We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Our stay at Sails in the Desert was made even better by the awesome staff, and we have to make mention of the following people: Mohit was extremely helpful and is a real asset to the Resort. We just missed the shuttle bus and Mohit volunteered to drive us to our destination, and waited while we picked up a couple of things and drove us back to Sails. On the way he gave us some great information about the Resort. Staff like Mohit are really hard to find and his customer service skills, helpful manner and friendliness were very much appreciated. Ben and Jade at the Rockpool were also excellent ambassadors for the Resort. They were both friendly and really helpful. We found the majority of staff to be extremely helpful and friendly and this just enhanced our experience here. The only reason I haven't given 5 stars is because the first night in Sails we did not have any air conditioning in our room and it was really difficult to sleep. The air con was not working when we checked in and we were assured that it would be fixed around 5pm - this was not working effectively until the following morning. We did complain to the front desk and they were going to pass our concerns on to Management, however no response in the three days we stayed there. We were also overcharged when we checked out and are still trying to clear this up and get a credit back. However, on the whole I would totally recommend Sails, fantastic place for a relaxing break

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LeezS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (3,299)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

2,524 - 2,530 of 3,299 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a 3 night stay at Sails in the Desert. Overall, this is a good option for a place to stay when visiting Uluru, although we do have some constructive criticism.
First, I would encourage everyone who is able to make the trip to visit Uluru to do so. The overall experience was amazing. Wonderful national park area to explore, cultural experiences... like most have said in other reviews, just expect it to cost a lot!
The hotel itself is completing a full renovation now. Lucky for us, the hotel restaurant and bar opened up the second day of our trip. The lobby and these dining areas are very nice. The rooms, having been recently renovated are also quite spacious and designed well. We had a terrace room, which had a large outdoor space for sitting and lounging. One complaint about this space was that it did not appear to have been cleaned off/swept prior to us checking into the room. There were several old biscuit wrappers and lots of debris from the tree in front all over all the cushions. Not a huge deal to have to clean it all off before going outside to sit, but not what you expect to have to do at at "5 star" resort.
A few other comments on the rooms/amenities: the bed was very comfortable, much better than I expected actually. Several nice down pillows each and a featherbed (I believe) made for a pleasant sleep after long days of walking/site seeing. There was no directory of the resort in the room- perhaps because things are all now just opening with renovations? It would be nice for them to provide a more thorough listing of the dining and entertainment options. I also was very surprised that there was no fitness centre on site. With the weather being as hot as it was, it is not that feasible to go for a run. I would have expected at a resort to have at least a small fitness room with several pieces of cardio equipment.
Everyone arrives at the same time as there are only a few flights to Uluru. Expect to wait a bit to check in, but I did not find it as bad as other reviewers stated. Part of this may be because we hired a car so we didn't have to rely on buses the entire trip (I would recommend doing this as much of the things to do are nice at your own pace and not having to book tours for everything saves a lot of money). The room was not ready when we arrived- not a problem since we were there around 12:30 and check in is not until 3. The hotel also gave us vouchers for free drinks because of the delay in the room being ready, which was nice.
Although the lobby/restaurant areas are nice, the pool area left a lot to be desired. Not much of it is shaded by anything except a few trees. It would be nice (particularly under the Australia sun) to have some more built in shaded areas with either cabana type set up, or even umbrellas. The pool itself needed to be cleaned as it had a lot of debris from bushes/trees and when we were there.
Overall, I found the service at the hotel to be very good. With the exception of moving at a slower pace than we are used to (rooms were not cleaned until just before dinner each day for us), the staff was friendly and eager to help with anything you needed. We ate at the hotel 2 of the nights and were happy with each meal. The first night (before the new restaurant opened) we ate at the pool bar. The service was good and our meals came out quickly. The last night we ate at the bar inside the hotel. As mentioned, it is new and designed very nicely with staff eager to assist you. THis being the second night they were open (and very busy with a conference there as well) the staff seemed a bit overwhelmed and service was slow as a result. We had watched sunset and had planned to get dinner between 7-9 before going to a stargazing tour. We ordered our drinks and as soon as we decided on food put that order in (no later than 7:30). By the time 8:20 rolled around and we still did not have our meals, we had to say something, as we had already booked the stargazing tour. The staff was apologetic and went to rush the order. A few minutes later my husbands sandwich came out, but they had put in for the wrong salad for my meal. Once it finally came out, the meals were good, but not very enjoyable/relaxed as we really had to eat quickly. I can not really fault the staff here, as they are still trying to work out all the issues that come with starting a new restaurant. They also were very apologetic and did not charge for the salad.
Lastly for food, the hotel now has a buffet (or interactive as they like to call it) breakfast in the newly renovated restaurant area. This was fantastic! Huge international breakfast selection with made to order eggs/pancakes/french toast, fresh fruits, pastries, sushi, salad... it was included in the package deal that we had, but would be worth spending the money on anyways.
Overall, I would recommend this hotel for the area. Although not currently what I would consider a 5-star resort, I think they are working towards this and will just continue to improve with their new staff and renovated areas.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Kelly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Kelly S,

I agree with your comments as experiencing Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is once in a lifetime experience for our guests, as they get to discover the traditions of the world's oldest culture, come face to face with some of Australia's unique wildlife and explore the dramatic landscape of one of the worlds greatest natural wonders.

Due to the windy weather we are having at the moment, we endeavour to keep the balcony and outdoor areas as clean as possible. Although, since your comments we have increased the cleaning.

It was great to read that you had a fantastic experience the new interactive restaurant and especially enjoyed the huge international breakfast selection. I do apologise for the delay in food service that you received at the lobby bar, as the venue this has become very popular.

Since your stay the hotel in room compendiums have been recently reprinted and have been placed in all guest rooms, which includes information on the facilities and services available at the hotel and Ayers Rock Resort.

It is great to know that you would recommend Sails in the Desert Hotel, as we have only been fully reopen for a very short period of time and we are working toward improving our service standards.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Stayed here for 2 nights, during a 2 week stay in Australia.
Free transport is provided from the airport to the
hotel. This resulted in a slow check in as a coach of tourists disembarked
at the same time. Check in was completed at 2 but we were told our room
would not be available for at least an hour. Once we had access to our room,
it was over 1.5 hours before our luggage appeared, despite 3 requests for
it to be delivered. In the end my husband went to collect it from reception.
A member of staff just pointed at it, offered no apology for the delay and
did not offer to take it to the room at that point. Not the best of starts!
All the accommodation (and shops/restaurants) in Ayers Rock appear to be
run by just the 1 company.
Our room was very spacious with soft furnishings of textiles of Aboriginal
designs. Bathroom contained 2 sinks but the bath was quite dated with an
overhead shower.
All rooms have either a patio or balcony area. Our room (ground floor) had
no view to speak of.
Service at Rockpool restaurant within the hotel was slow and rather hit and
miss. For example, we shared a hot sandwich for lunch. This arrived on the
serving plate, no additional plates, or any cutlery or serviettes!
There is an area 5 minutes walk away (Town Square) with shops, tours
information a restaurant (Geckos), deli/café (Red Rock) and takeaway (Ayers
Wok). There's also a supermarket (no alcohol for sale).
On our arrival we tried to book the Sound of Silence ($A169pp) evening trip
for the following night. Unfortunately there was only 1 place left. We asked
to be put on a cancellation Iist, and we were successful, (although no
message was given to us regarding this, we asked if there had been
cancellations). It was a good evening, although it would have been
interesting to have been told about the history etc of the rock as we sipped
our bubbly as the sun set. I would recommend booking in advance from the UK
(costs are pretty similar.)
We were not personally inconvenienced by the works going on within the hotel
although the place was teeming with workmen, but all hotel facilities aside
from 1 bar and reception were closed. We received a voucher for a free drink
each due to the works.
Although our room was clean, the valance on the bed had several stains- not
a good look! The carpet which had a pattern design also looked quite grubby.
The room was not cleaned until after 14.00 on our one clear day at the
resort. On our departure day (checkout 10.00) someone hammered on the door
to the room at 08.45 to enquire whether any items had been used from the
minibar. Totally unnecessary.
We had breakfast at the Red Rock Deli in the town square, although there is
not a vast breakfast choice available (croissants or toast, or toasted
sandwiches.) You're looking at $A25 for a couple of hot drinks &
croissants. The alternative was Geckos which charged $A28 for a continental
breakfast or $A34 for an Australian breakfast (no other options available.)
We saw only 1 indigenous person working within the complex.
A free shuttle bus service around the various hotels, town square and some
lookout points is provided from 10.30 to 00.30
Internet is charged at $25 a day. Although there was a wi-fi area within
reception, we were unable to access the service in the specified area.
The current reception area did not appear to have air con. While waiting to
check in, I observed numerous people struggling to get out of reception with
luggage via double doors which were manual and not automatic. This is a
major design fault if this is the regular reception area.
We felt rather like a captive prisoners in a glorified theme park at times,
and other guests at the Sounds of Silence dinner shared this opinion too.
It would appear from our experience that as the company operating this hotel
seems to have the whole of Ayers Rock stitched up, there is therefore no incentive for
them to raise their game and improve on basic levels of service etc.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mrs Picky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Mrs Picky,

It was great to read that you enjoyed your stay in the spacious newly refurbished hotel room.

