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“Take the Rock View Room”

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Reviewed December 22, 2012

We stayed at the Desert Garden Hotel at the Ayers Rock Resort. There are several hotels within Ayers Rock Resort, but they are all owned by Voyager. As a matter of fact, the whole town is a monopoly. Voyager even owns the Ayers Rock Airport.

With the monopoly, everything was expensive at Uluru- the hotels, the gifts and souvenirs, the food, the excursions...One good thing about the monopoly is that there are frequent free airport shuttles. Voyager knows exactly when the flights arrive and leave since it owns the airport, so once you arrive at the airport, just step out the door and there is the coach taking you to your hotel.

There are also frequent shuttles taking you to different areas of the resort, like the Town Centre where the gift shops and activities are, and also to different hotels on the resort ground in case you want to have dinner at the restaurants there.

I picked the Desert Garden Hotel because it has the Rock View Room from which you can see the rock from your own balcony. If you stay at this hotel, I would say upgrade and take the Rock View Room.

We decided to make it a relaxing day and not book the sunset excursion. Instead, we went to the lookouts at the resort to see Ayers Rock during sunset. I am uploading the map showing the two lookouts I went to (green spots). Why not take advantage of the lookouts? They're free.

The only complaint is that the sheets were not well bleached, and had blood stains on them. I knew they were old stains because the sheets were clean and crisp, but all night I subconsciously tried to avoid those spots, thus not getting a good sleep. It was too late to call room service because my husband was so tired and just wanted to hop into bed and sleep. He didn't want to sit around and wait for the hotel to send someone to change the sheets. I did complain to the concierge desk when I checked out, and they were nice enough to offer us a big discount, and promised they would make sure they would better inspect / bleach the sheets in the future. Kudos to their customer service.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank isimpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, General Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Dear isimpo
Thank you so much for taking the time to review our hotel.
It is a pleasure to know that you enjoyed the view of Ayers Rock from our rock view room and your recommendations to future guests are very much appreciated.
The comments you provided regarding your linen were very disheartening and I do sincerely apologise for this. It’s a delight however to know that our wonderful reception team dealt with this matter promptly and effectively. As they promised our sheets are inspected thoroughly before they leave the laundry and than again before the bed is made.
I wish you all the best in the New Year.
Kindest Regards
Leon Pink
General Manager

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Reviewed December 20, 2012

$300.00 a night for a room only to have the following problems or conditions.
-commode would not stop running water.
-ants had made a nest inside the clock and crawled onto the bed/we had to kill the ants.
-woke up in the middle of the night without any A/C. called the front desk and was informed the A/C had been off for 3 hours. they did not have any fans we could borrow. A/C was restored at 4am. room temperature was in the mid 90's at this time.
-the A/C setting switch was broke.
-both clothes dryers were broke.
-the bathroom exhaust fan would not run.
-overall dissatisfaction with the staff's ho-hum attitude about the problems.

Room Tip: I doubt any rooms are better than any others. The main objective seem to be booking rooms and forge...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ewh53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RM_Desert_Gardens, General Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Dear ewh53
I appreciate your sincere feedback on your stay with us.
I found it very displeasing to read of the inconveniences you endured during your stay. Please know that the nature of these matters is not what we wish our valued guests to experience and I endeavour to mend the listed accordingly.
Our staff are continuously praised on their enthusiasm in providing an outstanding level of customer service. To hear that you found their attitude less than satisfactory
was saddening and I know our staff will be equally saddened to hear you did not receive the level of service they strive to achieve.
Thank you once again for your feedback and I wish you all the best in the New Year.
Kindest Regards
Leon Pink
General Manager
Desert Gardens Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012 via mobile

