a building with a sign on the side
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Lost Camel Hotel in Yulara. Hotel Review.

This camel is lost, all right...

Visiting such significant cultural and spiritual sites in what is known as the Red Centre of Australia — such as Uluru or Kata Tjuta, which are important to the aboriginal Anangu people — requires a place to stay overnight, as a day trip to this area is virtually impossible due to both how remote it is from other parts of the country and how much there is to see. Five hotel and resort properties are located in the town of Yulara — and all of them are part of the portfolio of brands of Accor Live Limitless. One of those hotel properties is The Lost Camel, which is part of the Mercure brand.

The Lost Camel Hotel in Yulara. Hotel Review.

a reception desk in a room
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Although The Lost Camel has its own reception area, it is open daily from 8:00 in the morning through 4:30 in the afternoon. Outside of these hours, guests must visit the reception area at the Sails in the Desert hotel property, which is adjacent to The Lost Camel. My key card was unable to unlock the door to my room the first time; so I had no choice but to walk back to the Sails in the Desert hotel property to get the issue resolved. I found this arrangement to be inconvenient at best — especially after a long drive of greater than three hours from Kings Canyon to Uluru at sunset before driving to the hotel property to check in. Worse is that the doors to the rooms of The Lost Camel are exterior doors; so most of the time I spent on the issue with the key card was spent in the summer heat outside.

a lobby with a reception desk and chairs
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The reception area is part of a furnished lobby, which appears to be spacious when it is empty. Be forewarned, however, that this area can at times be filled with guests both checking in and leaving, as only two people typically work behind the front desk — even when as many as two dozen people are in this area and no seating is available.

a bed with pillows on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

I entered the room, which seemed nice but not all that spacious. Despite the lighting, the room was rather dark.

two beds with pillows on each other
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

This room was furnished with two single beds — each with plenty of pillows and an adjustable lamp for reading. A shelf of sorts was behind the pillows, which was convenient to store portable electronic devices while they were charging in the outlets or the Universal Serial Bus — or USB — ports. A remote control for the televisions on the shelf.

two beds with pillows in a room
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bed was comfortable. I slept well in it.

a room with two beds and a door
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Adjacent to the entrance of the room is a chaise and a small table — both of which were built in. The chaise had a small pillow on it and was a good place to relax with a laptop computer and work. Tucked in an opening under the surface of the table was an extra blanket.

a bed with a pillow and a tv on the wall
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

A flat screen television was built into the wall for viewing from either the aforementioned chaise or from the beds. I did not watch any television while I was a guest at The Lost Camel.

a closet with a light and a shelf
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The closet area had no door. It contained an iron, an ironing board, five wooden hangers, a can of insecticide, and a flashlight which automatically activates when pulled from its charger that is mounted on the wall.

a white closet with a bed and a coffee maker
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Adjacent to the closet is a miniature refrigerator and a place to store luggage. A telephone was mounted on the wall above the luggage area.

a white shelf with a door open and a safe
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Below the luggage area were a safe, a plastic laundry bag, and a thick blanket.

a coffee maker and teapot on a counter
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Above the miniature refrigerator were a coffee pot, two mugs with two spoons, and an assortment of tea, coffee, and sugar. Instead of powder for the coffee or tea, a small container each of full cream milk and soy milk were located on a shelf in the miniature refrigerator.

a close up of a container
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Bathroom

a bathroom with a sink and a mirror
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bathroom was rather odd, as the door on the left led to access to the toilet; while the door on the right was the entrance to the shower. The sink, tissues, electric hair dryer, and two hand towels were in the room itself.

a couple of bottles on a tray
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Adjacent to the sink were two bulk dispenser bottles of hand and body wash and hand and body balm by Wiru, which manufactures indigenous skin care in New Zealand. Its products contain ground Wattle seed.

a shower head and soap holder
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The shower area contains a detachable shower head and two soap trays — even though bar soap is no longer offered at The Lost Camel.

a group of bottles with labels
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

On a small tile shelf in the shower area were three bulk dispenser bottles of hand and body wash, nourishing shampoo, and hydrating conditioner by Wiru.

a toilet and towel on a rack
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Two large towels and a bath mat were on the towel rack. The toilet was equipped with one of those push buttons located on the top of the tank, which I do not particularly like.

a shower door with a screen
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The shower area and the toilet area each contained windows with frosted glass. Because these two windows were the only windows in the room, no view could be seen. Fresh air could be allowed in with the window by the toilet; but the air was too hot outside for this to be viable…

a digital device on a wall
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

…and one major problem with the room is that it was extremely slow to cool. The room was never cooler than 24.5 degrees Celsius, which was slightly hotter than 76 degrees Fahrenheit. I called a member of the maintenance staff to fix this issue; but the climate control was at full power and no other rooms were available at The Lost Camel. Fortunately, I was out of the room much of the time and was tired enough to sleep in these uncomfortable — and unacceptable — conditions.

a pool with a deck and chairs
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

I suppose I could have cooled off in the outdoor swimming pool.

a desk with a wall painted on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Final Boarding Call

The total cost for the room for two nights was $485.64 in United States dollars, including all taxes and fees. The room and the overall experience was clearly not worth the expensive rate of $242.82 per night; but The Lost Camel offered the lowest rates of any of the lodging options in Yulara. Charging expensive room rates is what happens when one lodging company has a monopoly on the options for overnight stays in a remote area where nothing else is available for hundreds of kilometers.

I do not recommend staying at The Lost Camel if a better option is available. Members of the staff offered fair to middling service at best; but it certainly was not outstanding. Although dining, parking, and shopping are close by to The Lost Camel, I would not call them convenient, as none of them are on premises. The Lost Camel in general is not extraordinary, special, or exciting, as the accommodations felt similar to that of a basic hotel property. The room was reasonably comfortable but not spacious — especially when one cannot look through of a window to see outside. I was reminded of the time when I stayed at a hotel property in a room with no windows.

I did not use the swimming pool.

The Lost Camel Hotel – A member of Mercure Hotels
Yulara Drive
Ayers Rock, 0872 Yulara

Free parking is available at an adjacent shopping center.

All photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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