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Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I thought this hotel was decent. Yes, way too expensive but that's how they get you in the desert. You don't have all that many choses really. My room was clean and comfortable. TV channels are limited but you shouldn't be watching TV anyway. The pool was enjoyable.
The first day I arrived, I went to the service desk asking for information on the tours. I asked the woman how long it would take to walk around Ayers Rock. She gave me this weird look. Told me that they don't recommend doing that at all. She said the walk would be about 8/9 hours long. That didn't sound right to me (since I had done some prior research) but she must know what she's talking about right, since she's selling tours??? Later that night I was talking to an older guest who told me they were doing the 'Base Walk' tomorrow. This guy was in his 70's and he's walking around Uluru??? I thought they didn't recommend that??? The next day I asked my driver about it. He told me that he wasn't sure why the lady would say that since walking the base of Uluru is very common. And the walk is only about 4 hours...far from 8 or 9 hours. You'd think the person selling tours would be a little more informed about what they're selling. So talk to other people too...not just the hotel staff selling tours.
I thought internet was decently priced and it was free in the lobby which is always a plus.
After I checked out of the hotel and flew back to Sydney, I realized I forgot something in my hotel room. I tried to call the hotel that very same night but I was surprised to find that I COULD NOT find a direct number for the hotel AT ALL. I guess there was only a universal number for reservations or something but no direct number for the hotel. We called information...I looked online forever trying to find a direct number. My Aussie family that I was staying with were shocked that we couldn't find a number for the hotel. So...if there was a family emergency outside of the available phone number's hours (which I think was only till 5pm) and I didn't have internet...(I had no cell phone)...how would they have gotten a hold of me? It was very bizarre. The next day we finally managed to get transferred through to the hotel. It took about two full days to be told that they didn't find anything in my room. They kept telling me they'd call back and let me know but they never did. We had to call 3 or 4 times and finally get angry with them before they managed to get back to us. They said they didn't find anything even though I knew I left it. But...my fault for leaving it behind. Hope whoever has it now is enjoying it.
In summary - Average place at a five star rate. Research your tours before you arrive. Take a swim in the pool (might as well...you're paying for it!). Hope you have no family emergencies. And finally...don't leave anything behind because you'll have to buy a new one.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Maxxxines
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 July 3, 2013

Dear Maxxxines

Thank you for your review.

It is saddening to read that you were not provided with either the correct information of tours nor a follow up to your inquiry. We endeavour to provide our guest with a truly memorable stay and I would like to apologise that in your case we were not successful. Please know that your comments have been taken seriously and addressed with our front office team, stressing the importance of information and follow ups given.

On the Ayers Rock Resort homepage there is a link at the bottom of the page which provides contact telephone numbers for all hotels and outlets at Ayers Rock Resort.

I wish you all the best in your future travels.

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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2,352 - 2,358 of 3,299 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2013

Definitely not a 5-star hotel. It has been updated, and some of the facilities are nice, but the service is slow and forgetful (need more and better staff?), the first rooms offered to us were next to an open maintenance area (avoid rooms 179 and 180), and the layout feels like a glorified motel. More experienced staff at Reception were ultimately helpful in sorting out the room issue, but first interaction with them was subpar. They probably need some competition to improve.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank mdtravels_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I would love to return as it was such a beautiful stunning place to stay, the rooms were fantastic, the staff so friendly & helpful! The buffet breakfasts were wonderful, so many choices.our beds were so comfy. The pool area was lovely, we had dinner by the pool one night, just so peaceful & relaxing!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank 22ala44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

A very nice hotel but really a 3 star ! But what do you want in the middle of the dessert? I suppose the main issues were the rooms open to the outdoors, like a motel... And the lobby isn't air conditioned. Ouch.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank drea2000
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 June 24, 2013

Dear drea2000

Thank you for your review.

A Sail in the Desert is a large, opened planed hotel with rooms with situated around the gardens and swimming pool. The entire facility is indeed air conditioned to provide both warmth in the winter months and a chilled temperature in the summer.

As member of the Pullman group our rating is that of 5 stars and it is saddening to understand that we did not meet your expectations. My apologies for your dissatisfaction.


I wish you all the best in your future travels.

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.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

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
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 reviewResponded 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.
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
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1  Thank Fusspot-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank MareeandMark
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
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 
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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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