11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We traveled to this hotel has a family unit( 2 daughters 13 & 11)after reading the earlier reviews before we traveled to this hotel I was expecting something far less then our family experienced. All the Brits and Aussies staying here gave it the thumbs up. The standard of the hotel was more than ok for the price and in a good location. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful, especially Nop who works around the pools and teaches Muay Thai. The breakfast was a good variation, good pool snacks, drinks and meals. Would stay here again CS"
- Travel date: 18th April 2007
"Having looked at the reviews on this site prior to departure I was really worried. Thankfully I had no need to be. As far as I am concerned this hotel has had some bad press, but I really could not fault it. We are a family of 5 (Kids of 14, 12 and 6) and had a thoroughly good time at this hotel. We had interconnecting "Lagoon" rooms on the ground floor, facing the pool. The rooms were a good size, clean and comfortable with all of the facilities that you would expect from this class of hotel (Tea and Coffee making, Mini-Bar, Safe etc) The fixtures and fittings were good quality and the bed was comfortable. The bathrooms were quite large and although the shower did take quite a while to drain away, if that is your biggest problem you need to get out more. Rooms were cleaned every day, towels changed and fresh water provided Breakfast was pretty good, plenty on offer, fresh fruit, good Asian selection, egss and bacon, toast and croissants etc. We had lunch around the pool from the "Azure" restaurant, in my opinion, not particularly expensive and good quality. The cocktails and beers were slightly higher priced than outside as you would expect, service was excellent. We did not eat dinner in the hotel so cannot comment on that. In terms of location the hotel is definately not a beach resort. Probably a good 8-10 minutes to the beach. That said the pools were excellent and while we were there were never crowded, we were always able to get 3 sunbeds, towels were provided and changed whenever you wanted them. All in all we thought that the hotel was great. Phuket on the other hand was not at all what we were expecting and were really quite disappointed. I know that many people think that it is a great place, it was just not for us. Probably best to look on the forums for the variety of views."
- Travel date: 11th April 2007
"This is a really nice, family friendly good value hotel. Okay its not the last word in luxury but we had a luxury room with central plus which gives you access to free snacks during the day and free cocktails and canapes for an hour in then evenings. Our room was spacious and the bathrrom obviously newly fitted. We had twice daily maid service and a particularly nice touch was the scented pillow spray. The pools (we only tried 2, but there are more) were good, one large one really for adults and a kind of circular one with a little island very shallow in parts great for our 4 year old. Kids club nothing spectacular but our son enjoyed it and it gave us great free time together. The Spa was lovely - dont go to the really cheap places nerby - sure you'll get a massage but you have so much else at a really nice spa - would recommend this one! Breakfast plentiful and very fresh - not lilke some other hotels I could mention. Dinner menus varied and good quality - prices fair. There are plenty of places to eat around here though so the restaurants tend to be quite in the evenings. All in all a very good family friendly hotel at a great price!"
- Travel date: 4th April 2007
what a transformation
"we stayed here before when it was the Islandia and it is so much better now .staff are still as friendly but its like a new hotel. When we arrived we thought the taxi had brought us to the wrong hotel! Make sure if you have a family to stay in the Lagoon wing as the kid club is nearest to the Lagoon. We will be going back."
- Travel date: 1st April 2007
Miserable, wretched place
"The hotel was booked via our hotel in Bangkok. I had briefly checked out the Central Hotel website and thought that we were going to stay at the Central Karon Village next door. The bad experience started as we were stepping out of the cab. The bellboy asked us if we were sure that we were staying at this hotel. He then demanded to see a reservation. (This is the bellboy). My inference at the time was that he thought that we must be backpackers as we are both quite young. We were both exhausted as it took us three hours from our flight landing to get to the hotel as we spent almost an hour stuck behind an accident on the way. We stayed in the premium deluxe room, what a joke. We were being charged 4800 bht, which, at the time of writing is 150 usd. Remember, we thought that we were staying at the 4 star Karon Village next door. I immediately got suspicious when I saw the room. The toilet was filthy, there were layers of dust all over the place. We were woken up at 8am by the elevator going up and down in the premium block in which we were staying. It was one of those basic jobs with the door that you open yourself. The whole building rattled when it was in operation. Imagine how I felt when I checked out trip advisor and found out we were paying almost three times the internet price. Lesson learned. I'll always do it myself from now on. When we complained to the front desk manager we were told too bad and fair enough we had made the booking. But here's the rub. It was ten o'clock the morning after we checked in and I told her that we were leaving as I had made a reservation at another hotel. They then hit me for an early check out fee of 2400 bht (75 USD) as my booking had been for three days. This is at ten o'clock in the morning. I paid under duress and will be informing mastercard about my complaint and to hold off on payment. A thoroughly wretched experience. They rip you off on everything. Minimum 1 hour internet at extortionate price. Paid an extortionate price for the taxi out of there, of which I was aware but just wanted to get away from it. While we were waiting for the cab there was another guy sitting down making a complaint to another representative beside us and I saw a couple of people handing in comment cards at the front desk. I presume they were not full of compliments. Stay away."
