I am looking to travel to Thailand again in Jan/Feb 06. The info I have researched from the web and various agents has left my wife and we are uncertain where we should choose to go - can anyone give any feedback on possible places that satify our aspirations detailed below?
Have a budget of about £60 ($100) per night.
Looking for a luxury low level hotel on the beach with beautiful large tropical gardens. Ideally in a bungalow on the beach. Ideally on a west facing beach.
The hotel, the beach and the grounds must be clean and well kept. Also the hotel must not be "tired," "well worn" or "past its best"
The beach is important and must be clean fine sand with a back drop of tropical gardens/forest, preferably with no hawkers. Also it is important the beach does not dry out and leave a rocky reef at low water. I am keen on snorkelling and would love to have a quality reef to swim around within walking and swimming distance from the hotel. Basically we arelooking for the typical picture shown in most brochures, but rarely do you actually find the hotel lives up to your expectations.
We would like the hotel to be quiet and secluded, but within walking distance along the beach to one or more good local beach restaurants and beach bars. Also the area needs to be free from noise from jet skis and power boats and the like, although I would love to have access to kyaks or saling boats.
We would also like reasonable access to activities such as elephant trekking, virgin rain forest, waterfalls, rafting (either still water or white water), but we have seen most of the temples we want to see.
My wife and I are both 50 and fit and active.
We are looking for total relaxation in paradise with the ability to take odd days out for something active.
Is there such a place? I would be grateful for any advice (written, photos or links to web sites).