Here I help you choose the best accommodation in Uluru from a wide choice of options to suit all budgets, from high-end safari tents to hotels, apartments and camping sites.
The first thing to note when choosing accommodation at Uluru is that all Uluru hotels are located within Ayers Rock Resort.
Although the range of accommodation options all have different names and branding, they are all run by the same company: Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.
The resort is based in Yulara (actually the town of Yulara basically is Ayers Rock Resort as there’s nothing else here), a 10-minute drive from the entrance to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Ayers Rock Resort is a self contained village that comprises a range of accommodation, restaurants, art galleries and shops all centred around the ‘Town Square’.
No one hotel/resort really has a better location than the other, so it all comes down to the type of accommodation you prefer – hotel, self-catering apartment or camping. Among the different hotels, the main differences are the on-site amenities – and price.
Most of the accommodation: Sails in the Desert, Emu Walk Apartments, the Lost Camel Hotel and the Desert Gardens Hotel are all within a 5-minute walk from the Town Square.
The Outback Pioneer Hotel and Campground are slightly further afield and best reached via the free resort shuttle bus that links all the accommodation with the Town Square and the camel farm.
Longitude 131 is the final option. This luxury safari tent-style resort is really in a league of its own and is treated separately from the others. It offers an exclusive and luxurious experience and you can expect to pay in excess of $5,000 per person for a 3-night stay here.
Regardless of where you stay, all accommodation includes return Ayers Rock Airport transfers, free use of the Ayers Rock Resort shuttle bus service and activities in the free Indigenous Activities Program.
Let’s take a closer look at all the accommodation at Ayres Rock Resort:
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Sails in the Desert
Sails in the Desert is at the top end of the accommodation options (with the exception of Longitude 131).
Its 228 rooms and suites can all accommodate 4 people with an option of two queen beds in all rooms. Standard rooms come with a balcony and the Terrace rooms have a larger terrace with sun loungers.
There is also a large swimming pool, which will be very welcoming in the warmer months (the water was a bit too cold when we visited in May) and lawn space for the kids to run around.
You also have a choice of onsite dining options: Ilkari restaurant offers buffet breakfast and dinner, while the Wilpa Lobby Bar and Pira Pool Bar share a menu serving up classics such as burgers, salads and club sandwiches.
If you have time to relax then head to the Red Ochre Spa for a range of massages, facials and body treatments.
They often run activities for the kids too – our kids joined in with some free traditional painting activities.
Emu Walk Apartments
The Emu Walk apartments are ideal for families with their self-contained one and two-bedroom units.
For the two-bedroom apartments, you can opt for a queen or two single beds in the second bedroom. Both bedrooms come with flatscreen TVs, so no fighting over TV programs with the kids.
All apartments have fully equipped kitchen and separate living areas with a double sofa bed included, which will be handy for larger families. The washing machine will come in handy for all that red dirt your kids will be caked in by the end of your stay!
The Town Square is right next door to the apartments with several eating options for dine-in or takeaway and the IGA supermarket is also right there to stock up on self catering supplies (they often do rotisserie chickens).
There’s no swimming pool right at the apartments but guests do have access to the pool at Sails in the Desert which is just a five-minute walk away.
Desert Gardens Hotel
The Desert Gardens Hotel boasts the only rooms with views of Uluru in Ayers Rock Resort (again with the exception of Longitude 131).
You can choose from Garden View or Rock View rooms and all rooms can accommodate 4 people with the option of two double beds. Rooms are not dissimilar to Sails in the Desert and come with either a balcony or terrace with sun loungers for the Terrace rooms.
If you can afford it then the Desert Deluxe rooms are worth it for the view of the desert stretching out to the rock.
There is also a small swimming pool onsite which is great for kids cooling off in the warmer months and guests can also access the larger pool at Sails in the Desert, if desired.
Onsite dining options here include Mangata Bistro & Bar for breakfast and all-day bistro classics such as burgers, pastas, salads and poke bowls and the Arnguli Grill (this was closed when we visited and still is at the time of writing).
The Town Square is an easy 5-10 minute walk from the hotel.
The Lost Camel Hotel
The Lost Camel Hotel bills itself as a ‘contemporary and fun, boutique-style hotel’.
The small rooms have been brightly decorated and modernised but it’s not really the best option for Uluru accommodation for families as rooms are small and only sleep 2 people. Some rooms also don’t have windows.
There is an onsite swimming pool though and it is just a short walk to the Town Square and Sails in the Desert to access restaurants.
Outback Pioneer Hotel
The Outback Pioneer offers affordable motel style accommodation and is just a short hop on the shuttle bus from the Town Square.
All rooms come with one double and one single bed, so ideal for small families and interconnecting rooms are available for larger families.
There’s an onsite buffet restaurant, The Bough House, for breakfast and dinner, The Pioneer Kitchen for pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads etc and also a popular DIY BBQ place that’s open for dinner, alongside a bar and bottle shop.
Note that the Outback Pioneer Hotel is set apart from the hotels although it is still only around a 15-minute walk to the Town Square. The free shuttle bus is a good option and runs every 20-minutes from 10.30am-12.30am.
Ayers Rock Campground
If you’re on a budget or just want to get out into the great outdoors in the red centre, then the cheapest option is the campsite at Uluru.
There are both un-powered and powered campsites for tents and caravans. If you wan the comfort of air conditioning the two-bedroom cabins that sleep up to 6 people, with a double bedroom and two sets of bunk beds in the second bedroom.
The camping ground also provides a range facilities including a swimming pool, playground, bbq facilities, outdoor kitchen and self-service laundry facilities.
The Town Square is just a short ride away on the free shuttle bus to access the supermarket, petrol station, shops and restaurants.
If you are travelling as adults only or with older kids (10+) AND you have plenty of cash to splash, Longitude 131 is a spectacular luxury tent resort with views over Uluru.
The resort is more suited to couples but the two-bedroom Dune Pavilions are next-level amazing for families (with a price tag to match).
This luxury option has everything you could dream of for a unique and special Uluru stay, including luxurious lodging, fine dining under the stars, unparalleled views of Uluru and a beautiful day spa.
This resort is renowned as one of the best luxury camps in Australia and you can expect your bill to reflect this. Expect to pay over $5,000 per person for a 3-night stay here.