Recent Reviews

Our reviews are designed to help families make a more informed decision when choosing holiday accommodation. On this page you will find a selection of reviews. If you are after a specific location, use the menu of the left side of the page.

Rhyll: 14 The Moorings

Reviewed By: Anne from Oakleigh
Stayed: 1/12/2015
Stayed With: 4 adults and 3 children aged 6, 5 & 2

Set in the relaxed town of Rhyll, 14 The Moorings is a wonderfully peaceful spot.

The house is well equipped and very comfortable. It is two-storey, but a stair guard was available.

It's just across the road from the beach and jetty (where we hooked a few fish), and minutes walk from local eateries.

Waking up to this stunning view is just wonderful.

It's just a short drive from Cowes and other island attractions.

Kid's Comments: I caught a fish from the pier across the road! I liked sleeping on the top bunk and watching TV in our bedroom.

Trinity Beach: On the Beach Holiday Apartments

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/11/2015
Stayed With: 2 adults, 2 children aged 10 & 13 years

On a recent holiday to FNQ and the Great Barrier Reef, I took the opportunity to book a few nights at On the Beach Holiday Apartments at Trinity Beach to check out this complex for myself - and check out it did!

On the Beach actually consists of five apartment buildings. We stayed in a two-bedroom beachfront apartment in the Seashells building, which offered undercover parking and lift access.

Our first floor apartment was extremely spacious - you know you are onto a good thing when the kids give their seal of approval after checking everything out.

The full size kitchen allowed for easy self-catering, while the tiled dining/lounge area had plenty of space to spread out. The balcony offered another option for sitting outside, with views out to sea.

The master bedroom was comfortable and nicely furnished, with a wall-mounted TV giving me the opportunity to catch up on the news while the kids were watching the main TV in the lounge room.

Single beds in the second bedroom kept the kids happy, while two bathrooms (the main one also housed the washing machine and dryer) are always welcomed by families.

Each building in the complex has its own swimming pool with lounge chairs and as usual, my kids gave our pool a good work-out.

While Mother Nature was not on our side for our visit, with strong winds whipping up the sea, there is no doubt that Trinity Beach is a bit of a hidden treasure and On the Beach is perfectly located opposite the patrolled beach.

There are plenty of places to eat along the Esplanade, including an Italian cafe/restaurant just metres down the road. But equally, there is a small shopping centre with a supermarket to buy your provisions just a couple of minutes' drive away.

Melissa is a font of local knowledge and will help you with tourist information and bookings.

Whether you are looking for somewhere close to Cairn's attractions to stay a few nights, or as a spacious and comfortable base for an extended family holiday in Far North Queensland, On the Beach Apartments at Trinity Beach is a great place to stay.

Note: This accommodation was independently booked and fully paid for. Views are my own.

Port Fairy: VeeSeas (sleeps up to 10)

Reviewed By: Anne of Oakleigh
Stayed: 1/04/2015
Stayed With: 3 kids aged 6, 4 and 1, plus 4 adults

What a wonderfully relaxing location. The house had everything the kids, parents and grandparents could need. Fantastic outdoor play equipment,boxes of toys indoors and a parents retreat upstairs!

A coffee machine was an added bonus in the kitchen!

A minute's walk to the Southern rockpool beach and a short drive to Port Fairy and the Eastern beach.

Warrnambool was a 20 minute drive away,

It's such a peaceful location, fields opposite the house and the beach with crashing surf behind.

Kids comments - I loved the swings, slide and cubby house. We built some awesome lego houses. The bunk bed was so much fun.

Extra baby features: a high chair, cot and pram available

Geelong: Rose Garden Motel (sleeps up to 5 + cot)

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/01/2015
Stayed With: one adult, two children aged 11 & 9

When researching a family getaway, it can be tempting to stay away from motels. While some give us good reason for that, there are others who think outside the square and are set up to welcome families.

We discovered such a motel in Geelong over the summer school holidays. We wanted to visit a school friend in Barwon Heads and decided it would be fun to spend a night rather than drive back to Melbourne.

Accommodation on the Bellarine Peninsula was expensive and many places had two night minimums. So I looked at Geelong and found the Rose Garden Motel at Belmont (the Peninsula side of Geelong). And what a great find it was!

Where do I start – well, with a lovely, warm welcome from the Manager, Helen. This is a place where they care about their property and their guests – and it comes across.

The gardens are lovely. There is a fenced swimming pool within a larger grassed area, onto which our room opened up. This is perfect for families, as it essentially offers a backyard with a playground and bbq too.

