Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
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How has this hotel rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsDesert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Yulara
Only staying for one night at Ayers Rock, meant we did not spend a great deal of time here, but the room was very clean and had a large powerful shower. Beds were comfortable and the staff very friendly. We would have liked to have eaten dinner in the restaurant but it was very expensive, so ended up at the Pioneer Outback for a 'DIY BBQ', which was great fun. Did splash out and had breakfast, but it was still over priced, even though 12 and unders ate for free!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort Yulara
Not up to expectations
The feelings about our recent 3 day stay seem to be in line with earlier reviews submitted by others. The room was quite a trek from reception up and down steps; more like a motel room. The room was fairly basic with poor quality furniture, although the bathroom was very good. Our TV was very old and faulty. It was replaced by a new one but they couldn't find the right remote control to use and gave up...
The hotel is under-staffed and staff are not especially friendly. The restaurant prices are too high and I would advise guests to use the Outback Pioneer Hotel eating areas in the same resort and also part of the Voyages Hotel group.
The Sounds of Silence Dinner was excellent and recommended, despite the rare rain we experienced!
Overall, as others have said, this is a 3/4 star motel style hotel, but with pricing 50% higher than it should be. As there is no other hotel chain choice in the Ayres Rock area it might explain the pricing. Do consider the Voyages Alice Springs hotel however. It is excellent and has much lower pricing and superior rooms
Stayed for 2 nights in February with my son. Arrived with an open mind after reading previous reviews. Yes, the accommodation is expensive but considering the location it all adds to the experience. Hotel staff were not very helpful at check in (which was extremely busy) - which was my only complaint. No help was offered to carry our luggage and it was quite a walk from the car park. Our room was clean with no insects! Bathroom very clean and excellent shower. Fridge was a great asset as stocked up on juice etc from the well stocked supermarket - prices were not too expensive. Lots of crickets and insects outside your door especially at night! Pool Area - very clean and a refreshing way to cool off after the very hot February days. Concrete area around pool gets very hot!!! I decided to hire a car from the airport and glad I did. It was far more enjoyable arranging my own itinerary . Yes there were flies - hats with a net attached can be bought from the supermarket. We did experience the Sounds of Silence Dinner. Good value for money - with a variety of food and quality wine. You couldn't really see what you were eating and bugs did jump into your wine! It was a very warm clear evening. Our stay was a wonderful experience and will never forget.
After reading a few reviews of this hotel I was slightly dubious about staying there, but after arriving at the resort my doubts were calmed, this hotel is lovely, very clean, great location and very helpful friendly staff. One word of advise all standard rooms are equiped with 2 double beds only they do not have rooms with one king bed unless you upgrade to the deluxe rooms, my advise is upgrade the room we had a deluxe room which had a view of Ayres Rock absolutly stunning. If you can, upgrade the room when you get to the resort as it will cost you less, it was AUD50.00 a night for us whereas if we had done it before it was more in the region of AUD100.00 a night. Remeber when going there that Ayres rock resort is the only place around for hundreds of miles so choices may be slightly limited but as long as you are aware of that before you go you'll have no issues. Loved the place and the hotel and would highly reccommend it.
Average and Expensive
We were recommended to stay at the Desert Gardens resort as some of the rooms had a "Rock View". We were lucky enough to have a (partial) Rock View Room, but this did not justify staying at this hotel.
The room was large, but more like a Travel Lodge than a 4+ star hotel. The bathroom was good and clean.
The swimming pool was extremely refreshing. You discover soon after diving in that the pool is not heated and quickly turns you blue and numb.
The restuaraunts at the DG are expensive and lack atmosphere. Sadly, the alternarives are rather limited.
We had a nose round some of the other hotels and would recommend the "Sails in the Desert" for the more luxury traveller, as the facilities and atmosphere are much better. For the traveller on a bit more of a budget, the Lost Camel is in a better location and you can use all the facilities of the other hotels.
OK with a big room rate, not a 5* but you don't have much choice
You really don't have much choice when you come to Ayres Rock as all the hotels (bar 1) are run by the same company and there is not much else to do than eat and drink in the hotel.
