Go as a couple for complete privacy, or with friends or family for a fun and authentic taste of Thailand. Gecko Villa is a real find - off the beaten path among the rice paddies of Udon Thani province, it's about 30 minutes out of town, but the owners collect you and look after you throughout. Their welcome was very friendly, their Thai food superb, and they showed us all around the area, which was fascinating. The private pool was the centre of our time at the villa, but there was plenty to do and explore if you can drag yourselves away!
Do visit the lotus lake - it's a must - and try your hand at "Isan" cooking...and a take a Lao or Thai phrasebook if you are going to try to communicate in the countryside villages without the assistance of the owners!