I've stayed at King's Canyon Resort in a spa room and thought it was great. It's a very remote place - even moreso than Uluru - and you pay a price for that remoteness. Their "Under a Desert Moon" dinner is also excellent.
King's Creek Station is 36km from the gorge.
We stayed at Kings Canyon Resort Wednesday of last week and your observation about the cost is spot on, but so also is that of Luigi about the remoteness. $279 for a standard room is well over the normal rate for what is a fairly ordinary standard of room, and the one that we were placed in was about 150 m from the nearest car park. The food is fairly good there though - I have never seen so much bacon on the one plate at breakfast before.
When considering distances, the actual canyon is 15 km back down the road from the Resort toward Kings Creek Station, so while it may be that the Station is 36 km from the canyon, and I will take the word of Luigi for that but it seems about right on reflection, there is not that much in it really.
We stopped at the Station for a sandwich at the kiosk/cafe (hard to describe it really) but did not see the accommodation there which I see from the website is in safari tents. Looking at the cost I see that those tents are $82.50 per person per night incl breakfast, so a perhaps a bit less comfort might be worth a saving of $130 or so for the Station.
Just a note about petrol costs. Standard was 2.21c at the Station and $2.26c at the Resort. It was $2.03c at Uluru.Edited: 9:26 am, May 16, 2013
Yes, the rates at Kings Canyon Resort is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Their business model focuses on the view that it attracts "one off" visitors, and the likelihood of continual return guests is most unlikely. They do on the odd occasion get return domestic business, but for international guests, the return figure is less than 0.5%.
Having said this, the pricing is not based entirely on the fact they can 'charge whatever they want', but to cover operational costs in such a remote location. The overheads are near double of what a typical city hotel incurs.
Kings Canyon's product is unmatched as there are no competitors, and personally feel the best of the rooms - the spa rooms, are better than what is on offer at any of the Ayers Rock properties.
With the negative comments, take them with a grain of salt as the expectations vary from person to person - like any property. But keep in mind what has been stressed above, that it is accommodation in a remote location and what would be expected as 'normal' in a city property, doesn't exactly apply.Edited: 9:54 am, May 16, 2013
"what would be expected as 'normal' in a city property, doesn't exactly apply"
Well said. I should have mentioned something along those lines. Thanks KVE.
And I think a lot of the reviews are from people who are used to looking for a bed for the night at under $80. :))
We stayed at Kings Creek station and really liked it. The first motivation was to save money but the safari tents were quite an experience (A good one) and their was a share kitchen where we could cook then take our food outside and eat round the campfire- a great experience
Thanks everyone for your comments and tips.
We understand the rates at Kings Canyon resort have to be higher elsewhere as they have to cover higher costs. Our fault too that we are a bit too late now and they only have the spa rooms left. But I am just wondering why on earth we should need a spa tub when we go to the Outback...
Its just a nice way to soak and relax for some, after they do both the Rim and Floor walk. Watching the colors as the sun goes down is pretty amazing.
Though you could always walk down to the camping sites and shower in the communal area - should that be more outback for you :)Edited: 3:09 am, May 17, 2013
Something tells me that you're a King's Creek Station tent-kinda-person, Jangaju. Go for it!Edited: 3:56 am, May 17, 2013
So which one did you choose and did you like it?????