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“great accommodation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kings Canyon Resort

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Kings Canyon Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Luritja Rd | Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory 0872, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kings Canyon
Belmont, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“great accommodation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

A policy should be made regarding smokers (a seperate area in rooms should be set aside).
reason when we checked in (a standard room ) all was well untill some one moved in 2 doors down a smoker, all there smoke came up into our room , We had to up grade into a spa suite (charged $120.00 fore 2 nights) that was fantastic great views,the main resturant was closed indefinitely not advised pre booking?The remaning 2 eating places were not a great variety selection ,and the steak we had at the bbq place were so expensive $36 &$38 ea steak and 3 potatoes only WowI know its the bush but come on .

Room Tip: Check out if there are smoke free areas
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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856 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Lake Macquarie, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

The Northern Territory is expensive and the more remote parts are VERY expensive. We stayed in the backpacker rooms, which were basic but adequate. Our room was full of mice, but there was a mouse plague across all of central Australia, caused by exceptional desert rains, and I guess the management can't be blamed for that! The bistro nearby provided an over-priced but pleasant meal, and we bought some of Australia's most expensive petrol ($2.15/litre) because it's the only fuel for a long way around. The Watarrka National Park is breathtakingly beautiful and Kings Canyon resort is a perfect illustration of supply and demand econonics - they're charging what the market will bear, and there is almost no competition. Next time, I'll investigate the possibilities of Kings Canyon Station, which has a pleasant roadhouse and seems to offer a small amount of accommodation.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Daniel_Boissevain, General Manager at Kings Canyon Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2011
HI Jenny, thank you for taking time to write a review, Yes things are very expensive in Northern Territory, it happens to have a trasnport and logistics issue with only being able to draw supplies from far north (Darwin) and far south (Adelaide) which in it self, is an amazing challenge, having said that, we have 75 staff that all work very hard trying to deliver an amazing product given the challenging issues you've mentioned, i am really proud of the results we deliver and the positive feedback we get from wonderful people just like you that take the time to stop and feel the beauty of the amazing ladscape and the cultural quality experieces which we are able to share. The Mouse palgue has all bare gone now that we are in mid Sept, the flowers are out and the country is bursting wityh new growth... please come back one day and smell the desert blooming !
Best Regards Daniel Boissevain (GM)
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sussex
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

Kings caynon is without a doubt, one of the must see places in Australia, sadly the owners of the resort know this, and so have to make little effort to make your stay here the best it could be. Our room was pleasant enough, and there was a pool close by which we needed after our walk in the canyon. However the resterauant was closed, and the alternative choice was not good, I ended up eating fillet steak with bubble and squeak, not a great mix. The shop had little to offer apart from a good fly repellant. We skipped breakfast here and moved on, pull your socks up guys, please.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Daniel_Boissevain, General Manager at Kings Canyon Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2011
G'Day from the Desert... really pleased you had the chance to experience the most unique landscape and enjoyed the Room and plesant Pool after your walk, yes you are right in the fact that we face many challenges trying to deliver an amazing product and associated services, especially given the fact we're so far from any one major metro distribution or supply city, most people think, if you run out of something, we'll just go down town, and replanish your suplies, this is not so for us, we need to order in from 1800 km away and only get one delivery a week and budgeting for high and low seasonal occupancies, is a major issue, however i am really proud of the wonderful job my Staff do in order to conquer these issues, when we share this with City folk, they are dazzled by the challenge er face, thanks again for taking time to share with other guets just how awesome this place really is, Well done !
Best Regards Daniel Boissevain (GM)
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

I was very disappointed by our stay at this resort. Our room was very basic and very expensive - not a good combination. Worse, the room also had a bad odor. To the credit of reception staff, they did offer to change it, but we were tired and couldn't be bothered.

When I say that the room was basic. It had an old TV, a kettle, some tea bags, coffee sachets and a small fridge. The 'airconditioning' was preset for winter, so you could only have warm air, despite it being a very warm night. The resort did have internet access, but only if you are willing to pay $10 for one hour or $25 for a 24 hour period.

Food options were also expensive and basic. I really think that it's experiences such as these that deter people from travelling inside Australia. These are important destinations, that are spoiled by poor management whose sole intent is to make money. It is much less expensive to travel overseas and what is offered to the visitor in Asia and Europe far better (at least at these prices). It is no good for the people who run this resort to argue that it's remoteness is a reason for their prices and poor quality. They just need to start thinking about the guests.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Daniel_Boissevain, General Manager at Kings Canyon Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2011
Hello, thanks for the review, yes we have some struggles with an occasional smell coming from the water drains and water pipes, it's because of the mineral in the water, it comes from up to 500 meters below ground, also treated and processed in order to meet a high standard for human consumption (goverment body...supplied and treated), we also have a managment policy which states we don't wish to add heavy chemicals down (our own) sewerage treatment plant, further adding to the health of the delicate environment here in the desert. sure you understand, our staff do a great job given the challenges we all face, i have always stated it would be great if every Australian could spend a month or two living and working in these issolated regions, everyone one that has the chance to spend a few weeks out here all share the same message, slow down and feel the beauty this plave has to offer...
Thanks again for you time and feedback Best Regards Daniel Boissevain (GM)
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Travelers are raving about these Kings Canyon hotels

