Phuket Island View Hotel at Karon Beach
Karon Beach has many small scale resorts along the beachfront, along with a couple of big ones like the Hilton and the Thavorn Palm Beach Resort. For location, I can recommend them all! Just be aware, that apart from the Beyond Resort and the old Ruam Thep Inn, none of the resorts have direct beach access - you have to cross the road first.
The South end of the beach is a little quieter than the North end, and you are within about 10 minutes walk of Kata Beach too. There is decent snorkeling around the rocks and you can even do scuba diving off the beach there. You'll find several hotels near the Karon football stadium, and to me they are all "much of a muchness", except I got a recommendation from a customer this week who went to look for a hotel room on arrival and he stayed at the Phuket Island View. Main reason was the friendliness of the staff and the fact that they made him feel welcome and treated him as a valued guest rather than just a name in the register. Phuket Island View has quiet rooms, 2 pools (but you are just a couple of minutes walk from the beach anyway) - a good mid price hotel in a good location.
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