So recently we did a last minute get away for my birthday. I posted a photo on Facebook and asked our followers to guess where in Australia we were. Listing some clues about the place , I hinted there was a resort which had a water park; a kids club; an ice skating rink; rock climbing; an adults zone and most importantly… cocktails!
For the those of you who guessed, if you guessed Paradise Resort, Gold Coast you are right!
I had heard some mixed reviews about this place including: “it’s heaven for kids but not adults”, “some of the rooms are dated and definitely need a face lift”, “it’s really noisy” and so on. Even with the mixed reviews, it was still on my ‘to visit’ list, so I bit the bullet and booked it.
I am so very glad I did.
From the moment I arrived I felt a sense of relief and excitement. When you walk into the lobby to check in you are welcomed by not only helpful reception staff but also an awesome kids juggle gym in the middle of the lobby area. Check in was smooth, everything was easily accessible and there is a weekly program of activities so we could do as little or as much as we wanted.
We booked a Superior Family room which is a hotel style room with an additional bedroom that had a single bed and a set of bunks.
The kids loved their room and immediately went straight to the bunks. Which to them was a fort, a pirate ship, a cave… and some many more weird and wonderful things as kids do!
They never used the tv or x-box in their room during the entire trip. We didn’t stay in the room much, it was only really used to eat, sleep and shower. There was just way too much fun waiting for us beyond the hotel room door.
Our accommodation package included one complimentary four hour kids club session for each of our 2 kids. These complimentary sessions could be used for either a morning (10am – 2pm) or afternoon (4pm – 8pm), which suited us fine. If you wanted you could purchase additional sessions throughout the day for varying prices but we were more than happy with the 4hr block and just did other activities with the kids the rest of the time. We also opted for paying the $9.90 per child for dinner. They have the same deal $9.90 per child for lunch. For more information on session times and prices click here.
There were so many activities to choose from, we really were spoilt for choice!
Once we arrived we went to our room, the kids played on the bunks whilst we unpacked a little. Then it was off to explore for a short while before kids club started. The kids ended up in the lobby playing on the jungle gym for most of it. After that is was off to kids club for them and on to trivia, cocktails and a kid free dinner for us.
The next day hubby let me sleep in (Happy Birthday me!) and took the kids to the Resort Cafe & Bistro for breakfast. After breakfast they returned with a delicious coffee in hand and we were off to start our day. We went and checked out Planet Chill but it wasn’t open. The Staff member said we could come back for the 12 noon session though, so we went off and did other things for the morning, airbrush tattoos, more playing on the play gym lobby, morning tea etc.
By 12 noon we were lining up eagerly awaiting our turn at ice skating, sadly they were super busy and because we didn’t pre-book we couldn’t go. Our little girl was devastated, but I promised we’d go the next day instead and after some convincing we got her to accept that today would become pool day and tomorrow Ice skating day.
We had a ball poolside, the water slides, the stage show, bingo, the dunking (daddy) game. We wouldn’t have left except that the kids wanted to return to kids club. So it was a mad dash to the room for showers and then a repeat of the night before. Kids club for the kids and adults only area for cocktails and a kid free dinner for us. We were too late to join the cocktail trivia, but we watched and it was hilarious.
The next morning we woke to the pouring rain, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. We packed up, checked out, played & decorated cupcakes and cookies and then went off to ice skating. All that excitement and anticipated diminished within the first few minutes. My daughter had seen ice skating in person and on movies and because everyone made it look so easy she assumed it would be easy. She also has a natural ability to learn things very quickly… up until this very moment and she hated it. There were tears and tantrums and in the end we left and went to do something everyone would enjoy, even though deep down I would have stayed longer if I could have.
Before we left we had another delicious meal at the Resort cafe and then drove home, discussing our favourite parts of the weekend. We loved it here and could have stayed longer but it was the end of the weekend and had school the following day. There were things we wanted to do like the rock climbing, have a play & BBQ at Dusty’s Adventureland and use our voucher for Laser Tag but just ran out of time. Although the added extras did in fact add up and weren’t budgeted for, for me it was still worth going.
The kids were happy, we were happy, we even got some down time. All in all it was a great last minute getaway and worth visiting. I’d definitely go back in a heartbeat. The fact that both kids loved going to kids club made it so easy for us to relax. To be able to have an uninterrupted, hot dinner together was priceless… everything else was an added bonus!
I am not affiliated with Paradise Resort in any way and there are no affiliate links in this blog. All comments and thoughts are of my own opinion.
*** For those of you wanting more information, here are 10 tips & insights I would have found helpful before arriving (Pricing correct at time of stay):
- We did not get bored, there was always something happening. Besides the main activities like the water park, ice-skating, rock-climbing, indoor & outdoor playground etc, you also had laser tag, virtual reality, the shows on stage, the games room, games and activities the staff hosted eg – bingo, musical chairs, jelly eating, cup cake decorating, competitions etc…
- Parking – Undercover car parking is available at the resort for $15 per car per day. Alternatively, an outdoor car-park is available for $5 per car per day (The height of the undercover car park is 2.0 metres)
- Check in is 2pm and Checkout is 10am. The resort still let you use the towels and facilities during your check out day and the great thing is they have a shower and change room down stairs near the games room and kids clubs – so you can actually have a shower before you head home!
