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“Not impressed”

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Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

Our room was located on the third floor. We could reach it by "using the stairs", said the lady at the front desk. Outdoor stairs. 37 degrees Celsius. We found a bug-infested room. Not surprising in itself because there are open, illuminated walkways that swarm with bugs at night. What was surprising was the spider nest we found next to the bed and the number of cockroaches in the room. Combined with a stained carpet, chipped furniture and a fridge that didn't close well because of the ice in it, it didn't look like the luxury hotel we had paid for and expected. I must honestly say that efforts clearly had been made: big flatscreen tv, bathroom with double sink (though leaking).. but it did not outweigh the general state it was all in. Compare that to the beautiful lounge and you may find the contrast striking.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank C O
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 March 20, 2013

Dear C O


Thank you for your review and I am pleased to read of your enjoyment with our in room facilities and hotel lounge.

I would like to apologise for your dissatisfaction with the level of cleanliness presented in your room. Your comments have been communicated to our housekeeping team and refined procedures have been implemented to ensure all rooms are both cleaned and inspected with precision and attention to detail is maintained at all times.

Our remote location does leave us susceptible especially in the warmer months to native fauna in particular insects. We endeavour to prevent these insects being present in indoor areas with minimal impact on our environment. Please accept my sincerest regrets for the inconvience this caused.

I would like to wish you all the best in your future travels and hope to welcome you back in the future.

Kindest Regards

Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Sails in the Desert Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,433 - 2,439 of 3,295 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

When visiting Australia, a trip to Uleru is a must. the Sails in the Desert is an oasis in the middle of the outback. Food, Rooms, Grounds and the small town was exquisite. Just wish I had more time, 2 nights stay would be a about the minimum time to stay.

Room Tip: Any room , I prefer the ground floor
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mjalberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

This was the second stop on an organized tour of Australia with a top rated tour company. This hotel has just undergone a significant refit and it shows. The rooms are comfortable, the public areas are attractive, and the food was more than adequate. Like many people, we only stayed for one night while we did the obligatory tour of Uluru and so we didn't sample all the hotel had to offer. It was a good experience.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
Thank cqsj1014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

There is not a lot of selection in this National Park area out in the Red Center of Australian. This property was very good for the limited purpose of a short stay to go to Uluru and Kata Tjuta for a viewing of the Rock. This is a very special area in the world and a must for anyone on an adventure to Australia. Be prepared for extreme heat in the summer....the room won't cool down as fast as you might want. Take a nice swim in the pool and relax a bit. The staff is very seasonal and transient but always accommodating. Our room was poolside and always clean. You won't go wrong at Sails in the Desert. If you want the really high end do a tent at Longitude 131. Take this marvelous World Heritage site all in.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank gapcmp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

We were more than satisfied with our recent stay at Sails. It was the trip of a lifetime for myself, an Aussie, and a friend who was making his first visit to Australia from France.
Sure it's not cheap, but by Aussie standards it's not outrageously expensive People need to keep in mind that the resort in the middle of the desert, and this is going to add to the cost of everything from the price of food to labour expenses. Our dinner at the restaurant cost $65 each plus the cost of wine, which was comparable to prices in Sydney. It was a great meal, entrees and desserts/cheeses were from the buffet but the main was cooked to order by the chef, and there were a huge number of choices. Service was prompt and courteous. We like to linger over a meal, perhaps this might be a problem for some North American visitors who often seem to be in a rush to get a meal over and done with. We certainly didn't feel that we were kept waiting, and servers were always available if we needed something.

We both loved our room, although it was too hot to take advantage of the terrace through the day. The room was well maintained, cleanlinessss was of a high standard, and there was a well stocked minibar (we didn't use this, but I like to have the option). With the temperature at around 40 degrees maximum, we made good use of the pool which was clean (despite what some earlier reviewers have said) and well maintained.

Reception staff had a good knowledge of the tours on offer, this seems to have been an issue in the past judging by some previous comments here. We were able to book tours quickly, however at different times there would only be one receptionist on duty which could lead to delays if they were taking time with tour bookings or check-in/check-out. When we checked in there were several staff on duty, which was just as well as everyone arrives at the same time from the plane.

One thing to keep in mind about Sails, by the time the tour bus comes to collect you it's already been to the other hotels, so if the tour is busy you may be forced to sit down the back of the bus or be separated from a companion.

We did two tours, the Sounds of Silence dinner, and a sunrise tour. Loved them both, Uluru looks better at dawn than at dusk, but the dinner was superb.

It was well worth paying a bit extra to stay at Sails, based on my stay there I'd happily recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra and get a terrace room.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank BadgerBoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

I booked this hotel for three nights not realising it was part of the Pullman chain. I must admit that it surpassed all of my expectations. I've been in the NT for 5 years now and I am yet to find a hotel that embraces its surroundings in a more classy fashion. The guest room is really an art classroom, and the compendium (that sits in its own wooden box on the bench top) is your guide to this amazing journey. I won't spoil it for you - book it, check in, wonder what the "stain" on the carper is and read the compendium - this really blew me away. The restaurants and raception areas are just as outstanding. Food and Beverage is quite expensive but you'd be silly to expect any less from such a remote location. Had breakfast one morning and that was quite outstanding. Most external areas have not been refurbished but somehow it really makes no difference to the overall stay. They've done a good job in the bathrooms, clearly carrying out a simple re-vamp from the old set up but it blends nicely with the newly renovated rooms. As far as local attractions go, with Uluru, the Olgas and Kings Canyon around the corner, what else can you wish for?!?!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Inspector_to_be
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at Sails in the Desert for only one night during our dash around Australia. Other reviewers mentioned that a refurbishment had been on-going last year, but the results are very nice--clean rooms, new fixtures in baths, excellent A-C, lovely grounds and pool area. To find such a nice resort in the middle of nowhere was refreshing if, of course, pricey. We did not use the free shuttle from the airport as we rented a car. Our flight arrived in the morning and we had heard that rooms were often not available until afternoon, so one of our party braved driving on the "other" side of the road and we drove straight to the Uluru National Park. The Cultural Center was adequate, but we most enjoyed just driving all the way around "The Rock" and seeing it from all sides. Because we were one of the few patrons arriving in our own car, the bellman was a bit confused about where we were to park, but we sorted that out and checked in quickly. Our rooms were ready before the stated check-in time. Wi-fi was available for purchase and we got a strong signal in our room at the far end of the compound. Free computers were also available in the lobby. We took advantage of the bar for a drink and cheese plate that evening. Both were good and the ambiance was restful and cool after the heat of the day. The next morning we had the breakfast buffet which was expensive, but very good with many made-to-order items. It appears that all the hotels in the resort area are inter-related and Sails is the top property. For us, it was worth the price for our limited time in Ayers Rock.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank tx32f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sails in the Desert 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Price Range: $224 - $497 (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 
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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

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