just came back from sihanoukville and it was amazing. victory beach is in pretty bad shape now as most of the beach shacks are demolished, but occheutual and serendipity beaches are looking lively, and it was great. Plus the nightlife is fantastic as well. the beach is not as perfect as thailand, but what made it great was the relaxed backpacker beach setting and the fresh seafood/fruits that the locals sell and the great beach bars. I stayed at GST whihc was a short walk from occheutal beach and serendipity, and the rooms were great value at around 7 dollars, for a nice clean place to rest at night, tv and a big shower area. i went down from kampot, so to me it was luxurious, especially the big and clean shower area. they also do visa, travel arrangements etc.
from sihanoukvile you can also visit ream national park, which was a great day trip -you get to see plenty of wildlife and spend a day in nature for 15 dollars. SO too the islands - 9 dollars for a boat out, inclusive of snorkelling and a picninc lunch on Koh Russei.
I really enjoyed sihanoukville - was one of the more memorable parts of my trip, and i hope you guys hitting the beach will enjpoy it too...