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“Amazing Red Centre Experience” 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
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Amazing Red Centre Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

A friend and I decided last minute to travel to Yulara to see Uluru on the long weekend in June. It was an amazing experience. The Sails is an outstanding resort. The rooms were comfortable, clean and well appointed. The service was friendly and consistent. The pool was perfect for an early morning swim even though it was freezing out. We shared the Sounds of Silence and Desert Awakenings experiences. Its exy but you only live once and it was well worth every cent. My father always told me"See your own country first" I wish that I had done this years ago.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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1,257 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
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Luxembourg
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We spent two days at the Sails in the Desert, and experienced a very well organized hotel, a smiling and helpful staff, in particular a front desk resource named Silvia was really great in warming us and giving hints and advices, and a well kept facility.
We also had breakfast, dinners and lunches at the Walpa restaurant: the breakfast was outstanding and quality of food, menu and wines selections were all very good, we really enjoy it.
It was a memorable stay for us.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights in a Terrace room (2 standard doubles with a balcony on the ground floor facing the road) and the rooms were exactly as shown online. So that wasn't disappointing. It was very clean, comfortable and contemporary with multiple Pay TV channels (no Fox channels).

This hotel is probably the only 5* hotel in the resort and the lobby and restaurant lives up to that standard. The buffet breakfast (included in my booking) and dinner ($65pp) were excellent. The breakfast had the usual continental and hot breakfast, asian breakfast selection, as well as a Chef cooking French toast, pancakes, ommelettes, hash browns on request. The dinner had good variety of food and desert, as well as a Chef cooking, barramundi, lamb cutlets, Pad Thai on request.

The customer service was superb and I highly recommend this hotel to travelers who like to travel in style, prefers good beds, food and the lot.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Although this resort is the most expensive of the cluster it is quite lovely. Beautifully decorated, huge rooms and all the extras you could want. A disappointment was that the best restaurant was closed due to the hotel being so quiet. Such a shame, however the restaurant at nearby Desert Gardens was very good. Well situated close to the town square and shops you can either walk or take the shuttle. The shopping centre offers less expensive food options and the shops provide pretty much all you need including tourist info, ATM's, supermarket, newsagent and close by a great little art gallery. Of course the remote location mean costs are high but I can't help but think if this resort was slightly less expensive then you would stay longer and spend more money while here. Some innovative marketing needs to happen as the resort was quite empty and that will not lead to long term viability. A few things to suggest would be, add to the toiletries, make sure staff know how to make an espresso, have some extras like small cookies with coffee, include a small shop with drinks, snacks and newspapers available and encourage staff to look pleased to be there. This resort should be buzzing but it just lacks the "special" feel you expect at the price. I would still recommend it to those wanting more luxury than the neighbouring hotels.

Room Tip: We loved our ground floor room quite close to the pool - the gardens are lovely
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

I decided to book the Sails in the Desert with the Discover Uluru 2-night special and it was a good decision. The hotel is very modern and the room is very spacious and clean. Our room was on the 2nd floor with a terrace facing the pool. It was too cold to enjoy the pool during our stay. The condition of the hotel looks much better than the other choices in the resort.

The breakfast was included in the package and the selection was good. For other meals, we tried Gecko's Cafe in the town center, Arnguli Restaurant at the Desert Gardens Hotel and dinner buffet at the Ilkari Restaurant. The dinner buffet was $65 PP. I thought it was a bit overpriced. the other two restaurants were quite nice.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This hotel — the star of the entire Yulara resort — has just had a $30 million-plus upgrade that apparently went over budget. That said, there are still areas of the hotel which could do with upgrading. While the interiors of the spacious rooms (we stayed in a terrace room, number 221) are well-appointed, we likened the external appearance of the various buildings in which the rooms are housed to a 1980s university college dorm: it's all bagged blockwork walls, stained and chipped paving, curved metalwork awnings, and daggy 80s-style round wall lights. So on arrival at the hotel, our hearts sank as we negotiated our way through the dim and slightly depressing passageways by ourselves. Our first room (number 262) was in a noisy location near a liftwell, and the voices of fellow travellers echoed loudly outside. Luckily our television didn't work properly and so we were moved to another room with a much nicer outlook. We were fortunate not to have anyone staying in the room next door for the first three nights as conversations could be clearly heard through the interconnecting door.
Strangely, the a la carte restaurant Mayu was closed while we were there (the only reason we were given was that it was a 'seasonal closure'). Breakfasts in the adjacent Ilkari were great, but the all-you-can-eat 'interactive buffet' dinner there unfortunately encourages gluttony — we were seated next to two people who worked their way through five main courses each and then managed to polish off dessert.
The lovely new spa building next to reception offers an extensive range of treatments which are expensive, but the quality and service we enjoyed there was exceptional. The grounds are well kept, though a resident rabbit living in one section of the garden wasn't the kind of fauna we were hoping/expecting to see.
One thing to remember about this hotel, and the entire Yulara resort, is that it's a long way from anywhere, so prices are going to be high as everything has to be freighted in. Attracting good staff who stay for a while is also an ongoing issue for the management. The majority of the staff were young, and while most were helpful, there was a lack of professionalism at times.
One activity we would highly recommend is the Tali Wiru dinner — which is run by the exclusive Longitude 131 resort which is situated about 5kms from Yulara. It was a memorable evening, with superb food and wine, including French champagne, served in a remote and breathtakingly beautiful location. (Two of the photos below are views from dune where Tali Wiru takes place.)

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room, away from lifts and stairwells, and without interconnecting doors if you want...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Coast, NSW
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

Great atmosphere, professional & friendly service. Glad we included the buffet breakfast each day.
Disappointed on the cleanliness of our room. Can't believe all the food trays left out the front of rooms for over 24hours. Couldn't ask for better service from all staff.
Great having a shuttle bus that takes you everywhere around the resort, even though you can walk it.
Highly recommend Outback Pioneer for dinners.
IGA to buy your lunches whilst traveling around. We hired a car & was well worth it so we could do our own thing.
A holiday in four days that was long enough & truly enjoyed.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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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