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“Great Location - No Resort - You want to go somewhere else, GOOD LUCK”

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Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great Location - No Resort - You want to go somewhere else, GOOD LUCK”
Reviewed April 5, 2014

It is a great place, the landscape and all..........

But forget the "Resort", it is none. The facilities are aged and show wear and tear. Time for a renovations. The solution to call it a "Homestead" is the wrong approach. Sut down one accomodation complex and RENOVATE. Then go to the next one untill you are finished. There is enough money made to do this.

The prices are high, as everywhere in the Centre, North and West where I have been - thats how it is. Far away and transport is expensive.

A kitchen blasting with music you can hear when you walk outside and when you try to enjoy your $$$ meal is not pleasant either.

There are things which could be done to improve without spending too much money, but there has to be the will as well, and this seems to be missing.

If you are only renting this place (as it is written in one of the reviews) get the owners to work with you to improve. There are ways you can get together and make this a better place and maybe then get value for money.

Otherwise it is just a money making place where torists get ripped off because they have no other chance......................

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gerhard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, April 8, 2014
Dear Gerhard W

Thanks for taking the time to review Glen Helen

I am sorry you did not find much to enjoy at Glen Helen.

As I have often written it is our passion to offer the best service and experience we can for our customers within the framework we have. The will is most certainly there, and little changes are constantly being added by us to improve guest comfort

Although you seem to believe lots of money is being made, actually getting by is a struggle out here with many high costs. Like many tourism businesses we have suffered drops in visitation in Central Australia, so boom times are in the past

And I must also repeat that we are working hard with the Indigenous landlord to get upgrades and renovations happening, but things are moving slowly. A city hotel owner/developer in somewhere like the Gold Coast is a long way from a Central Australian Indigenous investment company with little experience in hospitality.

To proceed along your plan would be a tricky way to work, much easier said than done, and I think renovations will be taken on a conservative scale and gradually.

I take your point on excessive Kitchen music noise which is unacceptable I agree, and we only need to hear that this is bothering a guest and we will arrange for it to be turned off/down. So I hope you made this request while you were on site, rather than just feeling grumpy about it!

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

This is definitely not the Hilton, and the room was about as small as you could get while still fitting in a double and a single bed with a bar fridge. But this really is a remote location, and we were pleased to have a clean and comfortable bed with a shower and toilet en suite, effective air-conditioning and a fabulous view of the fabulous orange gorge wall right out the door (and visible from the bed if you leave the door open!) Fire destroyed the hotel in the mid-80s and it was rebuilt using recycled old doors and windows, including some coloured glass windows. Staff were helpful and very friendly.
The tariff is pretty steep but the cost of building and servicing such a remote facility needs to be considered. (Having said that, Kings Canyon Resort a couple of hundred kms up the road is even more remote, and provides quite modern and stylish spa rooms. If Glen Helen were to upgrade, they could do worse than to look to Kings Canyon resort for inspiration).
The only place providing food is within the hotel, and the restaurant provides nice meals and a friendly atmosphere.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms (Rooms 1 - 8) that face the gorge bluff wall (the other rooms face towards...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MiddleAgedHippies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear Middleagedhippies

Thanks very much for your informative and thoughtful review of Glen Helen. We do so appreciate it when guests take the time to learn a little about the property and its history, and see positives where they can be found.

We would love to have some of the facilities of the well planned Kings Canyon Resort, which was set up by professional Resort developers with lots of experience and knowledge of tourist requirements! (not to mention many millions of dollars)
Glen Helen was set up by a small private group with a smaller budget and picture in mind, and retrospectively with a lot more money and foresight perhaps a more salubrious development could have been created.
But it is what it is, and as leaseholders it is our job to offer the best experience we possibly can within the existing framework, and we are glad you enjoyed what we had to offer in our marvellous natural setting
Actually most of the cost of operating that we must pass on is that of providing all power, water and waste management onsite, along with the high cost of freighting in absolutely everything and exorbitant staff costs!!

Once again, thank you for your review

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

We visited with our Alice Wanderer day tour, thank you for the fabulous lunch, and I will take the helicopter ride next time if I can find someone to ride with! Great customer service... Funniest thing... I was buying an Albert Namitjira print and there was some discussion on the price and how to ring it up... Three staff ended up at the computer to help me out... Couldn't ask for more help when one commented "how many Glen Helen employees does it take to sell and Albert Namitjira print?" Thanks for the laughs and the lunch! Old place with great history, great views and clean toilets!

Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Sandan71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear Sandan71

thankyou very much for your good natured and complimentary review of Glen Helen. We are delighted you enjoyed the lunch we supply to the Alice Wanderer West MacDonnell Day Tour. We are proud of the food we serve here, both cooked to order and group catering.

And thankyou also for your good natured understanding of a situation of staff inexperience in the sale of your beautiful Albert Namatjira print! I am sure it will make a great souvenir of your Central Australian Holiday

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alice Springs, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

Firstly, if you're looking for clean sleek lines in a flashy resort in the "heart" of Central Australia, stay in Alice or head about 5hrs away to Uluru. If you're after a real rural experience, with unbelievable views and a warm welcome, this is your place.

Glen Helen Resort has everything you need, whatever your travelling style. This was my first time in the motel area, having some years ago used the camping facilities (with a small group) and the bunkhouses (for school camps), and I was very impressed. The room was clean, comfortable and best of all, nice and cool. There was plenty of extra bedding, and a very large bar fridge. The bathroom, though dated, was spotless and had all the necessities, including very nice toiletries. The overall feeling is more of a homestead than a hotel/ motel/ resort, which suits the area perfectly.

The good
- location
- facilities for all travelling types
- swimming in the gorge
- quietness at night
- the relaxing nature of the place; time slows down so that just two days here feels like you've had a week long holiday.

The bad
- the flies but they're everywhere in the region

The awesome
- views from the room
- the staff
- the food! Seriously good meals at the restaurant. You'd be hard pressed to find better anywhere in the region.

It disappoints me that there are reviews on here which complain about the prices: it cost a LOT to get quality goods into the middle of nowhere and maintain a property in a remote location. Glen Helen is very reasonably priced for everything - I've paid more and got less in many cities.

I'll definitely be back again in the near future, the only problems I'll have are deciding whether to camp or stay in the motel, and which meal to have!

Room Tip: There are a bank of rooms facing the pool which are great if you've got kids. If you're aft...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jossmcboss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear Jossmcboss

thanks for taking the time to give such thorough and thoughtful feedback, and for your kind words.

We do work hard to make our guests feel welcome, so we are glad you did!

Summer is a wonderful time to visit Glen Helen as it gives you access to such a wide range of swimming spots: Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Pool, Redbank Gorge

We have opted for individually controlled reverse cycle air conditioners in our Motel rooms to give all our guests full choice in temperature control. This time of year keeping cool is a priority!!

We hope you will visit again soon,

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

The landscape and surrounds were spectacular. Glen Helen Resort was not. Two members of staff (Michelle and Sebastian) were very helpful and hospitable.Shelagh(owner/hostess) was not. Shelagh herself advised the rooms are 'basic'.We should also have been advised they are overpriced.'Free tea & coffee' means guests access chipped broken mugs from dirty crates during opening hours from a collection of dirty old jars.The hope is that guests will be forced to purchase $4 coffees from the self serve machine that sits next to the dirty collection....Wine by the glass arrives in thimbles.....The 'verandah' which top paying guests are supposed to enjoy views from is so narrow - about 80cm -that it's not possible to move past each other.In our case this meant guests walked through the mud as it was raining.It was a sad introduction to park by their private tip....spectacular landscape which would be better enjoyed as a day trip. Take your own car fridge and food.
"Short sighted pennypinching".

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank magnolia256652
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Dear magnolia256652

Well, I can see that you really did not appreciate us!! I am sorry you were not able to enjoy your stay more, and all the little things got in the way of a happy stay with us at Glen Helen.

I don't think I have ever been told I am unhelpful before! There is a first time for everything I guess, but I am really glad Michelle and Sebastian made up for it.

We love welcoming guests to our little piece of paradise, and the simplicity of the accommodation, which undoubtedly deserves a facelift is usually balanced for guests by our service with many smiles, great food and relaxing environment

We try to keep all our areas as clean and neat as possible. Did you realize that the reason there is not tea and coffee in the rooms is because the bore water in the rooms is not suitable for tea or coffee or use in a kettle? I do apologise if you did not find our tea and coffee station appealing.

I will certainly give some thought to freshening up the look of it, (although I can assure you the glass containers are clean) and checking for chipped cups.

We do not call the path/walkway out the front of the rooms a veranda. The veranda referred to in our promotions is outside the homestead. You are right that the path is narrow, and this is one of the many out of date areas being addressed by the Landlords in their future planning. We are leasehold owners here.

