The great part about NOT living in Bangkok for me is that within a few hours I can get to some nice places to stay. Sure people can trek down to Koh Samet or do the Hua Hin circuit on the other side but generally these are busy tourist places and I like to avoid the tourists when I can. Chanthaburi Province is not a bad escape – quite a jaunt if you live in Bangkok but not so bad if you are coming from the Pattaya area.
Some of the places I have stayed:
http://www.chivareehotelandresort.com/ :: nice boutique spot. Good huts, pool and nice bar and food. Fills up a lot with private parties, weddings and special occasions.
Another fav of mine is :: http://www.baanimmsook.com – nice bungalows with a deck, easy walk to the beach and a cool laid back escape feel. No pool or restaurant but they serve breakfast. I just love the cabins though and tend to hang on the deck when not at the beach.More info.
There are a few restaurants (nothing fancy), a coffee shop, and some mini marts in town. Nothing real upmarket but there are some bigger resorts like http://www.chaolaoresort.com but I tend to enjoy the smaller ones.
Hanging at Baan Imm Sook and will write up another post if I see some other sites worth checking out.