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REVIEW: Paradise Resort | For Families Who Love FUN!

Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast was our first family holiday for 2020 and what a way to get back in the swing of things!

It’s way more affordable than I thought, particularly given it’s known as ‘heaven for kids, paradise for parents’. My kids didn’t stop smiling all weekend and to be honest, neither did I!

If you’re lucky enough to have holidayed at Paradise Resort previously then read on because they’ve undergone MAJOR renovations which you’re going to love!

The GRAND new lobby!

Paradise Resort has been a family favourite for over four decades. It’s set on five acres just a short walk from some of the Gold Coasts’ most stunning beaches and is a refreshing change to all of the high rise buildings you see dominating the coastal skyline. Earlier this year, the resort was re-launched by its new owner Dr Jerry Schwartz who pledged $12 million towards a major upgrade and revitalisation project.

The resort reception is one area that has undergone a significant facelift. Walking into the lobby was like arriving at a luxury hotel, the kind we used to frequent pre-kids. There’s a large and colourful aquarium to remind you that you’re now on holiday in sunny Queensland and it’s time to relax. No arguments here! One of the best features of the resort lobby is the indoor, multi-storey play area where kids can release any pent-up energy while parents check-in. Genius!

H2GO! Zone for Kids Waterparks

If you need convincing that Paradise Resort is the right holiday destination for your family, grab the kids and show them these photos. We bet they are going to beg you to take them! Located in the central resort area of Paradise Resort is one of the biggest resort aqua play waterparks in the Southern Hemisphere. Kids can splash, slide, spray, paddle and swim their hearts out. The best bit, there’s something for all ages! Plus you’ll find plenty of shade and space to watch the kids play from the comfort of your very own poolside sun lounger.

Junior Waterpark

Paradise Resort Junior Waterpark

With knee-deep water on a tall toddler, this smaller waterpark with a soft rubber floor has an enclosed slide and a tipping bucket. The tipping bucket does release quite a bit of water so do take extra care with little ones. That said, it is the perfect paddling pool and tends to be a bit quieter so great for littlies. Miss 2 loved splashing in the water that sprays off the side of the waterpark structure running back and forth squealing for more.

Paradise Resorts MEGA Waterpark

This is where the action is at! The excitement is contagious with kids (and the young at heart) racing around and under the giant tipping water bucket as it spills 600 litres of water every few minutes. Kids can play on the waterparks many levels dodging the spraying water cannons before heading down the slides or have fun exploring underneath the structure in ankle deep water.

It has a soft rubber bottom so any spills are generally harmless. The outdoor adventure playground is also located alongside the larger waterpark so you can always take little ones in there to play while you watch the older kids on the big slides. Both waterparks are heated to 25 degrees celsius.

Slides for all ages!

Big Water Slides

There’s a great set of blue, dual open slides for kids just building their confidence with slides. The next size up is the purple slide which has a really fun twist but is still open along the top. The other two slides (red & green) are fully enclosed and are great for getting up speed. Prepare to get soaked!

For parents, there are plenty of sun loungers, cabanas and shaded spots to watch the kids while you read a book, enjoy a relaxed beverage by the pool and make the most of the high-speed WIFI. We even saw parents battling it out over a deck of cards and sharing a laugh poolside.

Throughout the day the ‘Captains’ who are Paradise Resort staff monitor the waterpark. It’s important to know they are definitely not lifeguards. Their role is more like a referee/host to help kids be mindful of others when they are overrun with excitement racing around 5 big water slides with their mates. So, it goes without saying that you still need to supervise your kids because it does get really busy.

The lagoon pool & heated spa

The lagoon pool is located alongside the junior waterpark. At its shallowest point the pool is around 0.68m deep and at its deepest 1.7m. It was a great height for our daughter to work on her swimming and play pool games in the shallow end with her new friends. It’s not really the kind of pool you’ll be swimming laps in but the crystal-clear water is so refreshing when coupled with the tropical Queensland weather that you’ll be happy to float the day away instead.

