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Reviewed 4 April 2012

Ok let me start by saying that this is my first review. The purpose is not to bag out Centara but to just let people know of our experience so they can make there own decision. Ok so my partner and I stayed at the Centara Karon resort for 6 nights in March. We were disappointed from check in to departure. We arrived and were told that our ocean view room in the main terrace was not available due to the hotel double booking it. We were offered a suite overlooking the lagoon which they said was an upgrade to what we originally booked. Of course we weren't concerned taking there word it was better. We were shown to our replacement room and were straight away shocked as to the condition of it. The wooden floors were extremely dirty and I mean dirty. The room had two double beds and the sheets had big yellow stains on them. Looked like massive sweat patches. We immediately contacted house keeping and they came an mopped the floors and changed the sheets. They told us that it was a chemical problem. They left and it wasn't long after we realized that there were no bath towels our water bottles in our dirty bathroom. We contacted management and complained about the room and lack of care. We enquired about an upgrade
or a change but were told no other rooms were available. The management didnt seem to care to much. It was like or room was the stand by one that no body normally used. The next day we were changed back to our sea view room and it was a great improvement. Good views but no LCD tv, DVD player or free wifi. We hired a DVD player for the stay for 500thb aswell as wifi for 500thb. We complained again to management about the way we were shoved into a rundown room the first day but still no real sympathy. We were hoping to receive something to make up for the lack of care but nothing ever came. We ate the buffet breakfast a few times which was ok not great. I know the general manager will read this and no doubt offer his apologies for the lack of service but you can never get your time back. Looking on tripadvisor there are many positive reviews but on this occasion we were disappointed. Not a 4 star experience.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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2  Thank Tom_and_Jac
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 5 April 2012

Dear Tom_and_Lou,
Thanks for taking the time to provide a review.
I am sorry for the issues you encountered and furthermore that our Managers were not able to resolve these issues to your complete satisfaction. I am sorry I did not have the opportunity personally assist whilst you were here. Our managers do care and we have already discussed your feedback and how we could have managed this situation better. Your feedback is important and I assure you we do take on board your constructive feedback and utilize it as a means to improvement. I have a good team of staff who work hard toward providing a quality guest experience however we have occasional inconsistencies we are working to improve upon. If I can assist with a future booking, do let me know.
Best Wishes
Darren Shaw

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Reviewed 3 April 2012

we stayed here for 2 nights only, it is tired and in need of updating. The staff were stand offish and appeared unhappy. The pool area was nice and clean but is let down by the hotel rooms. The walls are thin, we colud hear the couple next door rowing. Phuket lets other areas in Thailand down, the service is poor and the place smells of drains and is dirty. Never again!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wendyandmick
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

Dear wendyandmick,
Thank you for your review. I am sorry you didnt enjoy your stay. As mentioned to your travel companions (reviewer below), I am more than happy to discuss directly.
kind regards
Darren Shaw

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Reviewed 2 April 2012

We have just returned from a week at the Centara Karon Resort. Unless you don't mind cheap and cheerful then don't bother. If you are expecting a traditional Thai welcome and service then don't bother. KIf you think you will not get ill, then don't bother.
Our room was large but tatty and compared to 4 stars in Bangkok, definately a 2. The Lotus restaurant is open and there are birds that take great pleasure in contaminating the food that is left open to the elements, so only eat fresh cooked and covered food and do not leave anything for the flies to land on whilst you leave your table. And the reaon for this warning is that Phuket has open sewers and open cespits and where do you think all these birds and flies have been before breakfast ??? Take a look around the childrens pool and you will not only smell the waste but you will see it through the open grills. We read headlines in the Karon local asking the locals to stop emptying their toilet buckets in the sea overnight - I jest you not!!! The staff are unfriendly, lazy and bordering on rude but then I understand there is no unemployment in southern Thailand but is that an excuse. Will we be back to Phuket NO, will we book any of the Centara Hotels again - NO. If you do decide to consider Phuket, then do some serious research beforehand.

Room Tip: Do not think you will get better finish with a more expensive room - you will not.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank spye62
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

Dear bennie10,
Thank you for your review. From the resort we can respond to any feedback (positive and negative) however your comments are unfair and misleading. If you wish to discuss your stay contact me directly on gmckr@chr.co.th.
Regards
Darren Shaw

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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 3 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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