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Boroka Downs
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Reviews (195)
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All reviewsoutdoor spabedroom bungalowthought of everythingevery amenitycomplete privacyextremely helpful hostslamb chopshot tubbreakfast provisionstowels etctumble dryerabsolutely everythingfresh eggsfloor to ceiling windowswonderful hostswell thought outenjoy the peace
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Reviewed March 7, 2008

Our travel agent had booked us into Boroka Downs as part of a driving holiday that included the Grampians. As we approached, I was a bit concerned that we would be "out in the wild" with no reasonable access to restaurants etc. We just had no idea how marvellous this accomodation is. We were greeted by Ron, who took us to our own residence and showed us how everything worked and the basic supplies that had been left for us (including a very nice bottle of sparkling wine!) Many others have commented on the great facilities that each residence has to offer, so I won't repeat. We just whizzed into Hall's Gap and bought stuff for a barbie. We spent a fabulous evening cooking outside while the sun went down and the roos, emus etc. wandered by.
The service offered by Ron and Jo is exceptional - discreet and nothing was too much trouble. When I couldn't get the clothes I had washed dry enough in the washer/dryer, Ron whisked them up to his own place and brought them back half an hour later, dry enough for packing.

I like the way they are environmentally aware and encourage recycling of your waste items.

Our only regret is that we were only booked in for one night - you really need 2 or 3 nights to appreciate both the accomodation and the location. Ron gave us several concessionary passes for local attractions - wine tasting, golf etc. but unfortunately did not have time to use them.

I really do endorse this place - I have travelled very widely and this is a rare gem.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Littlemousa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2007

We stayed here for a romantic getaway and were so pleased we have been recommending the place ever since!
You can't get any better than this.... fabulously decorated and designed for privacy and luxury. in fact it was so good we were tempted to never leave the room at all.
Bed has crisp white linens, kitchen has cuppacino making machine and quality appliances. Loved the fact that the staff leave you alone and you feel like you are the only ones there! They did all their work without us even knowing - like dropping off fresh milk and papers and wood in a little tin bucket outside our door. Even a bottle of wine because they knew it was our anniversary!

We woke every morning to emu's and kangaroos just outside out full length windows! A real treat was the design of the chalets.... from the spa and the lounge and the bed you can enjoy the LCD TV, Open fire place and the magnificent view during the day! Truly unique and worth the price.

  • Stayed: April 2004, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank tripleseven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2007

Well, I have to disagree completely with the previous poster - Boroka is nearly perfect.

First and foremost - it is not, nor does it pretend to be, a 5 star luxury hotel. It is self catering, it is a lodge style property and it is designed to be in the middle of nature. Indeed, you can't get closer to nature than waking at 1am and seeing a kangaroo looking at you from a few feet away the other side of the glass.

Maybe the previous poster was expecting a luxury hotel, but that was never the case. A good example is linen change - it is a self catering property like a villa rental, which does not usually have linen, towels etc changed.

Anyway - our stay.

Location:

Boroka is about 5km from Halls Gap in the middle of the Grampians. These are a great range of hills and ridges that run for miles and miles between Adelaide and Melbourne. There is great walking (even after a major bush fire 18 months ago), and wildlife all around - especially kangaroos, wallabies, emu and the odd koala. Halls Gap itself is a small town which basically just serves the walkers and tourists etc. Can't believe that anyone would expect high cuisine etc. You can expect great hiking and great scenery, plus a VERY good ice cream shop and some wonderful fudge!

Boroka Downs:

The property is at the end of a dirt road and is a huge farm-cum-paddock with just 5 lodges, plus the owners. Everywhere you look there is wildlife wandering around or flying past you, plus fantastic views over the Grampians.

The lodges are single rooms including bedroom area, lounge, kitchen, laundry, bathroom and large spa bath, plus a patio. One entire wall is glass looking over the paddocks. As no lodge looks over any other privacy is complete. In the lodge you have pretty much everything you want to self cater.

There is a big fridge/freezer, cooker, dishwasher, electric BBQ, loads of crockery and cutlery etc and basics such as coffee, olive oil etc. They will also provide a breakfast pack on request and ours was more than fine. Eggs, yogurt, juice, bread and bacon. Not sure how you would get other than packaged bacon in somewhere like Halls Gap? We bought our dinner supplies from Hamilton over 70km away at Safeway, and as Londoners let me assure you that this is NOT a big Safeway.

The lodges also have Bose surround systems, digital TV and DVD & Video. All were working, easy to use and combined with over 100 DVDs to try at reception provided a great way of passing the evening. There is also a good selection of trail guides, local information and some magazines etc.

They also provide very nice (and according to my wife expensive and high quality) bathroom products. Sadly, with the long standing drought affecting the area they encourage you not to use the spa bath - perfectly understandable.

Beds - comfortable, yes, on the firm side, but no problem for me with an iffy back, and nice linen. Going around 8 hotels in Australia everyone had different firmness of beds and pillows etc, as does every hotel I stay in around the world on business.

