Why Surfers Paradise hotel is ‘heaven for kids and paradise for parents’
A new-look holiday paradise has delivered on its mighty promise of a Gold Coast revival. SEE THE CHANGES
FACT: Children have little sense of cold weather. Or time.
That much, if any parent needed reminding, was apparent in the swagger of a four-year-old, high on life and low on climate appreciation.
My son’s carefree attitude to swimming at 6pm on a chilly September night must be the stuff of cackling fantasy for those at the revamped and reopened Paradise Resort Gold Coast.
My family’s two-day stay at the Surfers Paradise resort – whose $8 million facelift included a new lobby and reception, restaurants and kid’s water park – was punctuated by inhospitable pool plunges and, subsequently, late dinners.
And we couldn’t have been happier.
The 360-room resort, which closed in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, sells itself as “Heaven for kids … Paradise for Parents”. How true that is.
When my wife and I were finally able to drag our three kids away from the pool area, ice skating, lasertag and teddy bear-making were right around the corner. Literally.
Piling young kids into a vehicle is about as fun as piling young kids into a bath, so the fact our car sat idle for our stay speaks volumes of the need (or lack of) to actually leave the resort.
Though, for those keen on a stroll, the heartbeat of the Glitter Strip remains 10 minutes away.
Within the resort itself, dinner options were plentiful – Penguins, Jerry’s Burgers, Deb’s Pizza Shack and the Poolside Café and Bar form the new eatery lineup.
The kids club was downstairs … and did I mention the pools?
So where do I start?
We arrived on a Friday afternoon into the remodelled lobby, complete with a kids’ climbing area that virtually screams “pile in”.
From there it was straight to the water park, which is visible from nearly every room and audible from Coolangatta.
A handful of pizzas from the in-house restaurant – swimming has a funny way of doubling appetites – and then the kids were back into their glacial baths.
Saturday morning started with more swimming, truncated by the ceremonial making of teddy bears, before (you guessed it) we thought a plunge sounded nice.
Next a snappy visit to the ice skating rink brought squeals of delight from a room full of children, interspersed with the thunder of bums hitting the cold floor as hovering parents came undone, often hilariously.
Now these stays can’t purely be about kids, right?
From 4pm to 8pm the kids club took charge, with our three honing in on the supplied dinner, watching a movie and making new friends, all within the safety of their holiday heaven.
That left Mr and Mrs O’Neill with a window to weight gain.
Dinner, drinks and desserts – try the Toblerone cocktail – are a lethal way to unwind.
The stay, far too short for three activity-loving children and two sleep-deprived parents, wrapped up in style on Sunday.
Lasertag has a funny way of unearthing the monster from the most mild tot, with competitiveness coursing through our six-year-old’s veins as he chopped down another hidden rival.
Of course, the sweat from such an activity left only one course of action – swimming.
While we playfully splashed for hours under the midday sun before heading home, it’s fair to say I know three children who would have happily stayed well into the chilly night if we could have.
AUSTRALIA’S largest private hotelier who is reopening a Gold Coast family paradise after a makeover backs the border blocks despite it costing him thousands of NSW guests.
Sydney surgeon Dr Jerry Schwartz, with hotels around Australia, says he will be able to fill his Paradise Resort Gold Coast with Queenslanders “itching” for a holiday and feels his popular family resort will do even better now because Aussies can’t travel overseas. Dr Schwartz shelled out on an $8 million facelift, including new lobby and reception, new restaurants and kid’s water park.
He “always supported” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s tough stance on borders in a bid to keep COVID out of Queensland.
“I lose lots of business not having interstate travel but I can well understand the rationale. COVID changes every day. Just like everyone else, I’m sitting back waiting to see what happens. I’m just supporting the health advice.”
Dr Schwartz bought the resort last November for $43 million, unveiling major upgrade plans including a large, colourful aquarium.
Dr Schwartz, who also owns Surfers Paradise Hilton Hotel has added a new games room and included food and beverage outlets Penguins, Jerrys Burgers, Debs Pizza Shack and the Poolside Café and Bar.
He said it had “turned a cygnet into a swan”.
“The facility has been well used but became well worn.
“We still have 360 rooms, with around 300 in use at the moment but what has increased is our food and beverage capacity only for in-house guests.”
It closed in March due to the COVID-19 crisis and staff, from chefs to maids, worked on preparing for reopening, by painting it.
“We’ve profited from COVID-19. It allowed for kitchen and reception areas to get totally gutted. The facility is now ready for when people are able to travel more, and we shouldn’t be too heavily impacted because our resort is for families and doesn’t rely on corporate travel.
“It was fantastic to have them working, it helped minimise costs and the employees were on JobKeeper, so being able to provide them work allowed us not to have to stand them down. They did painting to labouring but now they’ll be able to work in hospitality once again.”
The next stage of the resort’s upgrade will see 66 new rooms unveiled, along with an adults-only pool, bar and lounge.
Additional children’s facilities coming later in the year include a miniature train and a carousel.
Written by Rhys O’Neill, for the Gold Coast Bulletin. Article originally published on https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/paradise-resort-reopens-on-the-gold-coast-with-new-look-and-feel/news-story/165639903a776d1309fb7b8cfab26e56