I have been to Borderlands in the past, and prefer the stunning riverbank location to that of Last Resort when I'm looking for a peaceful escape from Kathmandu.
In the past, I have often recommended Borderlands to friends and visitors to Nepal because it is so beautiful, but the customer service was such a disappointment on my last trip that I feel obliged to write a negative review. I hope the management reads these reviews and makes some changes.
A small group of folks living in Nepal booked a weekend at the resort in advance, negotiating a transport-included rate. "Misunderstanding" #1: We arrived at the Ultimate Descents booking counter at the appointed hour of departure to find that in fact, no transport had been arranged for us. The gentleman assured us that he would get us transportation, but that it would cost us an additional $60 to hire the vehicle. Given that our original rate was supposed to include return transport, we were miffed and negotiated the fare down by half (the resort would shoulder the other half of the cost). We were assured that for the return trip, transport would be available back to Kathmandu, as there was another group returning the same day, and their transport had already been booked, and we would be added onto their bus at no cost. "Misunderstanding" #2: The morning of our return to Kathmandu, the manager approaches each member of our party individually at different times (this was strange) before breakfast to inquire whether we would be catching the public bus or if we needed him to arrange private transport on our behalf. What?! Long story short, we end up paying an additional $35 for the return trip in a "private" vehicle into which the resort then piled several other people who were not sharing the cost of the vehicle. I will note that these misunderstandings were not due to a language barrier, as one of our party is extremely fluent in Nepali.
I want to clarify that at no point were any of the staff rude to us, but their demeanor and reversals and denials left us feeling extremely manipulated. As I read the review by lostinparadise, I see that we were not the first to confront this kind of treatment.
Another consideration for folks looking to visit Borderlands for a quiet and adventurous weekend-- Be sure to ask in advance whether the resort has booked any large parties or "picnic groups". In the weekend we were there, we arrived to an organizational picnic of almost 100 people, and a private group of maybe 30 arrived a few hours before we left the next day. All the picnickers were very friendly, but the number of relatively quiet hours we had were limited to post-dinner and pre-breakfast. The dance music started blasting around 11:30am.
I still love the design of the resort and the wonderfully noisy and impressive river. I just want to make sure anyone considering a trip here is fully aware of the potential for manipulation in the customer service. The prices per night are high for Nepal, but would be justified by even decent customer service. Is it worth it? Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be going back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Borderlands Eco Adventure Resort is a truly magical place enveloped in the natural Himalayan splendor. We are located a mere three hours north of Kathmandu, just 16 kms south of the Tibetan border. Clean mountain air and tantalizing meals compliment the friendly atmosphere of this riverside resort. We offer rafting, canyoning and hiking adventures, and a peaceful environment for relaxation and fun. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Borderlands Resort Nepal/Gati