Ayers Rock Hotels And Apartments
This page tells you more about the six different Ayers Rock hotels, or rather five hotels and one block of self contained apartments.
In most travellers' opinion all hotels at Ayers Rock are overrated and overpriced. I suggest you look at the individual Uluru hotels and the reviews I link to, to get an idea what's avaliable in the different star categories....
To find out how you can make sure you get the best deal for the Ayers Rock hotel of your choice, see my page about finding cheap hotels at Ayers Rock. (I doubt it will be really cheap, but at least you will make sure you get the best price available!)
Hotels at Ayers Rock - Five Star to Budget
- Voyages Longitude 131 (5 star) - The Most Exclusive Uluru Hotel
- Sails In The Desert Hotel (5 star) - The Ayers Rock Resort's Premier Hotel
- Desert Gardens Hotel (4 star) - Ayers Rock Views
- Emu Walk Apartments (4 star) - Self Contained Ayers Rock Accommodation
- The Lost Camel Hotel (3 star) - Uluru Hotel For the Budget Conscious
- Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge (3 and 2 star) - Outback Style Ayers Rock Accommodation
Voyages Longitude 131
The Most Exclusive Uluru Hotel
This is the only Ayers Rock accommodation located outside Yulara Resort, ten km closer to Ayers Rock then the rest. It is by far the best of the Uluru hotels, exclusive with a big capital E.
The Longitude 131 is an incredible place to stay. It was designed after a luxury safari camp in Botswana and has only fifteen luxury tents, with 33 full time staff members looking after a maximum of 30 guests (no children allowed). It cost 15 million Australian dollars to build! That's right, a million per tent. So as you can imagine those are pretty fancy tents...
Huge glass walls offering mesmerising views of Ayers Rock, marble floors, king size beds, bathroom mirrors that slide to the side so you can admire Uluru as you clean your teeth, and blinds that can be operated from the bed. You get a dawn wake up call, and you don't have to get out of bed. You just flick the switch and watch the sunrise over Uluru from your bed. Unbelievable.
The price is steep but this Ayers Rock accommodation includes absolutely everything, even three to four tours a day.
No, I haven't experienced it and think it's safe to say I never will. That price level is a bit out of my reach... Apparently Australian guests are rare here. The Longitude seems to attract mostly North American visitors.
The whole place burned down in a bushfire in 2003 but was quickly rebuilt (I don't know what that costed). It has won many awards (for example The Robb Report's Top Ten Haute Hotels in the World) and is regarded one of the best hotels in Australia.
Sails In The Desert Hotel
The Ayers Rock Resort's Premier Hotel
The Sails In The Desert Hotel is the Ayers Rock Resort's premier hotel. It is easily recognisable by the big shade sails that adorn the roof. The hotel complex includes the Mulgara Gallery (local Aboriginal art) and several restaurants: the Kuniya (fine dining), the buffet style Winkiku (open for breakfast and dinner), and the seasonal Rockpool (al fresco dining by the pool).
You have a choice between standard rooms and spa rooms, which feature an open air spa on the balcony<.
The official rating of the Sails In The Desert Hotel is five stars, but if you read reviews from travellers you find that most of them disagree and would only give it a three or four star rating.
People appear to be happy enough with the size of the rooms and the tasteful decor (the design focuses on Aboriginal heritage and culture). Most gripes seem to concern the price (which certainly is five star), the indifferent service, and the number of insects.
I have to shake my head a bit over the complaints about the insects, since most of them concern outdoor areas. Living here I know what the insects are like. Other than nuking several hundred square kilometres of Outback with DDT there is not much one can do about them.
Other than that I have to agree that the place is overhyped and overpriced, but you do also have to keep in mind where you are. In the Outback a long way from anywhere... Of course everything is more expensive here.
Desert Gardens Hotel
Ayers Rock Views
The Desert Gardens Hotel is a sprawling complex set within, well, desert gardens.
The gardens themselves have a few short walks to several lookouts over Ayers Rock and the desert.
For rooms you have a choice of shaded rooms by the poolside, or deluxe rooms overlooking the desert and, if you are lucky, Ayers Rock. There are two restaurants, the buffet style White Gums Restaurant (breakfast and dinner) and the Arnguli Grill (seasonal).
The main issues travellers have with the Desert Gardens is again that like most Ayers Rock accommodation it doesn't live up to its rating. It is described as being more of a motel or travellers lodge than a four star hotel.
Emu Walk Apartments
Self Contained Ayers Rock Accommodation
The terraced and fully serviced Emu Walk Apartments form an avenue through the middle of the resort. The apartments are big enough for up to six people and have fully equipped kitchens.
Other than that they are basic but spacious there isn't much to say about them.
The Lost Camel
The Funkiest Hotel at Ayers Rock
The Lost Camel Hotel was obviously designed for the younger travellers. The small rooms have bright colour schemes, there are metal coffee cups, a CD player tuned to Triple J and a huge plasma screen TV in the lobby.
There is only a bar, no restaurants, but the shopping complex with its two restaurants is nearby.
The Lost Camel is an Ayers Rock hotel for the more budget conscious, who plan to spend their time in the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park rather than in their Uluru hotel. By the way, when I say it's for the budget conscious I only mean it costs less than the other options, it still isn't cheap. No accommodation at Ayers Rock Resort is.
Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge
Budget Ayers Rock Accommodation
At the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge you have the choice between three star hotel or two star lodge accommodation (budget rooms and dorms). You are located a twenty minute walk from all the main resort facilities, but I think that's a good thing. And there's the shuttle bus anyway. The design is Aussie Outback style and the atmosphere is the best in the whole resort. (The quality of the rooms obviously isn't.)
It's interesting that the restaurants at the lowest level Ayers Rock hotel seems to get the most thumbs up from travellers. Especially the Pioneer BBQ and Bar is popular. It is a do it yourself barbecue with live entertainment and no matter where you are staying, it is probably the most fun place to go for dinner.
There is also the Bough House Restaurant, which offers traditional Aussie style cuisine, as well the Outback Pioneer Kiosk, which is open all day for affordable take away food.
If you want to stick to hotels, see if you can get a package deal (flight + accommodation) or a last minute hotel deal. (Look for the pink hued boxes on those pages. That's usually where the deals are advertised.)