- Travel date: 22nd March 2007
Extremely poor service - terrible experience
"We spent six nights at the hotel. We were there during the New YearÂ´s holidays. At first we were pleasantly imressed with the lobby and the room. Little did we know that we would spend sleepless nights because of the terrible noice the water-delivery track made. We could hear the noice six floors up all through the night! When we complained to the front desk they laughed at us. Later we asked to see the front office manager and she lied to us by saying that she would try to arrange for the track to stop delivering water during the night and that she would inform us about what would happen. She never did. They also refused to move us to another room where the noice wouldnÂ´t be so loud. It was a terrible experience. The staff is very very poorly trained. They speak almost no English at all and it's extremely hard to communicate with them. Breakfast time was chaotic. They ran out of everything, they failed to clean the tables when people left so we had to sit at a dirty table and wait for the staff to clean it - at one instance it took them 20 minutes!. The food, when we could find some, was OK. The restaurants of the hotel are very nicely decorated and the dishes in their menus looked very attractive. However, the portions are extremely small and the money we paid was too much for what we got. The swimming pools were not bad. The room was nice with a beautiful view. The shower though had a problem. The water suddenly became very hot and then in a few seconds it was freezing. I don't know how we got away without any burns! The hotel has just reopened a few months ago, and maybe that's why all these problems occur. They should definitely train their staff more, teach them foreign languages and find a better solution about water delivery. The way things are now I definitely cannot recommend this hotel to anyone."
- Travel date: 9th February 2007
"I had only stayed at Central Karon Beach resort for one night as I was in transit to Koh Samui the next morning. My partner and his friends had already been staying at the hotel the week prior to my arrival and so I didn't really have to deal with the staff myself. I arrived at about midnight after a 9 hour flight plus a 1 1/2 hour detour in which the "taxi" had taken us to the tour agency office. *sigh* At the point of arrival, I found the hotel lobby setting to be welcoming with its modern open-plan layout. Staff members were friendly and responsive. The check-in process was generally quite efficient. However, the rest of the stay wasn't so. The few hours in which I had stayed was enough to singe a poor impression. Firstly, the showers had extrememly poor drainage. I spent my time in the shower with water up to my ankles. Also, everytime the toilet was flushed it would refill with backwash. I was very disappointed with the lack of maintenance. At the time of check-out, the process was slow. We were rushing off to the airport and had informed staff of this. They didnt not have a taxi ready as per our request, nor did they even try to flag one down for us. The porter pointed towards the main strip and told us to find a taxi there as they could not help us. It was frustrating and very poor service. On the main strip we found a tuktuk service who managed to rip us off. I was glad to be leaving Phuket as the lack of service had soured my morning. I don't recommend Central Karon Beach resort due to its inadequate staff and and poor room maintenance."
- Travel date: 17th January 2007
Average Quality Hotel
"I stayed at the hotel over Christmas in the Deluxe section (Tropicale Wing). I am at a loss to see why this section was called Deluxe. It was fine but not "deluxe" Here's why; The wing consists of 3 floors (no elevator) somewhat distant from the main building. This is fine if you are fit and can use the exercise. However, if your elderly or suffer a mobility problem don't take these rooms. Big staircase climb and tricky steps that make it difficult for some. The main building is just as good. Wifi access is available but it's 500 baht per day which is a bit steep. - Same problem with that depressing bathroom shower stall that flooded the bathroom as other reviewers experienced. (I appreciate that the bathroom architecture is structured so that water is allowed to drain from the main floor, but it's really a stupid design.) The shower and choice of dark industrial tile create a very dark and depressing bathroom. I don't have any big complaints in that the hotel staff's genial personalities more than compensated for the lack of basic management oversight. I do note the following deficiencies which may cause some folks to think twice before booking here; -It's somewhat distant from the beach. For example, the Hilton is better situated although more expensive. Having stayed at the Hiltion Arcadia previously there is not much of a difference between the hotels in terms of comfort, -Karon beach is one of the best beaches on Phuket in terms of cleanliness, the type of tourist and the overall quality of sand. Patong is a depressing low end beach compared to Karon. Don't book any taxi services from the Hotel as it is double the price. The metered taxi set rate from the airport to the hotel in a nice car is 450 baht. The hotel charges 950 baht and in my case didn't even show up despite a reservation confirming livery service. (This is how I found out about the taxis.) - Don't bother eating at the hotel or taking the inclusive breakfast as I did. The food quality is not impressive and that non thai european cook might wish to consider a remedial basic cooking course or perhaps a return to the McDonald's in Sydney where I suspect he worked the deep fat fryers prior to snagging the job at the hotel. If this seems harsh, it's my opinion based upon a week of horrible breakfasts and the fact that many of the other guests shared my views in that the restaurants were quite bereft of diners. I concur with the other observations on the food quality. Be prepared to be patient when making an internet reservation. The Central Resort management group didn't seem to grasp the concept of a prompt and clear reply when communicating with me. - Bottom line is that it is an ok hotel, but at this price you can do better at other hotels in karon beach. I believe that all deficiencies relate to Central resorts not properly managing the hotel as opposed to anything local. Local hotel staff were fine and did their best. It's a hotel without a vision or a clear focus on what it is trying to be. Thailand has produced some great hotel marketing and management experts. Central resorts may wish to consider the use of some Thai expertise and not try to import the Days Inn model. (Just my opinion from a management direction perspective.) One last tip. Pay in baht and not your home currency, I only realized I got nicked on the exchange calculations after the fact. Perhaps it was currency fluctuations, but it was a significant chunk of change."
