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, but 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 Beach Resort & Villas is one of those divine places that will, honestly, stay with me for a long time. We’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting two times now, experiencing something different each visit! So, here’s everything you need to know about the resort and have your very own dreamy holiday in a beautiful part of Thailand.
But first, watch this…
Where is it and how do I get there?
Great question, friend! You’ll find the resort in Ao Nang, which is part of Krabi province. You can fly into Krabi then catch a pre-arranged airport transfer or taxi to Ao Nang, which takes around 30 minutes. We flew from Bangkok to Krabi, direct, with Thai Airways and a really great experience. If you’re unsure which airline to go with, we recommend Thai. The drive from the airport 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! There is also a ‘monkey trail’ which you can use to walk to and from Ao Nang town but when it comes time to check-in or out, the boat is the way to go.
During our first visit, the weather was a bit rainy and windy so the boat ride was a bumpy one. We got splashed a few times, but it was all in good fun and part of the adventure. As we were travelling in a speedboat, the ride was fast and I didn’t get boat sick at all. The boat ride 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 intimidating in bad weather but we still 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 the resort staff are experienced and there to help if you need it. Of course, on a day when the weather is perfect and the water is flat, you’ll have a much different experience.
What’s the accommodation like?
Pure nirvana. Honestly, from the second we arrived, I knew I wanted to come back again and spend even longer enjoying this picture-perfect place. We’ve stayed in two different room types, a one-bedroom ocean-facing villa with pool and a premium deluxe ocean- facing room. I’ll break both of those down for you because they each offer something different.
Ocean Facing Villa with Pool
On our first visit, we were lucky enough to stay in a one-bedroom ocean-facing villa with our own private pool. It was, in a word, incredible! This is the perfect place to stay for a special getaway. If you were celebrating a milestone birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or simply treating yourself to an unforgettable holiday, a villa would be ideal.
At 111 square metres, the villa is incredibly spacious with plenty of places to spread out and relax. There’s a generous bedroom, separate living area, balcony complete with day-beds, million-dollar views and, of course, the private pool area. You could quite easily spend your whole holiday in your villa (like we did) and just enjoy your own little slice of island paradise. Perched high up on the hill, you can call the staff for a buggy ride down to the hotel’s pools and restaurants or stroll down if you feel like stretching your legs.
Premium Deluxe Ocean Facing Room
On our second visit, we got to experience a premium deluxe ocean facing room and, if there’s one thing I’ve come to notice about rooms here, it’s that they’re spacious! I love the way the rooms are based around the views out the front, with plenty of balcony space to sit, relax and unwind. At 77 square metres, our room was a perfect size and we loved the two different balcony spots to sit.
The room itself is really well designed, with a very comfortable bed (or two Queen’s in our case), a generously sized bathroom complete with rainforest shower and bath as well as a separate toilet and a closet. The views were fantastic and the room was very comfortable and offered quick walking access down to the pool and dining areas. With so much to see, do and eat or just plenty of opportunities to relax by the pool, a premium deluxe ocean facing room is the perfect base for a wonderful holiday.
What is there to see and do?
No matter what kind of holiday you prefer, be it a poolside chilling or heart-pumping adventures, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- You can catch the boat or walk the monkey trail into Ao Nang. Here, you’ll find plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained for days
- The team at Centara can help you organise a boat-hopping excursion like we did. We visited a string of different islands, stopping off for swimming, snorkelling, island exploring and morning tea.
- The limestone cliffs around Ao Nang are great for rock-climbing, this is something you could easily organise with a local provider and I’m sure the hotel can help you get that sorted too
- If you love cooking, be sure to try out a Thai cooking class in Ao Nang
- At the resort, you might like to unwind at Spa Cenvaree with some indulgent treatments including massages and facials
- Trekking and kayaking are two great ways to get your heart rate up and see Ao Nang from a different perspective
- You can visit also visit nearby Koh Klang, a local community which welcomes visitors to see their way of life. The hotel will be able to give you help but getting there is as easy as catching a longtail boat, there are locals waiting by the pier all day to show visitors around by TukTuk for a fee.
- Be sure to try the great food drinks at the on-site restaurant, we got to enjoy the buffet one evening and it was EPIC!
- Of course, you can always just spend your days relaxing by the gorgeous hotel pool or swimming at the private beach… bliss!
The customer service and guest experience are both fantastic!
Given we were staying in a private villa on our first visit, 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, separate 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.
Even if you don’t stay in a villa, you’ll still love the customer service, warm welcome and friendly smiles at the resort. Everyone we encountered from the management team to the cleaning staff treated us with nothing but genuine respect and warmth. We felt incredibly welcome and it made our stay all the more wonderful.
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 drinks, 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 Beach Resort & Villas Krabi.
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