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“Kind of creepy at night” 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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Stay 5 Pay 3
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Kind of creepy at night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2009

This is a good hotel for it's location which is far out in the center of Australia. There is not much else to do but go to the rocks, and lounge by the pool. They have shopping centers and gift shops, and the staff at all of these places go out of their way to make sure you have a good time. Uhluru at sunset is amazing, I recommend it. The one thing is that late at night the lighting, while adequate gives the place a 70's era horror movie feel. I halfway expected to see a horde of zombies coming around the corner like a scene from Undead. Other than that, the artists were friendly and the staff made you feel very welcome.

Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
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1,266 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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NY NY
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2009

The visit to Uluru and the Olgas is fabulous, but don't expect any five-star experience at Sails. It is in major need of room/lobby/garden refurbishment and a slightly stronger AC unit. The staff is young and enthusiastic, but not terribly well-informed and, sometimes, not there!

The tours are fine and informed, but you could also rent a car and easily do "it" youselfat your own pace, especially if you want to do long walks. Dinner at their special restaurant was nice, but extremely expensive.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

the same 3/4 empty ketchup cup sat in one of the walkways for our entire 2.5 days stay. the rooms are dated. the carpet is smelly and the shower curtain is moldy, at best. we didn't visit the other properties but from the outside it did look like sails was the best of the lot. i appreciate that we were in the middle of the desert. but don't describe the hotel as 5 star when in reality it is barely a 2 star motel. and the prices? so outrageously overpriced...but they have you. as our guide said, obnoxiously i may add, "you tourists are a captive audience. we can get anything we charge. you have no where else to go." and that is the truth. upon arrival in ayers rock, the transfer driver informed us that a number of the world's most deadly reptiles reside in ayers rock. "be aware not afraid" is what he said. hmmmm....not so reassuring! and the flies...get a flynet and wear it over your face. otherwise, when you open your mouth to speak, flies will fly into your mouth. when i was startled the first time this happened, our guide replied "yeah, americans don't like the flies." well, excuse me! just which nationalities enjoy flies flying into their mouths? my best advice i could give you is...buy the postcards. save yourself thousands of dollars for a 2 night stay, overpriced and underperforming tours and robbery priced food and sodas. it's just not worth it. ps- the hotel staff was rude, too.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

Yes, Voyages have a monopoly on the Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, but what can you do - you don't have an option, so don't let it spoil a holiday.
A shuttle bus runs every 20 mins around the link road to the accommodation and amenities - Desert Gardens, Emu Walk Apts, Resort Shopping Centre, Lost Camel Hotel, Sails in the Desert, Campground, Outback Pioneer and goes to the Camel Farm (have to ask).
The Sails Hotel is fine, not 5 star, maybe edging to 4, but the accommodation was comfortable, check in was quick and the staff were helpful, pool is inviting, there is a reasonably priced Spa, the buffet breakfast was plentiful and there was a bath in the bathroom.
We paid AUD406 a night for two queen beds with a spa on the deck, booked direct with hotel. Included were free meals for children under 12 years at the Bough House buffet restaurant (Outback Pioneer Hotel) and the Arnguli Grill (Desert Gardens Hotel) which was a saving. The meals weren't low cost but the variety was good and you were able to try emu, kangaroo and crocodile along with the traditional offerings in the buffet.
My only issue is the flower beds on the deck off the room weren't looked after and this is important as this is your view from the room. Alot of the flower beds had just dry dirt and tubes of a defunct watering system. The deck was shared with the room next door, and the knee high planter boxes were the divisions, so it isn't private.
My advice to the Hotel is to plant natives that can survive with little water, and while they won't flower like the bouganvillea that needs a good pruning, at least it will fit into the natural landscape.

Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
207 helpful votes 207 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2009

Stayed with my husband and three teenagers. We planned a long weekend with some relaxation and of course the sights. Please note my comments relate to the hotel, not the experience of seeing Uluru.
At first we were given the wrong rooms and had to wait for this to be sorted. The rooms were simple, dated (old style CRT TV), small and badly in need of a refit. Cleanliness was not good with bugs and cobwebs. The sitting area outside did not appear to get cleaned at all and the table and chairs were unusable.
The service round the pool was unbelievably slow, our first order took an hour to arrive and was wrong, it took nearly two hours to get a simple lunch correct. The pool is almost too cold to use, even with the heat of the area it is not necessary for it to be that cold, the children had to keep getting out to warm up. Must be a huge expense. More loungers needed and some attention to the grounds.
We ate at another hotel the first night, the meal was OK but of course pricy. We then had a meal at the Sails signature restaurant as it was my daughters 18th birthday. This was a disaster. The wine was poured in the wrong glass and then thrown away without any offer of a replacement, we had warned that my daughter was vegetarian when booking and were told it was fine but her meal basically consisted of the vegetables we had with our meal, half of the food was undercooked, plates were not collected and we had to stack them in the middle of the table. After nearly three hours we had yet to order desert. I must say that the birthday cake we ordered for my daughter was spectacular and one of the best cakes I have tasted.
The other restaurant at Sails where we had breakfast was not very clean with cockroaches under the tables and the lack of cleaning was obvious with greasy areas round the seats by the wall where food had been dropped and dead insects were collecting.
Service was poor but my strong impression was that this was due to lack of training. Most of the staff were very friendly and seemed to be making an effort, but obviously under pressure and struggling with lack of direction.
As a quite a seasoned traveller I am sure that this is nowhere near 5 star and really should not continue advertising itself as such. A major refurbishment and staff training would help. On the whole I would go for one of the lesser hotels at the complex, I have no idea if they are better but the cost would be lower. A shorter stay would have been fine, just one overnight would have enabled us to see sunrise, sunset, Sound of Silence dinner (we enjoyed it) and visit the Olgas.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

Stayed 3 nights. The room was fine and there was enough room for a cot. The bathroom is a bit dated. The staff were helpful. I agree with other reviewers that there is a monopoly and you wouldn't pay anywhere near these prices if the hotel was located anywhere else. Our only major problem is that you still have to pay to get to uluru which is about 10 minutes down the road. The hotel offers a shuttle though this is $45 dollars (on top of the $25 park enterence fee). It would seem that for the price of the hotel and the fact that this is what everyone is here to do that the hotel would offer a free shuttle service. It actually worked out cheaper to hire a car which also gave us more freedom.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2009

I hate paying for sub par accommodations, but if you want to see Ayers Rock and The Ogles, the Ayers Rock Resort is the only place to stay. Voyages owns the resort and everything there is ridiculously expensive. First decide if you want to see really big natural rocks before you go there (we did think they were pretty cool). If you decide that you want too and you don't mind spending a boat load of money for a dirty, outdated room, okay food, lousy service and friendliness that's "hit and miss", then by all means go see the rocks. The best part of the whole place was the pool and the Outback Pioneer BBQ Bar at the Pioneer hotel. Good beer and grill your own dinner. A lot of fun! The camel ride was pretty cool (how many people can say they've ridden camels) but the whole excursion was rushed and everyone felt like the camel jockey's wanted us out of there asap. Poolside for lunch, I had to go get my own menus, go back to order and wipe off our own very dirty, broken table. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind waiting on myself, but not if I'm paying $620.00 a night (yes, you heard me right) for a marginal hotel room with two double beds. I wouldn't recommend this hotel to my worst enemy, but I have to give it a recommendation because, again, you have to take it in the rear if you want to see a rock.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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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