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Reviewed December 1, 2008

We stayed here as part of our tour. This hotel, as well as the others in the Ayers Rock Resort, are under the same management. When you visit Ayers Rock and want to stay over, there's very little choice except for these. That said, our room at the Desert Gardens was 161. It's a ground level room with a terrace over looking some bushes. The room was 2 queen beds, not very spacious nor well-lit. The bathroom however was nice. It was very large and brightly lit with plenty of counter space. The breakfast was decent.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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Thank Tardykat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2008

All the hotels in the Yulara resort are run by the same company so there is no real competition. I think that this results in the hotels not trying as hard as they otherwise would. However, the Desert Gardens was fine. The rooms were comfortable. We wished that we had had a pool view room because they also look over the gardens. The reception staff were great ( as seems to be the norm in Australia). The pool area was quiet and relaxing.

We had dinner in the restarant twice. The first time the service was abysmal. The second time is was great. (The first night I think the manager had a day off).

The advertised breakfast is not good value but we discovered they do, what I think they called, a quick start breakfast for $11 which was more basic but better value.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank younggrandad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2008

Reading previous reviews we were prepared that our stay at this hotel would not be the best. For a start it was the most expensive hotel of our trip around Oz and possibly the worst quality. However, when we arrived at the hotel it was not as bad as we were expecting. We had not booked transfers but were pleasently suprised to find that AAK Kings provide free transfers to the resort but this makes check in take a long time as you arrive with a coach full of people. The room itself is ok I would liken to a UK Travelodge standard - everything you need is there but its not luxurious in anyway. The pool was ok freezing cold and was also full of leaves and bugs we particularly noticed that the pool area was not always cleaned at night as there were glasses and other things still there in the evening. Previous reviews are correct in the sense that food is extremely expensive we only ate Geckos Cafe where the food was not very good and the service was awful. However, we were not there just to stay at the hotel we were there to visit Uluru.

Uluru is absolutely out of this world and definitely worth putting up with the hotel. We visited Kings Canyon which although is quite a long trip from Uluru is breathtaking. We made the long climb to the top which was amazing. You can also walk the lower canyon if you are not too keen on the long climb. We also went to Uluru to watch the sunrise and walked right around the base which took several hours but well worth it. We decided not to climb for the cultural reasons but we think walking around the base was the better option because we got to see the aboriginal paintings and the waterhole. We also went back to Uluru to watch the sunset on a Harley Davidson. This was not only the highlight of our trip to Oz but probably the most amazing thing we have ever done. We were taken for a ride around the rock and then to the viewing area to watch the sunset while drinking champage. The service we received was amazing and would definitely recommend. This trip is well worth the money we only wish we had had more time to do this again. The trips are quite expensive but we decided that you will probably never go there again so its important to see as much as you can. We wish we had time to have visited the Olgas as we only saw them from a distance which seemed very different to Uluru.

Our stay at Uluru was an experience we will never forget as it really is completely different to other parts of Oz and you really feel that you are in the 'heart' of Oz. We would suggest not to expect too much from the hotel and be well prepared for how expensive everything is. For us the experiences we had at Uluru and Kings Canyon were well worth putting up with the hotel and the expense.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lisa799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2008

Considering that this is located in the middle of a dessert, this is not a bad hotel, it just doesn't live up to its billing. Rooms are spread out over considerable distances and getting to and from them in heat can be very, very difficult. There is no news stand for any sundries or magazines or any of the usual items. You must walk to a "town" that is up the road. The staff is simply the staff; no special attention here.

This hotel is part of a complex of hotels with the "town" in what we assume was a relatively central location. We never managed to drag ourselves out into the dusty heat long enough to explore the "town" but whenever we asked for something, that was where we were told it was.

Dining is not always available. If you arrive at an inconvenient hour (easy to do as most guests appear to be part of a tour), you have to rely on getting to the "town" for food. All of this is somewhat understandable given the location, but we believe the website makes everything sound much more divine than it really was.

Stayed: October 2008
1  Thank katesjourneys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2008

It was with much trepedation that I made reservations to stay at the Desert Garden Hotel at Ayers Rock. The reviews on Trip Advisor made the place out to be the second coming of the Bates Motel. After long conversations with my wife about what we could so with the extra time and money if we skipped this area of Australia entirely, I bucked it up and went for the "out of body" experience of seeing the rock.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to this part of our 3+ weeks in Australia as I expected the worst. Upon arrival with a plane load of people - most of them on a group tour - we were among the last out of the airport with a rental car so we arrived at the hotel just after the group travel bus began unloading. A plethora of people were in the lobby and I expected a long wait to check in especially after the reports on Trip Advisor.

To my surprise, the group was getting their room keys off to the side of the lobby and there was no line at reception! Check in would have been quick but an innocent inquiry about a room upgrade possibility (as I had reserved the standard room) was met with the opportunity to upgrade at only $50 per night (a good $300 savings off the rate originally quoted on the web for a deluxe room) so I jumped at the opportunity. This delayed check in a few moments as a clean room was located and another slight delay as keys to two different rooms were originally provided but nothing major.

The room provided was large, clean with a king size bed, a large bath and plenty of room for all our stuff. Again, I was much relieved to see the quality of the room as I was expecting far less. During our 3+ weeks down under, we stayed at 8 different accommadations and the room at the Desert Garden was among the nicest of the bunch. Was it worth the $400 plus that we paid -- no, it likely would be a $250 room in all but Sydney, Hong Kong, NYC etc so yes it was overpriced but it was not run down or sub standard as some reviewers would have you believe. One just needs to understand that you are paying nearly double for same accommadations as you would get most anywhere else. Does that make the rooms bad, uninhabitable or unacceptable - absolutely not - just a little hard to swallow on the "value" scale.

Our only criticism of the room (besides no view) was that it looked out to the main road that entered the entire Voyagers complex of hotels, campground, gas station and stores such that every vehicle coming or going went passed our building. Of course, this diminished quickly after dark at night but the parade of vehicles starts up early in the AM as everyone tries to get to their desired location before the sun arises. Word to the wise - if you upgrade to or book a deluxe room, check the location in the complex -- seemed as if most were along this entrance road but perhaps there are some more secluded/quieter options elsewhere.

All in all the experience was not nearly as bad as I expected. Seeing the Rock and Olgas were interesting but hardly life changing. Recommend hiking around the base of the rock as much as possible - either on the round the rock trail or by driving short distances and getting on to various trails around the rock - each section is like a different world and provides you with much different views than from far away.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BostonPetvet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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