- Travel date: 8th January 2007
Should have been better
"Stayed here for 6 nights from Dec 01 - 07. The hotel itself is very clean and looks great, with the rooms looking quite sparse and pleasant. Bottled water is supplied each day. Facilities are average, with attendants available at the pool and staff were always in the lobby. Unfortunately I encountered a series of issues throughout my stay there that marred the experience. During my stay I had the electricity cut out 3 times and had to call reception to get it fixed. On one occasion the entire floor blacked out due to shoddy wiring. The toilet would occasionally have brown water instead of clear water (?) and the shower drains very slowly. The hotel staff , despite being friendly and there all the time were utterly useless. They were unable to recommend a restaurant, taxi tips or anything that might be of use. I had an early departure and they were unable to call me a taxi at 7:00am because their taxi service wasn't open yet, despite the fact there were at least 5 people milling around doing nothing. I had to go and get a tuk tuk with all my luggage and got ripped off because I was in a hurry. The restaurant on the hotel was rubbish, being about 5 times as expensive as the wonderful local cuisine and not having anything worth eating. Being an optimist I tried some of the food only to be shot down by the lack of anything remarkable. The local food is much better. I would put a number of these issues down to teething problems since the hotel was recently renovated. All in all however I cannot recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: 7th January 2007
Great Decor, Bad Housekeeping
"When we arrived, I was impressed because they sat us down for check in and gave us a drink. The room and the common areas - restaurants all have a very modern feel. The pool was great as well. The problem however was the houskeeping. I think they were understaffed because everytime we called to get new beach towels or towels for the room, it would take forever. There were two of us in the room yet sometimes they'd only leave one towel. The beach is not very far. You could just walk there. The hotel is in a good location because it's a little tucked away from the noise and craziness going on down the road at all the girlie bars. The true night life however is around 10min away by motorcycle at Patong Beach. You could find a motorcycle/scooter at any of the businesses beside the hotel. There's also a convenience store near the hotel which is great for buying snacks or water. The best part though was eating from the street vendors. My husband and I would have lunch everyday on a side street close to the hotel. We would have two bbq chickens, papaya salad, rice and phad thai for only $4Cdn. It was so cheap and it tasted just as good as what you'd eat in the restaurants. We learned very quickly that if you wanted to just eat thai food, it's better to just eat it on the street or markets but if you wanted international food, then you could go to a restaurant and spend money."
- Travel date: 4th January 2007
The Islandia Tropical resort was fab, we...
"The Islandia Tropical resort was fab, we stayed there late June/ early July 2005. Rooms very nice, colourful modern decor Thai style. All mod-cons there like TV, fridge. Our room was on the ground floor, so we could walk straight from the room to the poolside. The pool was superb, fantastic views on mountains, birds singing, cricket sounds etc. The village itself is fairly quiet, don't expect night clubs. Nice Thai restaurants though, massage shop, obligatory tailors. We didn't eat at resort, as it didn't have a restaurant as such, or maybe it seemed that way because it was so quiet. The sea nearly gets very rough at certain times of the year: June onwards in monsoon season. Despite it being monsoon season we had one afternoon of rain only. Because it was only 6 months after the tsunami it may have been exceptionally quiet, but made it more special to us. We did go to Phi Phi for a couple of days, just booked locally, definitely recommend it. I would go back to this resort, if I didn't feel there was so much more to explore."
- Travel date: 13th June 2006
Centara Karon Resort Phuket is also called
- Islandia Park Hotel
- Islandia Tropical Hotel
- Islandia Paradise Hotel