Inside, our room had a king bed and a single (with hubby back in Melbourne, I shared my bed with Miss 9). There was also a table and chairs, where we ate our take-away dinner and breakfast in comfort.

What was great about this motel room is that it had a small kitchenette with a sink, microwave, toaster, crockery and cutlery (including a peeler!) which allowed us to eat in to the room.

Breakfast can be ordered and is delivered through the old fashioned motel food delivery door, which fascinated my daughter. But it is also a short drive to Belmont with some restaurants, take-away shops and supermarkets for any provisions.

Other little extras included Free WIFI, free DVDs and a small range of snacks and drinks to purchase from reception (including beer and wine). And there was air freshener in the toilet – how welcome is that to a small family sharing one bathroom.

And we got all this for just $149 for the night in the peak summer period.

The Rose Garden Motel also has 2 family rooms which can sleep up to 5. These are set up with as a main king size room, with an attached room with 3 single beds. There is also another TV in this room.

So, if you are looking for a great affordable option on the Bellarine Peninsula - maybe somewhere to spend the night after an exhausting day at Adventure Park – I recommend you check out the Rose Garden Hotel. And say hi to Helen.

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY: If you are interested in staying at the Rose Garden Motel Belmont, contact them direct or through you preferred booking website.

Rainbow Beach: Rainbow Getaway Holiday Apartments (sleeps up to 6)

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/10/2014
Stayed With: two adults, two children, aged 12 & 9

Rainbow Beach Getaway Holiday Apartments - our review:

Having left the crowds of school holiday Noosa, Rainbow Beach was a balm for the soul – and Rainbow Getaway Holiday Apartments was a great place for us to spend the next 4 days.

Rainbow Beach is a small coastal town, surrounded by the Great Sandy National Park. Although it has become a popular destination for backpackers to access Fraser Island, this place is perfect for a family holiday too.

Given its small size, there is a fair amount of accommodation to choose from. At just $170 a night (3 night minimum) for a two-bedroom apartment in the peak September school holidays, I think Rainbow Getaway was great value for money.

Apartments are built within 3 story, rounded A-frame buildings. Our two-storey apartment was accessed via outside steps to Level 1. The living area was on this level, with a balcony overlooking a grassed area, across to the pool.

Although not the largest living space we'd experienced on our holiday, it was more than sufficient and very comfortable, with a large lounge, dining table and kitchen. The main bathroom, with laundry facilities, was also on this level, as was the main bedroom and ensuite.

Upstairs I found to be quite quirky with large (but not tall cupboards) that the kids loved hiding in! There were two single beds. But what was extra special about up here (and something which families would appreciate), was the small sitting room with another television and small couch.

For families with younger children, I understand stair gates can be provided for those with small children.

Outside, this complex earns its family friendly stripes – with a small playground, sandpit and swimming pool. There are grassed areas and a couple of well-kept barbecue huts, which were well utilised.

In terms of location, this accommodation is a short walk into town – but just across the road from the Rainbow Beach Sport Club, where we ended up for dinner two nights. Nice food at a reasonable price.

A shopping strip, with a small supermarket, Indian restaurant and fish and chip shop is also a couple of minutes' walk away.

The manager was also very friendly and able to offer us a range of information on what to do in the area - including potential fishing spots for hubby!

If you are after quality accommodation at a very affordable rate in Rainbow Beach, I would recommend checking out Rainbow Getaway. We were definitely happy with our choice here.

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY: If you are interested in staying at the Rainbow Getaway Holiday Apartments, contact them direct or through you preferred booking website.

Note: Our accommodation was independently booked and paid for. Views are my own.

Noosa: Cloud Nine Noosa

Reviewed By: Lisa from Funch
Stayed: 1/11/2014
Stayed With: two adults, two children aged 7 & 8

Our family has stayed at Cloud Nine Apartments 3 times now (and have booked for a fourth). My parents and sister and her family also stay here.

Noosa is renowned for it's high priced accommodation, but Cloud Nine bucks the trend. It's reasonably priced (we spend between $200 and $250 per night off-peak) but with all the luxury, service and facilities any family could want on their holiday.

There are only 7 apartments in total at Cloud Nine. Our apartment of choice is Apartment 4. This is the only apartment that has not been fully renovated, but the kitchen has been nicely done. The bathrooms, which are enormous (one with a spa bath) are also tastefully done, with everything working and spotlessly clean.

