We stayed here for 3 nights as part of our Australia/New Zealand tour. We flew direct to Uluru and having picked up our hire car had no difficulty at all finding the resort – a 10/15 min drive from the airport.
What particularly impressed us about not only Desert Gardens, but the whole Voyages resort, was how unobtrusive it was. If it had not been well signposted, we could easily have missed the turning.
Desert Gardens is a busy hotel and there seem to be quite a number of tour groups that use it. This did lead to some congestion and queuing in the reception area at times, but both check in and out were efficiently handled. On check in, there did not seem to be any porters or bell boys to help with luggage, so we were left to manage on our own. As rooms are arranged in 2 story blocks across the complex – with no lifts, this was rather trying! Whilst we were there, the area was plagued with locusts and flies, a result of recent weather conditions, so face nets proved essential. The door to our room was covered in locusts, which I found a little off putting to start with, but to which we rapidly became accustomed. There was no problem with insects inside the room, at all.
We were in a standard room, on the top floor of a block, facing a sand dune and a view of the desert, none of which were a problem as we spent very little time actually in the room. The aircon was reasonably quiet and very efficient, the bed very comfortable and the bathroom and plumbing more than adequate. The balcony was a pleasant place to enjoy a quiet drink and snack before heading out for the evening.
Having read reviews of the hotel, we were prepared for food to be pricey. However, we balked at paying AU$26 each for a continental breakfast and similarly ridiculous prices for other meals. The problem was easily solved by walking the short distance to the ‘town square’ and having breakfast at the Red Rock Deli (fabulous fruit salads and filled croissants) and evening meal at Geckos (excellent pizza and pasta dishes) both of which were very reasonably priced.
Unusually, Desert Gardens not only has a guest laundry – they make no charge for the use of any of the machines AND provide washing powder for free. The swimming pool was a good size and well maintained although actually used very little. There were plenty of sun loungers and chairs around the pool, and towels were provided free of charge. The hotel has a small gift shop which had some rather nice pieces, but seemed to open at odd hours, so we never did get to buy anything there. Although quite a large proportion of guests had cars, there were always plenty of parking spaces available.
All in all we had a fantastic time at Uluru and would not hesitate to recommend Desert Gardens with the caveat that food prices really are ridiculous.
- 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