We have just returned from a 10-day trip to the Gold Coast which was all kinds of awesome. It was our first time there with the kids and we loved showing them around the sights, soaking up the Queensland sunshine (mostly, it was a unsettled for a lot of our stay!) and, of course, visiting the theme parks.
Nathan and I had both been to the Gold Coast previously, separately as teenagers, and then together to attend Problogger in 2014 & 2015. But we had never stayed as a family and we knew it was important to get the accommodation right.
We were looking for an affordable option, preferably a resort, with amenities to keep the kids occupied while in between theme park visits. We also wanted a self-contained option where we could cook as needed, yet be in a location where we could also access alternate dining options too.
Turtle Beach Resort, situated on the Gold Coast Hwy at Mermaid Beach, delivered on all counts for us.
Overview of Turtle Beach Resort
This place has been consistently included in various top family accommodation lists for good reason. It is geared towards families. They know what you want and, more importantly, what you need. And they give it to you!
There are 4 separate pools (including one just for adults) which all include a heated spa for those (like me) who don’t relish the whole getting used to the water thing. And if pools in general aren’t your thing, Turtle Beach is a short walk from Mermaid Beach itself, so you can easily access sand and surf at your leisure.
Back at the resort, the Splash Zone is the place where kids can enjoy getting wet even if they are not strong swimmers. The Splash Zone features 4 water slides, 2 toddler slides, water cannons, dumping bucket and the added bonus of trained staff on hand to keep everyone safe. We spent many hours watching our kids make the most of this amazing space.
And it’s not all hard work. You can relax on the deck, enjoying a beverage or two, while still being able to keep an eye on your kids. The resort’s restaurant, The Deck Restaurant & Bar, is perfectly situated in between the Splash Zone and one of the four pools so you can do just that – relax while still supervising your kids.
Added bonus, they have a gluten free menu so if you are coeliac too, you are not denied the pleasure of trying out their delicious pizzas 🙂
You can also watch the kids while you tend to the BBQ as the 9 BBQ areas scattered around the resort are conveniently located adjacent to the pool areas. We took advantage of this one night and the kids absolutely relished the chance to get some extra pool time in as we cooked them dinner.
The resort offers daily kids activities in school holiday periods plus Club Turtle, where you can pay extra to have your kids looked after by trained staff while you have some kid-free time of your own. If that’s not enough, there is a small cinema on-site that shows various kids’ classics (our girls loved watching Despicable Me) and there is a 15-hole mini golf course that winds its way around the grounds, just begging for you to have a go.
Just beware of those who pretend to be so-so with their putting and then surprise you with an amazing hole-in-one!
I’m looking at you Matilda!
If golf is not your thing, there is also a full-sized tennis court and a fully equipped gym so you can get your exercise on while on holidays. If you like that sort of thing. Or you can play games in the arcade room instead…
Personally, I got enough exercise from tackling the three flights of stairs to our room, located on the top floor of the complex. There are no lifts at Turtle Beach so if you do not relish the thought of climbing so many stairs, or if you have mobility concerns, I would suggest looking at securing a ground floor apartment. Note that the undercover car parking is also accessed via stairs, unless you make your way up and out via the driveway.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment which we booked through airbnb. This gave us a substantial saving on the normal room rate so it’s worth checking out all the major sites to ensure you get the best deal. You can also book directly through Turtle Beach Resort which hosts its own booking service.
The amenities in our apartment were perfect for a family. We had access to cooking facilities (oven, cook top, microwave and refrigerator), washing facilities (dishwasher, washing machine and dryer), a queen bed, 2 single beds and a sofa lounge that amply accommodated our family of 5.
The apartment also featured a bathroom with separate toilet, plus an ensuite off the main, which catered to the needs of our family. We also loved having access to two balconies, a small one off the kitchen and a larger one that overlooked one of the four pool areas. These were the perfect areas to rest and relax with a cuppa or with a stronger beverage.
Access to the complex is via coded card – this gives you access to the undercover parking area, to perimeter doors and to your apartment. I recommend getting more than one for your family at check-in to ensure you are all able to fully enjoy the facilities this resort has to offer.
5 reasons to stay at Turtle Beach Resort
- The Splash Zone – this is such a fun place for kids to play with slides, tipping bucket and water cannons to keep them occupied. And with a big screen and deck close by, supervising parents won’t be bored either.
- Club Turtle – on-site child-minding means everyone can have fun, with the kids safely looked after in kids club while the parents have some kid-free time, relaxing by the adults-only pool.
- 4 separate pools on-site – with 4 pools on-site (one of which is adult-only) there is always somewhere to dive in and cool off. An added bonus is the heated spa situated alongside each pool…
- Self-contained accommodation – with different sized units to choose from, all with cooking & washing facilities, you have everything you need to be comfortable while on holidays.
- Convenient location – on the Gold Coast Hwy at Mermaid Beach, just 5 mins from the beach, Turtle Club is in an ideal location to check out everything the Gold Coast has to offer.
I would definitely stay at Turtle Beach Resort again. It provides the perfect family holiday, whether you are coming to the Gold Coast to see the sights or you just want to bunker down and relax at the resort itself.
I would recommend checking for owner-managed apartment vacancies on airbnb to compare the cost of owner-managed apartments to those advertised directly through the resort itself.
And I would also recommend you consider any mobility issues prior to booking, considering the lack of elevators throughout the complex.
But overall, this resort is made for families – I know we had a blast staying here and I bet you will too.