Coolangatta on the Gold Coast Part I - Accommodation for Families

Coolangatta on the Gold Coast Part I - Accommodation for Families

Coolangatta on the Gold Coast Part I - Accommodation for Families

Since my Insta stories on my recent trip to Coolangatta/Rainbow Bay, I have had so many questions and so much interest in this destination for families and rather than answering questions on Insta, I thought it would be best to write this Travel Talk article. 

I have been visiting this beautiful part of Australia since I was born and I make it my mission to visit as regularly as possible. Its beaches, ambience, family friendly feel and being away from the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise makes it extremely appealing to so many.


Coolangatta Kooshy Kids

Most of you who have visited the Gold Coast would have landed at Coolangatta Airport. The beach town of Coolangatta is only a 5 minute drive from the airport and the neighbouring town of Rainbow Bay...boasting some of the best views in Australia! 

I have stayed at many different hotels in this region over the years and here is a list of my recommendations for families. (Of course, there may be many more that are suitable, however these are the ones that I have personally experienced and can give honest, unbiased reviews for). Note that all hotels In this region are self-serviced accommodation. 


1. Columbia Apartments - Rainbow Bay

These two and three bedrooms apartments are beachfront and where I have stayed for the last few years. The building itself is old, but the rooms have been updated, and you can choose how "new" you want your room to be and they are priced accordingly in three different categories (luxury, superior and deluxe). 

All of the rooms have a full ocean view (except ground floor apartments, although the view is still pretty good). I love being able to see whales and dolphins whilst cooking and doing the's magical!

The balconies are large and have outdoor dining settings. The apartments have two or three bathrooms, some with a bath. 

The apartments are well stocked with what you need for cooking...often there has even been glad wrap and foil, salt and pepper, which is always useful, although I usually purchase these for myself just to be safe.

*I have included a standard shopping list at the end of this article that I have delivered to the apartment from Woolworths on the day of my arrival whenever and wherever I am staying within this region.*

There are no BBQs on-site, however there are communal BBQs on the beach opposite the complex that are usually clean and modern. 

The pool is not usually busy and there is also a small toddler pool. 

Room prices vary according to the room type, number of bedrooms and time of the year. I usually pay $190-$210 per night. They require a $300 deposit at the time of booking. 

It is a one minute walk to the beach and two minutes to the Rainbow Bay SLSC, the location is spot on! 


Amazing views, great balcony space, playground and beach across the road, tennis court, adequate utensils and apartment supplies and a great price.


No BBQ on site, and no spa. You need to pay for Wifi and some apartments don't have baths, smart TVs for Netflix etc. 

You can book direct here (although I prefer to email and request a specific apartment). 

2. Rainbow Bay Resort

With two and three bedroom apartments, Rainbow Bay Resort is much like Columbia Apartments, as it is an older building, but with mostly renovated rooms. There is one bathroom per bedroom. 

The complex is a street back from Columbia Apartments and although you can see the beach, unfortunately the beach view is obstructed by newly appointed buildings. 

The live-in Managers are super-friendly and helpful, and the apartments are really well equipt, making it feel like home. I have been staying at this complex since it was first built (I won't disclose how many years ago that was LOL) and am actually staying here right now as I write this article! 

I usually pay $150-$200 per night for a two bedroom apartment. 

Rainbow Bay Resort


Large balcony space, adequate utensils and apartment supplies, very reasonably priced, BBQ onsite, spa, sauna, Free Wifi, Foxtel and smart TVs. 


Obstructed beach view and a 3-5 minute walk to the beach (with hills). 

You can book Rainbow Bay Resort or find out more here

3. Oaks Calypso Apartments - Coolangatta

These apartments are located in the heart of Coolangatta and the proximity to the beach, shops and restaurants is very convenient. 

The complex is also the only one in the region that has waterslides...the pool is incredible and suited to both children and adults. 

There are various types of apartments to choose from (be careful if you have little ones, as some have stairs) and although I found they lack some of the necessities the you would expect in a self-serviced apartment (no vacuum cleaner, broom, mop and very little appliances and utensils), the apartments are clean and liveable. 

The balconies in the middle section (on the beach side) have a great view of the pool and beach, although the balcony space is very small and the space gets hot with the air con unit blowing out hot air if the air con is on. 

The building offers a games room for the kids which my kids loved. 

Pros: Proximity to shops, restaurants and the beach and a great pools and spa for kids and adults. 

Cons: Small balconies, limited utensils and as it is part of a chain, lacks the homely feeling offered by live-in Managers of nearby accommodation. No BBQ on site. 

You can book direct here or with (I find to be more flexible with cancellations for this property and I also use Shopback so it often works out cheaper). 

4. The Garland Apartments - Rainbow Bay

These beautiful and relatively new apartments are AMAZING! They are located directly next door to Columbia Apartments and opposite the beach, park and Rainbow Bay SLSC. 

At this time, there are three apartments available for rent in the complex, as most are either owner-occupied or reserved for Veterans. 

The apartments are three bedroom (plus a study or media room) and the complex offers a pool, spa, BBQ area, and gym. 

Room rates vary from $350-$700 per night, depending on the time of the year...but taking into account that these are large and modern apartments, this would certainly my preference of accommodation if I ever needed three bedrooms. 

Pros: Modern and spacious apartments, all the on-site facilities you'll need, well-equipt apartments, incredible views, close proximity to the beach, park and SLSC. 

Cons: Can be a little on the expensive side if you only require two bedrooms. 

You can book direct through their website here, or through

5. Reflections, Coolangatta

Reflections is located centrally in Coolangatta and consists of two tall towers. It is modern and positioned on top of shops and restaurants and the towers are directly opposite the beach. 

There are many types of apartments with 1-4 bedrooms available and prices vary according to number of bedrooms and type of room. (There are penthouses and sky homes which are phenomenal...but have the relevant price tag attached). 

Complex facilities include:

  • Pool
  • Spa
  • Sauna
  • Gym
  • BBQ entertainment area
  • Teppanyaki grill
  • Theatre
  • Executive lounge with pool table
  • Free WiFi

Pros: Modern, great facilities, well-equip apartments, incredible views, proximity to the beach, shops and restaurants (and I love the en-suite bath with the ocean view). 

Cons: Small pool that is in a wind tunnel making it EXTREMELY windy, busy complex with a lot of units sharing the facilities. Balconies are also extremely windy.

You can book your stay directly through Reflections here. 


My generic shopping list for a 1-2 week self-serviced stay:

 Self Serviced Generic Shopping List

 Part II -Restaurants and things to do in Coolangatta...coming soon, stay tuned! 


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