The redesigned Terrace rooms at Sails in the Desert opened on 1 August.
The redesigned Terrace rooms at Sails in the Desert will be open from 1 August.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has confirmed the resumption of flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Ayers Rock (Uluru) will slightly precede the reopening of its newly-renovated Ayers Rock Resort.

The recent closure of the Northern Territory border has allowed the property to bring forward its $50 million plan for an extensive refurbishment of the property as well as upgrades to nearby airport infrastructure including new screening areas for enhanced security.

At the resort, work was spread across three of the property’s resorts and guest areas, with the five-star Sails in the Desert seeing improved guest rooms and suites alongside an upgraded lobby, swimming pool and restaurant. Further upgrades were completed to The Lost Camel property, while the resort’s camping area also saw the replacement of the toilet block and bathrooms. Voyages will re-open the Emu Walk Apartments but has opted to keep Desert Gardens Hotel and Outback Pioneer Hotel closed for the time being.

The Terrace balcony at Sails in the Desert.

Voyages’ outgoing CEO, Grant Hunt, said he was looking forward to being able to welcome back guests into the spiritual heart of Australia and to show off the new-look resort.

“This is the perfect time for Australians to get out and explore our amazing landscapes including the vast central desert, iconic Uluru and Kata-Tjuta as well as experiencing the important Indigenous cultural stories shared by the Traditional Owners of our land,” Hunt said.

The reopening of Ayers Rock Resort will bring with it a host of enhanced cleaning, hygiene and guest safety measures in place to adhere to new social distancing norms and guidelines set by the Northern Territory government as part of its border reopening plan. This will be led by a newly redesigned mobile app with improved functionality, with guests able to check in and out remotely, order dining, plan tours and activities and book extra services such as spa and dining via the app.

Cleaning measures will include hospital-grade cleaning of all rooms and public spaces, conducted more frequently and more visibly for guest assurance. Guests will also be screened on arrival at the airport, with any potentially hazardous cases able to be isolated at a new facility on-site which can be activated as needed.

The resort will also reduce tour group sizes, conduct more comprehensive safety and hygiene training with all staff and implement more rigorous food preparation standards with mandatory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn by staff, while 24/7 dining will also become available at some properties to give guests more flexibility when it comes to dining times.