The city of Bangkok is delightfully funky: full of colour, personality, and all the hustle and bustle of a big Asian city. Some may say a stay in a city such as Bangkok requires a calm oasis, a hideaway for when you experience sensory overload. Others may argue that such a fun city requires a hotel that matches its vibe.
Well, the Centara Grand at CentralWorld does both. From its uber-trendy rooftop bar, RedSky, to its peaceful, modern and spacious rooms, the hotel oasis gets this mix of calm and chaos just right. Whether you’re eating squid on the roof or taking a dip in the gorgeous pool, you’ll be equal parts intrigued and relaxed. There’s a reason why the Centara Grand at CentralWorld was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2019.
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Location of the Centara Grand CentralWorld
Okay, first thing’s first: there are two Centara Grand properties in Bangkok, and depending on the traffic they are about a half-hour taxi ride away from each other. We made the mistake (or our driver did, it’s convoluted and we’re not sure what happened, but either way there was a miscommunication with our transfers) and ended up at the wrong property. So add an hour from the airport, trying to check in at the wrong hotel, a walk to find an ATM in order to have cash for a taxi (there’s a reason the world uses rideshare apps now, because you can PayPal!) and a drive back across town to check in at the right hotel… it was chaos and we were starving by the end of it (hello, room service). So don’t make the mistake we did!
CentralWorld is a shopping plaza and entertainment complex in the Pathumwan district, and the Centara Grand sits atop the complex. Other upmarket malls here include the Paragon Mall, and for cheaper shopping the Mah Boon Krong (otherwise known as MBK – Bangkok’s busiest mall) is here too. It’s a great spot for shopping and there are some cool places to eat within the complexes, especially in MBK’s food court. Jim Thomson’s House is a popular attraction for visitors interested in art and architecture, an easy 10-15 minute walk away.
Side-note: if shopping is your thing, read this guide to the best shopping malls in Bangkok by the lovely Martina from Places of Juma
However, while on a map it doesn’t look far away from the tourist hotspot of Khaosan Road, traffic can get heavy. At certain times we were denied rides by taxi or tuk-tuk because the traffic would be too heavy. There is, however, a light rail system with a stop at CentralWorld, so if you travel this way you’ll have fewer problems – and it’s cheap, too!
Rooms at the CentaraGrand CentralWorld
We stayed in the World Club room, which is a couple of notches up from the lead-in rooms (Superior World and Deluxe World categories). The first thing I noticed about the room walking in was how spacious it was. The World Club room had great views over the city and can accommodate two adults and two children, while the Superior and Deluxe will only take one extra child (unless you book the Deluxe Family World room). The Kind bed was reasonably comfy – a little on the firm side for my liking, but this is often the case in Asia. Linen is the typical soft and luxurious feel you’d expect in a five-star hotel.
The bathroom is also quite roomy, with a lovely big bath that’s completely separate from the shower. I really, really appreciated long holiday soaks in the tub. (Note: the Superior and Deluxe rooms feature a combined shower/bath, so if you need a separate walk-in shower, you’ll need to book the World Club rooms or above). The layout of our room/bathroom was such that if you opened the little sliding window/door, you could sit in the bath and see and chat with the person in the bedroom. This had pros and cons – I didn’t have to yell at Mr. W from the bathroom if I’d thought of something I wanted to say, but it did affect soundproofing a little bit.
Tip: Club rooms have access to the Executive Club, which serves tea and coffee all day, afternoon tea, cocktails, and canapes and hors d’oeuvres. Club rooms also get free WiFi, dedicated check-in, upgraded room amenities, and an in-room concierge service. The WiFi rates for non-club rooms are pretty high, and the cost difference between rooms is often quite small, so if you can get a good rate I’d highly recommend the room upgrade.
Breakfast at the Centara Grand CentralWorld
You know how some hotel breakfasts truly blow you away, and others don’t, but when you try to justify it you kind of can’t? That’s how I feel about the breakfast buffet at the Centara CentralWorld. The options were plentiful: delicious pastries, cereal and fresh yoghurt, plenty of juices, the all-important egg station, bacon and hash browns, and my personal favourite: Asian-inspired dishes (I’d eat breakfast noodles every day if I could!). So on paper, the hotel has everything you’ll need for a delicious breakfast.
Comparatively, though, it definitely wasn’t the best I’ve had. I think it was a quantity over quality situation. It was the typical buffet breakfast you would expect at such a hotel. I can’t fault it in any way, but I can’t rave about it either due to my (apparently) impossibly high standards. If your room rate includes it, you’ll definitely get value for money. If it doesn’t, go find a delicious hawker centre instead.
Restaurants and Bars at Centara Grand CentralWorld
The flagship of the Centara Grand CentralWorld experience is Red Sky, the open-air bar and bistro on level 55, the top of the hotel. Enjoy signature cocktails while you take in panoramic views over the whole of Bangkok. I ate some of the best salt and pepper squid of my life at Red Sky. It’s fine to just stroll on up for an afternoon cocktail, but if you’re planning on dinner you’ll need to make a reservation.
Cru Champagne Bar at Red Sky sits atop Red Sky in the very centre: enjoy 360-degree views of the city while you suck back oysters, foie gras, caviar and, of course, champagne. Dress sharp for Cru and get in early: seating is limited and they don’t take reservations.
For something more substantial to eat, you’ll have several in-hotel options: try The World for Sunday brunch, UNO MAS for delectable Mediterranean food (think Tapas and a Raw Bar, and plenty of red wine), or Dynasty for eclectic Cantonese food with the freshest ingredients (abalone, anyone?).
If you’re craving something sweet, head to Zing on the ground floor.
Facilities at Centara Grand CentralWorld
Not only is there a gorgeous swimming pool at the Centara, but there’s also a poolside bar that serves a lovely selection of drinks and light meals – think sliders, salads, and the all-important club sandwich. After a morning spent exploring the bustling Bangkok I can’t think of a better way to relax before heading out again to explore Bangkok’s nightlife.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know I very rarely use the hotel gym… I have the best intentions, honestly I do, but it never happens. I do usually go and have a look through to see the setup.
Anyway, yes, there’s a gym, yes it’s quite well-equipped, and no, I didn’t actually test it out. Sorry!
Yoga and Pilates classes are also available.
The Centara’s signature Cenvaree Spa features at this property and, bonus, if you’re staying in a Club-level room you get 10% off treatments.
The spa menu is extensive and high quality. A two-hour package starts at around $160AUD. The Spa Cenvaree also offers massage lessons.
Is the Centara Grand CentralWorld good for families?
In a word, YES! While it’s not a resort where you’ll find kids clubs, you can request babysitting services. Children will have plenty of dining options to choose from, and the staff are well-equipped to help out with recommendations when it comes to little ones. The tour desk is really helpful when it comes to helping book family-friendly outings.
There are family-oriented room types, and several room types also offer interconnecting rooms upon request, which is great for larger families. The rooms themselves are spacious, giving the kids extra room to move about, and having a bath in every bathroom is great too.
Medical facilities are also onsite, which provides extra peace of mind when traveling with little ones.
Booking the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Bangkok
Rates start from around $250AUD / $170USD per night for a Superior World room, however you’ll often find great deals if booking for several nights.
If you’re ready to finalise your stay in Bangkok, BOOK HERE.