My Amazing Life-Chapter 11, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Review

My recent  excursion to Thailand and Malaysia was a trip of a lifetime and I owe a great deal of gratitude to the Tourism Authority of ThailandThai Airways  and Tourism Malaysia USA. The trip was full of 5-Star hotels, restaurants and some of the most fabulous tours I have ever been on, but staying at this hotel was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The Centara Grand Beach Resort was one of the top five hotels I have stayed at in my entire life, including my many trips to Asia, as a buyer for Six Flags amusement parks in the seventies.

 

Centara Grand Beach Resort in Phuket

Centara Grand Beach Resort in Phuket

 

Flying in from Bangkok we saw a view of Phang Nga Bay and all the wonderful islands. We had a bus waiting and drove through old town Phuket for a quick shopping spree and drove up to this entrance. It made a statement and everything had been prepared for us and we immediately were prepared to be taken to our rooms. Before I go any farther I will tell you this post will have more photos, than any post I have published. I think I took around 200 total of just the hotel, spa, beach and grounds.

 

Centara Entrance

Centara Entrance

 

If you know me, you know I have a very weak bladder, so before the tram took us to our rooms, I used the facilities. My word it was like I was outdoors and we even had a waterfall, just in case we needed any coaxing. Not an issue with me!

 

Mens Restroom Waterfall

Mens Restroom Waterfall

 

I walked out and one of the ladies was coming out of their restroom and asked if I would like to see it. She assured me it was vacant. Well of course I said yes. Their view was similar except their sinks looked out over the waterfalls. I was so blown away that it is included in my video later on in the post.

 

Ladies Restroom Sinks

Ladies Restroom Sinks 

 

We had our luggage loaded on trams and were taken to our “rooms”, passing several buildings on the way. This section appeared to be similar to the area we were staying in, but not as secluded. You can see the rooms on the bottom floor had pools or Jacuzzi’s by the tile.

 

Rooms with Pools (Bottom Rooms)

Typical Centara Rooms

 

Every morning when we came down to eat breakfast at The Cove Restaurant, we roamed along this lovely courtyard and glimpsed the beach. The view was magnificent and literally took your breath away! It was a short hike from the room, so each of us really worked up an appetite, as we strolled daily.

 

Courtyard to Dining at The Cove

Courtyard to Dining at The Cove

 

This photo is of the Omelet station and of course I ate my share while we were there. This gentleman had the preparation down to an art and never made any mistakes. He had a lot of satisfied customers.

 

Omelet Station

Omelet Station at The Cove

 

They make a crepe like item that is sparsely spread on the large griddle in the middle and cooks very quickly. It can be topped off with jams or have products inserted while cooking. It was a daily ritual for me and tasted so good. I hope I am not getting the name wrong, but it reminded of me and was similar to a product we ate, named Roti Canai, later in our trip. If I am incorrect I apologize to my readers. If you know the true name please leave a comment below the post and share with my readers.

 

Fresh Roti (Bread) Station

Fresh Roti Canai or Crepes (Bread Stuffed with Sweets) Station at The Cove

 

Inside there were so many stations with fruits, breads, various traditional Thai breakfast soups served over or with rice and just about anything you can imagine that one would eat at breakfast whether normal or not to you.

 

Carious Local Broths and Rice

Various Local Broths and Rice at The Cove

 

My room was very spacious and had a coffee area with refrigerator stocked to the limit. The work area or desk was phenomenal and had enough electric outlets to charge every piece of equipment I had at one time. The view out the sliding glass doors was tremendous and inspiring. It may not look like it but this King size bed was huge and very comfy.

 

Desk Area in Room Behind King Size Bed

Desk Area in Room Behind King Size Bed

 

How many photos can one take of their room? I knew it would be hard, but I had to include the glorious shower with a high pressure rain head. It was spectacular and really had an aggressive spray. My tired and aching body loved it for sure, every day I jumped in.

 

In Room Shower with a Great Rain Head

In Room Shower with a Great Rain Head

 

What’s this? I walked out my sliding glass doors and found a unimaginable patio setup complete with a huge swimming pool and Jacuzzi. I was blown away that they would have this type of arrangement and I found out we all had a similar room. The privacy curtain could be raised at your discretion to keep nosy passers by from observing your activity. My only regret is I didn’t take a photo at night with the pool lit up. It was stunning.

