Posted in: Resort
There are family friendly hotels, and then there's the Paradise Resort Surfers Paradise. Our family has just returned from a 5 night holiday at the Paradise Resort and it's one of the most family friendly places we've ever stayed at...by a long shot. Here is my review of the Paradise Resort, so grab a cuppa and settle in for a long read, because there's lots to talk about!
The Paradise Resort is about a 10 minute walk from the main mall strip at Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast, and it's two blocks from the beach. It took us about half an hour to drive from Coolangatta Airport to the resort, and similarly it takes about half an hour to drive from the resort to the theme parks (Dreamworld/Whitewater World, Movie World and Wet'n'Wild). SeaWorld is much closer - about a 10 minute drive. All in all the resort was in a great location for us. The only downfall is that it's on a major highway, and although we couldn't hear the traffic from our room, we did have some trouble with the surrounding streets being closed off in preparation for the V8 Supercar race, so you'll want to keep this in mind if you plan on staying in late October.
Above all else, the thing that sets the Paradise Resort apart from other resorts on the Gold Coast is the facilities for kids. You could not leave the resort for your whole holiday and I imagine most kids would be quite content with that! Here's an overview of the main things our kids took part in during our stay:
We stayed in a Family Room, which had a queen bed in the main room, plus a second bedroom with a bunk bed and a single bed. Even with a porta cot also+nbsp;in the second bedroom (provided for free by the resort) it was still really spacious. Since we were travelling with a toddler who goes to bed earlier than the rest of the family, it was important for us to have a separate room that we could put her down to sleep in. Off the second room was a balcony which we didn't make a lot of use of, but it was handy for drying out our swimmers and towels. There was plenty of drawer space for storing your folded clothes, but as is the case with just about every hotel I've ever stayed in, there weren't enough coat hangers to hang all the clothes I wanted to hang up in the wardrobes. I usually pack some extra coat hangers in the suitcase, but this time I forgot.
The room also had a kitchenette which was another important feature for us. Before our trip I ordered food from Coles to be be delivered to the hotel so that we could make some meals in the room. If you are planning on doing the same, a couple of things that we found the kitchenette to be lacking was a sharp knife and microwave proof containers, so you might want to consider bringing these items with you, however we did managed to get a couple of microwave proof bowls from the cafe to heat food up in. There was only one bathroom in our room, but it was fine for us. It had a bath/shower combo which is handy when travelling with kids. If room decor is really important to you, I would suggest upgrading to one of the "Superior" rooms which have recently been renovated. Our room was a bit tired looking, with paint peeling off the walls in a couple of places and cracks in the bathroom bench, but for us that wasn't a deal breaker because we were at the Paradise Resort to enjoy the facilities, not to spend all day in our room. The room was spotlessly clean which was the most important thing.
Our room was number 1445 on the first floor in the "Astro Alley" wing, which is on the southern side of the resort, and we were a nice distance back from the main road which meant we didn't hear the traffic noise.
When we checked in we were given the option of paying $10 per night to park in the Paradise Resort's underground car park, or we could park in the car park on the vacant block next to the resort for free. We choose the free car park and that worked out nicely because our room was on the same side of the resort, and it was+nbsp;only a short walk to the car park.
There are a few options for eating at the Paradise Resort; there's Bistro Zagames, a Poolside Cafe as well as a mini-mart.As I mentioned, we ordered food from Coles to save on the costs of eating out for every meal, so we only ate the Bistro on one occasion. We went for dinner and there was a mix up with our order which meant we waited about 45 minutes for our meals, but we were given our desserts for free to make up for the mistake which was appreciated. The wait for the meals was worth it because the food was great - I had the marinated vegetable stack with halloumi cheese and sweet potato chips, which was absolutely delicious. All of the kids meals were $8 which was a reasonable price. If you're planning on enjoying the alcoholic beverages at the resort, be prepared for them to be quite expensive (but no more expensive than you would expect to pay at a resort).
The consensus from my family is that our holiday at Paradise Resort was "one of the best holidays ever". Both kids had an absolute ball, and as parents it was nice to have a few hours to ourselves while the kids enjoyed themselves in the kids clubs. Our room definitely wasn't the flashiest we'd ever stayed in, but the resort facilities more than made up for that. My tip would be that if you decide to stay at the Paradise Resort, don't "over book" with other activities outside the resort. We went to Dreamworld on 3 days of our 5 day holiday, and I kind of felt like we missed out on making full use of the resort as a result.
Will we go back to the Paradise Resort and visit again one day? Most definitely!
For the full review and images please visit http://www.happytravelwithkids.com/reviews/review-paradise-resort-surfers-paradise-australia/