The new family friendly jewel on the Gold Coast


If you think you know all that the Gold Coast has to offer, then think again.

While Queensland slowly opened back up to the rest of Australia last year, one iconic hotel was quietly undergoing an incredible $35 million transformation—and the result is every traveller’s dream.

The Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort has reopened as the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, and it’s already impressed families around the country with its amazing offerings. The five-star property, right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, has 223 beautifully redesigned rooms and suites with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean right around to the Gold Coast hinterland.

As the very first JW Marriott in Australia, no expense has been spared making little travellers welcome and giving their parents the relaxing break they deserve. When guests check in, children are gifted their own package with an activity book, crayons, and a schedule of all of the family activities that week. And there’s no shortage of those. The Family by JW program caters to families who are creative, active or culinary-minded.

Marriott Gold Coast hotel entrance

The complimentary activities include scavenger hunts, fish feeding at the Lagoon Pool and use of sporting equipment on the basketball and tennis courts. Pre-booked activities start from just $20, and include junior mixology sessions, Mini Minoso sushi classes, pizza making in Citrique restaurant, and herb planting in the JW Garden. The hotel also has a games room, open from 8am to 10pm, which has arcade-style amusements for all ages.

While the beach is only a leisurely 300-metre walk away, families can happily spend hours in the Marriott’s famous water attractions, which include a heated freshwater resort pool, slides, hot-tub, and the ever-impressive saltwater lagoon surrounded by rocky grottos and waterfalls. The four-metre deep lagoon will delight kids—and adults—of all ages, with its reef and more than 300 tropical fish that can be explored with on-site snorkel and sea scooter hire. The lagoon’s sandy shoreline even has a silicone-base that prevents it from sticking, how great is that! And because this is a five-star experience, there’s no need to bring your own towel for the sun loungers and cabanas dotted around the pool’s lush tropical gardens.

When it comes to mealtimes, children are well-catered for at the Marriott’s four restaurants and bars. Not only are they all equipped with high chairs and children’s utensils, the menus are both kid-friendly and reflect the hotel’s farm-to-table program, using produce—including edible flowers—from the onsite garden. For those that prefer to eat poolside, they’ve taken care of that too, with a retro food van serving delicious Asian-inspired street food. Now that’s a holiday both parents and kids can rave about!

By Josephine Agostino

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Written by Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City

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