Taunton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

There's not much of a choice of places to stay at Kings Canyon, but this would be a good choice anywhere. We chose a spa room, and it was well worth the extra: the spa bath looks out over a beautiful rocky outcrop with native wildflowers, and it was wonderful to return to the room and relax in the spa after a hard day's hiking.

The room was large and very comfortable, with a large sofa as well as two dining chairs. The shower was excellent, too, and the king size bed was comfortable. There is a good walking trail around the edge of the resort. The small verandah outside the room was a great place to sit: we saw a grey falcon and flocks of zebra and painted finches from there, as well as a massive 1.5 metre perentie (a huge goanna).

So far so good. Some small criticisms, though. The staff were friendly, but not entirely on the ball. The resort's website has a section on birdwatching, saying "Simply go to reception and pick up a copy of the ‘Birds of the Red Centre’ booklet". But the reception staff had no idea what we were talking about, and made no effort to find out. The website goes on to say "Along the way, we invite you to complete a ‘Record of Sighting Sheet’ for Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife. The sighting sheet is a record of all the different birds you have seen as well as any other fauna such as reptiles, dingoes, snakes, emus or camels you might come across." Great idea. But the staff knew nothing about that, either.

Carmichaels Restaurant was closed while we were there, so breakfast was at the Desert Oaks Bistro. There was no coffee machine - not good in a place of this calibre. Full breakfast was included in our room rate, but the staff were adamant that the only choice we were allowed from the menu was the bacon/sausage/egg/mushroom combo - not the pancakes, or scrambled eggs, even though these were actually cheaper. I can't see the logic of that at all.

This could very easily be a five-star place; the location and accommodation are a little let down at present by a lack of staff training and good coffee.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

OK, I have struggled big time coming up with a review for this resort as it is a bit of a mixed bag. So, I'll get it out straight away and say that ultimately, the place is in the middle of nowhere and so there are obvious challenges for the resort and they need to be given credit for doing the things that they do well. Therefore I've been lenient as we genuinely loved the accommodation and resort. However, the food is a massive problem.

We booked our 3 night stay via a special deal with a New Zealand based company and I think we got a pretty good price (NZ $179/night) as it included daily breakfast, the spa room and a bottle of bubbles on arrival. Danny on reception was very friendly and efficient. The room was much more than we'd expected - large, clean, big bathroom and the wonderful spa bath with views to a ridge where birds hop around all day and dingos visit at night (we didn't see any :-() There was no safe which we would have used and no mini bar supplies but then the onsite bar is fine so that was no big deal.

The resort is on a big campus and there's a nice walk all around the escarpment above it. There's a lovely sunset viewing platform which is also good for sunrise. There are loads of flowers and birds around the place and as a photographer, I liked this very much. We bought a nice book in the shop and the pass for the Merenee Loop Road towards Alice Springs. We topped up with petrol at the garage on site and it was not exhorbitantly priced.

The bar is in between the 2 dining facilities which were open (see later) - the Outback Barbecue and the Desert Oaks. In reality, the bar is better than its neighbours as the bar staff are great (especially Gregg) and food can be brought to you from other areas. In fact, the Desert Oaks was so full of coach parties that it was a necessity to eat at the bar most of the time. There are friendly pool competitions in the evening and we also watched the All Blacks beat the Wallabies at rugby which always makes for a good evening! Disappointingly, they had run out of bottles of bubbles and so we ended up with some other wine as a freebie which was not really very nice. However the local beer (NT Draught) was perfectly drinkable. We did not eat at the Outback Barbecue as there was nothing for vegetarians and the communal dining and smell of fat is not really our thing. Neither were the Roadies who provide entertainment every night apart from Friday. Thankfully, on Saturday they were rather subdued by the All Blacks but in full swing they provide quite a lot of noise and are quite intimidating (eg they drag you out of the audience to come and dress up, join in action songs and sing karaoke). SO, not our thing but we appreciate that others like this sort of thing.

