There are many famous beach destinations in Thailand. You can probably name them: Phuket. Pattaya. Samui. So when you talk to your Thai friends in Bangkok, why do you keep hearing a name not on that familiar list? Krabi, on the Andaman Sea 60 km. east of Phuket, was once Thailand’s inside secret. Today its charming airport has added the word “international” and receives chartered flights from countries such as Denmark. So we can no longer call it a secret. But it remains special.
Special because it is smaller and more relaxed. Special because shops and restaurants have an unpretentious local flavour about them. Special because of soft, white beaches lapped by clear water, with brilliantly–coloured marine life hiding in nearby coral.
Oh, and there is that spectacular scenery.
Limestone cliffs rise out of lush jungles behind the beaches. Huge karst monoliths jut out of the sea offshore. Islands dot the horizon. The views are like pages from a tropical calendar. You don’t have to purchase an excursion; they are right there in front of you.
Since Krabi is smaller than its famous Thai cousins, there are fewer accommodations to choose from. Fortunately the reputable Centara Group, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, has three resorts that cover the full range of what travellers are looking for. We’ll describe each of them to help you decide.
Your own private landscape
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi was designed as a luxurious, Thai–style resort that makes the most of Krabi’s natural setting. It is nestled in Pai Plong Bay, a private cove with limestone cliffs towering behind it. You’re only minutes from civilisation but it seems you left it behind and entered a fantasy world of blues, greens, rock towers and white sand. Spacious rooms and villas, accented with Thai woods, silks and cottons, climb the hillside from the beach.
Everything fits the setting. Pools are shouldered with natural rock. Tall palm trees shade and integrate the resort with its surroundings. Villa balconies and restaurant terraces frame the romantic ocean sunsets.
The resort’s 192 units range from garden–facing rooms to private villas featuring their own living room and Jacuzzi or pool. All rooms have furnished balconies or terraces. You can choose proximity to the beach or the superb view from higher up.
Despite the secluded location you will not run out of things to do. In addition to multiple swimming pools, the resort has a dive centre; complimentary watersports including sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing and kayaking; and excursions to neighbouring islands. Families will appreciate a Kids’ Club, Camp Safari, and E–zone for teens. For adults there is a fitness centre and Centara’s renowned SPA Cenvaree, offering traditional and therapeutic massages. Five restaurants and bars offer Thai, Japanese and international cuisine, plus seafood barbeques.
Everything for the perfect family vacation
Centara Anda Devi Resort & Spa is a classy upscale hotel set in Krabi’s shopping and entertainment community of Ao Nang. The resort is a short walk from Nopparatthara beach. It offers a wide range of accommodations and amenities that will appeal to everyone in your family.
Anda Devi mixes classic and contemporary Thai design with beautiful pools and landscaping. Many of its 135 units have easy access to the swimming pools and come in various configurations ideal for large or small families. A children’s pool and waterslide are complemented by the resort’s Kids’Club, Camp Safari, E–zone and daily activity programme. The resort even offers a babysitting service, so young parents can use the fitness centre or indulge in spa treatments while their children are looked after.
Quality value that captures Krabi’s magic
Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort, opened last December, is one of Krabi’s newest hotels. With round trip airfares from Bangkok commonly available under $50, this resort makes the magic of Krabi easily accessible.
The resort and its beautiful infinity pool are set among tropical palms looking out on limestone cliffs. It is minutes away from the popular Ao Nang beach community by shuttle. The contemporary décor, fitness centre, all–day bistro, free Wi–Fi, and bicycles for hire will appeal to young families and groups of friends who want to enjoy this unique Thai destination.