband told me about the email that he had sent and I pointed out that possibly the hotel was at 100% capacity, hence us getting that room. However, during our stay it became clear that the hotel was not 100% full so that could not have been the case.

We also had to raise a couple of issues during out stay as follows:
The air-con in the gym was broken on a number of days (and never appeared fixed), the temperature controls were broken and fixed at 24.5/25, despite trying to turn the controls down to 18/19 they would go straight back up again.
I informed management of this problem on 3 occasions, they appeared to take on board what I said and told me they would sort it but not once did anyone come back to me with an update and it continued to not work. After the 3 attempts of getting it fixed (and getting no updates from management) we stopped using the gym (which was very frustrating as were wanting to train and it was too hot to do so).

After a few days also we noticed that the floor had not been swept in our room, once again I informed the management and they told me they would get that sorted. I am pleased to say that the room was cleaner after raising that.

On arrival we had met with our tour operator representative Yim who was very helpful and she knew it was my birthday, so she spoke to my husband and confirmed with him that she was also going to speak to the management about making my birthday special and arranged that a cake would be delivered to my room courtesy of the management at 6pm on my birthday.

We returned to the room at that time and firstly I noticed that despite the cards that I had opened that morning being dotted around my room, there was no sign of the hotel recognising it was my birthday. There was no petals on the bed, or towels in the shape of a swan and most importantly there was no cake. I felt an overwhelming feeling of disappointment - this was not the first time I have stayed at a resort hotel for my birthday and have always had lovely gestures from hotels and seeing that this was a special birthday I suppose I just expected more.
We then waited in the room for an hour to see if the cake would appear and nothing...
My husband was very angry by this point as he could tell I was upset and he rang down to reception. It was quite clear that no-one had sorted out the cake and it been forgotten. They then did make a cake and we got it a couple of hours later.
I know this might seem silly to make such a fuss about this, but I was of the impression that the hotel was going to make me feel special for my birthday.
We also discovered during our time that there was a meet the manager drinks reception - we weren't invited - were we not good enough or important enough to meet the manager?

So in conclusion the hotel was fine, the infinity pool was beautiful and the staff very pleasant but the management are at fault for not giving guests that 'something special' that my husband and I have experienced in other hotels around the world.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank MrsPodge73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2013

Dear MrsPodge73

Thank you for taking your time placing the review.

I am sorry that we could not manage to have your room upgraded. Even though we were not 100% occupied, the hotel was running at a very high occupancy there were therefore no rooms of a higher category that could accommodate you for the whole period of your stay. I hope you understand our situation.

Regarding the birthday cake, it was specially ordered one day before your birthday and it was supposed to be served in the room in the evening of your special day, however, we are sorry if it was not there at the time you expected.

The management cocktail is held weekly for different types of guests who booked their accommodation through different channels, I am sorry that the invitation was not sent to your room.

Anyway, thank you for the positive comments on our pool and friendly staff.


Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2013

This hotel has everything from a great Italian restaurant to infinity pools and waterslides. It even has great diving rocks and a lazy river superb for kids. It's right on a beautiful sandy beach with its own FREE sunbeds and parasols. The breakfast buffet is good, Patong is 15 mins away (300bht) and the main town of Karon is 5 mins away (200bht) in a taxi or tut tut. The rooms and service are top notch, but not 5*, and also avoid eating in the hotel if your on a budget. We stayed there at the beginning of Jan and it was overrun with Russians - I'll say no more !! (The second week there was less of them). Overall I was not disappointed and would definitely return again!

Room Tip: get up early to get a free beach sunbed !!!!!!!!!!
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank herbisoxs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2013

Dear herbisoxs

We are extremely glad to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us including Italian food, water facilities, the location of the resort, plus rooms and the service.

We just can not wait to welcome you back.

Warm regards
Fongfa Eadjongdee

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Reviewed 29 January 2013

WOW !! What can I say, the place is amazing.Everything you want and more. My kids had a fantastic time (8 and 11). The pools, the lazy river, rock jumping and kids club kept them pretty busy. Lifeguards at every pool activity made the kids feel safe. They make an effort with all the kids, they know all the names after one day. Girls at the kids club were fantastic !! AOM Thank you !! We stayed in block 8 which was close to the pool and beach, would highly recommend it for a family. The room was fantastic beautiful, we had fresh fruit everyday, our rooms checked twice a day, and you don't have to worry about bottled water, there is plenty of it !! The resort itself is little out of the way which makes it really peacefully and quiet. It was 15 min walk to Karon on the beach, very pleasant walk. Staff are gracious, kind, sweet and over willing to accommodate you ( big thanks to SAK) Can't really fault it !! We were all happy and we would stay there again any time. One more thing BREAKFAST !! TO DIE FOR !!! you will have a hard time deciding what to eat, you must try the banana roti amazing !!!

Room Tip: Block 8-9 great for families, close to the pool.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank agusiak65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2013

Dear agusiak65

Thank you very much for your kind review. We are extremely delighted that you had a heavenly stay with us.

We do hope to welcome you again soon.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager

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Reviewed 28 January 2013

Choosing a resort in Phuket is a bit of a nightmare with so many reviews, glossy PR pictures and big promises. After weeks of procrastinating we settled on the Grand Centara and crossed our fingers. We arrived at midnight after snow in England pushed back all flights 16 hours. Our 4 children had been patient but after 32 hours of travelling were ready to lose it. The young woman at reception seemed to be a bit sheepish about our adjoining deluxe seaside rooms and we were concerned she had given them away as we were nearly a day late.