- On the topic of towels we didn’t get given any pool towels. When I called Reception they said to just use the white bath towels in our room and we could replace them once we were finished with them. Everyone seemed to be using the bath towels in the pool area and there were no issues with replacing them.
- They have a resort store like no other. This store is more like a gift shop, corner store and liquor store all in one. It ranges from breakfast staples, nappies, baby food etc to costumes,gifts and activities for kids to beer, wine and spirits… they even sell Moet!
- You may need to consider a food and activity budget. If you don’t want to buy food from the resort café & bistro you can either buy food from the supermarket (just down the road), use the outdoor BBQ in the resort grounds, go out of the resort to eat, buy take away or get a room with a fridge and microwave and make up your breakfasts or lunches in the room.
- We either brought supplies or ate at the resort, but if you wanted to go get supplies after you arrive Circle on Cavil (9 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise) is 850 metres up the road and has a Woolworths & Liqorland.
- There are lots of free activities too and some activities/games have prizes for the winners. Such as $5-$10 bar voucher, Activity vouchers like Laser Tag, merchandise etc. We did Bingo, Cocktail trivia, Music Trivia and we actually won some prizes.
- There is a Guest Laundry
- Washing – $5 (5x$1) = 30min wash cycle
- Dryer – $5 (5x$1)
- Soap Powder – $3 (3x$1)
- An awesome thing the resort also does is hire out baby equipment and other items, eg. Pram, car seats, microwave, x-box, even surf boards. Click here to see the items & rates.
- We could only link up to the free WIFI in the lobby. The rest of the time we just had to use our own data or hot spot from our phone to our iPad or laptop.
If you do want to buy food here is a rough gauge on meals:
- Light Meals are from $8 -$22
- Mains range from $18 – $36 or $48 (if you want a shared plate for 2)
- Pizzas range from $14- $22 (From memory its 10inch – 6 slices)
- Dessert $12.5- $18.50
- Kids Meals $9.90
Rough prices on drinks:
- Cocktails are about $17.50
- Daiquiri Mango/ strawberry $14-$15
- Jug of cocktails about $32
- Glass of White wine around $7-10 a glass
- Glass of Red wine around $7-10 a glass
Activities (there are free activities available, but there are some that will cost)
- Ice Skating $20.00 per person over 3yrs old
- Rock Climbing $15.00 per person
- Laser Tag $10.00 per person
- Krazy for Kraft $25
- Plaster Painting $8 per artwork
- Cocktail Tasting $$10 per person
- Air Brushing Tattoos from $8
- Henna Tattoo from $10
The Pool Area
The two Z4K Waterparks (open daily from 9:00am – 4:00pm)
- The Main Water Park – 5+ years old is a 3 stories high multi levels structure with slides, water cannons, and climbing frames. It’s topped off with a giant bucket that fills with 600 litres of water before emptying every few minutes over guests below.
- The Junior Water Park – 0-5years old is a smaller version of the Main Water Park and is also equipped with slippery slide, paddling areas, water cannons and giant tipping water bucket.
- The Lagoon Pool & Spa are all heated all year round open daily from 7.00am – 9.00pm.
- Ice Skating
- Age: 3yrs+
- Cost: $20.00 per person over 3yrs old (There is a Buy 3 tickets & receive the 4th ticket FREE currently)
- Duration: 2 hour
- Bring: Enclosed footwear for your little ones and they will strap blades to their shoes. The smallest skates are a Junior size 12. My almost 4 year old wore his sneakers and had strap on blades and they worked really well.
- You must be over 3 years of age to skate on the ice. CJhildren 0-2years are not permitted.
- Book in early – don’t assume you can just show up and get in. We were turned away the first time because it was super busy and at capacity.
- Dusty’s Adventureland – is an outdoor play area open everyday from 9am to 6pm. It has a shade sail, sand based and has lots of play equipment. It also has a BBQ area right next to it which is super handy if you want to cook up some dinner and let the kids have a last minute play before lunch or dinner.
- Dusty’s Rock Climbing is 9-metre climbing wall. There are 3 degrees of difficulty to suit novices through to experienced climbers.
- Age: 7yrs+
- Weight Requirements: Max 80kgs
- Cost: $15.00 per person
- Duration: 1.5 hour
- Bring: Enclosed footwear
- Laser Tag
- Age: 3yrs+
- Cost From: $10.00 per person
- Duration: 25mins
- Teddy Bear Workshop
- Cost From: $30.00 per person
- Duration: 30mins
- Virtual Reality
- Cost From: $10.00 per person
- Duration: 15mins
The Superior Family room also had:
- Small Balcony
- Air conditioning
- Hair dryer (connected to wall)
- Shampoo, Conditioner & body wash = all in one in pump canister in bathroom
- Small refrigerator (bar fridge)
- Tea and coffee– (Sachets of tea and Coffee & little capsules of milk)
- Flat Screen TV (in main room)
- Iron and board
The kids room had:
- Flat Screen TV in the 2nd room
- Xbox 360
- Xbox games (could be borrowed from Resort Shop)