06 April 2017

Koh Samui March 2017 - Part I Centara Grand Beach Samui

Last month, our family went to our favourite destination in Thailand, Koh Samui, for my birthday getaway! It's been 2 years since we last visited and all of us missed the island dearly.

As usual, I'll share my travel experience in parts because there are too many photos!

Part I - Centara Grand Beach Samui, room and facilities
Part II - Dining at Centara Grand
Part III - Market tour and cooking class at Centara Grand
Part IV - Dining at Samui (street food, Krao Chao Ban, Sabienglae, dessert) and night market

We took the afternoon flight by Bangkok Airways and landed in Samui close to evening. This time, we rented a car so that it's easier to travel around (used to rent a motorbike when only 2 of us). By the time we settled the car rental procedures and drove to Chaweng Beach, it was nightfall.

We've been to Samui many times and have stayed in different properties at Chaweng, Lamai and Bophut. (Check out my past travels to Samui here). This time we wanted to stay at Chaweng again as it's more centralised and convenient. However selecting the property to stay is always a dilemma as most of the resorts are quite dated, or otherwise very small.

We know about Centara Grand since it's a prominent property along Chaweng beach and we always passed by it. However quite hesitant to choose this resort because it's quite an old property and we thought it might be dated and worried about maintenance and cleanliness. After going through many reviews, finally decided to give it a try. Free parking is available, so it's a plus point for us.

Lobby lounge and reception *photo taken during day time.

Check-in was prompt and we were offered cold towels and iced lemongrass drink.

Elegant and airy lobby lounge.

And here's our One-Bedroom Suite! Since it was my birthday getaway, we decided to splurge a little for bigger space. The spacious living area is certainly welcoming as we could all enjoy our personal space without getting into each other's way. Anyways, there was an early bird discount for room rate :)

Although the room has a slightly dated look (we usually prefer modern furnishings), everything is very well-maintained and it felt quite cozy. Love it that there's ample seating and area for us to laze about.

The bedroom is also very spacious. I must exclaim that the super king-size bed is really comfortable, enough room for the 3 of us.

Likewise the bathroom is spacious, with an over-sized bathtub and separate shower and toilet cubicles. There's also a wardrobe and closet sufficient for our clothing and stuff.

View from the balcony. Our room was on level 2 overlooking a lush garden. Sea view is limited though. Should have requested for higher floor.

The morning after we checked-in, I received an Instay Survey via email. I merely feedback that we had thoughts about changing pillows and the bathroom sink seemed to have drainage problem. We were thinking of informing housekeeping after returning from lunch, hence didn't think much of it and went out. However, both issues were resolved by the time we returned without us prompting whatsoever. This certainly earned the resort a thumbs-up for taking initiative and responsiveness to guests' feedback.

Now for a tour of the hotel and some facilities.

Love the swimming pools here, very spacious and  water temperature was just right. With the scorching weather, it was a must for us to dip in the pool daily.

Ample deck chairs around the swimming pools, garden as well as on the beach for those keen in sunbathing.

It felt idyllic strolling around the resort grounds with its lush tropical garden blooming with lovely flora and fauna.

 Mini golf course which my kiddo liked.

 Many sports and leisure activities are offered at the Health Club.

Small playground for the kids.

 Kids Club where my kiddo enjoyed himself so much that he didn't want to leave.

Good size gym with ample sports equipment (there's another room with weight-training equipment).

Also checked out Spa Cenvaree as I was thinking of having a pampering spa session on my birthday. The staff there was so gracious and hospitable and offered a tour of the spa.

The biggest spa treatment room for 2 that comes with a private Jacuzzi tub.

Another couple spa treatment room which is slightly smaller.

Individual spa treatment room with bathtub.
 Another individual spa treatment room.

Canopy for thai-style massage.

Relaxation area.

In the end, I selected a 2.5hr treatment which consists of a scrub and signature salt pot massage.

Upon checking-in to the spa and before treatment, I was treated to a iced bluepea flower drink.

The therapist was friendly and skillful and I drifted off to sleep just minutes into the treatment.

Certainly felt rejuvenated after the pampering session and once again, treated to some tea and fruits at the relaxation lounge.

Overall, Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui certainly surpassed our expectations and in fact we are quite impressed with the property; she's considered a grand old lady but very well-maintained and doesn't look her age. And the exceptional hospitality and service standards displayed by the staff certainly left a lasting impression on us.

Hope that I've covered a good overview of the property. Next up, the dining experience at Centara Grand. Stay tuned!

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