If you watch This Mum At Home on You Tube you would have seen our recent trip to Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast. We have stayed here previously and thought it was (as they have self described) ‘Australia’s cruise ship on land’ for families. We have really enjoyed previous stays and looked forward to spending Josephs 8th birthday together as a family here immensely. Paradise Resort has always been every bit of what This Mum At Home is about and that in the end is the importance of quality time with family.
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Although their plans for the Ruby Collection have gone ahead, with construction now complete on tower 1 and the next starting, Paradise Resort runs as it always has and can still be enjoyed as a family destination.
Prices vary at different times of the year and with different sales on offer. If you are lucky enough to get the 40% off and ‘Kids Eat Free’ deal we got for our family, you could snap up a resort room for a family of 4 from $159 per night or get great deals on special rooms like our super fun King Bunk House room – see our stay here. They usually run that amazing deal 1 – 2 times a year so keep an eye out on their website and sign up to their newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out! Otherwise check out current deals starting at $187 per night for a family of 4 in a Resort Room. Be sure to look at all your inclusions, as the price may seem high initially until you see what is included eg Kids Club session for each child once per day, free entertainment shows etc.
Location & Transport – Paradise Resort is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise with only a 15 minute walk to the popular Cavill Avenue. I found great access to a Coles within 10 minutes walk to get everything I needed for our family. Let’s also not forget the 2 minute walk to a 7/11 for our popular $1-$4 coffees we love to get at home! (Yes real coffee beans and delicious, go and check it out if you have a 7/11 close to you as you will save a TONE of money weekly if your like me getting that ‘wake mum up’ coffee on the way home from the school run in the morning! – and perhaps an extra that evening) There is also a bus stop right on the front door step which is wonderful for a longer trip you would like to take. They are even part of the free shuttle service that provides transport to the HUGE Pacific Fair Shopping Center down in Broadbeach. Great for scratching that shopping itch! If you are in need of airport transfers you can also organize this with the hotel both ways.
Layby Your Accommodation - Aside from using Afterpay through companies such as Jetstar I have never experienced a ‘layby’ system for travel accommodation before. However, Paradise Resort offer this when you make your booking. All you need to do is pay the first nights payment and then the rest is not due until your stay. So you can make payments at anytime before then. I have found this a great advantage for us to ensure our family holiday. I always have chosen to book a year in advance where I can so I have plenty of time to pay. It makes a family holiday achievable for those that would not normally be able to come up with a large sum of money when they have a larger size family to pay for.
Cheaper Parking Option - Parking can be a real bummer when on holidays as most hotels will charge anywhere between $10-$15 per day. This really adds up when you are already paying for parking at the airport. Whilst Paradise Resort has $15 per day under cover parking, they still have the cheaper $5 per day option available in the open car park next door. This car park is well lit and still open until they start building one of the new Ruby towers on that land. This trip we did not need parking as we were away for only a few days so did not hire a car. However on our previous trip to Paradise Resort we stayed for 2 weeks! So paying only $5 per day saved us a lot of money. Especially as we were going home to a costly airport parking ticket too!
Staff – On each of our stays at Paradise Resort the staff were all extremely friendly, helpful and polite to every one of our family members (yes even when little miss was overtired and crying her eyes out). Staff included ALL within the hotel right down to the cleaners and maintenance team. It didn’t matter what time or where we were in the hotel eg waterpark, reception, Splash Mart or food areas. Staff kept on a smile, answered any questions we had and served us without any hassle. The staff interaction with children of any age was always super friendly and especially comforting to children like Miss Isabella that can be super shy with strangers. This made life so much easier for us parents.
Entertainment – This resort is FILLED with fun filled days of entertainment for every hour of the day! Some activities are free whilst others are at a small cost. Before you arrive be sure to check out the Monthly Event Calendar to see what’s on. Some of our favorite experiences on this visit were the Virtual Reality, Laser Tag, Dunk Tank, Biscuit/Cup Cake Decorating, Captain & Friends Live Show, Outdoor Movie Night, Fancy Dress Friday, Live Music and a Magic Show. Check out our travel vlogs to see what we got up to!
Captain & Friends Show
Biscuit & Cupcake Decorating
Fancy Dress Friday
Family Friendly Facilities – Aside from the bar area all other facilities are family friendly and suitable for children to be in. In saying that we have never experienced ‘overly drunk’ guests in any area of the hotel like we have at other places we have stayed. I think this is really due to everyone staying there having children and a different purpose for their vacation. ‘Partying’ is not really in the family vacation plan!
Facilities for families to enjoy include
Dusty’s Playground - Shaded outdoor playground with soft sand underneath and a secure child lock gate. This area is open 9am – 6pm and suitable for ages 2+. Both Joseph and Isabella loved this area in the mornings to go and play before we headed to the water areas.
