We stayed here over the weekend of 14-17 March for our wedding anniversary. Neither of us had been to Uluru before.
We had a direct flight from Sydney to Ayers Rock Airport on Jetstar, a flight of approximately 3 and a half hours. Ayers Rock airport is small so getting from the plan and getting our luggage was easy. We had booked a rental car and it’s an easy 10 minute or so drive from the airport to the resort.
On first impression, the resort looks very nice indeed. Check was slow as a coach had arrived just before us and to make matters worse, a fibre optic cable had been cut about 200kms north of Uluru meaning all internet, phone, EFTPOS and ATM's were down (this was repaired by the Saturday evening)
We arrived at around 11am but our room wasn’t ready, and would be till around 3pm so we took a drive into the town centre, a small group of shops and restaurants about 5 minutes’ drive from the resort. Here there is a supermarket (IGA) a couple of NAB ATM's, restaurant, take away, some souvenir stores and a post office.
As we had some time to spare, we ate at Geckos, a nice little place in the town centre. We had an Outback pizza - kangaroo and crocodile strips, ground beef, onions, mushrooms and red capsicum. At $22 it was very nice indeed and definitely worth the price. One advantage of all the resorts being owned by one company, you can charge everything to your room, very handy as EFTPOS was still unavailable.
On returning to the resort at around 230pm, our room was ready. The room (383) was a Rock View room with uninterrupted views of Uluru from the balcony. The room was large and clean, good size bathroom, lounge, table, fridge, good size plasma HD TV with an excellent number of channels, considering the resorts location, including a dedicated movie channel (to rent movies)
The bed was very comfortable with a good selection of pillows - 6 in fact on the bed. The aircon was excellent, keeping the room cool day and night plus is was very quiet.
Pro - the resort is only about 10 kms from the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park, containing the two main attractions of Uluru and The Olgas (Kata Tjuta)
Con - entry to the park was $25 per adult for a 3 day park pass. We were inly there for 1 day but there is no option for anything but a 3 day pass, not good if you’re only passing through.
Pro - the resort has excellent facilities and lovely green lawns and a large pool, great on those hot red centre days.
Con - the pool was old and needed repair. Broken and missing tiles, then concrete interior worn, needed a serious paint job, pool lights missing with just hanging exposed wires.
Pro - a lovely bar to enjoy cocktails after a long day.
Con - somewhat overpriced cocktails
Pro - our package included buffet breakfast for two days. There was the usual selection bread, cereals, eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausages, mushrooms and lots of fruit and yoghurt, tea, coffee and juices. There is also a 'Live Egg station' where a chef will make to order scrambled, fried eggs, omelettes and quite nice Eggs Benedict. He also does pancakes.
Con - breakfast is $52 per couple. For that price you would at least expect the food to be hot, which it wasn’t. Mostly it was just warm.
All in all, the resort is quite good but with a few letdowns as mentioned above. From our stay, its needs some serious money spent to bring it back up to a 5 star rating.
Lastly, if you hire a car from the airport, ensure you fill up at the local garage before returning it. Unleaded petrol was $2.21 a litre, much better than the $4 a litre the rentals companies charge! One thing the resort doesn’t mention is that the Shell garage is also a take away selling pies etc. much cheaper than you can find elsewhere.
- 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