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“Does the remoteness justify such high price for such an ordinary hotel?” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

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Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Does the remoteness justify such high price for such an ordinary hotel?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

We paid over $500 a night for what was quite an ordinary hotel. However there's a monopoly and if you want to go there and stay in something half decent then that's what you pay. The staff are enthusiastic but with an average tenure of 3 months, there's a level of amateurism. The food is variable, stay away from sirloin steak and go for roast of the day, however it's generally expensive. In terms of rooms, adequate however the corridors and internals look like a dated motel. For some reason the hotel entrance areas are kept unbearibly hot. Go for first floor, meaning not ground or 2nd floor. The balconies are better, but an odd design where your neighbours balcony looks into your room if they stand at the end. What I didn't understand is that we are in country where you can see Uluru from miles driving in any direction, yet the hotel is sighted in one of the few spots where no one staying at the hotel can see Uluru from pretty much anywhere, that took some planning! The sounds of silence experience is very disappointing at pretty much every level, you'll get more silence and better views of Uluru by walking out to the observation hill close to the shopping area. So not much choice if you want to see Uluru and the Olgas, however I can see why Australian tourism is doing so badly, the hotel seems a third full, with so many better value tourist destinations in the world I can see why people go elsewhere.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Mikeyeli
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 review, June 24, 2013
Dear Mikeyeli

Thank you for your review.

It is concerning to read that your stay did not meet your expectations and for this I would like to apologise. We endeavour to provide our guests with the highest level of service and a quality product that enables them to leave with a positively memorable stay.

Please know that your comments have been taken seriously and have been discussed in our management meeting to ensure all issues regarding Sails in the Desert are resolved.

I wish you all the best in your future travels.

Kindest 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.
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2,515 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (549)
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English first
Dural, Australia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

Our recent overnight stay was exemplary.

We had a Queen room with 2x queen beds joining a 1brm spa apartment with direct views of Uluru. The suite was extremely spacious & beautifully appointed with every luxurious amenity you could think of. We were delighted to find a welcoming platter of hand-made chocolates, sparkling water & bottle of wine. The beds were supremely decadent & a good nights sleep was had by all.

Our group had planned to drive to Uluru for the sunset (which was very spiritual) and upon returning decided to dine in-house. Alas we were not forewarned that bookings were advisable. Never the less, the young lady managing table bookings said she would ring our room when a table was ready, which she did as promised.

The dining/bar decor is lovely & inviting, the buffet looks amazing with an excellent selection. The only downside was the cook-to-order grill which took forever to deliver our food - even after many, many enquiries as to where our orders were (45 mins for Pad Thai after 3 requests). This really did affect our experience, especially when paying $65 per head (food only). Our waitress was lovely & very professional, her knowledge of wine was of high standard.

Breakfast was excellent with a large selection to choose from & coffee was very good.

This hotel is very beautiful & a lot of effort has been put into the decor which highlights the Australian Outback superbly. Many hotels could learn from this fine example of embracing the beautifully rugged surroundings & rich Aboriginal culture.

I highly recommend.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms overlooking Uluru. 1 bedroom spa rooms are exquisite. Pre-book a table for dinner.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fusspot-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

My daughter and I stayed here over the June long weekend. The room was very comfortable with two queen size beds, loads of pillows and the most comfy bed I have had the pleasure of sleeping in for a long time. We had room service both nights (after long days out walking, dressing up for dinner was the last thing we wanted to do), and the meals were wonderful and very reasonably priced. Not to mention that you are able to purchase items from the room including the soap holder, decorator cushions, umbrella and bath robes! Breakfast was great, with lots of choose from, and quick efficient service from table staff. Grace the chef was great, with nothing too much trouble to cook up if requested. The staff in the gift shop and reception were also wonderful. It's only a quick 5 minute walk to town square where you can shop, and a quick walk across the road to a viewing area to watch sunrise and sunset over Uluru. Not to mention that there is a shuttle bus that goes by every 20 minutes, and the hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus to the airport. A great place to stay for a special weekend.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MareeandMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
119 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

I stayed here for 2 nights with a friend in a superior room. The room was spacious and comfortable with modern fittings and a nice balcony with chairs overlooking the lovely grounds and pool. Double sinks in the bathroom was also nice! We ordered a very good and reasonably priced Thai curry from room service one night and enjoyed the Sounds of Silence dinner the other night.
My only quibbles which are minor is the overheating in the lobby area, the bed was too soft (though I like a hard bed) and the fact we were charged for the water bottles in the fridge which are not listed on the mini bar price list. This charge was deducted when we queried it at checkout though.
If you need 4/5 star accommodation then this is the place to stay at Ayers Rock resort. But if you don't need this level then Desert Gardens looked just as nice with a very nice pool area and grounds and a lobby area which wasn't overheated! Both hotels are within a few minutes walk of Town Square where the shops and other activities are.
And an extra tip to save money - the Uluru Express runs a shuttle service between Uluru and also Kara Tjuta for $55 return. If you dont have a car, this is a much cheaper option than the rather overrated 'guided' tours. You can do the walks on your own as all the sites are well marked with descriptions. We had thought we would get extra information from the guided tours but the only 'extras' are breakfast and a group of people which prevents you from enjoying the solitude and peacefulness of the place. The shuttle bus picks up from all the hotels and camping ground and the drivers all check with each other over the radio to make sure you have been picked up. You can see the sunrise and the sunset using the shuttle.
I would also recommend spending a few hours at the cultural centre near the rock. There are 2 galleries there which sell Indigenous art at very reasonable prices and the artists receive the money directly.

Room Tip: The rooms on the upper levels have nice balconies and views of the gardens.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank campbells05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
39 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

A very awesome experience. Clean hotel. Very close to Uluru. This was a very unique hotel in the middle of the Australian Outback. Would definitely stay at this hotel again and look forward to it sometime in the near future. The staff and the food there was great.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cavalosjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gosford Central Coast
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

Our stay at Sails in the Desert was awesome. The room was clean, well thought out, beautiful balcony, and the king size bed was just luxurious!
Every staff member we met was courteous, friendly and very helpful.
We also visited the Outback bar Hotel, which was great for a drink, BBQ dinner And a chat with other visitors.
Once again I have to mention the staff, this included the AAT Kings staff, the motorcycle staff, just EVERYONE!! Nothing was ever a problem, and any queries were dealt with immediately!
The whole atmosphere at Yulara is very magical and mystical, would love to go again!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
1 Thank leane_yates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

It must be understood that Ayers rock is a very expensive place, and this is an expensive hotel. We were fully expecting to feel like an object in an overpriced sausage making machine, but were very pleasantly surprised.
It started when pulling up. Our bags were efficiently whisked away, with the pleasant gentleman saying that he was sure we would be on his schedule, and presumably checking the luggage labels for our names. Reception was large, light and airy, and the check-in was efficient and friendly. Despite the quick check in our luggage was already waiting in our room when we reached it, the first time this has happened to me.
The corridors are a bit scrappy looking, but our room was large and beautiful, with a big comfortable bed and a large balcony extending into the treetops. The bathroom was great, with the only negative being the shower over the bath, a pain when you are vertically optimised and trying to step over the high edge. We also didn't like the shower curtain rather than a door.
Dinner was great, and remarkably not overpriced, and the service in the restaurant was excellent.
We don't do tours but prefer to be independent, and the staff were very helpful in suggesting activities.
Overall, an excellent stay, our only regret being we couldn't stay longer.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Glyn T
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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