There are 3 bedrooms, the main bedroom is enormous with access to the large balcony overlooking Noosa Parade and Noosa River beyond. Perfect for evening drinks before wandering the 600 metres (easy stroll even with kids) in to Hastings Street for dinner. There is also a bus stop just outside Cloud Nine that takes you in to Hastings Street, Noosa Junction and beyond.

The apartment has a mezzanine level which is great for kids - ours take all their gadgets and books, etc up there and have their own little space.

Cloud Nine recently updated the pool area. Although it was fine before (and yes, it's of the few in Noosa), it now has all new paving, fencing and lounges (and there are plenty).

It's such a lovely pool area, with a grassy shaded area to retreat to in the afternoons, after a morning at the beach whilst the kids continue to play in the pool. The area is private and so inviting. There is also a new BBQ, which is always spotless.

Colin, the Manager of Cloud Nine is helpful and approachable, nothing is ever too much trouble. He's friendly and always there to help, but without ever intruding on your holiday. Colin has managed Cloud Nine since we started going there and it's always great to see him.

I cannot recommend Cloud Nine Luxury Apartments enough. To have found accommodation that is affordable but with the amount of luxury you deserve on your holiday is quite refreshing.

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY: If you are interested in staying at Cloud Nine Noosa, contact them direct or through you preferred booking website.

Lisa is the co-founder of Funch, make-at-home superfood snacks. The protein power balls and snack bars come as a dry mix - just add a couple of wet ingredients to create healthy snacks for the whole family.

Noosa: Offshore Noosa Resort

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/09/2014
Stayed With: two adults, two children, aged 12 & 9

Offshore Noosa Resort review:

Walking into our apartment at Offshore Noosa Resort was one of those wow moments. Even hubby, who tends to go with the flow when it comes to holiday accommodation, was impressed.

Located in the quieter area of Noosaville, Offshore Noosa Resort has a really nice feel. This low-level complex features apartments around a central pool and bbq area in a tropical setting. Secure, undercover parking is provided.

On arriving, manager Leanne immediately made us feel at home and Miss 9 was given a bag of plastic beach toys which was hers to keep for the duration of our stay.

Our two-bedroom apartment was located on Level 1 and felt like a home. The furnishings were clean and comfortable and artworks gave the main living area character. I also loved the plantation shutter sliding doors.

The main kitchen/dining/living area was one of the largest I have seen. The kitchen quite modern with all the crockery and cutlery needed for a family meal.

The lounge was comfortable, but with a large balcony to relax on, it was really only the kids who used it when they were watching TV. Not that this happened often, as just a few steps away is the gorgeous resort pool.

I loved this area and being a relatively small complex, the pool was never crowded (something which I saw at a well-known brand name complex in which my friends were staying in Noosa at the same time as us).

Back inside our apartment, the main bedroom was large, comfortable and nicely furnished, with an ensuite bathroom and wall-mounted TV. The second room had two single beds and the main bathroom had a bath, as well as a washing machine and dryer.

We really enjoyed this family friendly apartment complex. While you will need to drive to the Noosa beach, we found Noosaville to be a lovely quieter location in a peak holiday period. There were several restaurants and cafes in walking distance and a morning walk along the river was lovely.

Note: Our accommodation was independently booked and paid for. Views are my own.

Mooloolaba: Northwind Beachfront Apartments

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/09/2014
Stayed With: two adults, two children, aged 12 & 9

Northwind Beachfront Apartments review:

Quiet, clean, helpful and location - just some of the words I can use to describe Northwind Beachfront Apartments in Mooloolaba.

Having visited the property by myself in 2013, I was keen to bring my family to come and stay, which we did for a couple of nights on our Queensland school holiday road trip. And it did not disappoint.

Northwind can be found at the northern end of Mooloolaba, in a great position offering easy access to the many eateries along Mooloolaba Esplanade, as well as the lovely walking track to Alexandra Headland.

Like most apartment complexes on the Sunshine Coast, the apartments at Northwind are individually owned and furnished. But the managers take great pride in their complex and have undertaken many updates in recent times, including the lovely barbecue area.

Our two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment was bright, comfortable and clean. On entering the apartment, the first thing that hit us was the gorgeous view across the water – even from our lower level (4) apartment.

This room offers big open-plan living - with a six-seater dining table, kitchen and leather modular lounge, with a flat screen TV. The balcony runs along the entire room offering a wonderful opportunity for meals with a view.

Is there anything more wonderful than sitting on a balcony with a morning coffee, spotting the occasional waterspout from a whale out to sea? Bliss.

