It has been a while since our family has had a little getaway, so for my birthday last weekend we decided to sneak in a little weekender at one of our favourite resorts on the Gold Coast, RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The resort caught my attention last month when I saw it was launching a new kids Water Park and our kids are obsessed with swimming (well, they can’t actually swim yet, but the girls like to pretend they are mermaids and my little guy apparently turns into a scary shark as soon as his toes touch the water and they love being in our pool, that’s why I always try to keep it clean with a great vacuum I found online for this, discover it here for you to get it too. He’s not a very brave shark. He doesn’t like putting his head under yet (!) He just enjoys pacing up and down yelling ‘I’m a scary shark and I will eat you’ to the girls. And, as I recently discovered also to other guests. Awkward.

Water Park

Water Park

Anyway, I wanted to review the resort and give you an insight into our little stay as I actually find it quite hard when choosing resorts to stay as a young family. As you know, we are pretty keen campers and have done an annual camping trip every year since the twins were 6 months old. We love the outdoors, we love getting the kids out in the fresh air and sunshine and with three kids aged four and under, we are mindful of the fact that when we go on holiday, we can sometimes be that ‘noisy family!’ We have stayed in a few resorts with the kids over the past two years, but they all seemed to fall into two categories for me.

1) They are stunning resorts and promote the fact that they are family-friendly, but when you get there, the rooms are tiny, you’re nervous at the fact that if the kids drop something on the pristine floors you’ll be frowned upon and when you head out to the pool and notice everyone blissfully enjoying some quiet time in the sunshine – it’s hard not to get anxious at the fact you have three toddlers wanting to excitedly jump, yell and play as they like. Or, pretend that they are a shark who wants to eat the guests.

2) Secondly, we have stayed in ‘kids’ resorts where there is an abundance of kids activities, programs, playgrounds, water areas etc. And at times, you feel like you’re standing in the middle of a busy themepark. Maybe when our kids get a little older, we will flock to this style of resort, but as our kids are still young….. we can’t leave them to just play on their own yet and with so much activity going on, by 5pm – we are all utterly exhausted.

I know, you’re thinking – wow this lady is fussy! Well, perhaps I am….. but you must know by now that I’m one to tell it as it is and the reason I’m writing this blog and review today is because I really feel that our little weekend stay last weekend got a few big ticks from me, Daddy, the mermaids and shark. When I come across something great, I’m going to share it with my fellow mummies.

RACV Royal Pines Resort did not ask me to review their property. I have chosen to write this to share my experience and pass on a recommendation, because the resort deserves it. This is not a sponsored post. I did however advise the resort that I would be staying there for my birthday weekend.

Why did I choose this particular resort? Because I haven’t stayed there for about five years and I wanted to be able to have a little down-time with my husband for my birthday but also give the kids a fun weekend away. Not in a tent this time, at a resort. (My big girl did ask me when we were packing our bags why we didn’t need to take our towels and bed linen on this holiday… !!!!) I told her that we were staying in a resort (with proper beds) and her eyes lit up.

View from the 19th floor

View from the 19th floor

I wanted to check out the new kids Water Park and I knew there was plenty of open space at this resort, so if the kids got a little frisky, we could take off in some of the 100 hectares that the resort is situated on and just burn off some steam! *Inserts parents high five!*

When we arrived, we were welcomed so warmly. The kids walked into the reception wheeling their bags (yes, we had to take three separate bags for a one night stay – because, apparently the shark’s clothes can’t be mixed with the mermaids clothes).

The shark.

The shark.

