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Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013

We had a fantastic time visiting the centre of our country. Sails was much better than I expected. The staff were lovely with a friendly air, which aids the holiday experience. Buffet Breakfast was included and was fantastic giving you cooked to order eggs and cappuccinos. Terrace room was wonderful, the only downside being the lack of clear demarcation between balconies and the placement next to a smoker. It was fantastic having the easily accessible IGA, it really helped, particularly as you could buy fruit and drinks and other snacks for during the day, very helpful when you have kids. Someone on the plane going up said to hire a car. That was a good tip as I was just going to do tours. It gave so much more flexibility and you can drive around the rock which I hadn't realised. It also meant you could just go back to the hotel when you wanted to, which was helpful as it gets very hot, so you can just shoot back to the hotel and go back for a swim.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,520 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
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

This was our first visit to Yulara and Sails proved to be an excellent choice. The room was very clean and comfortable, well fitted out with king bed, table and great little lounge +chaise and some lovely indigenous ornaments. Outside hasn't benefitted yet from the same makeover but you don't spend your time in the stairwells.

The real highlights were the fabulous restaurant/eating options and the included guided walks and talks around the resort. We ate in each of the restaurant options - Lobby Bar for lunch and the Buffet and ala cart options for a dinner each. All were fabulous and it would have been extremely difficult to choose one over the other if we'd had a third day.

The staff in the restaurants were abundant and unbelievably helpful and we particularly appreciated their suggestions on activities and their helpfulness when we lost a piece of jewelery (which was found). The staff taking the free activities were very knowledgable and added to our experience.

The only thing we discussed on the way home was how soon we could come back..

Room Tip: Ask what view you have from your balcony plus some rooms seemed to have larger balconies with sun lo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

We chose to pay a bit more and were happy that we did. Second floor accomadation takes you away from the bustle of the pool, your balcony is surrounded by beautiful foliage and comfortable couches. Large beds, decor in keeping with desert landscapes, nicely fitted bathroom.
Buffet breakfasts set you up for the day, and dining at the bar at night fitted our tastes and budget.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2013

This is my third visit to Sails and the first since the recent renovations. The rooms are very clean, and furnishings are perfectly suited to the environment. The renovations have created a stylish, modern and beautifully decorated hotel that has a distinctly australian flavour. The breakfast is generous in quantity and high quality. Sure the rates can be on the higher side, but the cost premium is due to the remoteness of the area, and staying somewhere so nice so far from anywhere is a luxury and a privilege. I thought this hotel was at least 4 star and both Sails hotel and Uluru region in general is a must-do destination.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roxby Downs, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

You may think that by booking and paying in full, months in advance at this supposed 5 star resort you would ensure yourself of getting one of the better positioned rooms at a fair and reasonable rate but you would be very wrong.

We payed $1198 for 2 nights for 2 adults and 2 children and this was to be the jewel in the crown of a family trip to Central Australia.

On arrival it became obvious this resort is set up for fly in/out tourists who arrive with one suitcase and a wallet full of cash. 240 odd rooms and a carpark for approximatly 30 vehicles was the first indicator of that. If you are lucky enough to find a park you will be greeted by the aroma of rubbish when you get out your car as the car park is shared by the waste and service facilities.

Our accommodation consisted of a long thin room with 2 comfortable queen sized beds and a combined toilet bathroom at the end, it was clean and modern but we had payed a lot of money to stay at a 5 star resort not a small amout of money to stay at a 3 star hotel.
The kitchen facilities consisted of a kettle and a very small fridge, the little freezer section was iced up and the temperature inside was not much cooler than outside.
There were places provided for 3 suitcases, any extra luggage had to go on the floor.
The bathroom was clean and well appointed with towels, soaps etc. and we were impressed untill the shower was used and the stench of dirty drains was emitted from the drain pipes in the floor.
It soon became apparent that air flow in the bathroom was poor and it was found that the ventilation consisted of a fan pulling air through a small gap between the ceiling and wall above the toilet which was full of fluff and dust.
We were also disappointed to find that internet usage was an extra charge having had it included at all our other motel accommodation.

