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“Glen Helen Resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Glen Helen Resort

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Glen Helen Resort
3.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Namatjira Drive | West MacDonnell Ranges, via, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory 0871, Australia   |  
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Glen Helen Resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

As most say, this is a fantastic location and that's what keeps it above average despite the basic facilities and average service.

When we arrived we were mesmorised by the jaw dropping view, but a few minutes later dissapointed that we did not get a room with a river front view. They said that there were no river front availability, However, we had booked well in advance.

Then came the room. Very small and near the pool. So the tranquility of the location was ruined with 'Pool Noise'. The bathrooms need renovation badly. The sink is so small,so the only way to wash your face is to wet the entire floor. That is if your head survives a knock agaist the wall. Surely, this could have been addressed years ago.

I also got the impression that the place is understaffed as it takes hours in the queue with just day visttors who come to buy a bottle of mineral water. I think residents should get priority in service.

We spent the new years eve(2012) and they did make a great effort to put on a show(included fireworks)

I would recommend this property but be conditioned and don't have high expectations in facilities.

Room Tip: Ask specifically for a room with a river front. Use EFT POS direct debit.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear Cha R

Thanks for your review

We are glad you enjoyed your visit to Glen Helen, and agree that modernising the facilities is overdue. We are still working with the landlord to try and get this happening. However we do try to have the rooms comfortably made up and clean, and have excellent airconditioning.

I think your experience was a bit coloured by coming at a peak time of the year. Yes there are a lot of people about for New Years Eve, and we are always a bit down on staff because it is pretty dead in summer for the rest of the days! So all staff are working hard and under pressure.

There were way more customers on this day than is normal. We always try to give prompt and good service to customers in a fair order, and if we are a bit snowed under there may be a short wait, but I think hours might be overstating it a bit!

On non-Peak days, you would have been able to book a River view room usually with a bit of advance planning, but for New Year' Eve people book those rooms out very fast and a long way in advance.

We hope you enjoyed seeing in the New Year with us, and that you will be back for a taste of our Outback Hospitality again soon.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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singapore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights last October. The resort is in a beautiful spot alongside the river and opposite a stunning red cliff face. This is a beautiful part of the world, the drive here is great and there are plenty of interesting walks within a short drive of the hotel. Staff were very friendly although some were a lot more competent than others. The breakfast and lunch were quite ok. The dinner however was quite excellent - not what you might expect in the middle of nowhere like this. Unfortunately, the edge was taken off our stay by the noise of the generator which is quite overbearing if you are in one of the (many) rooms which back on to it. It made sleep extremely difficult. Not only that it makes your appreciation of the stunning sunset less than it could be as the peace an quiet is shattered by the noise. This can be made a lot better by putting an attenuator on the generator and putting it in a proper acoustic enclosure - it might cost a few thousand dollars but it would improve the quality of the resort no end.

Room Tip: get one as near to the dining room as possible (as far away from the generator as possible)
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Marciesingapore

thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are delighted that you enjoyed our location and dining in our Restaurant, which has recently won 2 gold plates for excellence.
I regret your stay was disturbed by our generator. It is an issue that is always with us, and we encourage guests in rooms that back on to the engine to close their bedroom window and bathroom door to minimise the impact.
We have some long term plans to relocate the generator completely, but in the short term we are investigating ways to reduce the noice and impact on our guests. There are no simple soundproofing solutions, and most soundproofing companies will not guarantee their product in our situation and with our particular type of engines. We have researched sound deadening products as well as an aditional wall between the generator room and the Hotel. Your estimate of a few thousand to do this work is a long way short of the mark, and as a leasehold operator this is not currently viable for us.
Thankfully most guests find they quickly become accustomed to the consistent sound and are not disturbed too much. Also thankfully 2/3 of our rooms are not affected at all by the noise.
I guess it doesnt help, but I have stayed in a number of other remote locations where the generator noise was much worse than ours!!
We hope you will stay again and dont forget to ask for a river view room next time!!
Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien
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Lustenau, Austria
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Part of our experience of Glen Helen resort was getting there. We rented a car in Ayers Rock, from there drove 300km to Kings Canyon and from Kings Canyon we drove more than 200km to West McDonnell Ranges and Glen Helen resort, among this 180km unpaved road. And this was really a great experience, even driving a car fully packed and with toddler strapped in the back, we felt adventurous:-). And within 3 hours of drive we saw wild camels crossing the road, dingo running along and views of wilderness that was striking color of ochra, most vibrant green and and as foreign as one can imagine Australian Outback. And we met maybe 10 other cars driving opposite direction.
Glen Helen resort is a very different place from Ayers Rock, for the few reasons. It is a small place run by a family, with several rooms that have been renovated and rebuilt from the old farm house (I think it was a farm house). It is place for people who came to Glen Helen to hike or/and spend romantic time while not in the posh hotel. Rooms are tiny with even smaller bathroom but they are squeaky clean and cosy. We stayed there for 2 nights and were perfectly happy with the arrangements. The building is shaped in the letter L, having in front a small swimming pool that was excellent for a dip.
The most pleasant surprise was a restaurant. Behind a lobby and breakfast area of the reception building, that looking very backpacker's, you made a one step into 2 beautifully decorated with local art rooms and once seated you were transported into fine dinning experience. The chef was good and although it was not a five star dining, it was definitely a 4 star and very romantic, especially in the stark contrast with what is outside, and outside is just middle of nowhere in the middle of Australia.
Summarizing, if you go to West McDonald ranges to hike or just spend few days in romantic seclusion of wilderness - that's a place to stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Magdalena Z