We were booked at this hotel by our travel agent as a 'mid range' package for an uluru and kings canyon excursion. We were upgraded to an uluru facing room which was brilliant sight when you wake up!
The rooms were clean and spacious with a balcony which was shaded. The room had everything you needed including a fridge to cool water before the long, hot trips to the various locations and tours.
We didn't have time to sample the pool or restaurant there as our schedule was so packed. We had dinner at the sails in the dessert which was a 65 dollar buffet. It had a good variety of food and service was excellent.
All the hotels are owned by the same company so it doesn't matter where you go to eat, they all welcome your custom and will charge it to your room.
The reception couldn't be more helpful, if you havent booked any tours they will give you information on the best tours and book them for you.
A special mention has to made for one particular receptionist- Rebecca. Our travel agent made a few mistakes with our tours and she couldn't have been more helpful! She confirmed and amended everything with all three tour operators and kept us fully updated. She was professional and efficient and we felt she went above and beyond for us!
Overall a great hotel!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank Bunners_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Flying up from Sydney and our stay at the Hyde Park Inn (please see my review if interested) we arrive at Ayers Rock Airport and the transfer to the resort is very quick and efficient as is the transfer on our return journey. We are staying 2 nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel and have booked the Uluru pass which includes the Kata Tjuta & Uluru Sunset drinks tour and Uluru Sunrise & Base tour. We have also booked the Sounds of Silence Dinner.
The Desert Gardens seems to be the first stop on the circuit of the resort, and check in and check out at the hotel is very smooth.
We have a standard room which is some distance from reception but you soon get to know the layout and the gardens and pool are very nice. We couldn’t see the point of paying extra for a Rock view room as you see enough of it anyway, and these rooms face the road while ours was in a more private quiet area around the back. I think its pot luck as to how good your view is and Uluru is at some distance from the resort anyway.
Our room is nice with two big beds and a walk in shower. There was some lack of attention to detail with a broken pedal bin and the fly screen kept falling off the patio door runners. Oh and I couldn’t find a safe. For a 4* hotel that was a little below par. I guess most people stay is fairly short so they don’t bother to report these things but housekeeping should pick up on them.
The resort is quite large and spread out but the resort centre is not too far from the Desert Gardens, and you can cut through the Emu Apartments to get some shade. It was very hot during the day in November at around 38-39c.
There is a shuttle bus that circles around the resort.
The hot buffet breakfast at our hotel was A$35- which to my mind is way over the top unless you are eating at the Ritz in London or somewhere like that, or you are on an expense account and someone else is picking up the tab.
The cheapest option is the Red Rock Deli at the centre which we liked, we would have a Panini or toasted sandwich. We got a take away one evening from Ayers Wok noodle bar, nothing fancy just sweet and sour chicken with noodles, $15- a pop. It was dreadful and inedible to be perfectly honest. We were just too tired to walk back and complain, and next day couldn’t be bothered so binned it.
My main problem with this place is that it’s too big and spread out, and there didn't seem to be anywhere to fill up your drinking bottles. There was an ice machine and water jug near the swimming pool but this soon ran out. I would expect some drinking water fountains around the resort particularly in this heat! I wasn't impressed with that and neither was I impressed with the broken /empty soap dispenser in the men's toilets at the resort centre. Again a poor lack of detail.
They have a good supermarket at the resort centre but no bottle shop. You can only buy take away alcohol at the Outback Pioneer Hotel which is miles away in that heat. Ok you can wait for the shuttle bus and then wait for one back if you have the time or inclination.
I guess the answer is to stay at the Outback Pioneer as that seems to be where all the action is...unless you want the Resort Centre that is.
But we loved this place generally and the tours were just great and the driver/guides just fantastic with their enthusiasm and knowledge. The guy who took us on the morning walk was just amazing.
Most people seem to love it so I guess they all can’t be wrong, but I was a little underwhelmed by the Sounds of Silence Dinner. If you are a couple then it’s probably down to who you get sat with on the tables of eight to some extent. The meal was very nice and plenty of wine etc...
But I was particularly disappointed by the astronomer guy; I didn’t expect Professor Stephen Hawking but this guy was just a little too jokey. I was hoping he would point out Alpha Centauri and the Southern Cross, but he seemed mostly fixated with getting more wine supplies from a distant star! He had a couple of telescopes set up somewhere out in the dark, one on the moon and one on a very faint distant star but I’m not sure if many people bothered as it was very dark to move about too much., especially if you had had a drink or two!
Perhaps the main astronomer was at the other Sounds of Silence site where the other two coaches went?

We now move on to North Queensland for our 8 night stay at the Retreat, Port Douglas...Please see my review if interested.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank roy_0749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

We had a fabulous stay at this hotel due to its location and pool!
Pool was situated amongst shady gum trees, grassy lawn, had sun lounges, was clean and had towels easily accessible.
We were situated far away from the reception. You may like to ask to be closer if you're like us and carry too much luggage. There was only one small luggage carrier that we could see. It is also quite a walk with toddler in extreme heat to facilities (dining, shops etc) so the Emu apartments might be better in the heat.
The restaurant at the hotel is quite pricey, as would be expected at such a remote location. The bar is disappointing as they didn't have food available after 4pm. Good coffee though. Other cafes in the main complex were fine.
Room had a large bathroom. Good for family. Toilet blocked on last night. Old TV that only worked 50% of the time though they quickly tried to fix it, but it kept breaking. No suitable viewing for toddlers. No video player. Good beds, linens etc. No info in room (mags, info on local area etc). Aircon doesn't have a thermostat to set and varied temperature.
Good friendly service. We'd stay here again but would know what to expect.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank natnadam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

I’m not going to repeat previous reviews about price of or decor of rooms.

So the positive... we had a standard room with two queen beds, $304 a night...the room had everything that I find important. It was quiet, clean, the bed was comfortable and, in 44.1 degree heat, the air conditioner worked well.
I don’t go on holiday to watch TV so it didn’t worry me that there wasn’t a flat screen TV in the room. We had early nights anyway as we were up at 5am to beat the heat of the day.

Had dinner at the Arnguli Grill Restaurant, after the Tali Wiru dinner which was booked for my birthday, was cancelled. I was disappointed, however, the meal we had surpassed expectation. The steak was $49, included a choice of sauce and a side dish, was char grilled and cooked to perfection and everything on the plate, including the salad was so tasty.
All the staff in the restaurant were friendly and attentive and Jason at the bar was entertaining and knowledgeable

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sajay52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Like countless others, the hotel charges ~ $500 a night, coz it can. The newly refurbished rooms were nice, and I hope they stay that way. Manager sent us a nice bottle of wine for our Anniv. I did find the front desk behavior more like a Super 8 motel, (i.e. just going through the motions) rather than being attentive or listening. That to me was deal breaker and thats what defines a good stay. We had atleast 4 different interactions with them and found none of them pleasing.
Other than that, the hotel hard product was excellent, the restaurant was nice and friendly.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BulkheadAisle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort

Address: Yulara Drive, 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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Price Range: $223 - $430 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 218
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is a superior hotel at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort. Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.You can relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel's pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar. It's only a short stroll to the Resort's numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia's best sunset, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert. Once the sun has set, dine at Arnguli Grill and savour an a la carte flame grilled menu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Hotel Desert Gardens
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Australia/Yulara

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