Wyndham Surfers Paradise review: Best family stays on Gold Coast
The Wyndham Surfers Paradise offers luxury apartment accommodation on the Gold Coast, but is it one of the best family stays?
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With its spacious rooms, modern facilities and stunning views, the Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise goes beyond being just a functional family stay – it's a memorable one.
Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise
- Where: 3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise, QLD, 4217
- When: April 2022
- Room type: 2-bedroom ocean-view apartment
- Guests: 2 adults, 3 kids (10, 8 and 6)
- Cost: $170-$680 a night
- Hotel star rating: 4-stars
- Book: Wyndham Surfers Paradise
My review, in short:
- My star rating: ★★★★
- Cost: Price can fluctuate wildly in peak season, but comparatively, it remains reasonable for the location.
- Location: It's not right on the beach, but it's on the tram line and a short walk from the heart of the Surfers Paradise strip without being noisy or busy.
- Decor: It's modern and bright, but there's no fashion statement here. I did love its communal vibe.
- Check-in/out process: The staff are lovely and quick, but checking in is hampered by the lack of an obvious place to unload your car.
- The room: It's fantastic for families of 4, but a third child will end up on the sofa. Otherwise, it's big, quiet, comfortable, feature-rich and blessed with stunning views.
- Food: A simple cafe and bar are welcome, but there's no in-room dining or restaurant.
- Facilities: It's great for an apartment complex, with large social areas, a spa, huge all-ages pool, rental gear (surfboards, e-scooters etc) and Wi-Fi. There's only a small gym.
There's no shortage of places to stay on the Gold Coast's world-famous Surfers Paradise strip in Queensland. But there can be a shortage of available rooms. Especially for families. Especially in peak season.
On a recent trip to the Gold Coast during Easter, my family and I faced such a challenge. We ended up at the Wyndham Surfers Paradise apartments in the heart of the famed tourist destination. As a family of 5, with 3 kids aged 10, 8 and 6, it wasn't just about location for us, but functionality. So how did it stack up?
Being that it is on the main strip of Surfers Paradise, there's a decent gap in the price depending on when you visit. Not just between summer, school holidays and off-peak periods, but also between weekends and weekdays. Then there are ocean-view and river-view rooms to choose between as well.
I stayed in the 2-bedroom ocean-view apartment, which you can get for around $260 a night during mid-week off-season. But that same room jumps to as much as $680 a night in peak season. By comparison, 1-bedroom apartments facing the river and hinterlands start at around $170 a night.
Comparing costs and looking for a deal is critical with this stay.
Wyndham Surfers Paradise location
There are some pretty prime locations on the Surfers Paradise strip. If you want proper ocean frontage, then the Wyndham Surfers Paradise won't fit the bill. It's 2 blocks back from the iconic waves. That said, it still offers significant ocean views from many of its rooms. And while the walk to the beach does take between 5 and 10 minutes, the swimming flags are directly in line with its position.
The negative of not being right on the beach is countered by some positives, however. Right outside the front door is the tram line that will take you right through the heart of Surfers Paradise and beyond. This means you're within easy touching distance of all the activities, pubs and restaurants, without having the main hustle and bustle right outside the hotel.
Street parking is also easier as a result. The surrounding streets are time restricted, but only till 5pm. This is handy if you cannot fit into the underground parking the Wyndham Surfers Paradise provides, which was our case thanks to our 4WD's beefy roof rack. Note, however, that there is no pull-in bay at the front entrance to load and unload a car. You can use the delivery dock instead on the neighbouring street.
Late at night, the surrounding streets feel safe. And even though the Wyndham Surfers Paradise is close to the Gold Coast Highway, I was never bothered by sound in the apartment itself.
As mentioned, the main entrance is the biggest issue you'll have upon arrival. It's a bit finicky not being able to just pull up with your car and unload – especially with kids. However, once you're inside, everything was seamless. The reception is on the second floor, and we were checked in and up into our room within 5 minutes. The staff were lovely, too.
Checking out was as simple as handing over the key cards, although there was a little wait for elevators during that peak-hour morning period – especially if you want to go down, pick up a trolley and go back up first.
Wyndham Surfers Paradise facilities
All the action happens on the second floor. I really like what the Wyndham Surfers Paradise has done here. As you come up the stairs or elevator and arrive on floor 2, to the left, you will find the discrete reception. It's in a larger room that features a cafe and bar, a host of tables and chairs, space for group meetings and TVs. There's also an assortment of e-scooters, e-bikes, surfboards and bodyboards you can borrow.
This space has a very communal feel to it, which you don't usually get in apartment accommodation. It has a lively and welcoming atmosphere.
