Ayers Rock – Accor is the key

Checking in at Ayer’s Rock Resort‘s Outback Pioneer Lodge I saw Le Club Accorhotels brochures all over. Actually old A Club ones, the rebrand has not made it to the Outback. My 88 points would have done little good; maybe this will help you.

Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s top attractions and egregiously expensive. Package tours may bring some costs down, I did not investiage. Individual travelers face big costs.

Flights are on Qantas so OneWorld redemptions are available, the Sydney-Ayers Rock (AYQ) flight is an AA codeshare, if that helps. I used British Airways Avios, which is 10,000 points in coach. Virgin Australia also serves the airport. There are additional options at Alice Springs (ASP), a 4-5 hour drive away but beware limited kilometer limits on rental cars.

Australia 057

Translation: bring Accor card

Accommodation seemed hopeless at first. The town of Yulara is owned by Voyages and called Ayers Rock Resort. They control all accommodation and everything else, people can’t even live there unless they work for Voyages. To get a room with private bathroom at the cheapest, Outback Pioneer Hotel, is $200+. I stayed at the sister Outback Pioneer Lodge in a 4-bed dorm with shared bathroom for $46. The three girls who saw me arrive, covered in dust, were not thrilled.

From the resort’s website you would never know of the Accor affiliation but the hotels (except for the shared dorms) are bookable on Accor’s website and presumably bookable for awards.

Then there are the discounts. I dined at Gecko’s a restaurant in the shopping center and was given 25% off for my Accor membership. I did not have my card but they agreed to enter my number. It seemed that the discount was supposed to be tied to elite status, so experiences may vary. The discount made the terrible $18 burger a little less stomach-churning.

Australia 065

'Ayers Wok,' I can't resist a Chinese pun

I was in and out in a day so did not get a chance to investigate all the benefits, but Accor is the definitely the key to Ayers Rock.

I was talking to a Brit who had earlier missed out on a Great Barrier Reef boat tour discount because he did not have his Accor card, so there may be discounts across Australia. Worth packing the card just in case.

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram

  • Matt

    So you’re saying my platinum status with Accor has some value? Superb!

  • Eric

    We’re going in March of next year. Rev ticket from SYD-AYQ on V-Australia. Most expensive flights, car, and probably lodging of the whole trip.

  • @Eric – yep, the costs are shocking, and it hits you each time you try to get a snack and a burger is AU$18.