Along the small hallway, is another bedroom (with two single beds), a family bathroom with a bath, as well as washing machine and dryer. At the end of the hall is the the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

Northwind Apartments has lift access from an underground carpark (one carpark is allocated per apartment and included in the apartment price), which is great for families and all the luggage travelling with babies and children entails.

While my older children were more interested in hitting the beach with their boogie boards, there is also a small pool on-site, as well as a shallow, heated toddlers' pool. You can also borrow pool and beach toys.

Northwind Apartments may not be the most modern complex you will find, but the apartments are comfortable and well-equipped and all apartments have ocean-facing balconies (the higher up, the better the view).

The resident managers Jennifer and Andrew are also a font of local information and can give advice on some of the lesser-known places to visit and where to eat - including the best places for those with gluten intolerance.

I would recommend Northwind Beachfront Apartments for families after a quiet, comfortable, value-for-money accommodation in a beachfront location with easy access to shops and eateries.

P.S For an in-house splurge, head to the Mooloolaba Spit for fresh prawns, and eat them on your balcony with a glass of wine, while enjoying your lovely seaview. And don't worry about the shells and heads – Northwind has a special bin just for them! Enjoy.

Note: Our accommodation was independently booked and paid for. Views are my own.

University House Hotel (sleeps up to 6)

Reviewed By: Birt family, Melbourne
Stayed: 1/01/2015
Stayed With: Two adults and 3 kids 11,13,16

For $150/night University House has, among others, two family rooms containing a double bed and two singles in two rooms which can take two extra folding beds, and a bathroom with a bath/shower and heated floors.

Each bedroom has a TV and there's the standard bar fridge, kettle and a selection of tea and coffee.

As the furniture dates from the 60s – it's delightfully retro, but is in exceptional condition.

There is also a two bedroom apartment with separate living room and kitchen for $192/night.

University House has real charm. When you're not touring around, it has a large shaded garden where you can sit and relax under the trees and its enormous pond contains seriously large goldfish.

If you want some ‘quiet time' there's the library and a nearby shop can provide other essentials or you can walk 15 minutes into the city where there's an IGA. The Palace Cinemas are just around the corner.

Uni House's restaurant, Boffins, has excellent food though with mains at $32 it's not really geared for kids. There's also a cafe and bar, Fellows, where you can get breakfast ($15 pp continental or $25 cooked), or like us, buy some cereal and have it in the room in the bowls provided.

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY: If you are interested in staying at the University House Hotel, contact them direct or through you preferred booking website.

Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: 1/09/2014
Stayed With: two children, aged 12 & 9

Paradise Resort Gold Coast review:

Having heard so much about Paradise Resort - one of the most popular destinations for Gold Coast holidays with kids - I had to see it myself.

What hits you after you get your bearings is that everything is on-site - accommodation, food and heaps of activities. Sort of like a land-based cruise ship, without the ship bit!

Paradise Resort is constantly evolving, but everything they do is developed with families firmly in mind.

We only stayed one night, so opted for the Resort Room (the most basic option on offer), which had a Queen bed, single bed and smaller fold-out bed. Larger, more elaborate rooms featuring bunk bed enclaves are also available, as are family rooms and interconnecting rooms for larger families.

Little extras, such as a step stool in the bathroom, were great and not something I've seen elsewhere, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice brand of instant coffee sachets in the room.

But Paradise Resort is not about being in your room. From early morning, families start to gather in the central outdoor area, with the pool and large spa. But it is the waterpark that takes pride of place and where some of the biggest smiles and squeals come from.

There are actually two waterparks - one for older kids and a junior waterpark. The popular kids club (a two hour session was included in our overnight stay), is also divided into under 2s and 3-12 year olds. Additional sessions can be purchased.

Other fee-based activities include rock climbing, laser tag and ice-skating at Planet Chill (yes, this Gold Coast resort has an ice-rink).

In addition to these, a weekly activities sheet in our room gave us a great overview of what was on offer, including hair braiding, treasure hunts, crafts, dancing, trivia, duck races and an outdoor movie (some activities are free, others have a small charge).

There is also an indoor jungle gym, a playground and sandpit. In fact there is so much on offer, it's probably easiest just to read more via Paradise Resort's website.

So, after our stay, I have two pieces of advice:

1. Although Paradise Resort is constantly looking at ways to keep older children engaged, my son, Mr 12, felt he was bit too old for the scene. There is no doubt most families we saw had younger children.

2. Paradise Resort is not the place for a quiet holiday – but if your children are after action, fun and making new friends, this is the perfect place for your family.

Note: Our accommodation was independently booked and paid for. Views are my own.

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