After reading some reviews here we were apprehensive about what we would find at this resort, given that all properties are owned by the same company - so there is no option to go elsewhere. In the event, it was just fine. Clearly there have been negative issues while Sails has been undergoing renovation. There are still construction workers here, and the problem with limited car spaces is still evident as most of the carpark is used to store construction materials, and construction workers’ vehicles take up many spaces in what remains. Since most guests probably do not drive here I assume that would not be of great concern. We hired a car, and having a car at Yulara gives you tremendous flexibility to see the area at your own pace. Otherwise you are reliant on tours or the paid shuttle bus.
Sails is the most expensive of all the accommodation offerings here and is considered a five star resort. The rooms have apparently now all been renovated, and the restaurants recently reopened. Our room was attractive with a comfortable bed, though we thought the A/C was not particularly efficient. The new décor has design touches appropriate to the area, indigenous art and a carpet which echoes the landscape outside. Although, for a recently renovated room, we did not expect to find mould in the shower grouting. Also, this is a sandy area and I understand that means red dust, but the balcony and chair cushions had not been recently swept. As both restaurants had only just opened, it is probably unfair to judge them as yet, except in a general way. We tried both restaurants – the a la carte restaurant (Mayu) is aiming for a fine dining concept, with big-city prices to match. (Ask to see a menu to decide if it is for you.). Service was very slow, with an extremely long wait between courses - probably not the best choice if you have an early start the next day to see the sunrise over Uluru. Or are hungry. We also ate at the less expensive buffet restaurant (Ilkari) for breakfast and dinner. While not a fan of buffets, this one was very pleasant with a good range of choices and some items cooked to order. (Dinner $AUD 65 per person, breakfast $AUD 37 per person. Additionally, there is a 1% surcharge for use of credit cards at the resort.) There is also a bar which apparently serves light snacks but we did not try this, or the pool bar. You can of course walk to other less expensive dining options in the resort complex. Service is friendly throughout the resort, if not always efficient. I would rate this property as three and a half stars, but because of the friendly service have settled on four. As for Uluru and the general area, it is as stunning as anticipated – even more so. Prices are very high here because of the remote location, but it is a unique destination.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Sails In The Desert Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
- Sails In The Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara