My family has stayed at Mandalay four times and each time we have absolutely loved it - which is why we keep going back. We have tried some of the other holiday parks in Busselton, but I must say Mandalay is our favourite.
So why is Mandalay so wonderful..
First of all let me say, I have 4 very active boys aged 8 through to 2. Part of the reason we love Mandalay is because you don't actually need to leave the holiday park to keep the kids entertained. Although Busselton is a great place to visit with lots of attractions, sometimes its nice just to have some down time at the holiday park. At Mandalay you can do this without the constant nagging of "Mum, I'm bored".
On our most recent trip to Mandalay, the kids got to experience the water slide for the first time. My 8 year old thought it was the best thing ever. Even my younger kids enjoyed it, although they were a little frightened at first. They went down with their Dad who kept them safe and after that they were keen to get back up the steps for more. Along with the addition of the water slide, the pool area has been revamped a little bit. There is an indoor heated pool with a small toddlers area, and another outside pool which isn't heated but is great for swimming. The kids spent their time going from one pool to another. Once they had enough of the water slide, we would head indoors to the warmer pool and they would enjoy playing in there.
The next best place for the kids in Mandalay is the bouncy pillow. The kids absolutely love it. It is like a big meeting place for all the kids in the park and many friendships are formed while jumping on the bouncy pillow. It's not only the little ones that love it - I've seen plenty of big kids (and Dads!) on there as well.
The fun for kids doesn't stop at water slides, pools and bouncing pillows. Mandalay also has several playgrounds throughout the grounds. They are scattered at various spots, which is handy for people staying in the different accommodation around the park. We tend not to stick to the playground closest to our accommodation and we like to visit them all. The agility playground near the bouncing pillow is the biggest, however there is also a ship playground at the back of the park which is good fun.
Along with the playgrounds there is also a large open grass oval in the middle of the park, where the kids can play with their football or soccer ball, or even just have a game of chasey. Near the grass oval is the games room which has a TV, pool table and some arcade games. I admit we haven't utilised this much during our visits but that has been largely due to the children wanting to be everywhere else! We have seen posters for movie nights in this area but each time we have visited we have just missed out.
So with all these wonderful facilities for the kids, you might be wondering what to expect for yourselves. Personally, I have stayed in the 2 storey spa villas, as well as camped at Mandalay. I loved the spa villas and found them tastefully decorated and very modern with all the facilities you could possibly need. I would choose to stay in them each time we visit, however with our growing family (and bills!) we have found camping an economic way to enjoy this marvelous park without the extra expense.
The camping facilities, definitely make camping at Mandalay more like 'glamping'. The bathrooms and showers are modern and clean, and there are plenty of them. They also had a family bathroom. This was new to us, so we decided to give it a go. Basically for a $25 deposit you got a key to their family bathroom which had a shower, bath, sink and toilet (oh and heated lights..nice touch). It meant bath & shower time for the kids was MUCH easier for our family. I would definitely recommend this if you have a number of young children. The only downside to it, is there is only one so if it is occupied then you have to wait.
The park also has a camper's kitchen as well as numerous bbqs throughout the grounds. We used both when we last stayed and found the bbqs where handy if you wanted to stay near your campsite, but the camper's kitchen was great if you needed the microwave, oven or the sink to wash your dishes.
At reception you will also find a reasonably well stocked shop. They had ready made meals from a local Italian restaurant, as well as the basic necessities. There was also plenty of lollies and ice-cream to keep the kids happy.
So if you're still not convinced as to why Mandalay is wonderful for families - it is also situated right across from the beach. My boys love to take their boogie boards, buckets and spades and head down the beach for a few hours of paddling and building sand castles.
As someone who has taken many holidays in our south west, I would highly recommend Mandalay as a fantastic place to stay with your family. It is an ideal place for the kids to keep busy, while the parents can relax and enjoy the well kept grounds and family friendly atmosphere.