Fresh from a $6 million transformation, Australia's showpiece desert resort, Longitude 131°, reopened on 1 August with an even greater emphasis on its star attraction, Uluru.
Architect Max Pritchard, designer of the game-changing Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, supervised the renovation for Baillie Lodges and added a spa to the 15-year-old property, as well as a private two-bedroom suite, the Dune Pavilion, to cater to high-flying families and friends who value privacy and exclusivity. The suite's glass walls and balconies capture views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta - a first for any accommodation - and its private plunge pool is the ultimate indulgence in the desert wilderness.
The heart of the lodge, the Dune House, has been comprehensively re-styled (and given its own bar) to bring it up to par with Longitude's 15 platform tents, upgraded last year with verandas, deluxe swags and eco-fires for toasty nights under the Milky Way and dawn awakenings with Uluru. Rock excursions are de rigueur but lodge guests can delve deeper into Indigenous culture with flights deep into Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands to meet artists from the Ernabella community.
Baillie Lodges owner James Baillie says the latest enhancements at Longitude - including the two-room spa offering treatments inspired by local Anangu culture, a dune-top bar and deck for elevated views of the World Heritage area and private dining beneath the stars - are all part of a strategy to "position the property among the world's best remote lodges".
Longitude 131°, Yulara Drive, Yulara, NT, longitude131.com.au, rooms from $1,400.