Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort
Yulara Dr, Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, 0872, Australia
And if you wanna spend lotsa Aussie $$
We actually camped on our stay near Ayers Rock. However, as a public service, let me share a bit of hotel information for those interested in a more permanent roof over their head.
There is a tourist-entrance "gathering" near the entrance to Uluru/Kata Tjuta park. It includes shopping, eateries, internet kiosks, and hotels. We spent a little time near the moderately priced option, the Outback Pioneer Hotel. (see separate tip) However, if you'd like to go into the Outback and still be in a luxury hotel, while spending big bucks, there's another choice. it's called the
Sails in the Desert" Hotel, and is called so because of the whimsical "sails in the wind" design of the facility. It's set up to somewhat resemble a large sailing complex, out in the Red Center of Australia. The rooms are, I'm told, quite nice, and you'll pay for them too. :) The Sails hosts a variety of outdoor luxe activities in and around Uluru and the park.
Unique Quality: Just about anything you'd want in a top-class hotel, only it's out in the Australian desert.
Among the special features are...
"The Sounds of Silence", a premier BBQ experience out under the stars. You'll enjoy outback-style canapes, beverage, a three-course gourmet BBQ meal, tea, port wine and a guided tour of night sky by a resident astronomer. Dial extension 77 at the Sails for more information.
Sunrise Breakfast, which includes a spectacular sunrise over Uluru and the Olgas. After your breakfast, they promise that you'll get a personal introduction to "some of the most feared and beautiful predators of the desert wilderness". Hopefully, they aren't the busboys cleaning up your brekkie table.
Luxury at its best
The hotel is beautiful. The grounds are stunning. The room was extremely large -- there was one king bed and practically a whole extra hotel room of just space. Each room has a very nice balcony -- ours overlooked the pool. The bathroom was marble, fresh and clean. The shampoos and soaps smelled wonderful and were great after a long day in the hot and sweaty dessert dusty air.
The staff were great -- they did not mind microwaving our food because we have special diets and had to bring all our own food. They even had apples for guests to eat at the reception area.
The hotel was located very close to the lonely camel, which is where the small "mall" is. I was actually surprised that the gift shops were reasonably priced. There is also a supermarket, ATM and postoffice there, as well as some food places.
Internet is available in the lobby for $25 AUD for 24 hours of logon time (that can be spread over a span of 48 hours)
The gift shop in the hotel was very nice, but expensive. My only real complaint is that the hotel is expensive.
Unique Quality: Balconies in all the rooms, huge rooms!
Directions: We got a good deal on asiarooms.com for $280 USD a night (instead of $415). I saw it drop again to $254 USD a night.
Dorm Beds @ Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock Resort is the only accommodation option at Ayers Rock. The Resort offers different types of accommodation from 5-Star luxurious apartments to campgroundsss to cater for the needs of different travellers.
Due to the low temperature at night, we broke our rule of choosing the cheapest mode of sleeping i.e. camping in this case and stayed in a 4-bed dorm. The dormroom was really small with basically no much space left after placing your backpacks on the floor. Luckily the mattress was comfy. Afterall, we were just looking for a bed to take a good rest before getting up super early the next day. There's just one thin blanket provided for each bed, which was definitely not enough for me. I gotta put my jacketS on to get some warmth.
Apart from different restaurants available at different areas of the Resort Village, there's a big common kitchen which opens till late night for you to cook. The kitchen was well-maintained and clean, though it might be difficult to find a right pan/saucepan at peak dinner hours. There's an eating area right outside the kitchen on one side and an open-restaurant area on the other side, at which a live band sang every night. We just brought our food there and enjoyed the music.
To conclude, I enjoyed my stay there.
Unique Quality: Pros:
- holiday feeling within the resort village
- helpful help desk which operates till late night
- clean, even the toilets or the showers
- nice live band music (you can hear even at the shower!)
- with someone replied my email inquiries
- expensive (but it's OUTBACK!!! and thus unavoidable)
I was very impressed with the camping facilities at the Ayres Rock Resort. I recommend it for any one.
Unique Quality: Soft green grassy camping areas. I was afraid that I would have to pitch my tent on dirt. Nope. It was very comfortable and very nice!