OK, so now for the bad bit - the Desert Oaks is one of thw worst places we have dined at in our entire lives. I know that I will be told about the challenges of catering when supplies have to be brought in by road train once a week. I understand this. In fact, I have eaten in many much more remote locations having travelled around Southern Africa in the back of a truck for months on end. I have still not eaten anything as bad as the food on offer at the Desert Oaks. This is a place devoid of all ambience, almost like it has been sucked out of the place completely. It really is like a motorway service station and is often brimming over with coach parties. The staff members are generally young and from overseas and often lacking in English. Food has to be ordered at the counter and the queues can be horrendous with everything dissolving into chaos as the servers need to get to the counter past the queues. Then you pay for your food in advance so if you decide on a dessert afterwards, you have to queue again. The menu is extensive and the food expensive. This in itself was not a problem for us but I do resent paying such prices for food which is cold or over cooked or substituted for something else without my being told. This is a the sort of thing we encountered at EVERY meal at the DO. The eggs benedict was one of the most awful things I have had the misfortune to put into my mouth. The eggs had been poached in advance so were cold and hard and the hollandaise was (I think) mayo mixed with curry powder. The risotto had a (thick) layer of oil floating over it; the pizza was bizarre as it was cold but also soggy; the chips for the burger were also cold. On one morning bacon was substituted for sausages. Our breakfast was included but every day the young people serving had to check with their manager despite us having a card from Danny which clearly said we were entitled to full breakfast. On the first morning there was coffee but no cups and on enquiring about the cups, I was informed by an especially surly individual that they were in the dishwasher. There never were any cups that day so we had no drinks. I thought we could resort to the glasses for the juice but there were none of those either. Fortunately there were tea and coffee making facilities in the bedroom. The cooked breakfasts on the second and third days were better but on each of the 3 days the cold buffet was hopeless with very few supplies. Unfortunately, the bigger restaurant on site, Carmichaels, is seasonal and was not open. Perhaps the dining options are better when this is open and maybe the dining under the desert moon experience would have been nice if we had tried it (we didn't fancy it as it was right in the middle of the resort and not really out in the desert). Nonetheless, these factors are not reasons for Desert Oaks to be as bad as it was. We can laugh about it now but it was thoroughly depressing at the time.

Would we go back? Well, yes. The resort is lovely and the canyon well worth it. However, we would perhaps think about campervanning so we would have our own cooking facilities.

Room Tip: Pay extra and get a deluxe spa room
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Daniel_Boissevain, General Manager at Kings Canyon Resort, responded to this review, August 25, 2011
Hello and Thanks for your extensive review, really pleased you took the time to reply with such detail, we're pleased you had a great stay in our lovely deluxe spa room, and also great to hear you took the time to really tune into the bird life and took many pictures of this unique environment and ancient landscape, this is truly a wonderful place if only people would stay long enough (as you did) to fully get the feel for the place, we (that work here) simply adore the place and love providing you with everything you require. shame you had a ordinary food experience, the menu has been a constant work in progress and now with our new Exec Chef, i'm sure all that will change, please do come back and i look forward to catching up with you on your return trip. Thanks again for your review and your well written comments.
Best Regards Daniel Boissevain (GM)
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Tasmania
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

We stayed here two nights immediately after three nights at Uluru, so the comparison was fresh in our minds. We also stayed in a spa suite - which is the most modern of the motel-style accommodation units.

Kings Canyon Resort certainly isn't as grand and luxe as Ayers Rock Resort at Uluru, but nor does it get the number of visitors. But if you stop and think about where you are - how far from civilisation - this is a great place. The nearest town is Alice Springs and it's a day's drive away - and Alice is where? This place is quiet, clean and peaceful and it's in the middle of nowhere. It's a true oasis in the desert.

You can easily spend an entire day doing the Canyon rim walk and there are camel rides, helicopters and other walks as well. We even had parrots outside the door and a dingo walking up the road next day at breakfast.

Tourist numbers were down, so Carmichael's restaurant was closed so we ate one night in the bistro across the road and the second Under a Desert Moon. The bistro is OK, but Under a Desert Moon is a gem - much better than Sounds of Silence at Uluru.

Do yourself a favour: spend a night or two here after Uluru and get a spa suite. We loved it!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Daniel_Boissevain, General Manager at Kings Canyon Resort, responded to this review, August 25, 2011
Hi there, thank you muchly for such an awesome review, you guys rock ! the best part...you got the full impact of the Desert Oasis Resort feeling, that's why we all love working here !
it's an amazing place and for those that are like you... do the walk around the top of the canyon rim, eat at the Under Desert Moon, stay in a Deluxe Spa room and really engadged in the desert experience will naturally be effected by the gorgeous landscape out here, Thanks again and hope you keep tuning into those wonderful travel experiences that all await us.
Best Regards Daniel Boissevain (GM)
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Additional Information about Kings Canyon Resort

Address: Luritja Rd | Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory 0872, Australia
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > Kings Canyon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kings Canyon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kings Canyon Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 164
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Also Known As:
Kings Canyon Hotel Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon Lodge

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