Monday, June 11, 2012

Centara Grand Beach Resort

Centara Grand Beach Resort

I'm a firm believer that when one goes away on a vacation, there are three contributing factors, which play a huge part in whether your trip will be enjoyable or not.

1).  The people,
2).  The accommodation,
3).  Your own expectations and attitude

For me, if the staff at my hotel or resort walk around with an attitude or are not friendly, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  If the accommodation does not live up to the expectation that the advertising made it out to be, I feel like I've been ripped off.  

The above two points don't determine whether my vacation will be fantastic or not, that boils down to my own attitude and expectations.  I am responsible for how much fun I have and whether my trip is adventurous or not.

The Centara Grand Beach Resort has so far met all my expectations, and in some cases exceeded them.  The resort offers four different restaurants.  A traditional Thai, a Japanese restaurant, an International restaurant and the beach bar, which offers pub style food, that is of an exceptional quality.

The resort also has a pub called the Deep Blue, which is a sports bar below ground with a huge fish tank built into one of the walls, a number of private stalls where patrons can sit in little groups or intimately in pairs.  There is a big screen against one of the walls, which streams live sporting events, and there's a DJ station, from which they play all the latest hits.  The floor in the centre of the sports bar is empty for those who wish to dance.

The resort is tucked away in a bay, which is framed by huge limestone cliffs and forest.  There are only two ways in which to get into the resort.  By boat or on the monkey trail. The boat option is by far the better way to come in (or exit, for that matter), unless the weather is bad or the seas are rough.

The monkey trail is a very narrow wooden pathway built into the side of the limestone cliffs.  The wooden slats are not even and the pathway is by no means level.  It would certainly be easier to navigate along in broad daylight and in perfect weather.  The pathway is not your friend when it rains or in the dark.

So far, since we've been here the weather has not been too great, which means that the boats have not been running to the frequency that they usually run at and most people have had to enter or exit the resort via the monkey trail.  The monkey trail is certainly not child friendly, and neither is the boat ramp really.

I would question why anyone would choose to bring children to this resort because it certainly isn't geared up for children.  Besides spending the day in the pool, I'm not really sure what kids could do to keep themselves occupied.

The villas are built up alongside the limestone cliffs, and the restaurants are all along the beach where there is level ground.  One has to be prepared to climb many stairs from your room to the beach area or restaurant area, so it's advisable to plan to do this only once a day.  Once you exit your villa to go for breakfast, don't bother going back to your room.  By the time you've had breakfast it will be incredibly hot and the strenuous walk back up the hill will be tiring - besides, there's no halfway stop where one can take a break and grab an adult beverage for relaxation and rehydration!  You're on your own, Jack!

When the long tail boats are operating on a regular basis, it's great to get out to explore the islands, spend a day or night in Krabi Village and get to know the locals, they are interesting people with interesting lives.

The resort has a huge spa, offering a wide range of services and different styles of massages and pamperings.  They also offer peticures (for those who are inclined), facials and body wraps.

We went for a regular deep tissue massage to alleviate stress and tense muscles.  What we got was a full body rub down, elbows in the back, shoulders and over every muscle group you know (and don't know) you have.  The girls climb onto your massage table, straddle your body and get down to serious business!  I kid you not, these little ladies are as strong as hell, so don't dare be fooled by their petit bodies.

One can choose from a 60 minute or a 90 minute session, I went for 90 minutes and I would highly recommend it.  One is given a beverage on entry and on exit, however the exit beverage is not as great as the first because it's probably a ginger infused (or similar) tea to aide the body in expelling toxins.  I took deeps breaths over the bowl hoping the ginger would do its trick that way, because there was no way I'd consume that liquid.

The resort has many monkeys all around it.  It is important to understand that as humans, we are in their environment not them in ours.  They come out in the early morning looking for food so it's important to lock up your room all the time.  They are incredibly intelligent and have learned to open doors and unzip luggage bags.  If they get into your room, they will destroy everything inside, so be warned.  Feeding them should be discouraged at all times because they will become aggressive and problematic.

Enjoy your stay at the Centara Grand Beach Resort and feel free to share some of your experiences here.

~  Vanessa

I blog with BE Write

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