Large communal cooking area. You don't need a grill. They have a cooking area with gas grills. And... they have refridgerators that you can use too! No extra charge.
Electricity (to charge my mobile and iPod).
Only place to stay
Ayers Rock Resort has various type of accommodation to fit different budget
- Sails in the Desert Hotel (most expensive, very artsy)
- Desert Gardens Hotel
- Emu Walk Apartments
- The Lost Camel Hotel
- Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge
- Ayers Rock Campground
I stayed at the Outback Pioneer Hotel which is the only one I could afford a budget room with community bathroom. Knowing that this is Australia, I wasn't concerned about the bathroom bit which was very clean with plenty of hot water and it's very close to the room.
It's quite expensive as this is a monopoly. I had paid a lot less for a bigger room with en-suite bathroom in Alice Springs.
Unique Quality: View of Ayers Rock
Plenty of free parking
Ayres Rock Resort
This is the only place you can stay near the rock. its a massive complex with any kind of accomodation from camping to $400/night suites. If you go on a tour with NTAT, they have their own camping pitches and you ill have a campfire and bbq. You can sleep in a swag(a big fat sleepin bag with matress in) under the stars,a memorable night.
More about Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort
no way it's 5 star
We Stayed for 2 nights in October 2005. I am not sure what the other accomodation possibilties are in the resort but Sails is more like a 3 star than 5. the pool is great but you can use that even if you are at the campsite. we left with the feeling of being ripped off which spoiled the overall experience of going to Uluru, and i I think i would now tell people not to bother going there at all.
Don't be fooled this is not 5* closer to a Butlins Holiday Camp
We picked Sails in the desert for our honeymoon in december 2005 as it was rated 5 stars. Now that may be 5* in Uluru but compared to any other 5* hotel this falls woefully behind. We were in the 4* sheraton four points in sydney darling harbour and that was not only better than sails in every way but far supassed it. Sheraton was like flying concord and sails was like flying on a cargo plane in comparisson. I would even say our self catering apartment in port douglas, Cairns was better.
The layout of the rooms are chalet style like in a Butlins/Pontins/HideHi holiday camp and I have to admit I was looking for a blue or red coat from there on in. If you have been to this type of resort you will know what I mean, so be warned. By this I mean you go outside across a courtyard where the pool is situated to contiguious rooms round the pool. Your door to your room is on a concrete open air corrodoor behind the rooms. The pool and main areas were fine but not what you would call 5* plush.
So what was wrong:
1) We arrived late at 3:30pm and the room was not ready had to wait till 4pm to get the keys
2) When we arrived at the room there was room service items still outside our doorstep from last guests
3) Our room was not serviced the next day till 4pm so we got our own replacement towels from the pool.
4) The non-smoking Delux spa room had burn marks and rips in the sofa. The rest of the room was in good condition and the bathroom was nice
So what did they do right:
1) The manager was very appologetic to our compliants and offered us a free breakfast the next morning. Given this is overpriced already we considered that fair compensation.
2) staff were plesent and helpful
3) Pool was nice and clean
Uluru has a monopoly and they milk it in everyway they can. Supermarket food is pricey,Transport to the rock is stupidly expensive, meals are way above the norm in austrailia, Petrol - add an extra 70p a litre from anywhere else. My advice is limit your self to 2 nights here and spend the money else where. That allows you to do the sounds of silience meal and drive to the rock and the olges on the full day. Plus go to sunset as sunrise is not worth the effort and not that sepctacular at all.
Overall this resort is showing it's age. It's styling is old, worn and dated. The chalet style accommodation that you get is holiday campish. Basically its a 3* resort with a high price tag. However, compared to all the other hotels at uluru this is proabably one of the better ones.
I may have been harsh here, and don't get me wrong I had a great time visiting the rock and recommend it along with sounds of silence, it's just that sails has a high price tag and sets expectations in your mind and then fails to meet everyone of them which sort of taints the experience.
Hope this helps you
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Sails in the Desert Ayers Rock Resort
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sails In The Desert Ayers Rock Hotel Yulara
Address: Yulara Dr, Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, 0872, Australia