There’s also a large heated spa, 0.55m-0.98m deep, that was very popular well into night. The pool area is lit with colourful lights in the evening that smaller kids love to touch and explore. The pool and spa are both heated to 27 Degrees Celsius. Kids will love the two trampolines and a dunk tank in the pool area to add even more fun options.

Zone 4 Kids Club

You’re going to love having 5 minutes…..wait 4 hours to yourself…every day of your stay!

This is going to blow your over loaded mind! Paradise Resort offers a fully supervised Kids Club with separate play spaces and activities for kids aged from 6 weeks – 12 years. Many of the accommodation packages include a daily complimentary session for each child, 7 days a week between 10am to 9:30pm and you only pay for meals. You can also book ‘Extra Care’ between 8am -10am and 9:30pm – 11:30pm for an additional cost. Did someone say date night?! Families Tip: Book online before you arrive as it’s a very popular service!

Zone Kids Junior (0-2YRS)

Paradise Resort Kids

We were very impressed with the team in the Junior room. They are so passionate about caring for children and giving each child a fantastic holiday experience. We saw plenty of cuddles and smiles being shared during our visit to this brightly coloured play space sure to activate a young child’s imagination.

The staff follow your routine and have cots and floor beds to ensure little ones get their much-needed naps and can keep to the schedule they have at home. This can be a great start for little ones yet to enter care away from home giving parents a break. The area looks just like your standard childcare with tables for arts and crafts, home corner for role-play fun, a designated quiet area to watch kids movies and an outdoor play space with sandpit, tyre swing, cubby and slide.

The Zone Kids Club (3-12 Years)

Just across the hall is the Z4K Club for bigger kids, providing a kids indoor paradise where they’ll be very keen to stay and play! There’s a glow in the dark subterranean play centre, pedal cars, and movie room. Throughout each session various activities and organised games are held to get kids mingling with new friends.

If it’s particularly busy, think school holidays, younger kids are taken into a separate space where they have their own dedicated play area. The best bit is the kids have so much fun that you won’t feel guilty when you head off to get some ‘me’ time by the pool.

Teen’s Club

Paradise Resort have recently introduced Teen’s Club, a new program for kids aged 10 – 17 years, providing a 4-hour jam-packed activity session on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays specifically programmed for teenagers. There are different activities for each session including, ice skating, laser tag, rock climbing, games, magic shows, movies and virtual reality.

If your child has diverse needs, the staff are experienced and ready to show your child a great time. In fact, we’re really happy to report that the entire resort is wheelchair friendly with easy access elevators, ramps and extra-wide hallways. 

So with the kids sorted what are you going to do with all of your newfound free time? Don’t worry Paradise Resort have got you covered!

Paradise for parents

With so much on for the kids you’d be forgiven for thinking parents had been forgotten but that’s definitely not the case. For adults there’s live music, trivia, wine, cocktail and beer tasting and cooking demonstrations. If you’re keen to keep active during your stay, you can hit the cardio gym with exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machine, gym balls and small kettle bells or join in a sunrise yoga class.

LIVE Entertainment for the whole family

Paradise Resort

We arrived on a Friday just in time to enjoy the Nickleby the Magician Show. We grabbed a couple of pizzas, mocktails that blew our kids minds, a Mojito for dad and a glass of wine for mum and headed to sit by the stage. The magic show had the kids captivated with more than enough inuendo to keep parents having a quiet giggle. A rabbit appeared, a young girl was cut in half and put back together and it snowed on the Gold Coast all in 30 minutes. Incredible!

Paradise Resort Character Show

Saturday was spent poolside and the kids loved the Captain and Friends Meet and Greet and Live Show. We missed a heap of other fun including bingo, a paper airplane competition, jelly eating challenge and teddy bear workshop because we were too busy playing on the waterparks and swimming.

When the sun goes down the fun reaches fever pitch! Saturday night saw a Just Dance competition on the big outdoor screen. To say the kids were into it is a complete understatement and at one point even the parents hit the floor busting out some serious moves.

After the dance competition wrapped, The Movie Night kicked off with Pets 2 playing. Paradise Resort staff were on hand selling freshly popped popcorn, churros and hot dogs. This is why there’s no need for you to leave the resort during your stay. They’ve thought of everything!

