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Glen Helen Lodge
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Reviewed 17 October 2013

The Resort (how does it justify such a grand title?) rates itself as two stars and that is about right. The rooms were clean and the air conditioner worked. The meals were fine although our group - on a fixed price deal - did get tired of the monotony of the set-rate menu as we stayed several nights. Others would have a wider range to choose from. But the standard on the whole was fine. All the staff were very helpful and went out of their way to assist. Again there are no options for accommodation in this immediate area.

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the gorge might be nice as would have a pleasant outlook.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank aussietraveller36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 October 2013

Dear aussietraveller36

thanks very much for taking the time to post a review for Glen Helen Resort.

You are right about the grand title which was created by the previous business owners. I think they felt the name Resort was fashionable and might attract interest.
Since we felt it would be too difficult to change it after we bought the business, we have left it alone.

But recently we have come up with a way to gradually change it on all the channels we deal with in the tourism industry, and we are likely to phase back the original name, Glen Helen Homestead Lodge. We feel this will more correctly represent the property's character and guest house character.

Usually when parties stay a few days, we suggest they perhaps have an outdoor bbq on one night which we can arrange, or perhaps have a bigger meal from the lunch menu during the day and just a snack at night. But I hear what you are saying.

Actually in the past very few guests stayed more than one night, so this was not a problem. But more and more visitors are choosing Glen Helen as a base for their outback holiday for a longer period, and variety on the menu then becomes a bigger issue. Longer stays are wonderful for us as the guest becomes well known and really settles into a relaxed mode, enjoying great atmosphere and service.

thanks again for taking the time to write your review, and we hope we can welcome you again to 'Our Place' sometime again in the future
Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2013

We were a family group of 2 grandparents 2 parents and three teenage city boys for whom the Red Centre was a first time experience so we were not put off by Glen Helen not being a 4star motel but were glad it provided Outback style accommodation We stayed 2 nights 29 and 30 September 2013
The Positives are many ie Great location with many natural features near by plus the beautiful Glen Helen Gorge itself Helicopter flights Staff were both friendly and competent and we particularly appreciated the expert help from Colin in fixing a problem with one of our 4 WD vehicles
The evening meal in the restaurant exceeded expectations and was excellent
Things which could be improved are Showers need upgrading, no plug in bathroom, only one bedside lamp, plumbing needs upgrade eg three flushes to clear toilet
Aboriginal art available is excellent but could be better displayed and explained
The evening entertainment was good but possibly it could be tactfully suggested to the excellent guitarist to vary his choice of music a bit including say some local Australian folk-songs which we felt overseas tourists might appreciate
The one big negative which needs urgent attention was the filthy state of the kitchen available for self cooking which it took an hour for us to clean before it could be used
That one bad negative aside we enjoyed our stay and appreciated the energy and commitment of the management and staff in overcoming the difficulties of remote circumstances and would recommend GH to friends as we had it recommended to us
Tom Judy Peter and Helen Melbourne

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank thomho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outback_oasis, Glen Helen Management at Glen Helen Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback about your stay.

We do love to hear from all of our guests and are always delighted when people are able to enjoy the Glen Helen area as much as we do.

As you may know, Glen Helen is a leasehold business which means that some areas requiring upgrade have not yet been addressed by the landlords. We do make every effort to maintain the property to ensure guests have the best experience possible.

I apologise for your experience with the camp kitchen, it is not normal practise that guests should be required to clean facilities prior to use and I have forwarded your comments to our maintenance staff to ensure the situation is not repeated.

Thank you again for taking the time to review our property, we look forward to seeing you and your family in the West Mac's again soon.

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Reviewed 6 October 2013

Stopped here to get help with opening the glove box in our vehicle as wallets, glasses and mobile phones were stuck inside. Very helpful young man (son of the owner) had it open quickly, without doing any damage, saying he'd seen this problem a lot.
Decided to camp here as it was getting late in the day. Facilities could do with a bit of TLC. Enjoyed a beer on the back verandah overlooking the river - actually had water in it! Had dinner in the restaurant.
This place has a lot of character and an interesting history. Check out the meat house and the old piano on the front verandah. Piano has heaps of walking shoes/boots piled on top by people who have worn them out walking the Larapinta Trail.
Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
Thank Zanji2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outback_oasis, Glen Helen Management at Glen Helen Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback.

I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Glen Helen and that our staff were able to assist you with your issue.

