Railay Beach is a peninsula of sand between two rocky cliff sides, so sexy and cool they filmed a Bond movie nearby. There is no road going to the peninsula, so you have to get there by long tail boat (pictured).
What they neglect to tell you is that there is a stone quay in the harbor that, during high tide, is about 6" under water. Fun for those well timed 'walking on water' photos, not too cool if you are wearing nice shoes. Luckily for me, Tevas can take anything, including sea water.
There are a number of resorts here and a number of backpacking places. Luckily they are separated, so the loud backpacking areas (party!) are in the hilly areas and the resorts (relax...) are on the beach.
We stayed in the Sunrise Tropical Resort which is on the east side of the peninsula. That side is a bit muddy to be a beach, but the beach on the west side is 5 minutes away.
Spring for the villa with the outdoor shower if you can. You should be naked in paradise, but as a shy person you shouldn't be seen. Each villa comes with an outdoor shower and a little area walled off from prying eyes. Naked but private.
If you run into someone named Railay, you can bet $5 where they were conceived.