We don’t use the ‘F-word’ at House of Travel (favourite) but we know what’s popular, and what our customers love, and these five Gold Coast hotels are always top-dog for family holidays. Read on for our best GC picks, complete with tips on what to do while there.
1. Turtle Beach Resort
WHAT WE LOVE
This one’s so child-friendly it’s worth it just for the wide smiles. With four swimming pools, including the kid’s wading pool, and a holiday program featuring fun activities, party nights and movies in the resort’s own mini cinema, pint-sized guests are never sat still. We also love the wood fire pizzas from Deck restaurant and the much-loved Club Turtle Kids Club, which is one of very few on the GC (most Gold Coast resorts can’t boast a children’s club). Kids will be content there while parents nip off to the mini golf course and spa.
TOP THINGS TO DO NEAR TURTLE BEACH RESORT
The best thing about Turtle Beach is there’s so much to do, you don’t have to leave. From the pools to the putt putt golf, and the barbecues where you can fire up a mean burger, you and the fam are round-the-clock entertained. It’s 15-minutes by car from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and if you’re theme park inclined, the resort offers a private shuttle to and from – forget about picking others up, you’ll head straight there.
It's a 5 minute-walk to patrolled Mermaid Beach. You’ll find ample cafes, restaurants and ice-cream shops. Mermaid is a more relaxed beach than its Broadbeach neighbour, but always popular with swimmers and surfers.
2. Breakfree Diamond Beach
WHAT WE LOVE
The facilities at Breakfree Diamond Beach are certainly family-approved, with two lagoon pools for kids to splash about in, and one’s even heated if they want to stay in there all day. The kid’s novelty pool and playground always get top-marks from our smaller guests, and parents can never resist the cave spa. There are also on-site barbecues for easy burger dinners.
TOP THINGS TO DO NEAR BREAKFREE DIAMOND BEACH
The resort is on a quiet street with a kid’s playground at the very end of it, on the beach reserve – you can easily stroll there in roughly two minutes. It’s still only a 10-minute walk Oracle Boulevard, where you’ll find over 15 bustling cafés and restaurants, including Kurrawa Surf Club, which we think is top-notch for burgers, seafood and its signature Spanish charcoal oven.
Broadbeach is just 100m away, so even the littlest of legs will manage.
3. The Ruby Collection
WHAT WE LOVE
With so much on offer at The Ruby Collection, it might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy the wealth of entertainment options. For adults, there’s live music and cocktail making classes, as well as wine and cheese tasting and cooking demonstrations. And while dad deciphers his chervil from his chives, the kids can delight in teddy bear workshops, cupcake decorating, art, crafts and more. Later, you can all reconvene for an outdoor movie, family trivia events, bingo or a giant board game, all available on-site.
TOP THINGS TO DO NEAR THE RUBY COLLECTION
With the swimming pool, sauna, waterpark, playground and restaurant all at the resort, you never have to go far to have fun. You’re also in the thick of glitzy Surfer’s Paradise, jam-packed with shopping, dining and entertainment. You’re also only 3.5 km from Australia Fair Shopping Centre, and a 15-minute walk from Budds Beach and Cavill Avenue, home to a good-looking collection of shops, bistros and fast food outlets. As well as the iconic Hard Rock Café.
You can walk to Surfer’s Paradise Beach via the esplanade within 15 minutes, or walk to the light rail and it’s a 20-minute trip in total.
4. Neptune Resort
WHAT WE LOVE
With nine lofty floors and a location in the heart of bustling Broadbeach, older kids rave about Neptune. The outdoor pool, tennis court and on-site café allows independent tween and teens to do their own thing, while barbecues, doorstep restaurants and apartments with kitchens make dining altogether convenient. There’s free WiFi for downtime, as well as a steam room and sauna. We also love the private balconies soaking up the Gold Coast views – standard in all apartments.
TOP THINGS TO DO NEAR NEPTUNE RESORT
At Neptune it feels like EVERYTHING is just five-minutes away, which is perfect if you have enthusiastic nippers ready and raring to go. Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is just across the road with a plethora of shops and dining options perfectly suited for kids. It’s also home to ‘iPlay Pacific Fair’ – a super-cool complex kitted out with laser tag, bowling lanes, dodgem cars and arcade machines. Plus, there’s a fully-licensed bar for refreshments.
Kurrawa Beach is a five-minute stroll away. In the very heart of Broadbeach, it’s a lesser-known hangout but locals swarm here for the sand, surfing and water sports. The beach is fully lifeguarded and the boardwalk is popular for meandering, roller blading and bike rides.
5. Mantra Sun City
WHAT WE LOVE
Surfer's Paradise is practically inches from your doorstep, which also means the views from your apartment are awesome. There’s plenty to do here, with both indoor and outdoor pools, the latter being a seductive lagoon-style creation with water slides. Don’t forget to make good use of the tennis courts and games room.
TOP THINGS TO DO NEAR MANTRA SUN CITY
With Surfer’s Paradise right outside the door, you’re in a prime position for entertainment. Cavill Avenue is an ideal place to eat, with more choice than punters – almost! From sit-down Italian restaurants to Asian and Mexican take-away, grab a bite any time of the day. We like to pick up a sandwich from The Sandwich Bros, or swing via Movenpick and eat ice-cream on the beach. Surfers Paradise night markets are also in easy reach, and you’re just a 25-minute drive from top theme parks such as Dreamworld, Wet 'n' Wild and Warner Bros. Movie World.
You can be on Surfer's Paradise Beach within 10 minutes. Simply head towards the Esplanade, a beautiful recreational park fringing the beach. Budds Beach is also central, very quiet and an 8-minute walk away.