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“Not a bad hotel, just depends on how much you pay!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

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Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Yulara Drive | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia   |  
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Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Scarborough, Australia
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Not a bad hotel, just depends on how much you pay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

We were lucky enought to get a CudoVoucher for $200 (AU) per night, which is about the right price for whatyou get. I certianly would not want to be paying the full price and if I had the review would be very different.

This hotel may have been a 5 star when it opened,but it is more like a 4 star by modern standards. Rooms are good with nice bathrooms and very clean. Beds are comfortable. We have a large balcony area but the furniture outside looked very tired and worn.

We didn't get a chance to use the pool. The reception staf were always polite and very helpfull, as wewe all other hotel staff we encoutered.

The onsite restaurant is very pricy, you are a captive audience and they know it. Bar food is proabaly the most economical and drink prices weren't too bad.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,258 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (270)
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Sale, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

From ayers rock airpot we were picked up by a shuttle bus that took us to our respective hotels...i was amazed by the cleanliness of the room, although the tv set was a bit outdated considering this is a 5 star hotel...don't carry so much toiletries except of course your personal ones, everything's provided & replenished everyday...still check if everything is there coz we ended up helping ourselves in the stockroom. Our 7 night- stay was well worth it...
all tours booked met beyond our expectations, day one we did Uluru Sunrise & Guided cultural walk -one tip pls bring w/ u ur tripod it's more convenient than asking everyone to take a photo of u all the time, 2nd day was the Olgas(kata Tjuta), 3rd day dot painting- we kept our paintings as souvenir & it's great to see them now in frames , 4th day sounds of silence very impressive,food was great & ppl friendly. 5th day Mt Conner 4WD tour, u get to see lake swanson @ curtin springs, one of many ancient salt lakes & last day was our camel tour - they had their own photographer who takes all the photos & put them in a disc for only 35$ go for that pictures were professionally done & great view, the rest of the day we went to souvenir shops- had a free ride in their shuttle bus & saw more of the place before heading home ...we opted to have one tour each day well, this holiday was designed to be a more relaxing one, not being rushed by time.
I recommend the outback pioneer barbeque , 'twas a very good experience something different well, it's not common that u get to grill ur own meat to ur liking & most of all meet other travellers. I suggest you do ur research & read reviews, that's the only way you will be directed to the right choice. all staff were kind & helpful. However, everything in this part of the earth is expensive expect that since it's a desert & everything has to be shifted here.it's the best time of the year to visit this place -less heat & less flies-i didn't get the chance of using my fly spray although it was in my backpack most of the time. Cool mornings & evenings but warm during the day. All the best to the readers who wanted to explore this place- It will never disappoint you.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tasmania
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

Sails is getting a bit long in the tooth, but is still probably the best of the hotels in the circle around the resort area. It's a real '80s time warp when you first walk into the huge, spacious foyerand it probably hasn't changed much since it was a brand-new 5-star hotel 20 years ago.

We had a spacious top-floor spa suite with its own balcony overlooking the big pool. This is a real oasis and at least the trees have benefitted from the 20 years since construction. While the room decor was a little tired, it was spacious and clean.

The service deserves a special mention. We had a minor problem with the plug in our spa, so it didn't hold water. A timely complaint to reception the next day resulted in SIX people turning up to solve the problem!, a bottle of bubbly and $100 off the room rate. What can I say?

I think Sails is due for a makeover, but it's still the best available and is good value on a three night deal. This is the place to stay.

Room Tip: Choose a spa suite.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

Whilst I have no doubt Sails in the Desert was on par with other 5-star hotels around 20 years ago when it opened, it's clear lack of investment since has taken its toll. If it wasn't for its location and lack of competition that affords, it would have closed down long ago given its very pricey nightly rate.

The Room:

- The room was spacious, with large wardrobe and a very comfy bed with sheets changed daily (without the need to place a card on the bed instructing the maid to do so). Alas this is where the positives end. With the only window a patio door at the front, the room lacked natural light towards the rear. The room itself was dated, with furniture having seen better days, brass-colour fixtures, a CRT TV, and a fridge which was so frosted up it had a solid lump of ice taking up the entire ice box. See photos.

- The bathroom looked more recent than the bedroom, however tiles were dirty, the his & hers sinks had no plugs and there were none of the usual toilettres you'd associate with a 5-star hotel.

The Facilities:

- Reasonable sized swimming pool, restaurant, bar and public areas all showing age - generally tired 1990s appearance.