What to Do:

Well, we stayed for 3 nights (originally planned for 2) and spent two full days around the Grampians. On day 1, 2 hikes of around 10km each, and on day 2, a drive suggested by a local ranger that took in several short walks and lots of stunning views. While we weren't doing these, we watched the wildlife outside our glass door, relaxed, and generally chilled out.

The Owners:

While we were there, the property was changing hands. Julian and Barbara, who built and established the place, had sold off the operating lease (but kept the ownership) to a new couple from Sydney, Ron and Jo, who were settling in as we arrived. They seemed to be getting everything under control and were thoroughly charming. They were also helpful when we changed our travel plans by staying an extra night and also helped us find an Adelaide Hotel. Obviously, things may change as they settle in, but I would say the early signs seem good. The original owners still live on one edge of Boroka.

Conclusion:

Boroka is exactly what it says on the tin. A haven in the centre of fantastic scenery and wildlife, built to fit the surroundings and with ecology in mind (rubbish is split into various recycling bins in the kitchen). I do struggle to see what the previous posters had in mind when they booked. We were under no illusions that our bed linen etc would be changed or towels picked up off the floor, or the floor swept. When we arrived the place was spotless and we were told they spend an average of 4 hours cleaning each lodge on a guest change.

The lodges are up with the 5 star resorts we stayed in such as Lizard Island and the Sydney Park Hyatt in terms of standard of fittings etc, and I am confident that Jo, Ron, Julian and Barbara would have seen to any problems we may have had.

Boroka was a fantastic end to the main part of our Australian adventure and we would go back at the drop of a hat.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Big_Blue_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2007

My husband and I thought this would be a great place to stay for a 4 day honeymoon. Unfortunately it was far from it. For nearly $1500 and some bath products this was anything but 5 star. Our arrival was fine and very welcoming except they forgot we were honeymooners even though that was the package we booked. The good points are that there is a fantastic view and the wildlife is amazing. The stero system they boast is quite an old one and half way through watching a DVD it stopped working. The bed is as hard as concrete which we had to get layers put on to soften it. The sheets were far from quality linen and I would say standard industrial hotel linen. The sheets were very scratchy and rough. That was all they had. During a four night stay the linen was not changed once nor the towels refreshed. We understood the place was self catering, however at least the linen could be changed.
The dimmer switch in the lounge room did not work so it was either bright lights or turn it off.
The eggs in our fridge were off and had to be replaced. The bacon is not fresh it is pre packaged.
I would think for more than $400 per night the food and service should be impeccable!
We would never stay here again as it is a complete rip off! 5 star hotels in Melbourne are less expensive.
Also the restaurnants in Halls Gap provide only for bus tourists and school groups. There is not one decent restaurnant and the prices they charge are more than Toorak Road! $28 for burnt chops, cold vegetables, lumpy mash......!!!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank AussieTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tree-Changer, Owner at Boroka Downs, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2008

New owner/managers commenced after this visit.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2006

How to Elope was my question! We got engaged in May 06 and wanted to get married in our own way. We wanted to spend time together and to get married alone. Google directed me to a few places but I kept coming back to Boroka Downs.

We booked our dates and found that our hosts left nothing to chance. Girls if you are busy like me, time poor and only want to have to worry about your dress then let me tell you this is the place for you!

Barbara & Julian are fastidious hosts, they organised everything for us. The Celebrant, Ron Roberts, who is a lovely man very caring and so excited about every wedding. The music, the lovely harp, the flowers from a wonderful florist in Stawell, my boquet was beautiful and lasted for 2 weeks after the ceremony! The photography of the ceremony, you get these at the completion of your stay in digital format, high res images, they are fantastic. The champagne and chocolates, the breakfast hamper for your stay which is so generous! Two wonderful people who know how special marriage is, Barbara and Julian your hosts as your witnesses. Finally but most importantly you get a wonderful setting to hold your ceremony, we chose a small clearing near our residence it was just perfect. We had nothing to worry about all we had to do was turn up! How many weddings can the bride and groom go bushwalking through pristine country in the morning, have lunch by a lovely creek, meander on for wine tasting at The Gap winery, I recommend the Merlot and then a few hours later get married!

Boroka Downs is a 5 star luxury accomodation facility for those who appreciate the finest but can look after themselves. The independant traveller who likes to have breakfast when they want, cook their own meals, or dine out, make their own coffee and I might add the coffee supplied was heavenly. Light their own fire in the evening and relax with a nice red and watch the sun set and the roos take a drink at the dam! The property is a sanctuary to many animals who all come and have a look at you, emus, lovely birds and kangaroos all take refuge here. And for 4 days so did we! We were more than amazed at the level of service and hospitality we received it's no wonder Boroka Downs wins awards they clearly deserve to.

If you want a wedding without the big wedding fuss, where it's jus the two of you and a very special place then Boroka Downs Elopement package is not only excellent value but also the only choice! Don't go to Bali for your special day go to Halls Gap and sample what Australia has to offer.

As an aside we know we will return for special occasions to Boroka Downs, for a special weekend getaway I think it's perfect.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Barbara and Julian for making our wedding day so special and thanks to you for reading this review, I hope it helps you make up your mind where to stay!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank EcoTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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