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“A reasonable base in the middle of nowhere!” 3 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
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
“A reasonable base in the middle of nowhere!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2007

Stayed at Desert Gardens for 1 night. We flew into the airport at Ayers Rock where shuttle buses are waiting to take you onto the resort (approx 10 minutes drive). Arriving at 1pm we gained immediate access to our room which was on the ground floor. The porters bring along your cases on the back of a golf buggy. Didn't have long to settle as we were due out on a Tour. Due a mix up by the tour company we didn't get to see the sunset over the Olgas and were dropped back at the hotel by 5pm - funnily enough the hotel was desserted as everybody else was out seeing the sunset!! We had a couple of drinks in the bar. The staff seemed a little inexperienced (didn't know how to make a Pimms & Lemonade). We ate in the hotel's White Gums restaurant where there was a large buffet with a good selection to choose from. Contrary to some reviews we found the food of a good standard. The hotel rooms are a little basic but adequate, especially when most people only stay for a night or two and spend little time actually in the room. Tea/Coffe facilities, safe, tv, hairdryer all in room. Early morning calls can be arranged with reception. There is a fairly nice pool area with sunloungers and some much welcomed shady areas. There is a visitor information office in the resort where you will find details on various tours, the area etc. There is also a small gift shop - you can purchase your head fly nets from here ($AU9 for 2) - well worth it as the flies in the desert are a nuisance - we went when there weren't many but they were sitll annoying - must be horrendous in summer when its really hot!! The whole resort runs very smoothly with shuttle buses, tours etc coming and going through reception. The whole resort is owned by Voyages and therefore a bit of a monopoly - prices are a little higher than normal, and accommodation a little basic but if you are doing Ayers Rock (Uluru) this hotel makes a reasonable base.

  • Liked — Convenience for travelling to Uluru/Kata Tjuta
  • Disliked — A bit basic and the Flies!!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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1,286 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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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
575 reviews 575 reviews
294 hotel reviews
Reviews in 226 cities Reviews in 226 cities
2,708 helpful votes 2,708 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2007

The hotel is located within Voyages Resort; all the hotels and the caravan camp belong to Voyages, which has total monopoly over Uluru. Therefore, to me, it is important NOT to be snared into a tourist trap. All accommodation within this area is expensive, so cutting costs is important.

The resort consists of Desert Gardens Hotel, Sails in the Desert, Emu Walk Apartments, The Lost Camel Hotel, Outback Pioneer Hotel and Ayres Rock Campground. There is a decent supermarket, ATM machine, numerous tourists’ shops and cafes. Restaurants are located within any of the hotels mentioned above.

A free shuttle bus operates around the resort daily and departs approximately every 20 minutes.

Our room 162 at Desert Sand was extremely basic but it did serve a purpose for seeing Uluru. The room consisted of a queen size bed, two side tables and a small working desk. Doors lead out to a courtyard, which looked over zilch it is your basic hotel room with no trimmings. For $340.00 AUD it was a complete rip-off.

The staffs are very friendly and efficient and the hotel does have a pleasant swimming pool. Sails have the superior swimming pool and the hotel is a slight upgrade to the Desert.

Uluru is stunning, spectacular and imposing. It is an experience, which touches the magnificence essence of the Australian outback. A must do on everyone’s travel list.

  • Liked — It was comfortable.
  • Disliked — basic accomodation
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2007

We had just 1 night at Desert gardens. The room was clean and tidy, plenty of space and a large bathroom. I can't really find any major negatives about the room or the resort in general. Just nothing really special either. The rooms are typical of rooms anywhere.
Ate 2 meals at the Gecko Cafe in the main shopping area. The pizza was terrible and very greasey. The pasta was much better. The grocery store was surprisingly well stocked.

  • Liked — Unique locality
  • Disliked — Lacks atmosphere..very standardised rooms etc
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Hampshire
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2007

Accommodation is not that easy to acquire but its worth it to see the Rock at sunset and at dawn, when it's amazing walking around the whole rock if you wrap up warm, and have a couple of hours to do it in.

The Desert Gardens is well appointed.Rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious. The buffet meals in the restaurant are good, though you might not get the wine you first ask for, and drinks service can be slow. If you don't like what's on offer there, there's a shuttle bus that takes you round the rest of the Yulara resort so other hotel amenties and shops are available for you.