Water Areas – Consist of a swimming pool, spa and 2 x water parks. All areas are heated all year round. The pool and spa are open 7am – 9pm and the water parks 7am - 5:30pm (4pm in the cooler months). These areas are supervised by staff HOWEVER you need to be aware staff are not trained lifeguards. You are responsible for your children at all times. The water areas were of coarse the number one favorite area for our family. We would start off having fun in the swimming pool and then would move to the water parks. The junior water park is suitable for children up to 5 years old and includes a shallow pool like base, slide, water cannons and a giant tipping water bucket. The large water park is 3 stories high, contains 3 super fun slides, a junior double slide, water cannons and a super 600 liter water bucket on top that will splash everyone below as it tips every few minutes. It’s like standing under a waterfall! Joseph spent hours on the water park able to enjoy all areas. Isabella enjoyed the junior double slide, water fun areas underneath and with supervision from mum and dad we took her down the larger slides. That is the best thing about the water areas mum and dad can enjoy all too!
Main Water Park
3 Water Slides & Plenty Of Water Activities For All Ages
Heated Pool & Spa
Junior Water Park
Dusty’s Jungle Gym – Is an indoor climbing playground located in hotel reception. This area is suitable for ages 3+ due to height of areas you need to climb in. Isabella (2.5yrs) loved playing in the bottom area, but was too short to climb any higher. She did also manage to enjoy the two slides during quieter times when we could help her climb to the start of them.
2 x Kids Clubs – Zone 4 Kids Club is for ages 0 – 12 years old. Sessions are fully supervised with divided age groups according to ages to ensure age appropriate care and activities are provided. Keep an eye out on holiday packages when making your vacation bookings as most packages with Paradise Resort include 1 x FREE SESSION PER CHILD per day. On this stay my kids did not take advantage of this offer however in past stays we could not keep Joseph out of there! Each day has different activities scheduled so make sure you take a look at what’s ahead as soon as you arrive so you can plan with your kids when they would like to visit. Check out the website for more information and photos to see the different themed areas.
Games Room – Coin operated room of arcade style games. This was some fun for all of us to enjoy usually in the evening after dinner. They do not have a large range of games and they do need updating but the kids still had a lot of fun.
Planet Chill – Planet Chill is a an ice skating rink for ages 3+ with REAL ice ! Open both to in house guests and the public, sessions need to be pre booked and run for 2 hours at a time daily. Sessions are $20 each (keep an eye out for discounted ticket offers on their site) and include boot hire, ice fun and access to the Chill Zone aimed at teenagers with arcade games a air hockey table and more. You can come and go during your session so this suited us well with younger kids if they needed a break.
Dusty’s BBQ Area – A self catering BBQ area where you can cook your own food and enjoy as a family. Right next to this area is Dusty’s Playground, so it’s perfect for the kids to occupy themselves whilst you cook!
The Bistro – Open daily for breakfast 6:30am – 10:30am & dinner 5:30pm – 8:30pm. The Bistro is a 50’s style family dining experience offering a variety of different options for all. The great thing about the resort is they understand children can be fussy eaters at times and that’s ok. All you need to do is talk with the friendly staff member serving you to work on a substitution on anything your child may not eat. View the menu here.
Poolside Café & Bar - Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the Poolside Café & Bar is casual family dining, with affordable prices and takeaway options for everything on the menu. We visited this area the majority of the time. We mainly purchased due to its great value. View the menu here.
Splashes Mini Mart – Open daily 8am – 8pm and stocked with a small amount of grocery items such as food, cereal, milk, bread, nappies and more. Prices are higher than your normal supermarket prices so we generally only purchased here if we needed before I could get to Coles. Splashes also contains souvenirs, game/DVD/item hire and is the place to go for all tour/transfer bookings.
Kids Eat Free Deals – This is a deal that pops up occasionally on their website when booking your accommodation. We were lucky enough to receive this deal which made vacation meal planning more affordable when we decided to eat within the resort. Kids eat free in the Bistro & at the Poolside Café & Bar as long as there is one paying adult. Kids can choose food off the kids menu as part of this deal. I have to say this was great when we were worried about what to get Isabella as we knew she wouldn’t eat much at all. The deal ensured she still ate, but we were not wasting money. We could either let her share our/Josephs meals or let her have her own and ‘dad’ would have anything left over lol.
Equipment Hire – Being as a family coming to a resort with small children there are a few items that we have needed that may of not been in the room we were staying in. For example on our previous visit we needed a microwave for baby bottles. The resort supplied this at a very affordable price $30 for our 2 week stay.
Adult Only Time – Whilst it’s obvious the entire resort is mainly child focused, there are some adult only experiences available such as a adults only hot tub area and adult only scheduled activities. Some activities include karaoke night, different trivia sessions, wine/cocktail tasting and more. Adults can enjoy these times whilst kids are enjoying themselves in fully supervised Kids Club sessions!
