There’s nothing nicer than packing up the car and setting off for a long weekend with the fam-bam. And living in Queensland, we are blessed with a multitude of places to explore – whether it’s the idyllic Sunshine Coast beaches, the fun of the Gold Coast theme parks, or the serenity of the Hinterland.
Yet, I’m often left feeling a bit unsure on where to stay. There’s plenty of kid-friendly places – with the typical chicken nuggets, water play and brightly-coloured fun. And there’s plenty of adult luxury hotels – with serene day spas, fab coffee and cocktail bars.
But what about something that has it all? A family friendly destination that ticks the boxes for every family member?
Well, we were thrilled to be one of the first families to check out the new family friendly apartments on the Gold Coast – The Ruby Collection. As this could well be the local solution to family friendly holidays we’ve all been waiting for.
The Ruby Collection is the latest in luxury family accommodation on the Gold Coast. A collection of spacious apartments, it’s the perfect blend of family friendly facilities and cutting-edge features, combined with the understated style and elegance of a premium hotel.
The apartments have everything families need: a fully fitted kitchen, laundry, lounge and dining, flat-screen TV, spacious bedrooms, ensuite bathroom for Mum and Dad, all beautifully appointed with modern finishes and luxury touches. Squishy pillows, fluffy towels, gorgeous bathroom condiments, T2 tea bags… you name it, it’s there.
Every apartment is equipped with an iPad that connects you to the digital concierge to provide you with whatever you need – whether that’s in-room dining, needing extra plates, or requesting a late checkout. It also has details of all the activities happening during your stay and stacks of information on the surrounding area.
Step beyond your apartment door and the Ruby Collection takes the experience to the next level, providing all the premium facilities parents want from a luxury break.
If you don’t want to cook in the apartment (not a chance, I’m on holiday!), the ground floor has plenty of food options, so you don’t ever have to leave the resort. The Terrace Café is perfect for light bites – with wraps, sandwiches, pastries, juices and great coffee.
Whilst the Stones Bar and Grill offers a delicious fine dining menu, with seafood, steaks and the most AMAZING desserts. Yes, they both have a kid’s menu (yep, with chicken nuggets!) The menu also has colouring and activities on the reverse and crayons are provided.
Breakfast is also served in Stones Bar and Grill, offering a delicious continental breakfast, as well as a yummy menu of hot food items (try the pancakes, they are amazing!).
If you do want to step outside the resort, the bustling hub of Surfer’s Paradise is on the doorstep. And you are also within easy reach of the theme parks and the gorgeous Gold Coast beaches, if you choose to explore further. Apartments come with an underground parking spot, so you can bring your car without a worry.
From the moment you walk into the foyer of The Ruby Collection you can’t help but notice the premium finishes. The décor and styling is gorgeous, the vibe is welcoming, and the entire experience leaves you feeling pretty darn spesh. The Ruby Ambassadors are fabulous, always on hand to help you with whatever you need, and we couldn’t be more impressed with their service.
But what really made the difference is the attention to detail and the little family friendly extras that took it from a nice stay to an amazing stay.
The footstool in the bathroom so the littlest guests can reach to brush their teeth. The retro games on the coffee table so you can play Dominos and Pick-up Sticks as a family. The thoughtful inclusion of plastic tumblers in the kitchen for littler hands. The teddy bear cookies on check-in, and the easy-to-operate lamps in the bedrooms. These are all things that many holiday apartments don’t consider, but they make all the difference to a family visit.
And this attention to detail is evident throughout the resort. The pool area is divine – with a great shallow area for kids and a splash and play fountain, whilst also having shaded semi-submerged sun-loungers for parents. There are also stylish yet understated additions such as giant games to keep kids busy.
If the kids want some extra splashy fun, just jump onto the water park with three-storeys of water slides, water canons, climbing frames and a HUGE tipping bucket that fills and then unloads 600 litres of water over the excited kids below. The waterpark is part of Paradise Resort, accessed through a gate, and all Ruby guests have access to the facilities of Paradise Resort throughout their stay.
If that’s not enough, there’s plenty of fun activities happening throughout the day for the kids such as Build a Bear workshop, arts and crafts, and cupcake decorating. And for the parents – wine and cheese tasting, cocktail making, and live music.
Ah those precious words that parents love to hear! Yes, of course the icing on the cake is the Kid’s Club. The Ruby Collection will open its own Kids Club in 2019. But until then, the kids can access the supervised Paradise Resort Kids Club, right next door, with laser tag, pedal go-karts, ice skating, games and activities, rock climbing and heaps of fun! Mum and Dad can reconnect over a quiet dinner at Stones Bar and Grill, knowing that the kids are having the time of their lives.
With something for everyone, The Ruby Collection provides families with the perfect place to reconnect, relax and unwind in luxury.
As it’s an apartment, you have that extra space a family needs to rustle up vegemite sandwiches and a lounge area for Mum and Dad to relax in once the kids have gone to bed.
Knowing that everyone is catered for, you can enjoy your time without worrying you’ll hear those words ‘I’m bored’, or vice versa, you’ll need to spend your days running around endless kid’s activities. And because the facilities are blended so nicely, you can actually go on holiday as a family, without feeling like you are two separate worlds. You can have luxury, and the kids can be happy in the same space. If you need some quiet time, the kids club facilities are there to keep the kids entertained. Yet if you want to relax and play giant Connect 4 with the little ones by the pool, you can do that too.
And you don’t have to jump onto a plane or travel long distances to get it.
Would I change anything? I’d love to see the addition of a bookshelf in the foyer with books for guests to borrow. I gave up packing a holiday read years ago, and this was the first time in forever I found myself with time to sit back with a mojito and a page turner. It was such a pleasant surprise, and something that I'm sure many other happy mamas that stay at The Ruby Collection will experience in months to come!