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“Anniversary weekend away” 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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Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Anniversary weekend away”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

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.

Room Tip: Get a Rock View room - we were in 383.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, General Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Palya Sydney2for2

Thank you for your feedback on all aspects of your stay with us.

We appreciate your honest summary of all that you experienced.
I am glad that the Telstra outage we had did not negatively affect your holiday.

Alos great that you enjoyed the pool area to cool down in , we have a repaint of the pool area planned for our winter months when it can be completely drained.

Kind Regards
Peter White
General Manager
Desert Gardens Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,282 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
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

We stayed for two nights at the Desert Garden. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the public areas around the hotel were very pretty and well kept. The room was very spacious and well decorated, but what made this accommodation extra special was the view. It can only be described as breathtaking. We had an upper level room, with a large balcony and a view of Ayers Rock. On our second night we attended the Sounds of Silence Dinner. This was amazing, and I would say that this is definitely a ''must do' . You will be very disappointed if you go all that way and don't do the Sounds of Silence Dinner. This was a once in a lifetime visit for me, and I was not disappointed. For the overall experience of visiting Ayers Rock, there must be few places in the world that can better this.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
Townsville, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

we stayed here for 4 nights in all and it was absolutely fantastic.The staff were so helpful and friendly. We took many tours including going to Alice springs for a night and Kings Canyon.The tour drivers were brilliant and we learnt a lot about the indigenous culture and the land.I would defiantly recommend going on the Desert Awakenings 4 WD tour with Ned, he was absolutely brilliant, he took us right out into the bush where we had bacon and egg rolls and tea or coffee and then we watched the sunrise over Uluru. Ned then took us round the rock and went into great detail about everything, even down to the plants that were growing and the trees. He then took us to the cultural center and when we came out he had fresh fruit waiting for us, our tour was supposed to Finnish at 10am but we were still going around 12 pm as Ned explained everything, this tour was the best part of our stay, and well worth the money we paid. We went to Kata Tjuta which was amazing and the guide was excellent, she informed us that it was her first tour she had done.We also went for the 5.5 klm walk up Kings Canyon, again our tour guide was excellent and didn't rush us up the 500 steps we had to climb to get to the top.The rooms were very clean and well looked after, we were fortunate to have a room facing the rock which was stunning. The gardens and walkways were all spotless.Overall we had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this hotel, nothing is too much trouble for the staff here.

Room Tip: ask for a room which faces the rock, the sunrise and sunset from your balcony is stunning
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, TN
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

The reviews held true with our experience here. The room is nice but the service is a little lacking. We arrived after 10, most people got a room, but they said ours wasn’t ready, but give them till after lunch. I think 2 other groups on our bus had to wait. It was after one and the room still wasn’t ready, they knew we were waiting, Couldn’t they have told housekeeping to clean our room next because it shouldn’t have taken that long. Any ways at almost 1:30, they finally just gave us an upgraded room to a deluxe room because we kept going up. The other people still waited. We had to get our luggage even though they kept saying it will be there in a minute. We had a tour at 2:30, so wanted to be in a room by then. The room has great double beds that were soft and plenty of hot water. And there is a porch to set things out to dry on. You also get some TV channels. While there the phone and internet communications went out for the whole 2 days( all of the Northern Territory went down), so that sucked, but it wasn’t the hotel’s fault.

I also used the pool. It was a lot bigger than expected and there is an ice machine by the pool. We also used the free laundry. There are 2 washing machines and dryers, so you better get in line and stay if you want to use them. The hotel can give you info on all the tours and lobby had quite a few seats for people to wait on. Plus a lot less flies in the lobby than outside.

Overall I don’t think there is any need to stay at the more expensive Sails hotel. Of course, they had free internet in the lobby, but it turned out not to matter since it was down the whole time.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sparks, Nevada, USA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

We stayed there for two nights, not knowing that we could all we wanted to do, in one night. It is expensive but there are no other choices if you want to be "in the middle of it". The staff is helpful and nice and the restaurants are very good. The bus pick-up and drop-off is excellent and since we don't spend much time in the room, we didn't find anything wrong with it. Check-in is a bit slow due to a bus full of people checking in and out, but then you are on vacation and there is no hurry. The only thing we didn't like were the flies but that comes with the territory. We had a long walk from the entrance to our room but it was very quiet and had a good view.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 4 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.
uk
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

We spent 2 nights in this hotel for our Uluru trip. Had a rock view room which didn't disappoint (395). Room was very clean and comfortable and had everything we needed. The staff are extremely courteous. Breakfast was very good - everything you could possibly want. We dined in the restaurant and had a wonderful meal, which was no more pricey than Sydney. We did the sunset dinner, sunrise walk and helicopter ride and can recommend all of them.

Room Tip: Room 395 had a wonderful rock view
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Knutsford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
259 reviews 259 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
304 helpful votes 304 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

Given that you will only be staying here for a single night, it's not bad but it's very expensive for what you get. The rooms are pretty poor and the movies are extortionate. Is there an alternative? I don't think so.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Peter W, General Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
Dear BigBlue1894,
Thankyou for reviewing Desert Gardens Hotel.
It is disappointing to read that our rooms and services did not meet you expectations. Ayers Rock Resort has many levels of accommodation on offer and we endeavour to accommodate all guest needs.
I hope that overall you had a memorable time here in the Red Centre and I wish you all the best on your future travels.
Best Regards
Peter White
General Manager
Desert Gardens Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
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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