Different Room Options – The resort provides 10 different accommodation options for families depending on your needs and budget. With the 4 of us vacationing here a few times we have experienced the Resort Room, Superior Resort Room and most recently the super fun King Bunkhouse Room. We enjoyed our stay in each of them a lot. Some of the rooms however do need updating (see cons section below), but due to this you will find different room sales available on their website when making bookings. This we feel made the price paid more inline with what’s now provided. Rooms will no longer be updated due to the construction of the Ruby Towers in progress. The existing resort will be eventually pulled down to make room for Ruby’s amazing finish!
Some rooms have been updated
Needing An Update In Parts – Paradise Resort has been around for over 38 years, so it is no surprise that areas are in need of some updating. Some parts of rooms, entertainment areas etc are looking a little tired and need some attention. In saying that with the great sales they have been offering this has been a better reflection on what is offered for the price you pay. It is important to understand what you are getting for the price you pay. At Paradise Resort you receive a lot of entertainment, facilties and benefits within your price eg a free kids club session per child per day that you would not get anywhere else. On our stay we received ‘kids eat free’ and that was fantastic! Keep an eye out for great deals like this and you can overlook the older rooms because you will be too busy having too much fun with the kids!
Staff Cross Over To Ruby – I’m not sure this is too much of a con, but I do want to make mention as I know not only did we notice this but so did other regular customers I talked with on our stay. Due to Ruby right next door and in connection with Paradise Resort you will see staff walking to and from between the two resorts. When this happened on our stay I recognized a few staff members from our previous visits to Paradise Resort now wearing and working over at the Ruby Collection. These staff members were the ‘gold’ at Paradise Resort and we missed their energy and enthusiasm on this current stay. They were amazing at their jobs no matter what position they were in. We would see the same staff members do multiple jobs eg different entertainment sessions, water park supervision, outdoor movie night entertainment etc and they never lost enthusiasm at any time even if they did multiple positions in one day. They interacted amazingly with the kids and you could tell that they had a great passion for working with children. So it is not surprising they have moved over to Ruby and I suspect maybe even ‘up in position’ in doing so, but it was sad not to have that atmosphere we had previously. The current new staff are all wonderfully friendly and are doing a great job as I have said, but we did miss the enthusiasm we were use to ----- I will make mention once on our stay we did have the pleasure of one of the old staff members (our favorite) now at Ruby back for one entertainment session (Captain & Friends Live Show) we were very happy to see his involvement joining in with Captain dancing like we had remembered (newer staff were a little shy in joining in on activities like this) - watch Captain & Friends Live Show & more on this travel vlog from our day here.
Previous Views Now Obstructed – Due to the design of the resort and at only 3 stories high, room views are not obstructed as most view out onto the amenities such as the water park, pool etc. However the beautiful starry city lights and city scape you would previously see on outdoor movie nights is now sadly gone. This was such an impactful view behind the water park both during the day and at night that I have had many people mention this too me in disappointment and I also found a little sadness myself on this trip. I was glad that I had taken night time photos on our previous visit to capture that memory that had caught my attention. What obstructs now is the first Ruby Tower and the sub sequential will continue to do so. For those that have not seen the previous you will not know the difference but I did thought to make mention as others have noticed.
Final Conclusion –
Whilst Ruby is fully underway Paradise Resort continues to run along side for families that take their annual family trip here or for new families looking for a fun getaway with the kids. Paradise Resort as always provided a never ending ‘child focused’ experience making parents feel welcome with all that comes with parenting. We all know what it is like when your child has a melt down in the middle of a public area when over tired (parents cringing on the inside from embarrassment) . . . at Paradise Resort everyone staying is completely understandable being parents and staff are more than understanding! It makes for a stress free comfortable stay that our family will continue to enjoy and recommend in the future to others.
We had days of endless fun, entertainment and tasty food. The kids interacted with other guests their age and made fun holiday friends. Joseph was truly thankful to return for his birthday this year and Isabella is still asking when we can “go on a airplane to see Captain again mum” lol lol lol. Together our family enjoyed ‘quality’ time together enjoying life. It was fantastic stay for us that has set great memories for our children.
In regards to the Ruby Collection, we are excited to see what the Ruby Collection will offer once all stages are complete. It is said that there will be many different accommodation options to suit family budgets and needs with the forth coming construction. I know many of you have told to me your concerns on the experience not being the same and not as affordable as the current resort, however it has been expressed to me that they wish to carry on everything that has made Paradise Resort special through to the Ruby Collection. That includes offering different price options for different budgets in the future. The end goal will always be that great family experience – ‘Australia's favorite cruise ship on land’ will live on :)
To explore more or book at Paradise Resort visit https://www.paradiseresort.com.au
The First Ruby Tower
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