For our stay in Koh Samui this year, we stayed at The Centara Grand Resort, located along Chaweng Beach. When we first arrived at the resort I was a little concerned by the location. As a van drove past pulsing out music and advertising for a Muay Thai fight, I worried that we may not sleep for a week.
Thankfully this was not the case. The hotel is a big complex and at the quiet end of Chaweng beach so there was no issue at all.
Like in Bangkok we had interconnecting rooms and this time each had a balcony. We had ordered bed and breakfast, and there was a large buffet to choose from.
I should probably point out that 3 of our party of 5 were ill on our stay here. I don’t believe this has anything to do with the hotel, but it does highlight how careful you need to be in Thailand. I hadn’t really appreciated this before we left. Bottled water should be drank at all times and even used to clean your teeth. Salad can be eaten in the large hotels as they have purified water. We were advised not to eat this elsewhere.
The hotel had a number of themed nights which had we all been well/if the boys had been older, I am sure we would have attended and enjoyed. We did eat off the normal menu during one of these events and saw the chefs go and cook at the other people’s tables and watch Thai dancers. I also liked how we learned about the Buddhist beliefs. After Buddhist lent is Tak Bhat, which is where non perishable food is donated to the monks. The hotel held a ceremony for this and big man handed over some food to the monks. This is then used to give to the poor or feed the monks themselves.
We also used room service which was the same menu as the restaurant with no extra tray charge. We were thankful for this when we had our poorly boys.
The pool complex is large and there is a swim up bar with happy hour. The entertainment team were great. They tried to get you involved without being too pushy. We all had fun with the pool games where we tried to cross the pool on floats.
We also took part in Muay Thai class, arranged by the entertainments team, where we were split into adults and children. This was good fun, but I would recommend wearing shorts!
There is a trip lady who is great to use in the hotel lobby, and is the same cost as outside of the hotel. In the outlets in the street you may be able to get a few bhats off the price but you will need to pay by cash or pay a credit card fee. At the hotel credit cards are taken with no fee. She was particularly helpful when we needed to rearrange a driver due to illness and it was no problem whatsoever.
There are various offers within the hotel to get you spending your money at the hotel and we used their prepay money system. This meant that the otherwise pricey food became pretty reasonable with effectively 30% off. Even better at happy hour! Another thing worth noting is that in Thailand, prices are quoted without tax or service, so you need to factor this in.
We had a lovely stay at Centara Grand Resort. The only downside was not staying there for a couple of days longer.
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