Planning a trip to Ao Nang? Need an incredible getaway in a hidden cove, tucked away in luxury accommodation straight out of a glossy magazine? Well, I found just the place on a trip to Krabi. Not only was this place incredibly luxurious, it also offered insane views, excellent service and had me feeling so relaxed and happy I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys. Centara Grand Resort & Villas is one of those divine places that will, honestly, stay with me for a long time. I cannot wait to go back again! But first, here’s everything you need to know about the resort and have your very own dreamy holiday in a beautiful part of Thailand.
How do I get my lucky buns to the resort?
Great question, friend! You’ll find the resort in Ao Nang, which is part of Krabi provence. You can fly into Krabi then catch a pre-arranged airport transfer or taxi to Ao Nang, which takes around 30 minutes. The drive is really easy and you’ll pass by some gorgeous cliffs and jungle scenery along the way.
Once you arrive in Ao Nang, you’ll make your way to the Nopparatthara Pier, about 10 minutes outside of Ao Nang. Here, you’ll meet up with the Centara team and climb aboard a boat bound for the resort. Yep, that’s right, it’s only accessible by boat! On the day Matt and I set sail for the resort, the weather was a bit rainy and windy so the ride was a bumpy one. We got splashed a few times, but it was all in good fun and part of the adventure.
The boat took us along the Ao Nang coastline, buzzing past the main streets of the little town and around to a hidden cove, where the resort sits snuggly, nestled into the cove and cliffs. It’s a breathtaking sight and, as soon as you see it, you cannot wait to get out of the boat and explore. It feels like you’ve arrived at your own secret part of the world!
The dismount from the boat can be a little bit hairy, but we loved it! The jetty isn’t fixed, it’s a floating one, which means it moves with the waves. A few people were a bit nervous about it and I was too at first, but it actually ends up being really fun running along the jetty, timing your run with the waves. It’s also important to note, we had a particularly windy day during the rainy season, so you’ll find it to be a bit more flat during the dry months when the wind ain’t so crazy.
What’s the accommodation like?
Pure nirvana. Honestly, from the second we arrived at our villa, I knew I wanted to come back again and spend even longer enjoying this picture-perfect place. It is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous places I have ever had the pleasure of staying at. As soon as I saw it, I wished we’d come here as part of our honeymoon.
We were lucky enough to stay in a one-bedroom villa with our own private pool and it was breathtaking. Our room was gorgeous! The entire space was perfectly spread out, offering the ideal amount of space to get comfortable, hang out and have a very relaxing, indulgent stay. The room is fitted out with lovely dark wood, high ceilings and two separate balcony/deck areas, where you can sit with a nice cold drink or a cup of tea or coffee and just soak in the million dollar views in front of you.
The views from our villa were stunning, especially because of the position of the villa, which is up high toward the cliffs. It offers wonderful views of the sparkling blue water and jagged cliffs jutting dramatically out of the Andaman Sea. When we first caught sight of the views, Matt and I both must have said, “Wow,” about a hundred times, running from deck to deck, trying to take it all in. It was like arriving to our very own hidden tropical paradise.
The first thing we did was strip off and have a nude swim in our private plunge pool, which really, is the best way to enjoy your own private pool! We spent a few hours soaking in the views, cool water and even colder drinks. It was like time no longer existed and we had nothing to do but have the time of our lives. The resort is one of those places that allows you to totally and completely relax, because it’s so luxurious and peaceful.
Not only was our room pretty to look at, it was totally functional and comfortable too. We had some amazing sleeps in the big comfy bed, spent time sprawled on the couch watching movies and enjoyed the massive bathroom, complete with huge tub, perfect for soaking in each night. It was a very memorable stay.
The customer service and guest experience are both fantastic!
Given we were staying in a private villa, we were given access to the club lounge and all the resources available to club guests. This meant we were checked in separately at the club lounge, which means you’re treated to a very special experience. The service by the club lounge staff was top notch, I cannot commend them enough for how courteous, warm and welcoming they were as well as their attention to detail, they were fantastic.
I highly recommend staying in one of the private villas and experiencing the guest lounge for yourself. You’ll find they offer a great breakfast for you to enjoy in the lounge, seperate to the main breakfast served elsewhere to other guests. You’ll also find they offer snacks throughout the day at different times, like milk and cookies in the evening. They also provide a complimentary cocktail hour between 5:30pm and 7pm, perfect for a few glasses of wine before heading off to dinner at one of the on-site restaurants.
In addition, the team have a fleet of golf buggies at their disposal. So, if your room is up high like ours was, you can get the club staff to arrange a lift for you back to your room. It’s incredibly fun and you feel really special being whisked back to your gorgeous room. If all of this doesn’t sound relaxing enough, there’s also an on-site spa which is the perfect place to lose a few hours (or days!) being pampered into enlightenment.
During my stay I became really ill with a stomach problem and needed to see a doctor urgently. It was evening when I became ill and I was unable to leave the resort to get to a hospital. Both Matt and I were really scared, but the staff at Centara were exceptional. They went above and beyond to make sure I was okay and arrange for an emergency medical team to get out to see me. They took incredible care of me and made me feel like a real person, not just a number in a hotel room. In particular, one staff member, Pu, was fantastic. She told us to stay in our room as long as we needed, when it came time to check-out, and arranged all our transfers for us, even personally escorting us to our next transfer to make sure we got there smoothly.
I cannot recommend Centara Grand Resort & Villas Krabi highly enough. This place would be absolutely perfect for anybody celebrating something special, like a honeymoon, anniversary, milestone birthday or someone who just really wants and deserves a special getaway.
The highest recommendation I can give is this; I’ll definitely be going back! It was one of those stays my mind keeps drifting back to, I’m already thinking about getting back there and spending longer in one of those insane villas and a few hours swimming and relaxing in the gorgeous pool.
The resort offers exceptional accommodation in a beautiful, picture-perfect, hidden location that provides a tranquil setting to an unforgettable holiday. It also offers up fantastic food and drink, brilliant customer service and an uncanny ability to make sure you relax and unwind.
If you’re looking for a fantastic resort to escape to in gorgeous Thailand, then look no further than Centara Grand Resort & Villas Krabi. 10/10 Would definitely do again! (Please take me with you!)
First-time visiting Ao Nang? Watch this…
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.