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“Nice. Remote. Expensive.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Yulara Drive | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia   |  
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Stay 5 Pay 3
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Port Macquarie, Australia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Nice. Remote. Expensive.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

We stayed 4 nights at this hotel in a Rock View room. The room was nice, bathroom good and views nice. As we stayed in June, it was too cold to enjoy the balcony or the pool.

As is the way in a remote location where all accommodation options are owned by the same company, meals and drinks are very expensive. Although the quality was good.

The only real concerns that we had was that a hot shower was almost impossible to obtain, although a shower in the late afternoon as opposed to morning helped somewhat (I believe they have solar?) and we heard some scratching around in our room during the night - the presence of mice droppings in our room around our luggage the next morning confirmed the source of the scratching. Mice were clearly visible running around in the restaurant at Sails in the Desert also. Probably difficult to avoid completely in the outback, but maybe keep your bags closed!!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (290)
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

First of all, the rock view room is was worth it, truly an amazing view. The resort as a whole was very nice, clean, well kept and very accessible. The room was large, clean and suited our family very well. The staff was hit or miss, some staff members were very friendly and knowledgeable of the resort/area and others we not. The hotel was very helpful with organizing tours and they are worth it. The resorts offers everything you need, airport transfers, several restaurants, a small grocery, shops and 5 different swimming pools when it gets really hot!! While everything is going to be a bit more expensive there, it is mostly worth it (choose your restaurants wisely, some can be very pricey). Overall, Desert Gardens was a lovely place to holiday and next time I would stay longer.

Room Tip: It's worth the extra for a rock view room, amazing views!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, January 1, 2012
Dear Epeesh,

Thank you for your positive review! I am delighted to read that you thought Desert Gardens was a lovely place to stay. It is great that you are planning on staying longer on your next stay. Might I suggest that five days would properly allow you to explore the area and still feel rested and rejuvenated when heading home.

I think it’s important to allocate some quality time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Outback. I find the stillness of the desert very relaxing. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Best regards,

Leon Pink
Resort Manager
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Lisbon, Portugal
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

awful experience! please don`t go!!! we went to australia to visit ULURU, and we choose these hotel because we think it`s good ... but when we arrive we discovered that we arrive in a dirty place ... the house keeping arrive at 5 pm all days and only change the towels!!! she didn`t touch the bed!!!! AWFUL!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2011

Given the limited options, this is a decent place to stay. However it is very, very expensive and there are really long waits for check in. We observed the long waits not only at our check in but when we saw others checking in as well. Our safe had an issue with the computer inside of it which meant that it would not open and they had to bring someone in to fix it. That all happened the morning we did a sunrise tour and we asked them to hold off on opening the safe until we were back in the room. They were not pleased about our request and told us we'd have to pay for a late checkout even though it wasn't our fault. I finally got them to agree to let us stay in the room until noon without paying the fee but the whole runaround was not what I would have expected. The food was average at best and there were flies everywhere in the restaurants. The grocery store is the best way to go for meals and water supplies. For all it's shortcomings, when we compared how we found our room with others at the other hotels it seemed like we had one of the best places to stay. The room was clean, well air conditioned and the bed was comfortable. The staff that we saw around the grounds were friendly. Overall it was decent but nothing special.

Room Tip: We paid extra for a view of the rock and I don't think I would again. It was expensive and give...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2012
Dear SusiefromMN,

Thank you for your feedback. The issue you raised regarding busy check ins and the hesitation to approve a late check out stems from arrival and departure schedules. The vast majority of our guests arrive and depart within two hours of each other. This can create congestion during check in, however please be assured that we are currently implementing additional measures to mitigate this concern. Departure and arrival times also mean that our housekeeping team must work very hard to turn around rooms to the high standard you experienced before welcoming new guests. This means that we have a very strict policy regarding late check outs, although I am glad to see that this fee was waived in your case.

