22 November 2012 by Luke McCormick
A complete A$30 million renovation of Ayers Rock Resort's premium Sails in the Desert Hotel and the construction of a meetings and conference facility, the Uluru Meeting Place, has been unveiled by Australia's Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson MP.
Ayers Rock Resort's premium Sails in the Desert Hotel is now a flagship of modern Indigenous design with a complete refit of all 231 rooms in the hotel including two suites and 16 terrace rooms. The entire reception area offers a cool oasis and houses an integrated bar and restaurant area that is the ideal place to rest in between tours of Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta.
The Uluru Meeting Place, named in acknowledgement of the local Anangu people who have used the area as meeting place for tens of thousands of years, has a striking modern Indigenous design with facilities that include a new ballroom seating 420 people that can also be sub-divided into smaller meeting spaces.
"We believe that the creation of a modern, state of the art Conference Centre will establish the Uluru Meeting Place as an important new option in Australia for meeting planners," said Voyages Indigenous Tourism Managing Director, Koos Klein.
"The complete renovation of Sails in the Desert sets the scene for our guests at this iconic location from the moment they check in and engages with them throughout their stay. From the Indigenous artworks to the specially designed carpet in the rooms that mimics the topography of the region, the hotel echoes the environment around them in quiet luxury," said Koos.
This event marks a period of intense change and development at the Resort since Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia took over the management on 23 May 2011. Not only have there been physical changes to the Resort, Indigenous employment has risen from two employees to over 170. Other initiatives have included the introduction of a suite of free Indigenous Guest Activities that include yarns, garden walks and cultural performances.
A new premium under-the-stars dining experience Tali Wiru has commenced as well as new Outback Sky Journey tours that are an easy and affordable way to discover our solar system are offered two times a night.
"When we took over the Resort our mandate was very clear; to increase Indigenous employment and training as well as cultural engagement for our guests.