On arrival we had to wait for 2 hours for our room to be ready - we were given 2 free drinks from the bar as compensation but it meant that we were short of time getting ready for the Sounds of the Silence meal (this is worth it - although it was not the romantic meal for 2 we expected but a meal shared with 6 others. Having said this it was good to meet others and share experiences).
The room was very basic, I did not feel that it was the cleanest but the bathroom was very large with a good shower. Plus they all look the same so it wan be difficult to find your room.
We ate in the Treetops hotel one night - good food but very expensive!!
The staff were not that friendly but I think this was mainly as there was not enough of them. This seemed to be a running theme whilst we were there - just not enough staff.
In summary OK but definately not a 5 star hotel more like a 2 star in terms of service and room.
Overpriced, poor value, camp instead!
What a rip off. Cynical exploitation in terms of charging whatever they like for average service & facilities. Sadly this is typical of the hotels at the Ayers Rock resort who will overcharge you at every turn because they can. Do yourself a favour & camp instead.
2 star comfort at a 5 star price
There are several lodging facilities run by the same company at Ayers Rock. This review only describes our experience at the Desert Garden.
My wife and I selected the Desert Gardens for several reasons. First, the cost. It wasn't the highest priced hotel, but it wasn't the lowest either. We didn't want a hostel type environment, so we deliberately elected to stay here at a price of $348 AUD per night.
We expected a lot more than we received for the money.
Airport Transfer: Hassle free. The bus was waiting and the drivers were polite.
Arrival: Our room was ready, and there were no problems.
The room: Horrendous. See the photos. Grimy toilet, mould in the bathroom. In fairness to the hotel, there is a note that calcium deposits cause the marks on the toilet, but the toilet wasn't anywhere near being what we would consider clean with some calcium residue.
Dead insects in the room. Note: This is Ayers Rock, so we expected some unwelcome visitors. However, I think that when housekeeping comes in they should CLEAN up the dead critters. They didn't. Furthermore, room service plates were left out overnight from the people staying next to us, so that attracts ants. I went to take a picture, but the housekeeper quickly placed a napkin over the tray. I would have included this photo as well, but there is nothing to see except a napkin, and it's just out of focus.
The pool: It looks inviting on their website and is a great place to avoid the heat. However, it is deceptively small. I've included a picture. They do not show you the true size on the website. The sun scorches down in the middle of the day here, so unless you are a fan of skin cancer, for me, it was unuseable until about 4pm.
Service: Most employees were very helpful. No complaints. EXCEPT...they didn't address my room concerns.
Food/Restaurants: Entirely overpriced, because they can be.
Fly nets: The best $6.50AUD you will ever spend. If you are going in the summer. GET IT!!!
Sounds of Silence Dinner: Excellent...food very good. Not as good as a 5 star restaurant, so just accept it as a once in a lifetime under the stars dinner and you won't be disappointed. Plan your trip around no moon--we had a gibbous moon which washed out a number of the stars.
We also took the Ananju tours, which are led by Aboriginals around for sunrise. The Liru walk was okay, but not worth the money. Only men can try firemaking/throwing spears etc, so my wife was excluded. Much better tour was the Mala walk which included cave paintings etc. If I had to do it over, I would have done only the Mala.
Climbing the rock: Didn't climb out of respect for the people, but this looks simple. Up close, the climb is VERY steep, with nothing more than a chain for the way up.
Leaving Ayers Rock: No problems.
If I had to do it again: I'd rent a car from Alice Springs, stock up on food, and drive for the sunset. I'd pay for cheap lodging, and drive back.
My wife and I **DO NOT** recommend the Desert Gardens.
Our stay here in November was less then 24 hours. We came especially for the "Sounds of Silence Dinner" which depsite the less then memorable food was worth the trip. The Dessert Garden reminds me of a large sprawling motel. The room we stayed in was a good 7 minute walk from the main lobby. However, the plus was that it did have a view somewhat of Ayres Rock. The downside was it was near the road and you could hear the buses leaving at 4:30AM for the Breafast at the Rocks. It also, took almost an hour to get our room ready, even though we were there at the correct check in time and lastly in took another 45 minutes to get our luggage. It seems as if tour groups are given preferenceover individual travelers.
Overall it wasn't really bad. We went with the flow and had a great time. I'd probably stay again.