While we implement a stringent pest control program, unfortunately insects are part of life in the desert. Our prices are a reflection of the high operational and transport costs required to operate in our remote location.

Please be assured that we will use your feedback to continue to improve our product and customer service.

Best regards,

Leon Pink
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

My wife and I stayed here for one night during our visit to Ayers Rock. We moved from the Lost Camel because there was no view. The price was much more, but if you want a view and a balcony this is the place to stay. Our room (395) balcony faced directly toward the Rock, it was a nice experience having a drink on the balcony in the afternoon and watching the sun go down and the changing colour of the rock, whilst it wasn't spectacular from our location, it was definately something different. The only down side was the room had an old CRT TV which was a little disapointing. Whilst there are plenty of tours, we decided we would hire a car and do our own thing. It worked, however the cost of the hire car was much more than you would pay in the city, but that's Yulara, fuel was $2.03/ltr. Having said that, we will probably go back again next year and stay a little longer.

Room Tip: Get a room that allows views of the rock.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
RM_Desert_Gardens, Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, January 1, 2012
Dear Rockybubbles,

Thank you for your wonderful review! I agree, there is no better way to end the day than with a cold drink enjoying the magical color changes of the rock.

Please be assured we are addressing your concerns regarding the TV, as part of our upcoming refurbishment program. We very much look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Thanks again!

Best regards

Leon Pink
Resort Manager
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2011

The Desert Gardens makes for an excellent base to explore the Red Centre, it's literally an oasis in the desert. The staff from the resort general manager Leon who met me at the Ayres Rock airport to the porters, house keeping and front of house staff make you feel very welcome.

While I'd agree that in parts the resort is a little tired around the edges it certainly doesn't detract from the experience of seeing Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

In terms of value the red centre isn't the cheapest holiday destination a reality of the location...everything has to be trucked in from Alice Springs (450km). So be prepared to pay a little extra particularly for food although the IGA supermarket is an excellent option for snacks.

I hired a car from Ayres Rock airport and did the self direct touring option driving about 260km over 3 days which was certainly the value option compared to the various tour company offers. It's easy driving with little chance of getting lost.

Overall a very enjoyable 3 nights at the Desert Gardens.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, December 24, 2011
Dear Accorhotels.com Traveller,

Thank you for your positive review. I am delighted you enjoyed our hospitality. We are currently working on a variety enhancement projects to improve the aesthetics of our Hotel. Our initial focus will be the food and beverage areas.
I agree, hiring a car and touring at your own pace is a fantastic way to explore the area, although I also appreciate the insight gained from a guide’s local knowledge. We appreciate your comments and tips and look forward to welcoming you back to the Red Centre!

Best regards

Leon Pink
Resort Manager
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suburban Boston, MA
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 117 cities Reviews in 117 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

We stayed at the Desert Gardens in a room with a view of Uluru. The room was beautiful and the service was excellent. Prices are very high but you are in a remote location. We had dinner at their restaurant - you must have at least 2 courses. Dinner with a courses (a main course and either an appetizer or a dessert) was about $55, 3 course was $67. The food was excellent. You can go to the supermarket & buy breakfast to avoid over-eating at the $34 breakfast buffet. Australian hotels include some fresh milk with the instant coffee and tea.

Room Tip: Nice to get a balcony with a view of Uluru.
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, December 22, 2011
Dear Ready2Go2008,

Thank you for your fantastic review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and found the room to be beautifully appointed, the food excellent and the resort an oasis in the desert. This feedback is especially enjoyable to read from such a regular guest of TripAdvisor.

We appreciate all your helpful tips and look forward to welcoming you back to the warmth and beauty of Uluru and the Desert Gardens Hotel.

Best regards


Leon Pink
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Gardens 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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 218
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is a superior hotel at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort. Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.You can relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel's pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar. It's only a short stroll to the Resort's numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia's best sunset, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert. Once the sun has set, dine at Arnguli Grill and savour an a la carte flame grilled menu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Hotel Desert Gardens
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

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