Preferably with a great beach, good restaurants but not over priced. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My wife and I lead very busy lives and need a getaway in next month for about 10days - but dont want to break the back account either.
There is quite a choice down the south of Thailand. Personally I love Koh Samet, its cheap (or can be expensive) and has some great beaches & Restaurants. You can stay in a nice hotel for about 1,200 baht and then that can go upto 10,000 on the 5star places. Those are all on the beach, my favorite is the Silver Sands resort, good rooms, restaurant and have the main bar that most people goto at night.
Koh Samui which is a bit more touristy but also has everything you want, from amazing fish restaurants (fishermans market). Just don't stay in the main towns as they get very loud and full of drunken tourists. West side or north west is a nice place to stay around. Or there is Phuket/Koh Tao/Koh Chang/Krabi. Krabi is good but beaches are always full. Phuket is always good, just quite pricey. almost 8 years ago
Thailand is fantastic at being able to offer such a huge range of places to stay for all different price groups. You can go very cheap and get some good accommodation, but it can also be really bad - but then the same at the other end too !
I have always been lucky - first time I went I ended up in Koh Phangan and stayed at Star Huts when it was just a small collection of huts that were quite basic but fronted right out onto the sand and sea. Now its been developed slightly and I hear that its not a good as it once was.
Last year I stayed at Tub Tim on Ko Chang and really liked it. It was at the quieter end of the bay, had a good selection of huts in different price brackets and had a great restaurant on the beach. I paid around 2,000 baht a night which included breakfast, had a gorgeous little chalet which overlooked the beach and had its own nice bathroom with plenty of hot water plus also AC. You could go basic for around 400 baht a night - no AC, no electric etc.
A friend went very upmarket and stayed at Indigo Pearl on Phuket and said it was amazing - she booked in advance and got a very good rate which included breakfast.
I have found that Koh Samui is a little overdeveloped in areas of my liking, but Cheweng Beach does offer everything from a hammock to a 5*+ resort.
My suggestion would be to work out how far you want to travel from Bangkok - if thats where you are flying in to. Koh Samui requires either the train or another flight. Koh Phangnan requires a flight to Koh Samui and then a long ferry (4 hours) and then to Star Huts is a jeepnie for another hour. Koh Chang is a little over an hours drive from Bangkok but then requires a 20 minute ferry/speedboat which will drop you exactly at Tub Tim. almost 8 years ago