The Marina is a quaint and exclusive Members Only boat club on the Bolgoda Lake.
However, they've now opened up to the public by introducing a day pass making their recreational activities available for non-members. The one glitch? So far, this is available only on weekdays (but they're new and pretty flexible, so you can call ahead and see if they're willing to make an exception for a small group). We headed over to check it out.
At between 60 and 120 USD (depending on what package you go for), the Day Pass includes access to The Marina's facilities, recreational activities, and a three-course meal. If you want to jet-ski, ride along on a jet boat, get a tube ride and get your adrenaline pumping, Bolgoda's barely an hour's ride away from Colombo.
They've also got pool and jacuzzi facilities if you're more into soaking in the sun and simply basking in the water.
The rides are about 15 minutes long, and could be extended by purchasing an additional ride.
The staff are experienced and helpful, and will guide you through how to maneuver the jet skis if it's your first time. If you enjoy whizzing along at high speeds and not getting copped or caught up to traffic, we strongly recommend jet skiing at the Lake.
They've got a great indoor dining area, a private dining room, and lockers. A plus point is that they've got enough of space to dock boats, so if you're a member and you prefer keeping your sailing equipment and vessels here, it's yours for the taking.
While they don't serve alcohol, they've got an inhouse restaurant which serves some well prepared dishes. You can BYOB and order a few snacks to go with it if you want a boozy evening by the lake at sunset. However, do keep in mind that they don't allow you on any of the rides while inebriated.
Of their concise and interesting menu, we picked out a portion of Tempura Tiger Shrimps (Rs. 900) for our appetizer and some pasta and sandwiches for later.
Presented beautifully in a tall glass holder and accompanied by a sweet sauce and chillie sauce, a single portion was enough for two of us to share.
I ordered an Open Face Steak Sandwich (Rs. 1250) and Kinita had a Gamberon Fettuccine at Rs. 1,450.
The sandwich was great — both quality and quantity-wise. With juicy and incredibly well marinated slices of well-done beef on an open sandwich, this meal's large enough to be shared if you aren't too hungry.
We liked the Fettuccine, but felt that it had a very margarine-like aftertaste. The shrimp-to-pasta ratio was also commendable.
Whilst we enjoyed the food and the facilities, the waitstaff's service lacked efficiency. Orders came in over half an hour later, and a bottle of water took a clear 15 minutes to get to us. But I suppose if you're there on a lazy boating excursion, you're not going to mind too much.
Offering up reasonably priced aquatic activities located within a short drive out of Colombo, The Marina is a place where you can enjoy adrenaline rushes without feeling crowded in by tourists. The food is pretty good even though it'll take a while to get to you. So take a bottle of wine and your boating shoes, and wind down on the lake.