ANGELA SAURINE quickly comes to understand why Paradise Resort Gold Coast is consistently named Best Family Resort in Australia in the Out & About with Kids Readers’ Choice Awards during a stay with her four-year-old son
Paradise Resort Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
As I am checking in at reception, I glance down at Oliver and notice he has his head cocked sideways in bewilderment. “There!” he practically sputters, lifting his arm and pointing towards the jungle gym in the lobby, before looking back up at me. My four-year-old chatterbox suddenly seems unable to string a sentence together. We spend plenty of time at Dusty’s Jungle Gym, which is named after one of Paradise Resort’s mascots, over the next few days. I chuckle when I see parents drinking cocktails as they sit beside the equipment chatting while their kids play. “This is how you do family holidays,” I think.
Family-friendly restaurants at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
But the lobby jungle gym is not the only stroke of genius at this Surfers Paradise property. The most impressive offering has to be the gated play area in Penguins Restaurant. Located in the corner near the entrance, with a big screen playing Peppa Pig on rotation in the background, it has a wealth of toys to keep kids entertained while you are waiting for your meal to arrive or enjoying a quiet drink afterwards. This isn’t just the best thing at Paradise Resort, it’s the best thing I’ve seen at any family restaurant, anywhere. Honestly, why aren’t these everywhere? We also love the comfy booths in the penguin-themed restaurant, while the unbreakable plastic glasses also get a big tick.
There are three other eateries located next to each other nearby – the Poolside Café, Jerry’s Burgers and Deb’s Pizza Shack (named after the Resort’s owners). The great thing about this set up is if different family members feel like a different cuisine, you can easily order something from each, kind of like a food court. The kombi van servery window at Deb’s Pizza Shack is also super cool. While the Resort doesn’t offer room service, you can order meals from the restaurants online and pick them up. The eco-friendly wooden cutlery is another plus.
Kids club and Planet Chill ice-skating rink
I quickly come to understand why Paradise Resort is named Best Family Resort in Australia year after year in the Out & About with Kids Readers’ Choice Awards. Oliver has a ball at the Zone 4 Kids Club, which consists of a series of themed rooms. There’s a Space Room, Captain’s Underwater World, Leonardo’s Painting Room, an Egyptian Room, Astro’s Space Station, Dusty’s Safari, Krazy 4 Kraft, Magic Garden and Junior Adventure Park. It’s available to children as young as six weeks old, up to those aged 12, for four-hour sessions. I’m surprised to find it’s even open until 11.30pm on Saturday nights, so parents can sneak out to dinner and shows, such as the Gold Coast’s Dracula cabaret comedy. I make a mental note for next time!
The Resort also boasts its own ice-skating rink, Planet Chill, and one afternoon we decide to brave it. “Is it a little bit tricky for you too mummy?” Oliver asks sweetly as I hold his hand as we stumble around the rink. It feels like a precious moment of togetherness, and I am so proud of him for giving it a go. Young kids wear their own shoes, which they step into the skates, and can use free penguin skating aids to help them balance.
Oliver also enjoys playing in the on-site playground near the three-level Z4K water park, which has a tipping bucket, water cannons and several slides that’s sure to be an even bigger hit with him in a few years’ time. There’s also a large lagoon-style pool with a gently sloping beach entry, spa (that seemed to be full of kids the whole time we were there) and another water park for littlies.
Another one of the Resort’s drawcards is its location – just a couple of blocks away from the beach. Oliver and his friend have a ton of fun riding their bikes along the Esplanade and over the footbridge to Macintosh Island Park, which has beautiful streams running through it, two playgrounds and a bird sanctuary. It’s around seven minutes’ drive to Sea World, 25 minutes’ to Warner Bros. Movie World, and around a half an hour’s drive to Dreamworld.
Gecko mascots at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
The Resort has four gecko mascots that make appearances around the property, which is a huge thrill for the kids. There’s adventure-loving Dusty, princess Cleopatra, swashbuckling pirate Captain Dane, and Astro the spaceman. Each of the Resort’s wings is named after one of the characters. Oliver becomes quietly obsessed with his toy that is in our room on arrival and carries it with him for days after we leave. We stay in a refurbished Deluxe Resort Room in the Dusty’s Digs wing, which has a fresh and modern look and feel. There’s two queen-size beds, an ensuite bathroom with a shower and double vanity, kitchenette with a microwave, toaster, plates and cutlery, USB charging points, a 55 inch Smart TV and Wi-Fi.
I know Oliver is happy with my choice of accommodation when we are lying in bed together eating dinner and watching ABC Kids one night and he looks up at me and says: “You are the best Mummy in the whole wide world”. You can’t ask for much more than that.
The writer was a guest of Paradise Resort Gold Coast
To book your stay visit: Paradise Resort Gold Coast