We decided to go for the BBQ buffet that was also setup for families to enjoy with heaps of salads and meats to choose from. That’s one of the best things about Paradise Resort, you can work the itinerary to fit around your family because there’s so much variety and choice day and night.

Yes, there really is ice-skating at Paradise Resort!

Paradise Resort Planet Chill

Planet Chill is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the resort and cool off on a hot summer day. They offer learn to skate sessions and super cute fibreglass penguins to help kids and some adults stay upright.  

Planet Chill is suitable for all kids, big and small (3+ years) and if you need a break, you can chill out in the “Chill Zone” with game tables such as air hockey and foosball along with a jukebox to select the session’s play list.  Planet Chill is open to in-house guests as well as the general public. Families Tip: Don’t forget your socks, enclosed shoes for little kids, and wear long pants if you remember to pack them!

There are so many awesome activities on every day there’s no way the kids can get bored! We’d also hoped to try laser tag, the virtual reality experience, rock climbing and join a Krazy for Kraft session but there just wasn’t enough hours in the day!

Playspaces for all-weather

Outdoor Adventure Playground

Located beside the large waterpark is a fully fenced playground. It has three slides including a dual racing slide, plenty of climbing fun and is on a soft play base.  Next to the playground is a covered area with tables and chairs for supervising parents and some smaller wall-mounted activities for little kids.

Dusty’s Jungle Gym

This multi storey play gym with 4+ levels is extremely popular day and night. It has two racing slides plus a large twisting enclosed slide. There are tunnels built into the playground and plenty of climbing fun. We spent a lot of time here working off jelly cups and ice cream before bed.

Food options for the whole family!

Penguins Restaurant

Included with our room was a continental buffet breakfast each day served by staff to meet COVID-19 restrictions. Lots of yummy pastries, a selection of breads, salads, meats, cheese, cereals, yoghurt, fruit, juices, teas and coffee were available. Importantly for those with dietary needs, I spotted a gluten-free area with bread and cereal items.

If a a-la-carte cooked breakfast is more your style you can order from the restaurant menu which includes barista-made coffee. One of the best features of the NEW Penguins Restaurant is you can see into the playcentre from the restaurant so when the kids get restless you can keep an eye on them while they play and you get to finish your meal. Our youngest also loved the penguins and maps painted on the wall. The vibrant new restaurant fit-out feels fresh and most importantly, fun!

There’s also a baby gated area with a TV playing cartoons and small toys. Good accessibility for wheelchairs around the restaurant too! Families Tip: Get there before 8am because by 8:30am it’s very busy. Penguins Restaurant is also a great destination for dinner each night.

Deb’s Pizza Shack & Jerry’s Burgers

Jerry's Burgers

The pizzas are delicious and the burgers are HUGE! Both eateries offer kids menu items including ham and cheese pizza or chicken nugget and chips plus more. Our girls finished every last bite in what turned into a pizza-scoffing frenzy. We were very impressed as they both don’t usually eat pizza so it must have been extra tasty. For adults, you can choose from the classic pizza recipes or go, gourmet, like we did, and try the Mediterranean lamb and mushrooms with truffles in a meal deal. Delicious! If you’re feeling extra hungry, try the Giant Jerry burger named after the hotel’s flamboyant owner if you’re up for a real challenge!

Splashes Mini-Mart – Everything you didn’t know you needed!

So I usually pride myself on my packing prowess so imagine my horror when I realised I’d arrived on the Gold Coast minus swim nappies. Epic fail! Not to mention that my toddler had already spotted the huge waterpark and was swiftly sprinting to jump in.

Lucky for us Paradise Resort has a shop onsite that has recently been upgraded and it has EVERYTHING including swim nappies! Crisis averted. But seriously, Splashes Mini-Mart has all the daily essentials from milk and fresh bread, your usual pantry staples like cereals, biscuits plus nappies, sunscreen, and a really well-stocked wine and alcoholic beverage selection. 