With regards to your dining experience at RockPool & Sounds of Silence I am sorry to hear that your received poor service. Since your stay, we have recently employed a new Director of Food & Beverage who is currently implementing changes to improve the service standards at all dining venues, so we can ensure that all guests have a positive experience.

As part of the acquisition of Ayers Rock Resort in May 2011, the ILC established an Indigenous
Training and Employment Strategy, with the aim to employ one hundred Indigenous trainees at the resort each year and to work towards fifty percent Indigenous employment by 2018. In its first year Ayers Rock Resort celebrated 125 Indigenous staff, which included 56 trainees.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia also has a strong commitment to social responsibility. All profits are reinvested in the Indigenous Land Corporation's (ILC) Indigenous training and development across Australia

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Summary: this is a comfortable hotel but it is by no means five star. Service standards in particular need to be improved before it can legitimately claim a five star rating.

Stayed here for three nights in room 131 this past week. The bar and restaurant re-opened on the second day of our stay and they look nice (incidentally, there was no promotion of the re opening to guests, just as we were given no information about their closure when we checked in). The refurbishments seem to be mostly complete now but there is still a lot of building going on and car parking onsite is limited.

Pros: overall, the refreshed room was quite nice and the bed very comfortable. The lawns, gardens and swimming pool area are also very nice and a pleasant place to spend a afternoon. Some staff are very friendly and helpful.

Cons: service is patchy at best. The bar and restaurant staff were friendly but the check in was very poor. The staff member was grumpy, offered no information about the hotel amenities, no information about when the hotel bar and restaurant might re open, and was generally unpleasant. We stayed for three nights and our room was not serviced once (one day we had the do not disturb sign out, but the second day we were out from 7am until 5pm and still the room hadn't been serviced when we returned; not even the bin was emptied!). I was astonished that there wasn't so much as an information pack in the room. Poor attention to detail like this, combined with haphazard service, just leaves you feeling that all they want is your money. Some individual staff were certainly very pleasant and friendly, but overall the service standards are just nowhere near what I would expect at a five star or even a good four star hotel, especially at the front desk.

I agree with other comments that the room and the food here is very over priced what you get, which is also the case across all of the Yulara resort, but that's to be expected given the captive market and the isolated location. To be fair, their running costs would be quite high when you think about where you actually are (the middle of a very big desert).

If I ever returned to Uluru-Kata Tjuta I would stay at the Desert Gardens, which actually looks much nicer than the supposedly five star Sails. Everything at Yulara is owned and operated by the same company so it's all overpriced, but I do think Desert Gardens would be better value for money.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank scotthumphries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Scotthumphries,

I appreciate that you have taken the time to share your opinion about the positive and negative experiences during your stay. I am sorry to hear that not all aspects of your stay have been up to the 5 star standards that we strive to achieve for our guests.

It was concerning to read that you did not receive an update on the restaurant opening times, as we endeavoured to share the reopening of the new facilities with guests to enjoy during their stay.

I am sincerely apologetic that your room was not serviced during your stay, as this is not the service that we want our guest to receive. Also, as a hotel we do not want to be known for having irritable staff especially on check in and this has been addressed accordingly.

As a whole, the staff has recently undergone extensive retraining to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge that is required to work for a 5-star hotel.

Thank you for your constructive feedback, as this allows us to improve on the services that we provide to our guests to ensure that their expectations are exceeded at all times.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Okay, the Ayers Rock Resort is the only game "in town" if you want to stay anywhere near Uluru, so they can charge what they want. It's remote so things probably cost more to deliver and...they can charge what they want. But once you accept it and budget for it you can let go and appreciate resting your head in such close proximity to "The Rock". The accomodations were lovely---except for dysfunctional air-conditioning (mercifully when it was not fixed by the second night it was a cooler day). The food options were limited with respect to available hours and of course...expensive. You can walk the entire resort in minutes and again, the main attraction is right there. There was still construction going on at the Sails, but the resort discounted our stay, so we were more than pleased. If you want to see The Rock and don't want to commute from Alice Springs, just swallow hard and pay for the resort.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mandelmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Mandelmart,

Thank you for your sincere comments about the facilities and your visit to Ayers Rock Resort.

