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“Great base camp for adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Borderlands

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Borderlands
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Hatton Road, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hyderabad, India
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great base camp for adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

I enjoyed three nights at Borderlands. The setting's great and the tent stayed dry through four days of intermittent rain. The food was darn tasty and the staff was pretty attentive. I enjoyed the canyoning, kayaking and rafting, although hardcore folks might find the adventure too tame and cityslickers might find the accommodations too rugged. A quiet place, i'm sure the Long House is a hoot though for a big group.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales and Marketing Manager at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear jrjewett
Thanks for much for coming over to join us during your long weekend from India - I hope that it wont be the last time you see us, and perhaps next time you can join us for one of our expeditions.
Meantime I thank you for your comments and am so pleased that you had a great time, even though we were quite quiet during your stay.
Best wishes
The Borderlands Team
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245 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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English first
Budapest, Hungary
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We had a very nice time at borderlands with our 3 boys aged 6, 10 and 10. The staff was great and we had a lot of fun. the guides played a lot with our boys. We really appreciated the kindness of the staff, the food was really good and the tents very adventurous on the edge of the river.The beds were Ok. The activities were well organized, we felt safe with our kids all the time and it was really something new for them: kayaking, canyoning, swimming in the river, etc.. We went without the kids rafting. We had a lot of fun, even-though we were expecting something a little wilder. It was too short and rapids were too soft. iIn our view w the level of comfort of the bathrooms and the room "service was too weak Vs the pricing. Even tough we knew that we had to share bathrooms (which was not a problem at all), we thought cleanliness and comfort would be higher. It's more a question of expectations Vs the price we were paying. Pricing high Vs comfort received.
.the place itself was nice and funny...ithe fact that we had to walk to the bathroom was nice, the shower outside also....BUT the equipment was old, the carpets also, no soap, it didn't smell good etc.... A little bit of nice deco, candles, new toilets, new carpets, small flowers, etc...would already improve the experience. Nevertheless, we would definitively recommend the place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales and Marketing Manager at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Laila B
Many thanks for taking the time to write a review of your time at Borderlands. the guys at camp really enjoyed having you to stay, and your kids were a joy to have with us. We are always thrilled when guests leave saying that they appreciated the levels of safety and that guests leave having experienced something new and exciting.
With regards to the "softness" of the experience, the Kelani is a Grade III River, so it does not have all the action that you would in some European or other Grade IV rivers, however the scenic beauty of the location and the fact that we offer the canyoning and kayaking, does usually more than make up for it. Next time you come you should try kayaking down the rapids in our inflatable one and two man kayaks! That will probably give you the thrills you are looking for!
With regards to the comfort of the bathrooms, we are looking to upgrade the bathrooms, but as you know the bathrooms are semi exposed to the outdoors and that, coupled with the general humidity and rainfall, does mean the bathrooms can appear a little worn at times. However since your visit we have changed the flooring and we will be looking to spruce up the bathrooms as we go on, and already we are upgrading the beds and the tents.
Thanks again for your kind words and useful feedback.
Best wishes
The Borderlands Team
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Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Had a couple of nights here with my 2 boys, aged 14 and 12, while on holiday from the UK. It would be the first time for all of us doing these river activities. The older one was well up for it and with the expert guidance of the camp staff showed that he was a natural kayaker, being able to surf the waves, while his old man was shown up and flipped several times! My younger son was more hesitant but with a bit of encouragement he managed all the jumps and slides of the first section of the river canyon - jumping off rocks into the river, sliding down small waterfalls into pools. The relaxing float down the river was amazing, surrounded by jungle. We then did the rafting (grade 2-3) and again we all enjoyed getting soaked - no capsizes, no bodies overboard!

Food each day was rustic but tasty and with generous amounts. The Sri Lankan food was the best. I would also point out that I am a vegan and my boys are vegetarian and this presented no problems for the kitchen so full marks for that.

The tents are basic but they are roomy and equipped with proper bedframes, foam mattresses and decent linen. This is camping but with an element of comfort. Showers only have cold water but the climate is steamy hot pretty much most of the time so this is not a problem. You are also in the cold river a lot so the shower temperature is usually warmer than you are by the time you get in (except first thing in the morning when it is a tad bracing)!

The camp's "longhouse", which serves as a lounge, bar and dining room, has the most stunning views over the river and to the jungle. Bring binoculars for bird watching - I managed to see kingfishers, orioles, woodpeckers to name a few.

Overall I think you are getting a real bargain. Yes you are camping but you are getting a thrilling river adventure in a beautifully scenic location, excellent and safe guides with quality equipment all followed up with good food and a great ambience.

Thanks to all for a great time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales and Marketing Manager at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear olijames67
Thanks so much for choosing to stay with us at Borderlands and your boys were a real pleasure to have stay with us. We were really thrilled that your youngest son, who was initially very nervous about a lot of the activities, was able to overcome his fears, and I hope that this has led to him being able to take on new challenges in the future.
We are always very careful to ensure that all guests are catered for in terms of our meals and I have passed on your kind feedback to our kitchen staff and chef Bandu.
OI wish you many more exciting adventures with your boys in the future.
Many Thanks
The Borderlands Team
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

My wife and I felt like we were kids again as we let the Borderlands staff lead us through hiking, biking, canyoning and rafting adventures. It was the ideal poya weekend getaway from Colombo. Everything was looked after and we had not a care in the world. The setting was idyllic and we loved our tent with balcony and river view. The food was also great (excellent rice and curry and Sri Lankan breakfast). Thank you to all the staff there for making it a memorable trip. We will definitely be booking future trips through Borderlands as well.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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BorderlandsL, Director of Sales at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Shaun,

So great to hear from you, and thank you for all the positive feedback. We loved having you and please do not hesitate to come again.

Best Wishes

The Borderlands Team
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

My eight-year old son wanted to experience camping and ended up having an exciting adventure. The activities are all child-friendly and the Borderlands staff are committed to ensuring that even the younger ones are not left out of the excitement. On the encouragement of the staff, we took our two-and-a-half year old daughter Kayaking and she loved it. And we felt perfectly safe because the guides at Borderlands do not compromise on safety. The canyoning was an experience in character building for our son who was challenged to take some risks and felt an immense sense of achievement after his nearly 3 hour trek. Overall, Borderlands is set up in a beautiful location on the banks of the Kelani River where guests are encouraged to go down for a river bath (albeit under the watchful eye of a guide). The place has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere and the food was simple but tasty. The accommodation are tents--so be prepared for a 'real; camping experience with no attached toilets, no hot water, and very little lighting after dark. Several powerful torches are a must as are several changes of quick dry clothing.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a family tent if traveling with small children--they are closer to the shared t...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Director of Sales at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Alabeyas,

Thank you very much for your review. We are so happy that your kids enjoyed their adventure with us. We do try our best to meet the needs of all ages, so that everyone in the family can have a great time. Indeed, we take immense pride in our location and we feel so lucky to have such an idyllic spot. You and your family are always welcome here at Borderlands.

Best Wishes

The Borderlands Team
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

We had a fabulous time at Borderlands for 3 nights. We did canyoning, kayaking, white water rafting, hiking. The setting is amazing, right on the banks of the river. We really enjoyed all of the activites, particularly the canyoning, and thought that it was very well run by the team. I was impressed by the safetly standards, which was one of the reasons we booked with Borderands, having young children. I loved the communal living area and the food was great. My only criticism, was the sleeping accomodation. Our tent was very old and quite smelly with no fixed ground sheet, so there was a gap round the bottom making it very open to mosquitos and also to our things falling out and down onto the river bank! I think this may have been because we had all four of us in one tent - the others looked a bit better. The toilet blocks and showers were great and very clean so no complaints there. Despite the tent I would definitely go back again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales and Marketing Manager at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Dear Bunn44
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review for us. We all enjoyed having your family stay with us, and I am so pleased that you, as a parent, felt confident and comfortable with the levels of safety during all the activities, as this is our main priority.
With regards to the accommodation - I am sorry that the tent that you were allocated was not up to scratch - we are in the process of upgrading all the tents, but getting good quality, LARGE tents in Sri Lanka is quite hard, and everything has to be imported from overseas.
However the tent you were in does work well for families who need to be in a tent together, and we have made steps to make sure that the tents are aired more regularly, especially during dry spells, and that the tent is more secure so that personal belongings do not escape!
If you are ever in Sri Lanka again, please always feel free to come and stay.
Thanks
The Borderlands Team
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Jerez De La Frontera, Spain
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Incredible place, nice stuff, beautifull sourroundings, funny activities. I really recomend this place, the mountains, the river, the plants, the trees, the fauna... One of my favorites places in Sri Lanka, the paradise of Adam... I would like to return in my next trip to Sri Lanka!!!!Thank you for all.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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BorderlandsL, Director of Sales at Borderlands, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Carmen G

Thank you very much for your review. We are thrilled to hear that you had such a good stay with us at Borderlands. Please do come again. We really do appreciate such easy going guests. Thank you.

Best Wishes

The Borderlands Team
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Additional Information about Borderlands

Address: Hatton Road, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Kitulgala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Kitulgala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Borderlands Adventure Eco-Lodge offers comfortable riverfront accommodation, in 4 tents and 11 cabanas (3 of which have en suite facilities) which are fully kitted with beds (which can be arranged from singles to doubles, with up to 5 beds able to fit in a family cabin) and have electricity throughout so guests can charge their laptops, phones and cameras. Each tent and cabana is located on a wooden platform with a private deck, with views overlooking the Kelani River and the surrounding mountains. All meals are served in The Long House, a great place to chill out at the end of the day. A full music system means guests can listen to their Ipods. Evening Movie Nights are offered, which is a great hit with kids. As well as offering accommodation, Borderlands runs white water rafting, canyoning, and white water and flat water kayaking activities from our ecolodge, and offers the largest number of sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks in Sri Lanka. Other activities include abseiling, hiking, and swimming. ... more   less 

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