 

In Room Swimming Pool

In Room Swimming Pool

 

The Centara’s spa was named Cenvaree. It is out of this world, with first class amenities and options that one could use the entire day. Again, my issue was how many photos do I share? I decided I would let you see what the waiting area looked like. We were served water prior to our wonderful massages and a warm tea afterwards. I truly love having my body beat up and my muscles dug into. It is so relaxing. I had a traditional Thai massage, in which they use their elbows and get deep into the tissue. It hurt substantially at first, but as it progressed I grew used to it and had all my stress and sore muscles relaxed afterwards.

 

 

Spa Waiting area

Spa Cenvaree Waiting area

 

This is what the pedicure room looked like, but I only had so much time and couldn’t take advantage of the therapy. I did later at another hotel. There is nothing like having your feet massaged to relieve your body’s stress. Okay go ahead call me a Metro-Sexual. I really don’t care. I love spas.

 

Pedicure Station

Spa Cenvaree Pedicure Station

 

The Centara is located right on the water and you just have to walk just across the entry road to reach their fantastic beach. On my first visit I was totally surprised at the size, the beauty and all the normal chairs, umbrellas and beach lounges. I had no idea it was so large. Of course I took around 30 to 40 photos and had a dickens of a time trying to decide which to keep. So I decided on these three with the first one showing just the beach and a great wave.

 

Centara Beach

Karon Beach

 

This one show you what the chair and umbrella arrangement looked like looking to the south and kind of back towards the hotel entrance. I could have stayed on this beach all day for our entire visit, but we had tours and restaurants and shopping to participate with.

 

Beach Lounge Chairs with Umbrellas

Karon Beach Lounge Chairs with Umbrellas

 

The last photo, yes I said last, was of the beach facing north and giving you a taste of the cove we were located in. In addition you can see the view that a few locals had from their wonderful villas up the side of the hill.

 

Beach Lounge Chairs with Umbrellas

Karon Beach Chaise Lounge Chairs with Umbrellas

 

All good things must come to an end, but I cannot rave enough about this hotel. A friend ask recently about what accommodations were available in Phuket, as she had a friend getting married and they wanted it to be on the beach. They had broken it down to Phuket and an island area in Thailand. I couldn’t type fast enough. I recommend the Centara Grand Beach Resort and told her that her friend would remember her wedding forever, just like I will remember my stay at this luxurious establishment forever.

 

 

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always, generated without any influence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Amazing Life-Chapter 9, Bangkok’s #1 Tour Guide

When we arrived in Bangkok we worn out and needed a place to sleep. We were met at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport by a smiling individual that welcomed us like old friends, even though it was midnight his time. His name is Mr. Sompol Kutapand, Tour Operation Manager for SBY Travel and he goes by Sammy.

 

He immediately made us all feel comfortable and I knew we were in good hands. Sammy gave us a brief overview of what to expect that evening and the next morning. He helped us all with our luggage and I was fortunate enough to have him in our van on the way to the hotel. He commented on sights, as we made our way and kept us awake just long enough to get to our rooms.

 

Sammy Talking About Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn

Sammy Talking About Thailand on the Way to The Amita Thai Cooking Class

 

I learned very quickly that Sammy was very organized and thorough. He was was genuinely interested in seeing us have a great time, along with receiving an education about his country. He incessantly discussed the history and facts in regard to each and every destination we were to visit.

 

I have never learned so much in my life on any other tour, in any other country. I am not sure, but I think that Sammy felt I was a kindred spirit or he was just sorry for the “Old Man” of the tour. Regardless we formed a great bond and talked alone many times.

 

Sammy talking about Wat Arun, The Yemple of Dawn on The Way

Sammy talking about Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn

 

Of course after we toured the Chao Phraya river and saw a few sites we landed at the dock for the Wat Arun tour and the morning coffee was coming through quickly. Sammy helped me locate a restroom, as the others began their tour. Always there to help me and he was always smiling and laughing about my very weak bladder! After three fabulous days in Bangkok with Temple tours, a cooking class and various shopping outings it was time to leave.

 

We caught a plane to Phuket and Sammy turned the tour over to his representative from the area. He still accompanied us and made sure we all had a great time and things were on schedule. He ensured we ate great food, took tours we would remember our entire lives and educated us on the attributes of his wonderful home country of Thailand.

 

Outside the Phuket Yacht Club Sammy poses for Me!