- I do however highly recommend the Spa; the hot stones massage was excellent - very relaxing.

The Service:

- The reception staff were excellent - friendly, helpful and informative.

The Food:

- We didn't dine at the hotel restaurant, opting for the nearby Town Square as an alternative. It was far more reasonably priced.

The Location:

- Situated within the large Ayers Rock Resort complex, you're a short distance to the major attractions and indeed the airport. Free hotel transfers are included in your rate.

In Summary:

Given the only more highly rated hotel at Ayers Rock is the exorbitantly priced Longitude 131 (around $1800 per night), your choices are limited. I appreciate the isolation of the resort necessitates the need for a location premium to be charged, however I do not believe the $580 per night rate can in any way be justified. Thankfully we had booked using Cudo vouchers, providing a rate of $199 per standard room per night. That was certainly more in the ball-park of a reasonable charge. In summary, fine for a few nights assuming you get a good deal and don't have your expectations set too high.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

I will firstly say we thought we received a good rate for the accommodation. I thought we had found a real bargain but we really just got what we paid for. We had a ground floor room which looked like it hadn't been used in a while. Both beds were missing castors which would have been uncomfortable if we had tried to sleep without them (these were fixed quickly though). Most of the bathroom was OK, the fittings were good quality but quite worn. The bath was mouldy. We actually asked for someone to come back and clean it twice and it still looked about the same. The staff were friendly and helpful but unfortunately we seem to need to call on them regularly.

The pool seemed OK but had quite a large number of swimming bugs that I have in the past associated with pool that are unclean.

The walk between the room and the carpark was quite long and I was surprised that no-one offered to help us with our bags on arrival.

I was very thankful for the shopping centre next to the Sails resort. We had great coffee and great meals at all the venues there, but did not eat at the resort itself.

It really seems like this place needs a revamp, I really wanted to like it but found it very hard.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Richmond, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

Ayer’s Rock was a wonderful experience for us. Seeing Kata Jtuta and Uluru was amazing. We had a great guide (different review: SEDI Experience) and learned a lot about the culture, people and area. We stayed at Sails in the Desert and it was so-so. We were not assigned the room we booked and had to be moved. The new room could use a good cleaning, updating, and light bulb changes. The air conditioner worked wonderfully, which was super nice! The bed was very low and the sheets were so stiff (not from ironing) that it was like sleeping on paper. The food on site was okay, but terribly expensive.

We went to the grocery store onsite and were shocked to be charged for a bag to carry our groceries back to our room. The prices were through the roof. Had I known about the bag charge, I would have taken my own (as I do at home), we had one in the suitcase.

The front desk staff was either really on and very helpful or completely useless. One person was able to help with internet access as my husband had to continue working while we were vacationing. The internet was not as described from a pricing perspective, and we were kicked off line several times without being able to log out, thus ticking our minutes away. (I know internet in the desert can be sketchy, but if it’s advertised as high-speed wireless, then it should be.)

If I had it to do again, I would get there, do the tours and leave without staying overnight if I could help it. Not impressed at all with the accommodations or food.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011 via mobile

Having done a lot of Tripadvisor research befor I left, I was expecting a Travelodge with insects. I'm glad to see that more recent reviews are more appreciative of this place, which is really rather lovely. I agree it's not a 5 star in the way that a Mandarin Oriental is, but it's elegant and spacious, provides everything you need, and if luxury is all you want, then what are you doing in the Outback?

A few tips:
If you order from the kids' menu, be sure to ask for no pepper! Fish and chips came thickly pepper-crusted, and the pizza had a heavy sprinkling of crushed peppercorns. We had to send them back. The waitress apologised and said she was constantly having to tell the chefs not to put pepper on children's meals, but they don't listen as they are from India and this is what they cook back home, and so this happens all the time.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Address: Yulara Drive | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > Yulara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 232
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In Australia's Red Centre, the five star Sails in the Desert hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru's raw natural beauty with a decidedly luxurious outback holiday experience. Soaring white sails crown Ayers Rock Resort's Sails in the Desert hotel, shading 228 luxury five star rooms and suites. Discover the passion behind Aboriginal art at Sails in the Desert's Mulgara Gallery. Then be lulled into complete relaxation by one of the Red Ochre Spa's package treatments. Sails in the Desert hotel features an expansive gumtree lined heated swimming pool and a diversity of modern dining, bar and lounge options. Choose Sails in the Desert for an outback holiday with a unique style and modern luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sails In The Desert Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Sails In The Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

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