The gorgeous and welcoming sales and marketing manager, Susan, came over and introduced herself to the kids and shook each of their hands. That right there is the smallest gesture, but I just love it when adults give kids the time of day and make them feel so important. Off we went to our Spa Suite that had interconnecting rooms and I was immediately in awe of the space, views, quality of furnishings, spa bath and….. the fresh fruit welcome platter from the chef. We sat there snacking on blueberries, pineapple and dragonfruit dipped in an array of yoghurt and dark chocolate sauces. (A little different to camping… !) The kids then ran around the rooms (may have jumped on the beds) and then instantly asked about the Water Park. So, after being in the room for all of about 12 minutes – we were down at the Water Park.
IMG_2780

Oh.My.Gosh! As you may have seen on my social media channels last weekend, the Water Park is insanely awesome! AND the great thing is, it caters for toddlers right through to older kids, plus some of the pools are heated. There are sandy little beaches for the kids to build sandcastles, water slides, water cannons, water tip buckets and loads more ‘fun stuff’. The mermaids and shark were in heaven!

Water Park with Daddy.

Water Park with Daddy.

IMG_2793

Once we finally dragged them away, we went back up to the room and enjoyed a big bubble spa bath, overlooking a beautiful pink sunset. By then, it was time for mummy and daddy to have a little drink. So we all went down to the Panorama Lounge overlooking the golf course and while the kids had a snack, I enjoyed a beautiful glass of Rose and the hubby had his beer. It was around that time that we were contemplating dinner. We asked the kids what they felt like and they simply replied – we want to sit in the room and look at all of the lights and play! So, we did. We probably could have chosen to dine at one of the four amazing looking restaurants (Japanese, Italian, Buffet or Fine Dining), but we decided to put our robes on, sit in the room, watch the kids movie channel and order room service! And, it was perfect. The kids were happy and mummy and daddy were happy.

Rose and pink sunsets = happy Mummy!

Rose and pink sunsets = happy Mummy!

Waiting for our room service...!Perfect night in.

Waiting for our room service…!Perfect night in.

The following morning, I had envisaged a long sleep-in in our nice comfy bed, but at 5am I had the twins on either side of me pulling my nose and trying to open my eye lids. They were like two little seagulls saying ‘breakfast, breakfast, breakfast!’ They knew we were going out for the buffet breakfast. I rolled over telling them it was still dark and to just rest. Do you think that worked? Does it ever work? Not quite. We compromised and I put on the TV for them and they enjoyed watching Peppa Pig for a while longer. It was at that point that I considered making a mad dash downstairs to check out the state-of-art onsite gym. But as I snuck over to my bag, they pounced on me. Daddy and our oldest girl woke up and we decided to head downstairs to the playground instead.

Sunday morning playtime!

Sunday morning playtime!

Now, picture a giant jumping pillow, swings, playground, benches and climbing ropes. The kids raced over and tried everything out, hubby was bouncing on the jumping pillow and my mind was ticking over thinking ‘where do I start? This is a workout dream!!!’ As you can see on my social media channels, I gave the playground a good workout!

The boys then took off to the football field to kick the footy and then we took off to breakfast – now the kids have never had a buffet before. They didn’t know where to look first! I was impressed by the great and fresh selection!

Obviously after breakfast, it was time for the shark and mermaids to head back to the Water Park for a final swim. It was a glorious autumn morning, the sun was shining and my husband and I sat there enjoying a coffee (yes, I could get an almond milk latte), and we both said to ourselves, this is such a perfect place to stay as a young family.

The RACV Royal Pines Resort really ticked all of our boxes as a family of five. It’s stylish, but sporty. It strikes the perfect balance between elegance and family-fun.

Whether you’re a Gold Coast local looking for a fun overnight stay, a South East Queenslander looking for a weekend away where you don’t need to leave a resort and are out of the hustle and bustle of the GC, or an interstate or overseas family looking for a holiday in the sunshine state, I 110% recommend this resort. While I haven’t seen them personally, I’m also informed that the Resort also has family rooms – that offer cooking/apartment style facilities.

Thanks for having us guys! We had such a fun weekend and it was so wonderful to get to enjoy some time with my hubby and see the kids laughing and playing at the same time. The shark and mermaids will be back.

For more information on the resort visit: http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/racv/resorts/RACV+Resorts/RACV+Royal+Pines+Resort

You can also book direct and save: Auto club members (RACV, RACQ & NRMA) can save 25% on accommodation rates at RACV Royal Pines Resort.