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“Hotel in the desert - good but a bit noisy...”

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

We stayed there for only two nights. It's a very good hotel and the staff is very helpful. However you need to pay for WiFi and pretty much everything is quite pricy... But you're in the middle of nowhere so things have their price. I'd gladly recommed the hotel if you're on a budget, otherwise go to the "Sails of the Desert" hotel - free internet and way better (and more expensive) restaurants...

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Raphael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 8, 2013

My mother had wanted to visit Uluru since she was six.....she is now 69. With her mobility issues my sister and I would not have been able to help her make her dream a reality without the excellent customer care of the staff at the Desert Gardens. We were able to use their wheelchair and they made extra provisions to get us where we needed to be with the least amount of hassles.Our room was clean and comfortable and the proximity to the grocery store made breakfast and snacks much more convenient and affordable. I look forward to returning with my own family.

Room Tip: Rooms located closer to the office will hear the morning trash and laundry pick ups. Not bad if you...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

I enjoyed my stay at the Desert Gardens Hotel. I only spent two nights there but the accommodation was clean and comfortable. At check in, I was told I had received a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room which had a beautiful view of Uluru from the balcony. I enjoyed meals and snacks in the on-site restaurants. The retail shops, only a few minutes walk from the hotel, were good for picking up some souvenirs for family. I also purchased prints from the artist in residence, Linda Macauley, which I am looking forward to putting up in my home when I return to the States. The resort staff was extremely helpful and accommodating. I recommend the Desert Gardens for anyone thinking of visiting the Uluru or Kata Tjuta.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
Thank Lana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Well, the best saying that can apply here is: "it is what it is" and leave it at that. There are only three options in this town, if you want to call it that. You can stay at the campground, you can stay in one of the hotels like this, or you can stay in a super expensive lodging.

If you REALLY want to see Ayers Rock, this is a good place to stay. Nothing is cheap or affordable here. That is for two reasons. They capitalize on the fact that it is a huge tourist destination. But on the logistical side, since they are HOURS by flight or car to any other towns, everything has to be brought in by truck or plane that causes its own expense in fuel and man power. The hotels are overpriced, the food is overpriced, and the tours are overpriced. That being said, if you really want to see it, then you have to accept it for what it is.

The service here was good. We were REALLY upset that the Sounds of Silence dinner was canceled. We were only there two nights. On the first night we checked in, we we asked if there was space available and should be switch our dinner to that night. The woman said we could if we wanted, but she didn't think it was necessary. Well, the next day, the weather was overcast. In anticipation of rain, the dinner was canceled. Besides seeing the rock, that was one of the things we were most looking forward to. Perhaps if it had rained, even a drop, we wouldn't have been so upset. I understand they can't control the weather, but since there is such limited things to do there and it's so expensive, we really couldn't afford more than two nights. What a disappointment. However, to credit the efforts of the resort to try to make it up to us, they did offer us an additional refund on a portion of our stay, in addition to the refund of the dinner. We thought that was very a very kind gestures and appreciated their efforts very much.

The room was clean enough, but there were cobwebs in the lights and the ceiling. You ARE in the desert, so you can only expect so much. Not to mention that these properties are huge and they are in such an isolated parts of the country, so I have no clue how they house the amount of people coming and going as they do. The staff was also friendly.

Helpful things to know:
*Voyages Resorts owns almost ALL, if not ALL of the properties. Keep that in mind when booking. You aren't getting a "deal", they have a monopoly on the place. A "captivated audience" is what they call it.
*If you can afford to do the Sounds of Silence dinner, (even thought we didn't experience it) it probably would have been worth it.
*You don't need a car if you fly in. They have complimentary shuttles to and from the airport. Even if you are able to transport yourself to the site by car, you still have to pay a park fee for your car (I think).
*You do not need to book an expensive tour to see the rock at sunrise or throughout the day. We bought a shuttle pass...not cheap, but better than a full tour (unless you want a full tour, of course!) I believe it was $65 per person. They provided transportation to and from the rock throughout the day. We especially enjoyed the sunrise...but bundle up, it is chilly!
*Your park entrance fees must be paid in cash and are never included in the tour prices. I think it was $25 per person.
*Best meal for the price was anything at the Outback Pioneer Hotel. They have burgers, beer, and other bar food for the least-painful price. We ate our dinners there every night. Just check their hours, because I think they are open for lunch and dinner, but they close in-between.
*We also went to the grocery store, which is also grossly overpriced, to make sandwiches and get yogurts for breakfast the day we went to the rock. Despite the overpriced items, it still saved us some money.
*There is a cafe at the if you do want a snack or hot cup of coffee at the cultural center at the rock.
*There is free wi-fi in the lobby of the Desert of the Sails lobby. That was helpful, even though it was a bit of a walk, or free shuttle ride, over to that location.
* We did the sunrise tour and only lasted a half-day at the rock. It got really buggy and we lost our patience. If you have bugspray, you may want to bring it. Suntan lotion is good to have, too!

It really is an amazing sight to see. We are glad we saw it. With that said, knowing what we know now, we would have gladly saved the chunk of money it cost for our very short visit and extended one of the other legs of our trip to relax more.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank carpediem29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Located in very central area and access to all the attractions close by. Very nice self BBQ setup and decent quality rooms. the rooms could have been more cleaner. I spent two nights there and had dinner on nearby places.

The staff is friendly and willing to help. Overall it's a good hotel to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Dimuthu_Parussalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Desert Garden is one of the hotels in the Ayers Rock Resort group. It's the closest in proximity, along with the Emu Apartment, to the resort town square where all the resort-sponsored activities are held as well as where the main groceries store is located. Staff service was excellent. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: If you have large or a lot luggages, you may ask for rooms on the ground level. However, they do hav...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ventay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

You cant complain when you have facilities like this. Its nothing special but there is nothing wrong. We stayed 2 nights in our month long desert drive last month. I would stay again. We had an apartment and prepared our own breakfast each day.It is interesting that all the accomodation at the "Rock" is operated by the ONE company and the cost of staying at each property seems not to vary much. We could have taken a room in the 5 star hotel for the same price as our apartment. The "Back Packer" hotel had rooms which were more expensive than our apartment.We found the staff very friendly.Dont bother chasing room prices at "The Rock" just book into the first venue you pull up at.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank broome_12
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 - $433 (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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