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“Good for the location, but some cracks in service levels”

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Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Yulara
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Stayed here for two nights on business. The devolved open plan style of the rooms is great but the reception/foyer layout and bag arrangements are strange and confusing. Clearly the intent is that everyone will arrive by coach as the car park is a fair hike from reception. Given the location the service and rooms are pretty good and the bathroom was a good size. Room facilities were clean and well maintained. I had wondered why there was an old fashioned oil heater in the room but the first night solved that as the temperature dropped to 1 degree and it became obvious that the air-conditioner was exactly that (just cooling and not heating), needed the oil heater on full to make the room comfortable. Second day it was 4.30pm before housekeeping came to service the room, I was settled so just took towels and coffee. I did note that the two housekeeping staff who were there were dressed in jeans and track suit pants respectively and I noticed many of the other service staff were the same. Struck me as very unprofessional for a quality property. But overall a pretty good stay and I well understand the issues involved with running a property in such an isolated location. Would stay here again

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ozcookie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed 3 nights in a desert view room and would probably stay again or recommend this hotel.

The positives are the rooms, which are large and comfortable. The overall resort is very nice with good free activities worth seeking out. The well stocked supermarket was a pleasant surprise and helpful as we are travelling on to other destinations after this stop. Buffet breakfast included in the price was good.

The downsides are that the desert view rooms face out on to a busy road - the main road from the resort to Uluru. This isn't the peaceful aspect in the marketing material. I'd still recommend these rooms over the cheaper rooms, but I'd rather have come knowing that the picture on the hotel web site of an unspoilt desert outlook is not accurate.

The housekeeping was the worst we've ever experienced. On one day the room servicing involved pulling the cover up over an unmade bed and replacing a toilet role. Towels left for housekeeping weren't changed, supplies such as tea bags weren't replaced, and no tidying or wiping surfaces. This wasn't a big deal for us, but I imagine might bother some people.

Parking is a long way from the rooms (in our case I'd say over 1km) and there is no offer of help with bags. Trolleys or a porter service would be good given the price. Next time I'd either bring a bag on wheels or insist that they help with our bags.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank PeterY62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

My husband and I did not have a good experience at the Desert Gardens Hotel at Ayers Rock. Even though the place was not very full, being off-season, we were given a room way out in the boonies, far away from the lobby. It was dark and creepy to walk over to it at night. The cost of the room led us to believe we would receive first class service but this was not the case. The bedding comforter was so heavy, it was like being covered with a rock. I was unable to sleep with it on me so got up in the middle of the night to pull out the blanket from the closet. However, I got cold in the early morning so had to request a second blanket for the next night. In talking with fellow tour members, I discovered that they had much nicer bedding: light weight comforter with clean sheets under and over.

We discovered tea cups, tea and coffee packets in a cupboard but no kettle to boil water. Again, we had to ask for a kettle which was provided but, at the room rate we paid, we expected the service to be impeccable.

We were surprised that Yulara was so far from Ayers Rock, although we understand the reason to preserve the area. However, without a car, tourists have no choice than to book a tour with one of a couple of tour companies serving the area. This one can do at the hotel lobby desk. Because you are a captured audience, the tour prices are exorbitant. We paid for half-day tours what we paid for full-day tours including a meal in other locations in Australia.

One enjoyable meal at the Pioneer Pub: selecting our meat (steak, kangaroo steak, emu and crocodile sausages, chicken or prawn kebabs, etc.) and BBQ'ing it ourselves, to be eaten with buffet salads and hot foods and dessert.

Ayers Rock and the nearby Olgas are certainly beautiful natural phenomena and we enjoyed our visit to them but we felt really ripped off by the exorbitant prices of the Yulara resort.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank SBtraveler09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Our family trip for 3 nights was one of our most memorable .Our 2nd floor rock view room @ Desert Gardens hugely contributed to this mostly due to the view. While it was clean, comfortable and spacious for our family of 4 however the price is grossly unjustified. For what we paid, we would expect closer car park access/ free wifi in the rooms and a shower curtain that does its job instead of flooding the floor at each usage.
Customer service is to be acknowledged though as everyone we interacted with was friendly , helpful and smiling.

Room Tip: If you are able, go with the rock view rooms, to see Uluru at every gaze is worth it.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

Reception fairly friendly but used to mass tourism. Rooms cleaned very approximately. Unfortunately you feel that the french owner has leveled this hotel to a airport terminal type reception. Wifi too expensive.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
Thank GuidoCarus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter W, General Manager at Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

Hi GuidoCarus

Thank you for you review.

I would be happy to follow up any particular issues you had during your stay if you can provide some more detail.
Ayers Rock Resort is owned by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia which is wholly Australian owned.
All profits go towards supporting Indigenous programs across Australia.
Please contact me directly so that I can address any feedback you have.

Kind Regards

Peter White
General Manager
Desert Gardens Hotel

Reception fairly friendly but used to mass tourism. Rooms cleaned very approximately. Unfortunately you feel that the french owner has leveled this hotel to a airport terminal type reception. Wifi too expensive

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

Our stay did not start out well with our room located at the back of the complex with us having to lug our suitcases from the car park all the way to our rooms. No parking close by to entrance, even to drop off bags. On the upside the staff were very friendly and helpful, our room was serviced every day (albeit quite late in the day). Offered takeaway breakfast for early tour and catered for special dietary requests. Breakfast was included in our stay which was quite good, but would have loved gluten free toast option! Would stay here again.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Tilnyster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

I arrived after driving 7,5 hours and found "coaches only" could park near entrance. I parked my car in the large car park and walked back to the large, sterile , admissions/departure lounge (services the whole resort) and awaited to be processed.
I followed the room map which I was given, thought I was going in the wrong direction, turned back and then I definitely was going in the wrong direction but an off duty member of staff escorted me to my room 110% for customer service.
My room was clean and exactly like the photographs "king single ground floor". The room has a mini bar but there is no room for any of your own supplies.
In the evening I turn to on the reversed cycle air conditioner as I was cold, cold air only filled the room. I walked across to admissions area with a picture of the controls on my phone. I was told that the system is preset and if I was cold there should be a heater in the cupboard near the door. I returned to room, no heater in cupboard so I rang "housekeeping" who delivered small 5 column oil heater, the room is large, but better than nothing and I slept with it beside the bed all night.
Presently, it is -0.4 outside, I turned the "air" on again but it is still cold.
I am booked in here for two more nights!!!!
My Rating of the hotel is an overall assessment. Several members of staff give 100-110% in customer service. Value to me is poor as I am cold which I would consider part of the experience if I was camping.

Room Tip: Do not stay in room 318 when the evening temperature drops.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Megsroadtrip
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 | Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory 0872, Australia
Region: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > Yulara
Bar / Lounge Business Centre 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: £164 - £298 (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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