Firstly, it was great to read that you enjoyed your stay in the newly refurbished contemporary indigenous interior designed rooms. Also, it is exciting to announce that the restaurants and bars at Sails in the Desert Hotel have reopened after the completion of an extensive refurbishment program. The new dining facilities at the hotel now include an interactive dining experience, a la carte restaurant and lobby bar.

Unfortunately, we have recently had concerns with the air conditioning units, which we are currently rectifying by implementing a hotel maintenance plan, to ensure that these concerns do not happen in the future.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

The previous reviews say enough about this place. Rooms are fine, the balcony/porch is rather nice, but don't expect any views of Uluru.

Here's my recommendation: if you're traveling as a couple, when you arrive at the airport, send someone to the bus immediately and get the seat closest to the front door of the bus, while the other one collects baggage. When arriving at the resort, send someone running to the lobby so that they can be one of the first in line to check-in, while the other collects the bags off the bus. Otherwise, you may end up at the back of a very long line to check-in, and the process is quite slow. We were one of the first to check-in, and 30 minutes after arriving we were walking past the lobby and noticed that people were still in line waiting to get their room. Don't be the last in line.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
5  Thank MarkNelsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2012

Dear MarkNelsen

Thank you for your feedback.

It was very concerning to read your comments surrounding the time in which you had to wait to be checked in at the hotel. Our hotel check in does sometimes takes a bit longer than a CBD hotel due to the fact that all our guests arrive at the hotel at the same time. Although, we are working towards a solution in which our guests can experience a smooth and immediate check in at all times.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hote

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

The rooms were absolutely up to their advertised high quality, but we were not informed about renovations that would be happening whilst we were there. Not that this really impacted too much on the hotel except that it left virtually no parking for us as workers were parking their cars in residents designated spots. Nothing had been done about this. Had they even thought about this before renovations had started? The workers could have parked elsewhere. There was also a light on a stairway which was not working. We reported this repeatedly over the four days we were there. The stairs are fairly dark at night and nothing was done about it. So even although the accommodation is excellent the team managing the hotel is seriously lacking and uninterested and unable to sort out issues that every top quality hotel should be able to "do in their sleep". When on holiday one does not want these extra hassles. However would like to thank and appreciate the service provided by young men Mohit at Porters desk for exceptional service in regards of taking care of our family on several occasions.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jennene P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea N, General Manager at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2012

Dear Jennene P,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments and it was lovely to read that Mohit was accommodating and assisted your family when required.

It was unsatisfactory to read that you were not informed of the current refurbishment program at the hotel. As Information surrounding the hotel’s refurbishment program as been distributed to all our business partners and is also displayed on our website.

Since your comments an alternative guest car park has been created to ensure that there is enough room for our guests to park at all times.

It was concerning to read that the lights on the stairway was not working and it was discouraging to read that this was not actioned in a timely manner and by bringing this matter to my attention has given me the opportunity to implement corrective measures with the Maintenance Supervisor, to ensure that this does not occur in the future.

Kind regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Yulara hotels
0.4 mi away
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
0.5 mi away
Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge, Ayers Rock Resort
0.3 mi away
Emu Walk Apartments, Ayers Rock Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge
1.7 mi away
Longitude 131
Longitude 131
#1 of 4 in Yulara
715 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Address: Yulara Drive | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Price Range: $224 - $496 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 232
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In Australia's Red Centre, the five star Sails in the Desert hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru's raw natural beauty with a decidedly luxurious outback holiday experience. Soaring white sails crown Ayers Rock Resort's Sails in the Desert hotel, shading 228 luxury five star rooms and suites. Discover the passion behind Aboriginal art at Sails in the Desert's Mulgara Gallery. Then be lulled into complete relaxation by one of the Red Ochre Spa's package treatments. Sails in the Desert hotel features an expansive gumtree lined heated swimming pool and a diversity of modern dining, bar and lounge options. Choose Sails in the Desert for an outback holiday with a unique style and modern luxury. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire, Travelocity, Agoda, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and getaroom.com so you can book your Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sails In The Desert Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Sails In The Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing