Uluru Up Close & Personal
The only “5star” Safari/Lodge experience at Uluru with meals, wine/beverages and guided tours included in the tariff. We recently stayed three nights in tent #2 and (with very few exceptions) thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
The “tented” accommodations are very comfortable. Each tent is named after an Australian explorer or expedition and all offer an excellent view of Uluru. While there is a small pool on property and spa treatments can be organized at another hotel the emphasis/main amenity of the property remains the view of Uluru.
Daily activities are organized & “safari” style with one early morning and one afternoon/evening drive/walk and they repeat on a two day schedule. Our Guides were very good. One should note that Uluru/Kata Jutu is located within a national park and open to the public and the other tour companies that operate within the park. Helicopter, camel and private tours are available.
General hotel staff are very good/excellent. Remember, Uluru is located in the middle of the outback, i.e., nowhere. Staff live in ‘company’ housing in the adjacent small town (pop 800+/-) of Yulara. There are no “locals” everyone is transient working 3-6 month+ rotations. The climate can be challenging with temperature extremes of nightly lows of -10c in winter to daily highs of 50c in the summer. The australian fly is present at times requiring one to practice the “australian” salute or use a fly hat.
Food quality is generally very good, especially given the constraints of provisioning in a remote area. Hot and cold breakfast options are plentiful. The lunch menu generally featured 3 choices for the main. Dinner was limited to a set menu served “under the stars’ or in the dining room and is limited to a set course. Although, staff does review the menu with you each day and will gladly accommodate allergies/preferences.
Food preparation was generally consistent with the exception of one lunch where two plates came out very cold. When pointed out staff quickly fixed.
Baillie Lodges Group has recently taken over management of the property. There is still a lack of consistency evident in the training of pre/post staff that needs to be ironed out. Three examples would be the lack of consistent use of the guest name, as this is such a small property it would be appreciated, a rather haphazard check out experience culminating in the failure to deliver the promised “airplane” departure lunch bag and rather casual bus transfer to the airport and the notable absence of senior management welcoming/interacting with guests.
Hopefully the minor kinks will be worked out and Baillie Lodges will consider additional itineraries for guests staying longer than the “standard” two days. Also, word was that additional updates are planned for the property.
In summary – you come here for the view and the property delivers.