Outside the Phuket Yacht Club Sammy poses for Me

 

As we toured Phuket late at night after we celebrated Loy Katrong, I told Sammy I wanted a souvenir T-Shirt for my two youngest sons. It was late at night, yet Sammy was moving very fast and checking with locals. He asked everyone it seemed, where we could buy the shirts. It turned out to be too late at night.

 

Of course I had to use the restroom. I think I have the world’s smallest bladder. He quickly located one and we used the facility down some back alley. Had to pay the guy at the door roughly a dime, but it was much better than messing my jeans up!

 

Sammy Shows His US Patriotism

Sammy on The Way To James Bond Island

 

I was fortunate enough to catch an example of Sammy and his typical spiel on one of the bus rides. He was always educating us on the many facets of Thai life and his wonderful country. I really think there isn’t a better ambassador for Thailand. Thank you my friend, from the bottom of my heart. You made our trip wonderful. I learned so much from you and I want you to know that I appreciate your efforts.

 

 

 

If you find yourself heading toward Bangkok and are in need of a great tour guide, you have to look up Sammy and I guarantee he will treat you better than any other tour guide has ever treated you. His company SBY Travel is located at 402 Sukhumvit 63(EKAMAI24), Klongtonnua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. Their local number is 02-961-9160. Try them out and ask for Sammy!

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always generated without any influence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of The Day #57

If you know me, you understand that I love Colonial architecture, doors, windows and balconies. I am not sure exactly why I am drawn to that period. The magnificent arches, large doors mainly made from wood and over-sized windows are more than attractive to me. They are magnetic and pull me in. When you add the ornate and intricate balconies I get mesmerized and can never take enough photos.

 

 

I have hundreds and hundreds of photos of old wooden doors from my visits over time to Cuenca Ecuador, along with hundreds of balcony photos. It got to the point on my trip last March with Kim, that she was pointing out doors before I could see them. She began questioning whether I had a photo or not of each specific door.

 

 

 

Old Town Phuket Thailand

Old Town Phuket Thailand

 

 

On my recent FAM trip to Phuket Thailand we stopped in old town and had about an hour to scurry down several streets and capture what we could. I loved this photo and even though it is kind of garish it drew me in. Thank you Thailand for giving me another source of joy!

Photo of The Day #56

I love beach towns in any country and always gravitate to them regardless. I was recently in Phuket Thailand, a very well known city and it has infinite attributes. One I was totally caught off guard by, was the amount of wonderful buildings and intoxicating architecture that exists in the old section of town. As we entered, our guide Jennifer decided we needed to stop and see this area.

 

I was fortunate that they gave us about 30 minutes to walk and shop. I was only really interested in the Colonial Spanish or French style of architecture represented and took a plethora of photos. One of my favorites is this one and I shaded it black and white for effect.  I love the more traditional aspect of this type of photo and am old enough to remember when this was our primary source of pictures and color was considered a luxury.

 

There is something that defines the lines and and construction of a building better when it is presented in black and white. I love that it completely captures my eye. How about you? Do you like to see photos in black and white or would you rather all photos be exposed with colors? Thank you kindly for taking the time to read my post and for your comments.

 

B/W Photo of Old Town Phuket

B/W Photo of Old Town Phuket

Photo of The Day #54

As we headed out of Phuket Thailand, to take the Long Boat to James Bond Island or Khao Phing Kan in the Phang Nga Bay,  I knew I couldn’t make the entire trip without a potty break. I have a bad bladder and holding is not an option ordinarily, as my wife Kim will tell you. Her on the other hand, she can hold it for days.

 

It pisses me off. Pun intended! Luckily our guide had a stop planned for beverages and the sampling of some of the best Dim Sum I had ever tasted! I was so glad when they offered us a taste. I wanted to eat the whole pot!

 

Very Tasty Dim Sum

Very Tasty Dim Sum

 

I caught the name of the restaurant. It was Phing Nga Restaurant right before the Sarasin Bridge. I captured a few photos of the magnificent orchid presentation on the wall separating the dining rooms, along the path to the restrooms. I was very surprised at how clean and well stocked the restrooms were. Very nice! I was much more taken back though by this array of orchids.

 

Wall of Orchids

Wall of Orchids

 

Obviously I had to choose one as my favorite and it literally jumped out and caught my attention. What do you think did I get it right?

 

An Amazing Purple Orchid

An Amazing Purple Orchid

 

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