Thailand met expectations - beautiful and affordable. We arrived ahead of our group to stay at the Beach Republic – http://www.beachrepublic.com/ ($120/night). As a group we rented one villa and a bunch of rooms which was the perfect arrangement for us as we used the villa to get together around the private pool and pre-game before going out for the night.
The resort markets itself as the destination for the jet set crowd that likes to party but it was mostly deserted even during high season. We felt like we had the hotel all to ourselves which suited us just fine. It had 2 amazing infinity pools, several day beds, and many beach chairs with a live DJ for most of the time.
We spent most days just enjoying the sun by the pool and drinking strawberry mojitos. One day we decided to rent scooters ($5-$6/day) and take them to a zip line adventure ($50/person) which was very exciting, especially for those who have never done zip lining before or never rode a scooter.
One of the most memorable days was spent on a large catamaran that we rented from Kia Ora – http://www.kiaorathailand.com/ ($100/person for private charter). We spent the day on the water with lots of dancing, drinking, eating, diving, and swimming while visiting remote beaches.
As most of the group went home mid-week those who remained visited Nikki Beach – http://www.nikkibeach.com/ (free). Nikki was similar to the Beach Republic with nicer beach and not as nice accommodations. We had such a good time that we contemplated organizing a Global regatta to visit all the Nikki Beach locations around the world.
As a note the whole group was introduced to 2 girls 1 cup - http://www.2girls1cup.ws/ (priceless), an epic film that shows what’s really possible.
Now in Bangkok as a stop before going back home to NYC - staying at the Banyan Tree – http://www.banyantree.com/ ($165/night) for the 2nd time but at a higher price than 3 years ago.
As per Bertrand's recommendation just ate at Miyatake (Tokyu Supermarket, MBK, Bangkok) - amazing tuna toro and other Japanese dishes. A very plain sushi counter at a supermarket with quality and prices to rival Tokyo. We were about to give up looking for it when finally figured out where it was. I wish I took a video of our journey there through the massive electronics floor.