We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Better than expected” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save
You added Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort to your Saves list
Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Yulara Drive | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
Stay 5 Pay 3
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Brigadoon, Australia
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Better than expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

After reading some reviews here we were apprehensive about what we would find at this resort, given that all properties are owned by the same company - so there is no option to go elsewhere. In the event, it was just fine. Clearly there have been negative issues while Sails has been undergoing renovation. There are still construction workers here, and the problem with limited car spaces is still evident as most of the carpark is used to store construction materials, and construction workers’ vehicles take up many spaces in what remains. Since most guests probably do not drive here I assume that would not be of great concern. We hired a car, and having a car at Yulara gives you tremendous flexibility to see the area at your own pace. Otherwise you are reliant on tours or the paid shuttle bus.
Sails is the most expensive of all the accommodation offerings here and is considered a five star resort. The rooms have apparently now all been renovated, and the restaurants recently reopened. Our room was attractive with a comfortable bed, though we thought the A/C was not particularly efficient. The new décor has design touches appropriate to the area, indigenous art and a carpet which echoes the landscape outside. Although, for a recently renovated room, we did not expect to find mould in the shower grouting. Also, this is a sandy area and I understand that means red dust, but the balcony and chair cushions had not been recently swept. As both restaurants had only just opened, it is probably unfair to judge them as yet, except in a general way. We tried both restaurants – the a la carte restaurant (Mayu) is aiming for a fine dining concept, with big-city prices to match. (Ask to see a menu to decide if it is for you.). Service was very slow, with an extremely long wait between courses - probably not the best choice if you have an early start the next day to see the sunrise over Uluru. Or are hungry. We also ate at the less expensive buffet restaurant (Ilkari) for breakfast and dinner. While not a fan of buffets, this one was very pleasant with a good range of choices and some items cooked to order. (Dinner $AUD 65 per person, breakfast $AUD 37 per person. Additionally, there is a 1% surcharge for use of credit cards at the resort.) There is also a bar which apparently serves light snacks but we did not try this, or the pool bar. You can of course walk to other less expensive dining options in the resort complex. Service is friendly throughout the resort, if not always efficient. I would rate this property as three and a half stars, but because of the friendly service have settled on four. As for Uluru and the general area, it is as stunning as anticipated – even more so. Prices are very high here because of the remote location, but it is a unique destination.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

1,266 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    342
    473
    297
    97
    57
See reviews for
265
620
48
24
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 (271)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

As many other reviews have noted, beggars can't be choosers when it comes to Ayres Rock. The Resort at Yulara is pretty much the only game in town, and to be honest given its proximity to the airport, the Rock and the Olgas, you really can't complain.
That said, we enjoyed our three nights at this hotel. Fortunately the renovations were pretty much done so we weren't impacted at all. In fact, the main eating area had its opening day on our first night there. Yes, the food and drink at the hotel is a bit pricier than normal (middle of the desert!) but it's not outrageous and you know what you're getting into beforehand. The food itself was quite good, I thought.
The rooms were comfortable - we had one of the terrace rooms which had an outdoor area with tables and chairs. A potential improvement might be to provide some sort of shade - you couldn't sit there in the full sun of the day.
The service at the hotel was also quite good. Check in and check out were painless. I was also pleased there seemed to be a degree of integration with the local tour providers - the timings on our tours were confirmed by the helpful staff member upon checkin (we had multiple tours booked, sunrise, sunset, olgas, and sounds of silence dinner).
We also enjoyed laying around the pool area when we had a bit of downtime.
This was a decent stay in a really good location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

It took a lifetime to get here, but we've finally made it to Ayers Rock, having flown around it, because there is a ban on flying in the airspace above it. A truely awesome experience made all the more pleasant, by a three night stay at Sails in the Desert resort, an oasis in the outback of Australia.
Excellent accommodation overlooking the pool, high quality food and beverage in the middle of nowhere, plus high terrific staff and superb service.
This is the best accomodation at Ayers Rock, yet still very reasonable on a Virgin Airlines package deal. We were able to watch local aboriginal artists at work, selecting unfinished canvesses and then returning to collect them later in the day, when dry.Lovely people!
Sightseeing is inexpensive, with really professional driver/guides. Hotel staff are very helpful when providing advice and a credit to the management. Other accommodation varies at the different hotels and a caravan park all catering for different tastes. We plan tol return to Sails in 2013.
.

Room Tip: Upper level room with a terrace overlooking the pool
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
West Midlands
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