Understanding there is a premium on all accommadation at Yalara and curious to see what other options cost I checked the rates at the Yalara resort website and was shocked to see Sails in the Desert was offering 2 nights for 2 adults (and 2 children under 12 stay for free) for $849, having payed $347 more months in advance, I went to reception in the hope we would be offered some credit for the restaurant or at least some kind of explanation.

I spoke to the assistant manager who was on duty and among his excuses were "it was school holidays last week" - but we werent here last week? and "we have different rates" - so we have been penalised for booking and paying months in advance? "no not at all" then why have we payed $347 more than if we had just walked in without booking at all? He eventually asked what room we were in and looked up the booking on the computer.

We had made the booking through American Express Travel and at the time I had cross referenced their rates to the Yalara Resort website rates for Sails in the Desert and the price was exactly the same. When the assistant manager realised we had used a booking agency he told me they charged the extra cost, I explained I had checked the Yalara website and it was the same but he maintained they had charged extra. I asked him how much they had charged and he replied he had that information but was not allowed to tell me, I asked several more times and he refused to give me the information. It this stage the assistant manager was speaking quite loudly and rudely and was attracting the attention of everyone in the reception area, it was obvious I was not going to get a decent explanation, so I left.

In our room was a leaflet asking for an email address so the resort could send out an online review which I completed and handed in at check out, the assistant manager was at reception at this time and as 6 weeks later I have still not received the review, I can only assume he threw it in the bin.

When I returned home I contacted American Express Travel and was assured they never charge extra on any booking and are a free service to card members, this proves that not only was the assistant manager rude but also a liar.

This experience came very close to ruining our stay in Yalara and what was meant to be the high light of our 2 week trip definitly became the worst part.

If you really want to stay at Sails in the Desert dont get sucked in like we did and pre book, just roll on in and save yourself a bundle.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Jason V
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, September 4, 2013
Dear Jason V,

My sincere apologies.
We certainly don’t want to rip off anyone coming here and whereas there is a limit of what we can do if a booking came through a third party, we could and should have handled this differently. Just the same we should have provided you with our online feedback as you provided us with your email. I would be very happy if you wouldn’t mind getting in contact with us via feedback@voyages.com.au to provide us with your contact details. I would like to discuss your experiences with you personally via phone or email, as you prefer, to understand the context and be able to take the appropriate steps to correct any shortcomings.

Best Regards
Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

We check in the the receptionist had some difficultly. It took longer than normal to check in. When we got to our room, it was two queen. Honeymoons do not include two queens. So we called up and they first said nothing was available even the the place seemed dead.
Then they said we would have to wait for the room to be ready an hour later. Our paperwork confirms a king bed so it's hard to believe they didn't tell us when we checked in that the room would be two beds; sounds sneaky. The lobby bar is the only place for lunch and isn't anything special. Also no service other than the initial sit down and taking/delivering food. You have to get up and look for the server to get a check. Also it seem like a burden to ask them for more water or ice. I wouldn't come back and I would probably not recommend this hotel. It's like paying for 4 or 5 star and getting 2 star service. I think best westerns are more refined then this place.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Maiducali
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, September 4, 2013
Dear Maiducali,

thank you for taking the time to provide us and fellow travellers with your feedback.
I am very sorry to hear that your check in experience wasn’t pleasant and we allocated you a room with the wrong bedding configuration. As we do have a high number of rooms with twin bed configuration we are not able to confirm this in advance but I absolutely agree that we should have had a closer look at your booking and allocated you a king room in the first place. We will look at our procedures to see what needs to be corrected in order for this not to reoccur. Your unsatisfactory lunch at our Walpa Bar is certainly not within the level we are striving to provide our guest with and again, my sincere apologies for this. I hope you will consider returning in the future to provide you with memorable experience of a 5 star level.

Best Regards,

Andrea Nestle
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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