We love the Outback and many of the best Outback trips start from Alice Springs. The town itself is full of character and history, making it a great introduction for anyone visiting this part of Australia for the first time.
Working out where to stay can be tricky with all the options that are in the area. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favourites from our trips here. Among the options below there should be something for everyone!
Alice Springs Accommodation
Alice Springs doesn’t have too many options at the luxury-end of the scale, but it does have a lot in the mid-range category with brands like Crowne Plaza, Mercure and Hilton having really good value hotels here.
However, if you want something truly unique, why not check out our first option!
Squeaky Windmill Boutique Tent B&B
If you really want to be among the red cliffs and in the desert, then Squeaky Windmill is the place for you! Set a few kilometres out of the centre of Alice Springs, Squeaky Windmill feels a long way away from the town and is located a short distance from Simpson’s Gap - one of the main attractions in the West MacDonnell Ranges and a must visit. You are also pretty much guaranteed to see some gorgeous kangaroos or wallabies (early morning and late afternoon were when we saw the most).
Glamping in the Outback doesn’t get much better than Squeaky Windmill as each tent is spacious and comes with its own BBQ and outdoor seating area to take in the beautiful views. The tents are kitted out with aircon to help with the hot days and (sometimes) cold nights, as well as a comfy bed and great bathroom.
Whilst you can stay here in the winter (June - August), temperatures at night can drop to -1C, so prepare to wrap up! This is when we stayed and the reverse aircon definitely came in handy.
If all you fancy doing after a full day’s adventure is relaxing back to an outback view in silence (apart from the occassional galah), then this is the place for you. Don’t miss looking up at the starry sky after dark, it is truly magnificent.
Crowne Plaza Lasseters
The Crowne Plaza Lasseters is the closest to luxury accommodation in Alice Springs and is one of the best hotels in town. You know what you get with a Crowne Plaza: large, comfortable rooms with everything you need as well as stunning views out to the MacDonnell Ranges from the rooms.
The hotel has three restaurants, a huge pool and outback character throughout. You’re not far from the centre of town either making it a good choice all round. This hotel tends to book out early during holiday periods, we weren’t able to get a reservation here when we tried so book in advance if possible.
We stayed in the DoubleTree on our first trip to Alice Springs and have been referring people there ever since. It is a really good value hotel with pool and jacuzzi in the shade for the hottest time of the day and decent sized, comfortable rooms. We are also a fan of the warm cookies on arrival!
The hotel has some outback character and although it is a little dated, it is still great value for a Double Tree Hotel. It also has one of the best restaurants in town an Indian/Thai if you don’t fancy going into town. We aren’t normally convinced when it’s dual cuisine but this one was really good (although we can only vouch for the Indian!).
Location wise you don’t get much better as it is a really short distance from the middle of town but far enough out to have a bit of peace and quiet. You are not far from Olive Pink Botanic Garden - our favourite place for breakfast in Alice Springs.
Mercure Alice Springs
Just like the other brands in town, you know what you get from Mercure: contemporary designed rooms, space, comfort and a good night’s sleep. The Mercure in Alice Springs is no different and styled like an oasis with greenery in the heart of the desert.
It also has a huge pool, a couple of restaurants on site and is a stone’s throw from the town centre. Overall another good option.
Budget hotels don’t get much more central than the YHA which is within walking distance to everything there is in Alice Springs centre. Like the rest of the town, the YHA has character as the building used to be where the outdoor movie centre was. On our visit they were still showing movies outside in the courtyard.
The hostel has twin and double private rooms (but you’ll have to use the shared showers) as well as 4 to 8 bed dorms. We have found YHA’s in Australia to be generally excellent and this one was no different.
The Ibis is as cheap as it gets for private rooms, but don’t expect too much! The rooms are basic with little in terms of luxuries (you’ll only get 30 minutes of wifi a day), but you’ll have a private bathroom, air conditioning and access to a pool in the heat of the day.
It is also pretty central, making it a good option for someone who is making a quick stop and wants to keep the costs down.
So which is our favourite?
For the novelty value we’d go for Squeaky Windmill glamping though I am not sure we would visit in the dead of winter again! Otherwise the Double Tree Hilton is excellent value for a good standard room.
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