Written on: 20/09/2004 by loobeeloo (1 review written)
Excellent friendly staff, lots to do, beautiful spa complex
Poor childrens facilities, easy to build up a large expense bill at the end of stay (everything is charged to the room)
Paradise Island Hotel:
I found very little reviews on this resort that I, my husband and our 22month old son had booked onto. I could only find 2 brief reviews, both which were at extremes - i.e. really good or really bad.
Thinking the latter, I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful Paradise island is. It's a big island compared to others, giving lots of space and activities. Although it was busy, we saw few people on the beautiful beaches and it felt like we were the only people there. The lonely planet does not rate this resort highly for snorkelling as it has a shallow lagoon; however we found the snorkelling excellent. There is a house reef which was frequently visited by large manterays and wonderful marine life.
The staff were also brilliant. The all live on the island (most only see their families once a year for a month), so they were all very doting on our son, as well as the other toddlers there. Although the resort does not have cr che or baby sitting, we would plan our own activities around our sons 2 hour afternoon nap. When he slept in his buggy, we would leave him in the restaurant/dive school/ equipment hire shop, while we went off and had some water activities to ourselves. The staff were always happy to baby-sit for us!
The resort also has an amazing luxurious spa which is only 6months old. We had an open-roof room with two benches for a body scrub (USD 25each for 25mins) and flower bath (USD 25each for 30mins) which our son joined us for. The place can only be described as sumptuous!! Surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation, lots of natural flower fragrance, it was perfect to relax and be pampered. This was also timely, as we had checked out at noon, but given that our island departure was at 5pm, this allowed us to enjoy the beach once more and go to the spa to be cleaned up and prepared for our flight - this also prevented a USD50 for an extra 4 hour room charge. (be prepared for lack of English in the spa and also very confusing as to whether they will accept credit cards - they can, but they have to walk to reception to make transaction which is a 5 min walk away).
My only disappointment with the resort is the children's facilities. Given that we chose this resort purely based on the Childs play area and children's swimming pool - both of these were a let down. The playground was long and separated by vegetation. As a parent, it's difficult to watch your child from one place as you can't see through the hedges. There was a little creek running under a mini bridge which was not flowing - this invited all the mosquitoes to the area and smelt pungent. The play equipment was all tired and needed to be updated. The children's swimming pool is very poorly designed - it's adjoined to the adult's pool (which is relatively small to the resort), however it adjoins to the deep end of the adult's pool and not the shallow end (which seem kind of dangerous to me!).
Paradise island is a very big resort; we had a wee walk to the main restaurant each night as our room was on the far end of the island. After 2-3 meals, you get used to the walk (and take your stroller for kids). The room cleaned and towels changed twice daily, large spacious rooms with outdoor shower. Very tidy and clean, but could also do with a modern makeover.
We went on 3 excursions - 1 full day - to local fishing village (USD53 each), one boat trip snorkelling 2 hours (USD 16 each) and then night fishing for 3 hours (USD30 each). We also went on the glass bottom boat over the house reef (USD 16 each), but in reality our own snorkelling visits over the house reef was just as good as the boat trip snorkelling at a dive site and the glass bottom boat.
Food was really good, given the diversity of the guests (Asia, Australasia and Europeans); there was a huge variety to pick from. We went to the Japanese restaurant on the resort one night for Teppanyaki - this was USD 110 for 3 of us (includes 15% discount if you are Full board or all inclusive). We went Full board as we are not big drinkers; soft drinks were USD3.50 a can, water 1.5l USD 3.00, Milkshakes usd 4.50, tea usd2.00. A bottle of water per day was our staple, plus the can/milkshake at meals or afternoon. Fast-food was available 24hrs per day, approx usd 10-15 for burger & fries/club & fries etc. There was a seafood restaurant and also Italian restaurant, in case you wanted a break from the main buffet.
In general, we loved our holiday. We would probably not go back there again, because of the children's facilities, but if I was going without toddlers, I would recommend this. There are lots to do (providing you are ready to pay for everything your use other than the pool
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