Many people are surprised to see the water in the Finke River running behind the property, we are actually very lucky to have water year round in the gorge, although it is only the brave who take a swim during the colder months!

We are aware that there are some facilities due for upgrade, we hope to address this soon but in the meantime we do make every effort to address maintenance issues and ensure a comfortable and welcome stay for our guests.

Thank you again for your review and we will look forward to welcoming you again in the future.

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Reviewed 5 October 2013

Thank you Shelagh and Colin for all their help during our recent Larapinta Trail walk. We were able to organise transfers back to Alice Springs to start our walk and a pick up at the end of the walk from Redbank Gorge. Colin was also called upon to rescue a damsel in distress after a mishap on the trail, We were all very grateful for his assistance. The accommodation is quite basic but very comfortable and the food in the cafe and restaurant was fantastic. We spent a very relaxing afternoon on the back verandah chatting to other holiday makers and taking photos of a dingo that came down to the water to have a drink. We absolutely loved it!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sharon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outback_oasis, Glen Helen Management at Glen Helen Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback.

We are always glad to be able to assist visitors to the Larapinta Trail and are happy to hear that you were also able to enjoy the facilities at our property.

Thanks again for your review and we do hope to see you on your next visit to Central Australia.

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Reviewed 28 September 2013

We've just spent two nights at glen helen resort and enjoyed it. We stayed in their budget stockmans quarters which although basic were adequate. There were five of us in the group so we divided up in to two rooms and fortunately no one else came so we did not have to share.Staying in these rooms felt like we were camping without the hassle of traveling with tents, bedding, cookers etc.My daughter said she felt like she was on a school camp. It was very hot while we were there and we felt very sorry for some people who were camping in tents - the heat is oppressive during much of the day and to be stuck in a tent would have been dreadful. Some people at the camp site checked out early because they were finding the heat too oppressive. Unfortunately there are no fly screens on any of the windows and doors so one has to keep them shut to prevent insects getting in. A fan is supplied which helped and there is a small column heater for winter in each room. We brought our own pots and plates etc and Im glad we did as minimal are supplied. I rather liked the basic outdoor kitchen with its bbq, hotplates and fridge/freezer and the table with its plastic chairs. One felt outdoorsie like one was camping but with some useful basics supplied.

My biggest complaint about Glen Helen was the drinking water - its bore water and it tastes dreadful. I had some and nearly vomited. It is very salty - reminded me of the solution I once had to force myself to drink as a prep prior to a medical procedure. I spoke to staff and they all agreed - they can't drink the water either. We had to buy water which gets pricey when there are 5 of you and in that heat you have to drink alot when going on walks. I really can't think that that water is healthy to drink regularly and if you had any medical reason like kidney disease I wouldn't do so as it is so high in minerals.Even when one showers one can taste the salt on ones lips.

The resort provides a good range of tea,coffee, hot choc etc in the communal area which you can help yourself to - and tank water is used for that so it tastes fine. One can also buy reasonably priced internet which worked well and was great for catching up on emails during the long hot hours during the day so bring your laptop etc.

We enjoyed the peaceful, beauty of the place and would visit again.Everyone in our group agreed it was the water that was the biggest negative and people should be warned that they either need to bring some with them or be prepared to buy it when they get there,

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Aussie_MumSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear Aussie_MumSydney

Thankyou very much for taking the time to review Glen Helen Resort.

We are glad you enjoyed the simple accommodation and facilities, which allow guests to choose a budget holiday if desired.

We acknowledge the high mineral content of our bore water supply is a challenge for guests. Unfortunately there is no alternative supply available for the provision of water for the whole resort.
I am sorry staff did not direct you to one of the small water tanks storing rain water for guests use, or perhaps you did not ask us. We usually recommend this for your tea and coffee while self catering in the camp kitchen.
For the Restaurant meals, bottled water is supplied during meals and also with breakfast on request.
Most outback travellers do travel with a few 10lt casks of water purchased in Alice Springs or elsewhere. This is pretty affordable.

Interestingly the Finke River's Aboriginal name is Lherepente, which means River of Salt. The entire catchment of the Finke is extremely salt laden.

As you can imagine, the water quality causes all manner of plumbing challenges, and we hope one day the Landlords will invest in some kind of purification system or Desalination. This will cost a great deal, but would be wonderful!

Kind Regards

Shelagh O'Brien

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