We had 2 nights at Sails in the Desert on our recent honeymoon to Austrailia. Of the 3 we had booked in various parts on the country for our 3 week trip, based on recent reviews I was concerned that Sails in but Desert would be a major disappointment but we were very pleasantly suprised and thoroughly impressed! We were greeted at the airport by a complimentary coach to the hotel and on arrival given welcome drinks. A nice touch whilst waiting to check in. The refurbishment had been completed in full prior to our arrival and the reception, lobby, restaurant and bar area were all impressive, with lovely furishings and creating a large, light and comfortable space. We walked through the complex to our room and were slightly concerned about the stairwell, which looked very dated but we appreciated that we were in the middle of the desert in an outside space, so clearly this impacts on the comestics for these areas. Our bags were taken to our room for us and we were thrilled to find a bottle of sparkling wine along with a lovely note congratulating us on our recent wedding and welcoming us to our honeymoon. The only hotel of the 3 to do this! We were also pleased to have been allocated a room with a large balcony. The rooms are well equipped, large and spacious with reasonable mini bar prices and everything we would have anticipated for a hotel of this star rating. We headed down to dinner and decided for ease to dine in the hotel. Yes it was pricey but no more than we had paid for dinner in Sydney. It was a wonderful buffet selection including excellent seafood and an array of choice, quality food and an excellent choice of wine. There was a lovely atmosphere in the dining room, with a lounge singer performing. Breakfast was also a wide and varied buffet with items cooked by chefs to your liking if you wished. Breakfast was very expensive so we decided to eat in the town the following morning, but was nice for a treat for a lazy morning. There was complimentary wifi in the main areas of the hotel which was an added bonus and all encounters with employees was positive with them all being very helpful. The pool is a real feature of the hotel and really was an oasis in the desert. Having read the poor reviews of this hotel, I cant help but note that these negative comments are in the main relative to the refurbishment. Having arrived following completion I can honestly highly recommend this hotel to all. Throughout the resort Sails in the Desert certainly looked the nicest and having stayed there cannot fault it! Enjoy.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Danville, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

To get a sense about our experience/opinions: We are San Francisco bay area residents & have traveled internationally intermittently. This was our first time in Australia. We have also camped in many locations in California- so are used to a variety of camping and hotel levels. We stayed at Ayres Rock Resort in early November.

This is a great hotel at this resort. Staff friendly and helpful. Try to book a room that includes the full buffet breakfast, as this can be an expensive meal. You can spend less for other meals at the other dining options in the resort. You can also request a "packable breakfast" for the sunrise tour, which only provides coffee/tea, and a biscuit (prepackaged cookies).

About visiting Ayres Rock resort: Sails in the Desert where we stayed is one of 3 hotels and a campground (caravan) at this destination location. There is no city or other option in this area. The staff of the resort live on location. The location is "dry" - wine, beer and liquor only provided at the resort. One of the bars is a "bottle shop" where you can buy beer and wine at a high price (much less than what the individual hotels charge).

You will be met at the airport by the bus that takes you to the Ayres Rock Resort. There are scheduled airport pick ups and drop offs based on the few flights that come in daily. The shuttle bus within the resort runs from about 10:30 am to around 6:30 pm. The walk to different hotels is easy - but unpleasant in warm weather. We never heard about the amount of flies in the "Outback". They do not bite but are constantly swarming you. We learned the "Australian wave" (batting at flies). This made sitting on the lovely hotel room balcony and lounging at the pool less than pleasant. Do purchase the face nets that can go under your hat.

Recommend that you set up a car rental well before you plan to stay there. All commercial tours to Ayres Rock charge a separate fee of $25.00 per person to visit the park (believe this pass is for 3 days). If you have a car, you can go to Ayers Rock at anytime. We booked a "Sunrise Tour" which leaves at 4:30 am. The tour guides do provide a lot of great details about the wildlife, history, etc. However, if the weather is clear - the sunset tour provides a more colorful view of the "Rocks". By renting a car, you are not subject to the weather at the time of the scheduled tours and can come and go as you please.

You can easily plan a one day trip to this area. Get there by mid afternoon, pick up your rental car, check in to the hotel and go to the park for the sunset with your camera. You can get in the sunset and next day sunrise photo ops and leave on a midday flight. Have fun!

Room Tip: There are ongoing renovations to the hotel. We were near the renovation area and did not find it no...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Congleton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Feel almost apologetic about writing a review of a work in progress. we were warned before leaving home that the Spa would not be fully functioning, and that proved to be correct. However, while we were there, the only place to eat on site was the pool bar and though the staff were attentive and cheerful, it wasn't quite the culinary experience we might have hope for. When complete (no-one could actually tell us when that will be), it will be a very nice place and looks to be worth its billing, but not quite there in Oct 2012.
There were many positives. Rooms fine and comfortable, with 2 double beds in situ. Views from the look-outs were stunning. Pool and surrounds excellent and well maintained. Only a short walk to the village centre which offered a wider variety of food, gifts, post office and the like.
Inevitably, trips to the Rock are essential and worth the effort of an early or late visit.
There was a minor adjustment to the bill to cater for the lack of completeion, but would have liked to have been told in advance.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

After saving and planning this stay for a week we where looking forward to spending my husbands birthday at sails, on arrival they couldn't find the booking! on arrival to the room discovered a dirty pair of underpants hanging over the shower rail, on advising the staff at the front desk, the undies disappeared quickly!! 2 days later questioned why we didn't recieve as much as an apology, the woman at the desk said she her self had been to the room and she couldn't find them! Wow! we had a black out at 4am trying to get dressed for a 4.30am tour, dressed by mobile phone light!! The lift worked 2 days out of 5! on a positive note the friendliest staff worked serving by the pool,really folks for the money try another place! loved all the tours and the drivers that we had.

Room Tip: check out the other hotels!! really!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, November 18, 2012
Dear Beverley B,

Thank you for your comments.

It was unsatisfactory to read the scenarios that occurred during the beginning of your stay as this is not what we envision our guests to experience and I do hope that you got to enjoy the complimentary bottle of champagne that was provided.

It was lovely to read that the hotel pool staff were friendly & accommodating and that you got to enjoy some of the unique tours available at Ayers Rock Resort.

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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, Booking.com, Priceline, Despegar.com, ACCOR, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sails In The Desert Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Sails In The Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.