A few years ago, I was researching an article on the best family hotels on the Gold Coast and I came across Paradise Resort.
It looked like no other resort I have seen in Australia before with kids club from 0, amazing outdoor water areas, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, ice skating, entertainment and the list goes on. The best part is that all of these things are specifically for families.
I decided I was going to visit it one day for myself – and that day finally came! We visited during the July school holidays in 2018 with kids aged 2, 6 and 8 and we loved what we found!
Paradise Resort Gold Coast Review
Paradise Resort is found in Surfers Paradise in the heart of Australia’s Gold Coast. It’s a little bit of a walk to Cavill Avenue but we did it with kids multiple times so it’s definitely doable.
It’s only two blocks from the beach by the Gold Coast Highway.
From the moment you step into Paradise Resort, you know you are at the right place – there’s an impressive indoor playground waiting for you! In fact, the hardest part about checking in was trying to get the kids out of there so we could actually go to our room.
Our experience continued like this over the next five days making this the easiest holiday we have had in Australia.
Paradise Resort Tour
The best way to describe the resort and all its facilities is just to show you! Below, 8 year old S shows you around.
There is so much I loved about Paradise Resort. It really is perfect for families.
The facilities as shown in the video are all great. They have obviously invested and try very hard to make this a great resort for families and it shows.
We loved the water playgrounds (although a bit too much water tipping around the place for 2 year old J), the outdoor playground, the indoor playground. We also loved the paid activities like ice skating and laser tag.
The restaurants were good. The food was fairly stock standard but it was plentiful and a good price. The continental breakfast we had included was more impressive than we expected.
Seafood platter at Paradise resort
There are also plenty of other kid-friendly restaurants in the Gold Coast (check out some options here).
We did feel like we were sticking our hands in our pockets a lot (to pay for extras) BUT everything was always reasonably priced and many things were free so I am not complaining about this at all. I liked that they let you do things like buy wine at the store on site and drink it on site as well so it never felt like they were trying to get as much money off us as possible.
In addition to a full family program including shows some nights (we saw circus and magic shows), there are also adult activities in the afternoons and live music some evenings. Josh and I enjoyed wine and cheese tasting and 80s music trivia while the kids had fun at kids club.
On the topic of kids club, it is very very good at Paradise Resort Surfers Paradise and I recommend it. They cater from 0-12 and most accommodation packages include one session a day. Note that this has to be between 10am-2pm or 4-8pm. There are other sessions (until 11pm at night) which you can pay for. Costs are reasonable.
It was so nice for Josh and I to have some time alone! Just priceless.
There is a special room for 0-2 year olds which is where our toddler went. Our 6 year old visited him whenever needed which really helped ease Mr 2 in. You can choose for your older kids to spend all their time in the younger room if you want.
My older kids had a ton of fun. Twice I made the mistake of trying to pick them up early. They were mad and wouldn’t leave! So they are obviously doing something right!
There is an activity schedule for kids club (as well as the resort) which you will be given on check in.
One of the big pluses of Paradise Resort is that they cater to larger families. There are several room types for families of 5 (yay!) and ones for larger families too. They are definitely harder to book though so get in early. We have tried to visit previously but not been able to secure a room even when there seems to have been plenty of rooms for smaller families. We had the same issue when we did not want to go home at the end of this stay – no rooms left for families larger than 4.
Finally, the service was always friendly and good (if a little slow). We always felt very welcome and were happy with every experience.
Paradise Resort also has some great package specials at time. We secured one on Halloween which included tickets to Draculas for Josh and I and late night baby sitting for the kids as well as Dreamworld tickets for everyone which was a steal.
I honestly loved my stay here so I only have one real complaint in this part of my review – the rest are me being picky.
The one thing I would caution is that the rooms are old. They are clean, comfortable and fine but ours had a smell and was older than we are used to. I believe one wing has been updated and you can choose to book refurbished rooms if this bothers you.
We stayed in a family room which has a basic kitchenette, queen bed, single bed, air conditioner, table and 4 stools, TV, desk area, cupboards and a bathroom in one room and then a second bedroom off the side which has two extra single beds, TV, fan and cupboards. We were given a cot for our youngest as well.
There was a problem with the second room which was bad enough that I put it in the ugly section.
They are paranoid about their towels with a sign in the shower about how you have to swap over towels (and can’t just request new ones) and will be charged for any missing. All fair enough but it made me overly paranoid when the cleaning staff took all our towels one day and only replaced them with two. I really don’t want to think about this rubbish when on holiday.
Now for my extra picky complaints – it would be nice if some of the outside tables at the poolside bar were big enough for families larger than 5. No tables big enough for us is a pet hate of mine.
The “free” kids club sessions go squarely over meal times and the only way your kids get to eat is if you buy them a meal for $9.90. I found this a bit frustrating as suddenly a free experience goes to $30 a day for us as they can’t not eat for that long.
My final (small) complaint is that the small adults bar area was sometimes overrun by kids. It was only small and it would have been nice if families had respected it (and staff had encouraged them to do so). There was a zillion areas for kids so it really wasn’t necessary.
Ice skating at Paradise Resort
The internet is terrible and I never managed to connect. I ended up with a data bill with my phone thanks to this. It’s not available in most of the rooms and what was meant to be available in the public areas did not work.
My other big complaint is not so much for myself but for anyone who would stay in our room in hotter months. The second room had no air conditioner and a window that did not open. I would hate to sleep in there in summer. It was annoying enough not having fresh air in winter.
The beautiful beaches a couple of blocks from Paradise resort
We really loved our stay here – it is like a whole village for families. It’s quite self contained and we didn’t leave much.
We visited in the July school holidays and the resort did not feel overrun at all. The weather was beautiful.
If you are looking for an actual holiday with your kids where you get a break as well, I don’t think you could do better than Paradise Resort Gold Coast.
Just to be clear, I have no relationship with Paradise Resort. They had no idea I am a blogger and I have nothing to gain by writing this. However, I do receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a booking via my link above. Thanks for supporting our site.