thankyou for your review of Glen Helen and the surrounding region, which is very thorough.

You were able to relax much more because you had a two night stay, which is definitely recommended for this scenic region

We are really blessed to have a huge and diverse range of wonderful guests come our way, and we are so glad you had a pleasant and enjoyable experience, and had time to relax.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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Shanghai
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

we came by car (be aware that a rental car has to be 4WD to drive on unsealed roads) from kings canyon. accomodation is very basic. they have a good restaurant in the evening though. plenty of nice walks that you can do from the resort. staff is untrained though and have little clue about the surroundings and cant give you real tips on what to do or what tour might take how much time.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear RolandShanghai

thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are glad you enjoyed your stay, and thanks for the feedback about the poor information you were able to get about the walks etc

We do have a lot of short term staff, but we try hard to teach them as much as possible about the area so they can help and advise visitors.
You were unlucky not to find someone who could advise you. Looking back to September we had quite a number of well informed staff during that time, but perhaps you asked someone who had only just commenced working with us.
We also train our staff to seek out the answers to guest questions if they do not have an answer yourself.
We will continue to try and improve our information service
Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien
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Canberra, Australia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Arriving at Glen Helen Gorge was fantastic in that directly behind the resort was a beautiful rocky cliff and to the left the Gorge.
Not five star but worth the visit. Take your credit card as all items are a little rich but that’s what you pay for when there are no supermarkets. Rooms are varied, we had the Gorge view and worth the experience.
We were even treated to a special visitor later that morning, a small baby Simpson Python at the front door. Certainly got my wife excited, the resort staff too in relocating it from the front door.
Getting up early in the morning 0430AM allowed us to see the beautiful sunrise on the West MacDonnell Ranges and worth every bit of lost sleep.
Great drive there as you get to call into several iconic sites that may be visited either on the way or the return journey too.
Most important tip, take plenty of drinking water, you'll need it.

Room Tip: Get the room with a view, worth the cost.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Dear Obanini1

thanks very much for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are really pleased that you enjoyed your stay, and even got to interact with some of our unique wildlife!!

We try hard to keep our pricing fair, and regularly do price comparisons all over the country when we travel ourselves. Because of this I know we are cheaper than many Roadhouses and outback Resorts and hotels, and our bar prices compare well to city prices.

Certainly our accomodation prices cannot be compared to places whose power, water and sewage are magically processed on the payment of a monthly bill! But we know we compare well to other remote accomodation properties that do all their own utilities as we do.

It is incredibly expensive to operate out here, managing all our own power, water and waste, and so we cannot discount as some regional and metropolitan places do. Our freight out here from Alice Springs is very dear too, and we do try to support local businesses in Alice Springs for our goods.