Maybe she could sense our desperation but she said they were willing to upgrade us for about $100 a day. We had read on trip advisor this was a tactic and declined the offer. A quick discussion with her boss and she declared the upgrade was for free with adjoining ground floor rooms with small pools. We remained sceptical and asked if she could show us the rooms before we agreed.

A quick trip on the golf buggy through the resort and we were very pleasantly surprised. A spacious room with king size beds for the adults with marble bathroom and large outdoor deck leading to the deal clincher... our own pool. Oh and one for the kids next door. The lady from reception tried to ask if this would be okay but the kids were already in their pool taking a midnight skinny dip. I said this would be fine and she smiled and headed off.

It was still hard to tell exactly where we were through all the jetlag but it turns out we had a great spot in the resort close to the pool bar but still quiet. The benefit was we could retire from the burning midday sun to our private pools and order food and drink from the bar and they could signal us when it was ready. Once the kids (8-15 years old) ventured further in the resort they all loved the variety of activities on offer with jump rock, the slides, lazy river and water walking in a giant ball. There's also a great rooftop tennis court but play early or late as we tried an 11 am match and nearly died of heat exhaustion.

Of course I had to try the Spa (being a modern man)and let me tell you fellas it was well worth the 2000 baht for an hour long massage. Luck we had a 1000 baht discount voucher.I must admit though I seemed to be the only guy in there and maybe I haven't seen too many Spas but I felt like I had been to a very Zen place.

We missed the inclusive breakfast on our first day (which ran till 11 am ) because we slept in after the long journey. But when we did eventually find the restaurant it was an eclectic mix of cuisines from around the world that had the kids trying something new each day. Not sure who would eat roast pork for breakfast but I soon discovered. The Russians recently discovered Phuket and are there in large numbers along with other Europeans and Australians. The Russian men are a little larger than most and even though they are often accompanied by dainty wives, they also seem to bring mother in laws on holidays. I doubt if many Australians would do that.

In regards to the food we generally dined in Karon town which was a 15 minute walk along the beach or a 200 baht tuk tuk ride from the hotel. There we could feed the family for about 30 Aus dollars whereas the resort was a lot more. The kids favourite place was a beach restaurant right outside the resort in the sandy corner. They had a monkey etc and again we could all dine on Thai food for 30 dollars. Changi beer too was only about $4 for a large bottle.

So of course the holiday was over quicker than it started and while we thought about doing a Phi Phi island trip and other adventures the kids were pretty happy to just hang around the various pools and the beach which was flat and clean. We found the staff very friendly and helpful and the lifeguards quickly got to know all the kids names. The resort is away from the maddening crowd and one of the few with direct beach access and no road in between. There was an adult only swimming pool that looked great but was a little boring really.

I would certainly recommend Grand Centara for families and couples looking for a peaceful out of the way spot. Oh and when in reception...check out the bathrooms, they are very unusual with a waterfall and open roof.

Room Tip: They all seem to have views but the ground floor ones with pools were great but maybe a touch noisier
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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16  Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2013

Dear Michael T

We appreciate your time sharing such a detailed feedback on your stay.

We are extremely glad that you had a happily stay with us and enjoyed our water activities, tennis, Spa, breakfast, Beachcomber and especially the friendliness of the staff.

We do look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager

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Reviewed 27 January 2013

Just returned this morning after a weeks stay at the centara grand on an All Inclusive Basis. Once the staff were reminded a few times of our board basis things went smoothingly. (apparently not many people pay for all inclusive.) The hotel was lovely, overlooking the ocean and pools from block 7. Room was very clean and bathroom modern. Facilities for the kids are awsome. 5 Pools from adults only to toddlers to oversized kids (mums and dads!) jumping off the rocks. Being all inclusive was brilliant. This included Breakfast (which was a huge array of fruit, breads, cooked breakfast, and pancakes), Lunch - which we usually had at the swim up pool bar and evening meal at the italian, the cove or the beachcomer. All drinks were also included. Great for experimenting with the cocktails! Beach a little disappointing. We went on the elephant treck and the phi phi island tour. Both were brilliant but i must say the phi phi island tour was magical. This eneded our holiday on a massive high after seeing the landscape and feeling like we was in the set of nemo. Downside was all four of us spent a day and night in our room with gastro. Was it the food was it the pool, other patrons, who knows. Beds a little uncomfortable. As far as the hotel is concerned we loved it, the staff are the most friendliest, kindest people who will go to the end of the earth to help you in any way. The lifeguards are hilarious and really seemed to care about the kids and even knew their names after their first jumps!!! Great work everyone. one happy family with lots of memories and stories to be told. Just a couple of tips, take mozzie spray for your room and spray on yourself too during the day. At the airport all aerosoles are confiscated, and getting through to your departure lounge takes a while after about 6 security checks.

Room Tip: block 7 has it all, sea views, pool views and quiet at nighttime
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank donna r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fongfa, Manager at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2013

Dear donna r

Many thanks for sharing us the happy memories of your family. We are very delighted to know that we are a part of your memorable story.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back and to have your next stay another pleasant one.

Warm regards

Fongfa Eadjongdee
Quality Manager

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