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“You wish you had a choice” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort

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Sails in the Desert 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
Toronto
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“You wish you had a choice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Ayers rock is a unique place (there are perhaps, there are other landscape artifacts in the Australian desert but would probably need lots of water and a reliable all-road or two to get there). Since it's a unique place with relatively little infrastructure around, all conveniences are in a short supply and thus - expensive.
The hotel stays on the only resort property next to Ayers rock managed by Accor, and one has no choice but to stay in one of the hotels on the property and to use the facilities (restaurants, shops, entertainment, etc.). Having its captive audience, the management does not need to care.
Following this lengthy introduction, the hotel itself was undergoing major renovations when I was there. I think that it would be fair to the clients to close the property - the renovations were a significant nuisance. The service at the property is not better than OK, food establishments I had a chance to visit were quite poor but within the expectations given the fact the the place is in the middle of the desert and the captive audience. The design of the room was very nice, the room was large and comfortable but suffered from imperfections and shortcuts that somewhat spoiled the overall impression (such as poorly attached panels or the design of the tap in the bathroom that was make it use inconvenient (very little space to put hands under the tap).
The conclusion - if one goes to Yulara and decides to stay in a 3-4 star hotel, there's not much choice. Manage your expectations, enjoy the nature (practical advice - don't go to fancy places - the broiled chicken in the grocery will not be very different from a namesake Cordon Bleu in the local top a la carte restaurant).

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, October 7, 2012
Dear TheBeholder,

It is greatly appreciated that you have provided us with below comments so I in turn can discuss in depth your feedback with the managers at the hotel.

Firstly, I would like to express my regret with regards to the varied customer service that you received during your stay. As an entire resort we endeavour to ensure that all hotels and dining facilities provide the equivalent level of customer service and high standards during our guest’s entire stay.

I am also concerned to read your comments about the quality control of our newly refurbished suite and I can advise that since you have raised your concerns, I have brought this feedback to the attention of the hotel’s senior’s management to address accordingly.

It was great to hear that you enjoyed experiencing Uluru and the magic this unique area has to offer and I do hope that we can welcome you back to the hotel so you experience the newly refurbished hotel and facilities.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (205)
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Very expensive stay considering our rooms were mucked around and some of our party had to move rooms, we were a long way from reception, up several flights of stairs with no luggage assistance and after returning from a local bar were told room service was not happening, not for food or drinks.

Maybe with the renovations happening there were a few issues they had trouble dealing with but it really wasn't communicated until it was too late and we were left hungry.

On the plus side, they did understand this to some extent and comped the mini bar snacks from our bill and the staff were friendly enough.

Overall though I think you can get better value for money at some of the cheaper hotels as this was full price for half the experience.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, October 7, 2012
Dear GoAdam

It is greatly appreciated that you have provided us with your comments regarding your stay at Sails in the Desert Hotel.

Firstly, it was a delight to read that you enjoyed your stay in our newly refurbished hotel rooms. All the guest rooms at Sails in the Desert Hotel are now modern and have new furniture, curtains, linen, carpet, indigenous inspired artwork and 42 LCD TVs.

Also, I do apologise for the inconvenience with regards to the moving of your luggage and I can advise that I have spoken with the Front Office Manager to ensure that the Porters are readily available to assist our guests with their luggage requirements.

Once all the refurbishments have concluded within the hotel, restaurants, public areas and conference facilities I can assure you that staying at Sails in the Desert Hotel will be pleasurable experience.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Place is upside down and forget checking in if the Japanese tourists need water. Check-in takes 3 times longer because you can wait. No service whatsoever but they still give themselves 5 star rating. Stayed 10 mins and checked out

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, October 7, 2012
Dear Nadarad,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments on your recent stay.

It was disappointing to read your comments about the customer service that you experienced by our Reception on check in and these comments have been addressed with the hotel’s senior managers who in turn are currently implementing new training procedures to their departments.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We elected to spend the extra on staying at Sails in the desert whilst visiting Ayers Rock rather than one of the other hotels. Unfortunately as we pulled up outside Sails in the shuttle from the airport, the hotel drew laughs from the people on the bus who were going on to the camp site!! The majority of the hotel's reeption and restaurant areas were all undergoing major refurbishment. The room itself had already been refurbished and was very well appointed, but for some strange reason in a hotel with a pretty low occupancy rate, we were placed in a room that was as far away from reception as Uluru itself!! It would not have taken much effort for the staff to have placed us in one of the rooms overlooking the pool and pool bar rather than having to hike to and from our room. The biggest complaint with the hotel though would be the infrequent shuttles to the airport. Because there are no other options we were forced to take a bus to the airport over two hours before our flight- these are short domestic hops and so 45 mins prior to departure would have been more than sufficent and we could have made better use of the morning. Nonetheless- this is still a fantastic part of Australia to visit and Uluru is so much more than just a rock in the desert.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear dmichaelb,

It is greatly appreciated that you have provided us with below comments so I in turn can discuss in depth your feedback with the managers at the hotel.