Finally pricing. We are pretty well the cheapest remote Hotel in the region, in keeping with the simplicity of our facilities. It costs a fortune to run a hotel in the middle of nowhere, with all services supplied on site. You cant compare us to a city or even regional town property. It is just not realistic.
Once again, I am really disappointed that you did not enjoy your stay. We try to make everyone welcome every time. We hope in coming years as the property is developed, you will return and find our hospitality more to your liking.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these West MacDonnell National Park hotels

Frenchs Forest, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2014

We really liked the 'wild wild west' feeling of this resort. Staff was friendly and food was good.
Two things we didn't like: 1) The place, especially the rooms, feel run down (yet clean). They really need a make over. 2) Breakfast options were a bit confusing as some included coffee (from the machine), others only filter coffee. Some included juice others not. Just make it easy. Give the buffet as the basic option and add your eggs, pancake on top. Every family / group seemed to have the same problem.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adrian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Dear Adrian L

thanks for taking the time to review Glen Helen. As you will read below also, we understand our rooms could do with a makeover, and we are working together with our Landlord to make this a reality. We are really glad you could see we had made every effort to present our rooms in a clean condition

You are the first person to comment adversely on our 5 Breakfast Options, and by the sound of it on the morning you were with us, these were not being clearly explained, so I do apologise for this.
We offer 5 choices because I myself dislike having only two at a hotel, when I am paying for a full continental buffet with wide choice but all I really want is a coffee/juice and cereal. So we introduced our Light breakfast for only $10. This is very popular
Next is our Continental which includes that plus yoghurt and fruit platter as well for $18.
Lots of people just want a cooked breakfast so we offer Bacon and Eggs for just $15 and Pancakes for just $12
Finally if you want a Full breakfast you can have everything for $25 including a fresh ground Coffee, instead of Instant coffee.
These are explained clearly on a menu board with Options 1-5. Once people have had a good look at this, we find they feel it is good value.
I guess we are not going to please everyone, but we do try!! In the past there were just 2 choices as you propose.

We hope you really enjoyed your visit to the Red Centre, and look forward to having you visit us again sometime

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

This place takes advantage of being the only accommodation within cooee of anywhere else, we paid $140 for four bunks. The room was dirty, it was over 45 degrees, there was no air con, the shared showers & toilets were disgusting and unclean. Drive a further 250kms & you get a clean room with cooling and clean facilities at King's Canyon Resort for LESS money. To have the owner strutting around with a galah on his shoulder (not really doing anything of worth) adds insult. I wouldn't come back here if you paid me, and that's a pity as the location is stunning.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Tonymess1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Tony

Thanks for putting up your comment on Trip advisor. I think we would rather you had discussed your concerns with us when you were staying at Glen Helen!!

We make no secret of the simplicity of our bunkhouse rooms. If you found your room dirty, however, it was important that you let us know as it is definitely not acceptable, and we could have moved you to a different room quite easily. Same goes for the bathrooms, which should be cleaned daily.

At this time of year only the hardy souls stay in the bunkhouse simply because it is not airconditioned. We have fans in each room, and usually by late in the day it is cool enough to get some rest, but not always in January

Our airconditioned motel rooms might have been a better option for you, and for $60 more for your party you could have had your own bathroom in a queen and bunks airconditioned family motel room, rather than economising in a Bunkhouse room.

This is the first time anyone has told us they could have stayed cheaper at Kings Canyon, which may be the case, but seems a bit unlikely.

Your final comment about my husband 'strutting around with a galah on his shoulder (not really doing anything of worth)' is something we will choose to be amused about, rather than insulted. Our pet Galah, Gee is a great hit with guests, and my husband tries to introduce her to guests as a point of interest to encourage them to learn a bit about the local birdlife.

Colin works an average of 15 hours a day around the Resort, often in 40+ temperatures to keep this place running. If he takes a few minutes here and there out to stroll around and meet guests and take a break from maintaining power and water supply, repairing facilities, as well as working the bar in the evening, cooking as required, keeping up with paperwork etc etc etc then I think it is fair enough!!!

I hope the rest of your trip was a success, aside from your disappointing experience at Glen Helen.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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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 Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Property: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Address: 1 Namatjira Drive | West MacDonnell Ranges Via Alice Springs, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory 0872, Australia (Formerly Glen Helen Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > West MacDonnell National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in West MacDonnell National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Glen Helen Homestead Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, previously known as Glen Helen Resort is a Lodge style property with simple, compact and comfortable rooms, great scenic location with old fashioned welcome and outback atmosphere.We are renowned for great personal service, great dining in our Award Winning Restaurant and great live entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge Australia/West MacDonnell National Park

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