The Gold Coast is a perfect family friendly travel destination, and just a hop, skip and a jump away from us… well okay, so it’s a little over an hour, but still a very easily reached location perfect for day trips or mini breaks. We usually have one or two Gold Coast mini breaks most years, with our recent favourite being Seaworld Resort & Water Park, which could not be more perfect for family holidays!
This time around we wanted something very kind on our budget, with our finances mostly focused on our big European trip mid year, but not wanting to miss out on our usual summer beach break at the start of the new year.
Leaving our trip planning somewhat late, we were left with not so many budget options that still had the facilities we wanted when travelling with young children. But luckily we found Bay of Palms Resort during our search.
Bay of Palms Resort Review
Bay of Palms Resort is an older style family resort in Elanora, ideal for family stays. While not situated along the beach or with water views, like many popular accommodation spots on the Gold Coast, it is walking distance to beaches, shops and restaurants. It is also the perfect gateway to exploring other areas of the southern Gold Coast or northern New South Wales.
We arrived early afternoon after having lunch and some fun chasing waves at Palm Beach and were promptly welcomed and checked in.
When spending so little (we paid little more than $200AU for a 2 night stay, which included an extra bed for our 3 year old), you always need to be a little wary that it could be a shocker when you arrive, but we were pleasantly surprised right from the start.
We had a studio apartment for our stay, which is essentially one room with beds and amenities in the main area, with a private internal bathroom. The studio rooms have a double bed as well as a couch that converts to a second double bed.
The rooms also have a small table with 2 chairs, a bar fridge, and a TV. Pretty much everything you need for a short stay!
The bathroom had a shower. No bath, but we weren’t too worried as both our kids are happy to jump in the shower instead… well the youngest has no choice. She can’t walk and goes where we carry her!
The resort also has 1 and 2 bedroom rooms available, to accommodate larger families, and ideal for longer stays as well. There are 2 levels of rooms, all with views of the gardens and swimming pool.
Bay of Palms Resort Facilities
The resort has all the facilities you would expect of a budget family accommodation, with a reception desk for check in and enquiries, although they work limited hours but can be contacted by phone. There was also a licensed bar and cafe area, however this only seemed to be open for a short time in the mornings, so we never had a chance to pop in.
There is an in room dining menu, so it is likely the bar and room dining menu is only on demand rather than open all day. But the resort is right next door to the Pines Shopping Centre, so it is just as easy to walk next door and go to one of the cafes or fast food restaurants.
There is a large swimming pool in the centre of the resort area, which is extremely popular. In fact, we never saw it empty during the pool hours throughout our stay. And we spent a good couple of hours in the pool ourselves during our stay. The temperature was perfect! But it turns out it is a solar heated pool, so that explains it! There is a heated spa as well.
The BBQ area is situated right next to the pool with tables and chairs for poolside dining.
There is a games room with a pool table and arcade games. Good for entertaining the older kids for a little while.
Bay of Palms Resort has a laundry and wifi/internet access available. Charges apply for using these facilities.
Bay of Palms Resort is located in Elanora, which is part of the Gold Coast and close to the border of New South Wales, making a perfect destination if you want to pop over the border for some northern New South Wales exploring.
The resort is located approximately 1.5 hours from Brisbane and can be reached by car or bus. There are also train services to the Gold Coast from the Brisbane airport or buses/taxi from Coolangatta airport. To reach Bay of Palms Resort by train, the nearest train station is Varsity Lakes. It is approximately $20AU by taxi from the train station.
Things To Do on the Gold Coast
Bay of Palms Resort is in Elanora which is right near the popular Palm Beach and Currumbin Beach. Palm Beach is relatively quiet and perfect to spend a few hours having fun building sand castles, swimming and playing in the waves. There are lifeguards on duty near the Palm Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, so it is a safe place to swim.
Currumbin Beach and rock pools is a great option to visit too, with an inlet ideal for kids who hate the waves, and a chance to explore the rock pools near the waters edge. Although during our visit, a massive storm was brewing so we got drenched on our way back to the car. A nice spot for a picnic as well with picnic tables and a playground nearby.
Elanora is also close to other popular Gold Coast and Tweed Coast areas such as Burleigh Heads and the Burleigh Heads National Park, with some amazing views possible if you are feeling energetic enough to take the walking track to the look out. It is also near Coolangatta and Tweed Heads, giving lots of options for beaches, shopping and eating.
Plus a drive to the very popular and touristy Surfers Paradise is another option, with lots of family attractions, such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not or Dracula’s Haunted House. There is always something going on down near main beach. Theme parks such as Dreamworld, Seaworld and Movieworld are a little further away, but still under half an hour away.
Kid Friendly Accommodation?
Bay of Palms Resort is a great family accommodation on the Gold Coast to stay with kids. While the location is not really close to many family attractions on the Gold Coast, the resort itself will be popular simply because of the pool and games room. Plus walking distance to shops and dining means you can duck over and pick up any essentials in case you forgot something or in our case, needed some new flip flops for miss 3 since hers were starting to wear out.
The Bay of Palms Resort was exactly what we needed for a budget friendly Gold Coast family accommodation. It was clean and had all the amenities we needed for our short break.
We spent a lot of time at the beach and dined elsewhere – Tugan Surf Club and Tweed Heads Bowls Club, but when we were back at the Elanora accommodation, we enjoyed our time swimming and had some quiet down time watching TV with the girls. Don’t expect lots of channels though. Just the basics, but you’re not on holiday to watch TV so that’s no biggie for us!
No free wifi was a little disappointing, but that’s pretty typical here in Australia. We are a bit behind the times compared to many international destinations, and we weren’t there long enough to need anything more than a bit of phone data.
We would be happy to stay at Bay of Palms Resort again in future if we were looking for a comfortable place to sleep during a beach mini break and would be happy to recommend the resort to others.