A family friendly hotel in the heart of the Gold Coast

The minute that kids arrive on the scene, a weekend away is usually a completely different experience. Switch late romantic dinners and l-a-z-y mornings with endless cheese sticks and dawn-busting activities. And though I wouldn’t swap it for the world, sometimes a little taste of the grown-up life is super nice!

So, on the quest for a family friendly hotel on the Gold Coast with ALL the trimmings, we were lucky enough to try out a night’s at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa.

Not being one who is used to things being a bit fancy, I must admit you do feel a bit spesh when walking into the Marriott. The lobby is opulent, the staff are amazingly polite, and they didn’t seem to mind our kids turning up with the usual vegemite in their hair and mischief on their faces.


The little touches make it seem even more special: complimentary sparkling wine and white chocolates as you check in; the lovely staff that help you with your bags; even valet parking.

And when the kids start chasing each other around the lobby and arguing over who presses the button in the lift, we still didn’t feel a glimmer of ‘you shouldn’t be here’.

A family friendly hotel with all the trimmings

Thought it feels quite fancy, the Marriott really does have the kids in mind, with two pools to play in and kids’ activities on each day. The heated pool is a kid’s paradise, with water slide, waterfall, and heated spa. The tropical pool has a sandy beach for the little ones to play, and gradual slope into the water. The tropical pool also has tropical fish in it, so you can snorkel amongst the fishes. Don’t worry, they have towels, snorkels and other aqua accessories available at the poolside cabana, so you don’t need to worry about a thing.


Kids activities include fish feeding, a scavenger hunt, kids’ movies and even a free ice-cream by the pool in the afternoon.

For the adults, there’s stacks of sun loungers around the pool, so you can sit back and relax with a Mojito whilst the kids have a blast. You can also hire a daybed, and private cabanas, if you really want to chillax.


And the kid-friendly touches don’t stop there. Head to the bar later and they will happily change the channel on the TV to ABC Kids (yup, we asked!). They also provide complimentary popcorn for the kids, whilst you have a pre-dinner drink. It’s these little things that make the difference when travelling with kids, proving that you can stay somewhere nice AND have the kids catered for.


The family-friendly trimmings kept popping up – with high chairs in the restaurant and a selection of kids’ cups, plates and cutlery on the lower shelves at the buffet breakfast. And of course, free Wi-Fi and charging stations around the hotel were a much-appreciated touch.

Location, location, location

Only a short walk to the centre of Surfers Paradise and one street back from the beach, The Marriott Surfers Paradise is in a great spot. The view is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, with sweeping views of the ocean from the balcony.


The rooms were nice and quiet, and the family room had plenty of space for a family of four, with two double beds and a spacious bathroom. The bathroom also had a bath (yay!) making bath-time much easier for anyone with little ones.


We’ll certainly be back soon!

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Written by Angela Sutherland

After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.

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