Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Traveling to popular destinations means you’re faced with a lot of hotel options and a lot of questions, especially when you have kids. Krabi is a family holiday destination for South East Asia expats, much like Phuket and Bali. Therefore, there’s no shortage of hotel options. After sorting through online reviews, family amenities and cost comparisons, we ended up at the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa.

The HotelDestinationReview

The Centara Anda Dhevi is located in the Ao Nang area of Krabi, just off the main Ao Nang Road, 40 minutes from the airport. We chose to use the hotel van pickup service, a comfortable van, providing a smooth transition, for 1000 bht. Arriving at the hotel was a lovely experience, from a friendly check-in to the delicious welcome punch. Everything was as you’d expect from a tropical resort…nice open-air lobby, plenty of seating to take in the music from the lounge/bar area and the smell of flowers enticing your nose and putting you immediately into the vacation mode.

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Our Room

Pros: As is common with many Asian hotel rooms, the floors were tiled and felt cool on our feet, especially after a hot day in the sun. The rooms were very spacious, one providing a king bed and the other, two double beds, with plenty of room for a rollaway if needed. We had rooms facing away from the pool area, which was welcome simply for reducing noise during naps. As a family of five we definitely need our space to hang out, respect each other’s areas and allow the kids to watch their shows while we watch ours. Let’s face it, there’s something to be said for not waking up to the sound of cartoons. We are thankful for interconnecting rooms, allowing families some time alone.

Cons: The room cleaning timings were never consistent. With a family, you hope for an early and consistent cleaning schedule while you’re off swimming and sightseeing, so that the kids can shower and nap after a long morning in the sun. This might have been due to a peak holiday (Songkran), and could happen anywhere.  We also had one issue with room service concerning the pizzas for the kids. When they arrived, they were cold and parts were soggy. Hopefully this was just an oversight.  However, the pad Thai was delicious!

Amenities

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Pros: The Centara Anda Dhevi had a lot to offer as far as location and staff. We enjoyed short walks to various restaurants, massage places, markets and beach. While not beachfront, it’s easy to take a quick jaunt to the sea. Free Wifi in the rooms was a welcome treat, an exercise room overlooking the pool for those who need to keep up the routine pleased many and the spa…oh the spa.  While on Thai vacations typically I take my massages on the beach for 300 bht and let myself get carried away by the sounds of the crashing waves. However, during this stay, I couldn’t resist the Cenvaree Spa. While triple the price for my one-hour massage, nothing compares to the tranquility of a spa and let’s face it, it was still a fraction of the price compared to Singapore.  I loved every minute in the spa, and wished I could have bribed someone out of their spot on the following fully booked day.

The pool area at Centara Anda Dhevi was relatively sufficient for the family, providing a speedy slide, a basketball hoop in the pool and a bar supplying food and drinks. Well shaded was a little splash pool for toddlers.   A little more space for lounges might have been nice, but overall, there was plenty of seating and umbrella coverage. Just get there early and claim your chairs with your towels before you eat breakfast.

Cons: The kids’ club, Camp Safari for ages 4-9, and teen E-Zone for ages 10-17, were not what we were expecting. When we look for a vacation resort, having something to occupy the kids’ time so that we can have some down time is key. My six and eight year olds were really looking forward to the kids’ club and my ten year old, the E-Zone. Upon arrival, we were all slightly disappointed. The E-Zone is an area in the lobby consisting of three computers…one for the Internet for all hotel guests, one for a Playstation and one for the Wii. Now, my kids fully enjoyed their time playing games, but cramming 10+ kids in the area on three chairs is not ideal for them nor the other hotel guests trying to enjoy themselves in the adjacent bar. As for the kids’ club, it was really geared for ages five and under. I would have loved more for my girls to do and perhaps some cultural art lessons, pool activities or other fun, staff lead activities.  Maybe the hotel will look into this as a quick fix to engage more kids of various ages.

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

What Works For Families

  • restaurants on site
  • connecting rooms
  • workout facility
  • near mini-mart, eateries, shopping
  • many restaurants surrounding the hotel in walking distance
  • concierge provides many day trips, such as kayaking, boat trips and more
  • affordable resort atmosphere for families
  • VERY friendly staff

Outside of the Hotel

Longtail Boat Restaurant on Seafood Street– great food, lovely atmosphere with a view, reasonable prices and a fantastic place for a party (especially on their rooftop terrace.) Because we were there for a party, appetizers and entrees just appeared before us, but everything we had was delicious…prawns, fish, curries and fried vegetables.

Luna Beach (on Ao Nang Beach)- Looks like a shack from the beach, but the food and view are amazing. Get here before sunset, grab a table and a beer, and enjoy that moment look out over the sea. We tried the green curry, yellow curry and pad Thai…all of which were very well made.

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Photo Credit: Heather B./Expat Travelmom

Make sure you say “nik noy” if you don’t like things too spicy!

Across the street from the hotel you’ll find a currency exchange, a mini mart for essentials, a coffee shop called Capuchin and many places to eat. If you turn right, out of the hotel, and walk past the row of small outside eateries, you’ll come to an “alley” with a tall sign featuring massages and hair design. For 300 bht, I had a wonderful one-hour massage. Not at all like a spa treatment, but was well received.

Ask the concierge about a kayaking trip! We took a half day trip kayaking and exploring caves. The kids found the caves truly amazing, searching for bats, ancient writings on the walls and crabs.

All in all, the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa provided a lovely place to call home for a few days.  We enjoyed our time with friends and family and look forward to trying other Centara properties in Vietnam and Bali.

*The manager welcomes conversations with his guests and looks forward to making everyone’s stay enjoyable.