Some tips: Beware check-out mid morning. If you have a flight to catch or need to get away, checking out when a coach party is leaving can take an age! Seek advice with regard to when's a good time and the desk is not busy, or arrange to drop off the key and agree with the desk to charge your bill to credit.

Taking photographs of the Rock in reverse can be good too! i.e. take sunset pictures from in front of the rock, with the sun setting behind it works really well and the same with sunrise. If you've got a car then you can get the photos with the sun setting and rising on the rock too, as everyone else will have, but the bonus of shots that most people don't think of!

If driving from Alice, via the Stuart Highway & Lassiter, don't be fooled into thinking you've got the Rock in view between the Erldunda and Curtis Springs Station road houses. The red monolith in view is Mt Connor! Ayres Rock is still a good hour or more away to the west of Curtis Springs and takes some time to come into view!

Be prepared to fill your car with opal - a non-smelling fuel. The reason for this become apparent once you are in Alice, or anywhere between there and Ularu. Other fuels are often padlocked at the pump, and you need to get a key, or, like at Curtis Springs, a German student is likely to fill your car for your own protection and safety- some of that bit is true!

Flying in and out of Ularu gives you fantastic views of the Rock!

Everything is more expensive in Yulara than elswehere in NT, but it's no surpise. If you're not on a budget, it really is worth staying to get the sunset and sunrise experience. Whatever you might think, the Rock won't disappoint and Desert Gardens is as good as anywhere to stay the night.

Stayed August 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
105 hotel reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
364 helpful votes 364 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

We stayed here for one night in July 2007 with a Globus tour group.
There are several blocks of buildings all with outside entrances and corridors.

The room we were given looked ok at first, but upon inspection we realized there were some problems. There was a huge spider's web hanging in the corner over the bed. There were also ants crawling all over the floor and walls. Then we noticed how there was a large gap on the side and at the bottom of the door where all sorts of things could crawl in. The front desk told us that the block of rooms that our tour group was given had not been used in over a month, which led to the ants and spiders. They also told us that they had had bug problems in that particular room before also.
The front desk was able to get us another room in another block of buildings. The new room looked exactly the same minus the bugs.
There was a small pool area in the middle of the hotel buildings.

The Ayers Rock Resort complex is huge. I suppose you could walk around to other parts of it, but I would advise you to take the free shuttle.

We ate dinner at the Outback Pioneer hotel and campground, which was the cheapest place to eat or drink in the whole complex. There were several options for dinner there from a buffet of specialty Australian food (emu, kangaroo, etc) to pizza and burgers. We had a pizza, which was the greasiest and flavorless pizza I have ever eaten. They also had live music.

This hotel is nothing special. The size and quality of room is what you would find anywhere else in the country for $200 or less a night.

  • Liked — friendly staff
  • Disliked — ants and spiders in my room, and it was extremely overpriced
  • Stayed July 2007
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Michigan
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
105 hotel reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
364 helpful votes 364 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

We stayed here for one night in July 2007 with a Globus tour group.
There are several blocks of buildings all with outside entrances and corridors.

The room we were given looked ok at first, but upon inspection we realized there were some problems. There was a huge spider's web hanging in the corner over the bed. There were also ants crawling all over the floor and walls. Then we noticed how there was a large gap on the side and at the bottom of the door where all sorts of things could crawl in. The front desk told us that the block of rooms that our tour group was given had not been used in over a month, which led to the ants and spiders. They also told us that they had had bug problems in that particular room before also.
The front desk was able to get us another room in another block of buildings. The new room looked exactly the same minus the bugs.
There was a small pool area in the middle of the hotel buildings.

The Ayers Rock Resort complex is huge. I suppose you could walk around to other parts of it, but I would advise you to take the free shuttle.

We ate dinner at the Outback Pioneer hotel and campground, which was the cheapest place to eat or drink in the whole complex. There were several options for dinner there from a buffet of specialty Australian food (emu, kangaroo, etc) to pizza and burgers. We had a pizza, which was the greasiest and flavorless pizza I have ever eaten. They also had live music.

  • Liked — resort workers were friendly
  • Disliked — ants and spiders in the room, overpriced hotel
  • Stayed July 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2007

We stayed at this hotel during our recent visit to Uluru. It was a wonderful hotel, clean, excellent service, nice rooms. I thouroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Liked — location
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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