Your comments surrounding the pick up time for your complimentary departure airport coach transfer to the airport will be discussed with our outsourced transport company, so in turn any applicable changes can be made.

It was great to hear that you enjoyed experiencing Uluru and the magic this unique area has to offer and I do hope that we can welcome you back to the hotel so you experience the newly refurbished hotel and facilities.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

We flew to Uluru for an enjoyable family long weekend break from Sydney.
Renovations at Sails were still underway but not a major inconvenience. The room was large and comfortable and the service friendly and helpful. The pool area was pleasant and once the new restaurant / bar areas are complete it should be even better.
However you don't come here for the hotel or the dining. The accomodation is expensive for what you get compared to a capital city hotel. Dining options are limited and for the most part average and expensive.
However if that is really important you have missed the point. This is a perfectly adequate base to get out and about and the best of what is available. I suggest you focus on where you are and
- hire a car. The resort complex is 20 minutes from the Rock and a car gives you the flexibility to explore. Walk around !
- do some of the "experiences" - we really enjoyed a sunset camel ride and a morning helicopter tour

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I've just come back from a 3 day stay at the Sails at Uluru and it was a great experience. We went over for a work gathering (about 100 of us altogether) and we could not have been more welcomed and looked after. The facilities were great and there was nothing really missing. The Hotel could have done with an "inside" eating area but there are plenty to chose from in the "town centre" which is about a 1 minute walk! The prices for food at the poolside bar/cafe weren't overly expensive - probably what I would expect to pay at a 5 star resort (so not real cheap!!) but there's other places to eat not far away if you want more variety. We had problems with our aircon blowing out hot air instead of cold but the reception staff and maintenance were straight onto it...nothing was a problem! It was a pity that the Beauty Day Spa was under renovation, however they had acquired a couple of guest rooms to do their treatments in so there was no real inconvenience but maybe not the same experience ....still...renovations are just one of those things that need doing and they have accommodated as best they can. All in all, I found our stay fantastic and would love to take the family back there so they can experience Uluru too.

Room Tip: We stayed on the second level where the balcony seemed bigger than that on other levels - it had 2 s...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

When saying in a 5 star hotel I would expect a restaurant in the hotel. No breakfast in hotel but had to go to town square where breakfast was supplied. There was only outdoor cafe/restaurant in the hotel and the food was disgusting. My wife ordered a Barramundi main course and got a small 100g fillet on a piece of baby bok choy, nothing else at all on the plate for $36. My toy poodle gets more than this for dinner. Front reception was closed due to renovation as were two dining rooms. Rooms were a long way from car park and no trolleys were available. There were workmen walking everywhere like a building site. Porters were available but even then they could not carry multiple items, therefore luggage trolleys are needed. The rooms were perfect and spotless as they should have been for $288 a night. Furthermore the room was a superior double queen suite and yet it only had one chair in the room. At check out billing was incorrect but it was rectified when I produced a copy of my internet booking price. Overall I would expect a lot more from a 5 star hotel with very high charges.

Room Tip: Make sure they have finished renovations or book at one of the other hotels in the resort.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear MLKComputers,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your recent stay at Sails in the Desert Hotel.

As we work hard to make our 5 star Sails in the Desert hotel and Conference Centre even more inviting we have had to restrict certain public areas of the hotel from guest access and view, to ensure your safety whilst the hotel is undergoing an extensive refurbishment program.

Also, it is a further disappointment to hear that you experienced unsatisfactory food quality at our Pool Bar. Your comments are appreciated and the Executive Chef is currently working with his staff to improve the service standards at this outlet.

Within the coming months the completion of our new Interactive Style Restaurant within the hotel will occur, in which we will offer a sumptuous interactive show kitchen featuring traditional and international favourites that will be original, varied and generous.

Once all the refurbishments have concluded with in the restaurant, public areas and conference facilities I can assure you that staying at Sails in the Desert Hotel will be money well spent.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sails in the Desert 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 hotels in Yulara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort 5*
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 Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

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