They’ve also got an impressive range of swimwear plus hats so maybe hold off buying new swimmers till you arrive. If the kids are well behaved there’s plenty of treats and toys in the shop including a lolly buffet. Boy did I use it as a bargaining tool over the weekend.

Modern accommodation to suit all families

Unfortunately, in our haste to get to the waterpark, I forgot to get a photo of our freshly renovated superior resort room before we, let’s say ‘settled in’! That’s mum code for my kids threw everything out of their suitcase to get swimmers for the pool which made taking a nice photo impossible! Therefore, I’m including photos from the Paradise Resort website so you can get a feel for the accommodation on offer. Suffice to say our room was definitely up to standard with rooms at many of Queensland’s best hotels with really comfy beds, nice linen, tea & coffee facilities, and modern room décor.

As a family of four staying for the weekend, the Superior Resort Room worked well for us. However, if you’re staying longer or have older kids and want some privacy/downtime, definitely have a look at Paradise Resorts many other room options. The Resort offers a range of accommodation across its 360 guest rooms including the popular themed Junior and King Bunkhouse rooms. These extra fun family rooms feature brightly painted bunk beds and gaming consoles for the kids. We stayed in the freshly renovated Captain’s Quarters which had a great view of the central resort pool area. We also enjoyed relaxing on the little deck off our room that doubled as a great spot to dry swimmers and towels.

Superior Resort Room Features

The room had a microwave, small fridge, drying rack and some great block out blinds if you’ve got a little one who still needs a day sleep or you want to sneak one too! Guilty! There wasn’t a bath in our room but the kids were just as happy playing with the detachable showerhead. Our room had two super comfy robes for adults to add a touch of indulgence to the holiday. The TV in the room is huge and connected to Netflix, Disney+, etc. so plenty of viewing options. High-Speed WIFI throughout the resort and new environmentally friendly air-conditioning systems have been installed as part of the renovation. Hubby noticed the door has a peephole at child height much to the excitement of our daughter. Paradise Resort always brings the fun and certainly doesn’t do ordinary!

If you’re planning on eating in your resort room note that there’s no cleaning equipment or eating utensils provided other than a couple of glasses, mugs and wine glasses. This is because some rooms are not self-contained and are serviced daily (except Sunday) by the Paradise Resort team who do an amazing job. The good news is you get a real break from mundane chores such as cleaning for the duration of your holiday. Hooray! There’s also a guest laundry if you need it.

But wait…. there’s still more to come!

Parents retreat

Paradise Resort are busily installing an exciting new Adults Only Zone with its own additional swimming pool, bar and dining outlet just for mums and dads to enjoy! A movie cinema and a full-size games room is also on the cards. Watch this space!

Is Paradise Resort the right holiday destination for your family?

If your primary holiday goal is to have fun with your kids without the stress of having to coordinate daily activities you will not find better than Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast.

Our kids were truly happy all weekend even when we were just walking down the halls to and from our room. In fact, they slept in each morning of our holiday exhausted from having so much fun each day which meant we got a long-overdue sleep in too. So good!

From a parent’s perspective, the highlights were having our kids entertained all day without having to do any extra planning, the relaxed dress code, and meeting other families who were also at Paradise Resort to make special memories with their kids.

A shout out to Paradise Resort staff

Another thing you’re going to love about Paradise Resorts is the incredible staff. I’ve never seen such happy workers. It’s clear they love where they work and it shows in everything they do. We found Paradise Resort staff were always on hand to help, smiling and laughing, genuinely caring towards guests and wanting us to have a great stay. This really made the experience for our family.

We didn’t realise how much we needed this holiday until we arrived at Paradise Resort and entered a world where quality family time is made super easy. If you’re like us and in need of a holiday where all you need to do is show up ready to relax and have fun then Paradise Resort is the way to go!

Families Tip: You can pay off your Paradise Resort holiday with interest-free-periodic payments.

Compare Paradise Resort with others, and you’ll realise that THIS is your next holiday ===> Find the best price right here.

Here’s our favourite things to do on the Gold Coast if you are looking for inspiration.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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