To the right of the elevator, you enter the pool section. Again, there is a great community vibe to this space I really wasn't expecting. The large open area dedicates half its girth to a number of BBQs, large tables and chairs as well as beanbags surrounding a big TV. I didn't see the TV on during my stay, but I suspect on request you can put on a movie for the kids, or sport, and use this space for socialising.
The other half features a very generously sized pool that is open to the elements. I mean this in the best possible sense. The wind doesn't get in and not only does it get the afternoon sun, but it's not looked down upon by neighbouring skyscrapers.
As well as ample sun lounges, there is a large shallow beach section for younger kids as well as a smattering of toys for bigger kids to play with. This includes large floating pillows. It's capped off by a raised spa, which I quite enjoyed sitting in at night, sipping a beer while looking out at the stars.
This space is also home to a gym, but it's one of the smaller I've ever come across. A few cardio machines and some weights fill it out, with perhaps just enough open floor for one person to do stretches. Perhaps not the best hotel for gym junkies then.
Free Wi-Fi is available and works as anticipated, but there are only free-to-air channels available on the TV.
The Wyndham Surfers Paradise isn't trying to make a fashion statement. If it has a theme at all, then I would call it "modern beachy." There's a lot of natural light, whites and soft greys. I particularly liked the windows to the outside world in the hallway next to the elevators on each floor.
The entrance foyer does hold a bit of gravitas. A big chandelier looks down on a few couches, while the history of the Wyndham brand is detailed on the walls. But if you're after something old-timey or character driven, then you won't find it here.
Wyndham Surfers Paradise apartment
We stayed in an ocean-view corner room and the view was spectacular. When I talked about location earlier, I spoke of Wyndham Surfers Paradise not being true oceanfront and, yes, there are some large buildings between you and the water. But they're not close, so you still get a face full of stunning water and waves whenever you glance out a window.
The corner apartment also features a great view to the south and even west, taking your eyes over the river canals and out to the hinterlands. While I didn't see it for myself, it was enough to know that even the west-facing rooms will still offer a special view.
The apartment is large and spacious. A significant chunk of the square meters is dedicated to living space. A fantastic, open-plan kitchen positions its island bench between the appliances and a big dining table. There is also enough room for a sofa bed couch and a TV. This room is bordered almost entirely by glass as well as a long balcony.
Said balcony is a great place to hang and look out over the ocean, and it does include a table and chairs for 2. However, there is a low railing just behind the glass balustrade, and its presence filled me with anxiety. If you're travelling with young kids, as I was, you won't want them out there on their own. And indeed, my paranoia went as far as to block the door at night with the table just in case one of them went sleepwalking.
I was happy to find a laundry with both a dryer and a washing machine as well as a clothes rack and ironing board. The kitchen has everything you'd expect, including tea, coffee and a full-sized fridge.
Rooms and bathrooms
The Wyndham Surfers Paradise apartment has 2 good-sized bathrooms. An ensuite for the master bedroom features a large and generous shower. But it is the main bathroom that scores extra points from me. The inclusion of a bath as well as a shower may not seem like much, but for families with young kids, it is very much welcomed.
Unfortunately, the second bedroom isn't as family focused. While providing a lovely view, its own TV and 2 perfectly comfortable single beds, it wasn't big enough for a third rollaway or a wardrobe. As a result, the kids lived out of bags on the floor – a recipe for plenty of mess. Plus, one of my children had to use the sofa bed in the main living space – for which no bedding was available on arrival and had to be requested from reception.
This isn't an ideal result, as that kid has Buckley's chance of sleeping in. But we got around evening issues by having my daughter sleep in the master and then moving her out to the sofa when my wife and I were ready to pass out.
Speaking of the master bedroom, it is lovely. As well as featuring its own TV, it has a little private balcony with ocean views. It is something of a parent's retreat. The bed was comfortable, too. And this room gets extra points for families by providing enough space to fit a travel cot at the foot of the bed.
I was very happy with how soundproof the rooms are, with no disturbances of note penetrating from the surrounding apartments or the street below. The air-conditioning also worked a treat and I found the apartment to be as clean as you can get upon arrival.
Wyndham Surfers Paradise verdict
I can understand why some might baulk at the location of the Wyndham Surfers Paradise as it's to the edge of the main strip and not right on the ocean. But I don't feel either of these potential negatives should stop you from considering this Gold Coast accommodation option. Especially if you can get it for the right price.
The large apartments offer spectacular views with plenty of space for kids and parents to co-exist. The only real letdown was not being able to fit a third kid in the second bedroom.
I also loved the way the accommodation's common areas bridged the gap between being a set of isolated apartments and being something more akin to a luxury backpackers. You get to enjoy the apartment experience and still get to be part of something a bit bigger than your own family unit. That alone is enough to make me want to come back.
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