So thanks for your thoughtful comments, and we hope we can welcome you again at Glen Helen Soon.
Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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Alice Springs
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

What works really well for Glen Helen is this: Location, Location! The property is located at the end of the bitumen road from Alice Springs through the Western MacDonnell Ranges on Namatjira Drive. There is a picturesque and swimmable waterhole at the back, which makes for a nice cool down at the end of a Centralian summer's day. However, all of this is natural beauty and really can't be credited to the homestead. The rooms are only equipped with the bare minimum, old bedspreads, no entertainment (eg music, tv) and are very small. The bathrooms are also very old and look like they are in dire need of renovations.
At $160.- the price is shockingly steep for what you get.
We had dinner at the restaurant, which was average.
There is a bar with a pool table and some old memorabilia, which makes for a nice homestead feel.
At 11pm some staff dragged their boombox to the pool for a party and where completely ignorant towards all guest that came out bush to experience some tranquillity in the middle of nowhere...Overall loved out bush but was a bit disappointed by the experience.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the gorge - they cost the same and have wonderful views. If you want to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Dunja G

thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are always grateful for feedback.

Firstly I must reassure you that the noisy Pool party was not our staff! Although we have been away for some time in November, I can be sure that the staff will not ever cause a disruption such as you experienced in a guest area. They sometimes have a party evening and they know they must keep this fairly subdued and in their own area.
On asking all staff about this incident, they can only suggest that there were a couple of noisy groups of young people that had to be spoken to in an evening, and one group did have a portable music system. These guests were campers and had already been asked to leave the area in front of the homestead because they were noisy!!
There was also a noisy guest incident on 10th November that we were aware of and believed we had apologised to all our guests from that night, so if that was when you were here, I am sorry we missed speaking to you personally.
So I am really sorry you were disturbed, as it is not acceptable. The pool is totally out of bounds after 10pm anyway.
Also, next time you plan a trip out our way, let staff know you are locals when you book, and we can offer you some local specials. We try to reward local support. Our costs are high, operating as we do so remotely, and we try to let guests know that the rooms are very simple, but we offer great service and atmosphere, and that is what makes us special. Room renovations are needed, we know. As leasehold owners we have only so much we can spend on this.

Finally, I am sorry your meal experience was only 'average', as most people are delighted with our restaurant, which has won dining awards this season. Perhaps you came on the Chef's night off, and had the simple bistro lunch menu, not our A La Carte selection.
We hope you will come out and have another try to enjoy our hospitality

Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien
Manager
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Alice Springs, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Being" locals" we have visited & stayed at the lodge Glen Helen since the 80's, but unfortunatley our recent overnight stay was not good at all, or worthy of the price ( even tho, we did get local prices...) Bed & pillows were very hard, & not comfortable at all, bathroom was dirty, shower was very dangerous, going from cold to boiling hot, and stopping completely while hubby was trying to shower........lady at reception was very confused ( I expect she was new ) it took ages just to check out!! The scenery and the beauty of the area is still as magnificent, it was just unfortunate, that the accomodation was very sub standard.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Front Office Manager at Glen Helen Resort, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review Glen Helen Resort.

We are always sorry to hear when someone has not enjoyed a stay with us but endeavor to use this feedback to improve the property.

It has been brought to our attention of late that in some rooms the cold water pressure is not matching that of the hot water, this issue does occasionally come up but we do always try to advise guests how to best operate the taps to get a good mix of both. I apologise if this information was not relayed to you.

As a remote property we do rely on a lot of international backpackers for staff, we consider this a mutually beneficial arrangement as it gives the resort a constant supply of new and enthusiastic employees which is often an issue in other remote properties. It also gives young travelers the opportunity to gain new skills and build confidence in the English language. Glen Helen relies on a strong management team to support new staff and ensure guests are not inconvenienced by the learning process, unfortunately it appears that all of these managers were otherwise engaged at the time of your check out which is something we try to avoid.

Regarding our rooms, we make every effort to advise guests that we are not a luxury property and sell based on the merits of customer service, location and cleanliness but we do have a constant battle with limescale build up caused by the hard bore water in the area. We do make every effort to remove all build up but in some cases this is just impossible. Again we do try to explain this to guests on arrival to avoid any confusion.

Once again, I am very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay as much as you had in the past but do hope that you will continue to enjoy this fantastic area in the future.

Kind Regards
Stacey Hosking
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Additional Information about Glen Helen Resort

Address: Namatjira Drive | West MacDonnell Ranges, via, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory 0871, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > West MacDonnell National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in West MacDonnell National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Glen Helen Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, previously known as Glen Helen Resort is a Lodge style property with simple, compact and comfortable rooms, great scenic location and old fashioned welcome and outback atmosphere.We are renowned for great personal service, great dining in our Restaurant and great live entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glen Helen Resort Australia/West MacDonnell National Park

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