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“Luxury with a capital L”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Luxury with a capital L”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

What can I say about The Fortress? Is it luxurious? Yep certainly is! We had an ocean room which was enormous with a fabulous bathroom, large seating area, the biggest bed I have ever seen and a balcony with a comfy table and chairs. There was FRESH MILK in the fridge for the complimentary tea and coffee. Staff were all very welcoming and friendly - nothing was too much trouble. The spa was lovely - I had a lovely facial.

All the public areas were clean and tidy and there were ample sun beds and lots of other comfortable seating areas. The swimming pool was devine. Large and beautifully warm. Staff were very attentive with numerous beach towels available. There was a fab poolside menus and drinks on hand.

The dining experience was good - the food was well cooked and the service professional. My only concern would be the depth of choice. We stayed 3 nights and with the menus available being served at both lunch and dinner I think anyone staying longer might begin to get slightly bored with the choice,

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MarianW123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (423)
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013 via mobile

Visited in Jan 2013 for our honeymoon. It's about 3hrs from Colombo Airport but well worth the drive.

We were welcomed by the doorman ringing a bell and opening the huge fortress doors. Immediately we were greeted by name, congratulated on our honeymoon and given towels and champagne. Check in was in the room, which is a nice touch, and what a room! It was enormous, split level, with a lounge area leaving to a balcony overlooking the ocean. Huge, very comfortable bed, double rain shower and free standing spa bath which was amazing.

Food and Beverage were high-end quality and service immaculate, with most staff remembering our names and room number from the first day and always greeting us warmly. We went half board, which was good value so we got a great breakfast and dinner and only had to pay for drinks and lunch if we decided to take it, which saved us a couple of hundred pounds in the end. By speaking to the F&B manager we were given great tables outside for dinner and on our last night the Front Office Manager, Peshan, had arranged a special table on our own actually in the shallow end of the lighted pool, dining with our feet in the water!

Hotel has free wifi which is a bonus and a very large pool and there are plenty of sun loungers and nobody hassling you to play volleyball etc! very peaceful. The beach is right in front of the hotel and we saw a large turtle there one day. It is not really a swimming beach as the currents are quite strong, but there is a safe area where you can swim. There are the usual TukTuk guys around the beach who will talk to you and offer tours etc, but they do not really hassle you much.

Quite a few excursions on offer and there is a nice lake and turtle hatchery a few minutes away and it is definitely worth a short ride into Galle to see the fort and lighthouse.

Basically. This is a very special hotel, which only has about 50 rooms so it has a personal touch. Very high quality, peaceful and romantic. It's quite a way to get here from Colombo and its not really a beach hotel, although there is a sandy beach. Definitely go for an Ocean View room on the upstairs floor. Forget the ones with an indoor pool in the room, why would you use that? And upstairs is more private.

Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and we met the General Manager, FOM, HSK and F&B managers who all had plenty of time for the guests. Thank you to them and the team for making our honeymoon so memorable!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EanDanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

A relatively new hotel (from 2007) it has n feeling to it as it's been around for centuries (in a positive way). The staff is extremely friendly and attentive; the views are astonishing with an amazing pool where you can relax all day!

We ended our trip at the Fortress after sightseeing all over southern Sri Lanka, however if you want to explore the Island rather than just relaxing at the pool I believe there are better choices. The surroundings of the hotel do not invite to go on an excursion. To get to Galle takes about 20min by car.

Overall highly recommendable to round up your stay, to just relax or to take your wife/husband on a honeymoon. Easy to reach from Colombo due to the new highway.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ground floor are attractive if they're on either end of the hotel. The ground floor...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SwissGE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

I stayed at this hotel 3 times in 2012. Though the room rent is bit expensive, I felt it is worth the money. A truly lifetime experience of staying in peaceful location. This resort is ideal for honey moon and leisure trips. Friendly staffs, a large swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Rooms are very spacious, especially washroom. Sea facing rooms are the best rooms which gives good view of the ocean through out the day from the room. I am looking forward to go back to fortress for another stay very soon.

Room Tip: Sea facing rooms are the best choice
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank AnwarMangad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

I stayed here for 8 nights early Decemeber to get married and had the most magical time. The hotel itself is beautiful, grand yet intimate. There are only 50 odd rooms so staff get to know all the guests. I was put in the Ocean room, room 34 to be exact, and was very pleased. Waking up to the roaring ocean was very special. The room comes kitted with an ipod, hairdryer, the usual bathroom essentials and plug sockets are all english 3 pinned so my travel adapter wasnt required. The hotel's pool is huge and overlooking the ocean, simply beautiful.
The staff are the most attentive I have come across, and were genuinely friendly, always happy to have a chat with us. Nothing was too much effort for them. When they found out my partners parents were also joining us and staying at the hotel, they were automatically upgraded and put in the room next door to us-very thoughtful!
The gym has all you would need and is free to residents. The Spa treatments were fab too. We had a Balanese massage, a full body exfoliation and a deep tissue, all were AMAZING! Though pricey! The Steam room and Sauna are free to resdidents too. There is a tea lounge, to chill out in with book shelves to make use of.
The breakfast and meals were geat, good deal of variety and of high standard. Dinner could rival most top resaruants in the UK. Although be prepared to pay English prices for both drinks and meals.
The hotel is situated on the beach, the ocean is quite rough although a 5 minute stroll down the beach leads to some clamer waves. Great place for the surfers. Galle is about 25mins drive away from the hotel although there is not a great deal there to see. If you want to get out of the hotel I would recommend going to Unawatuna Beach which is a 15 minute tuktuk drive away from the hotel. There is an array of restuarants with many shops/boutiques for tourists and many water activities there. We spent a fair few evenings there, much cheaper and a lively atmosphere there. There is a tuktuk station in front of the hotel but be sure to haggle - when the locals find out you are staying at the fortress, they have a tendency to suddenly talk in dollars...
The only negatives about this hotel would be the cost of it. Please dont expect to pay Sri Lankan prices for anything, as you wont. Drinks, meals, spa treatments are priced similar to what you would pay in England. But should you wish to avoid paying this there is always UnaWatuna Beach to go to eat, much cheaper.
For those that are hoping to get married here, I would highly recommend it. The hotel hold many weddings here and are very experienced in organising them. On our 8 day stay, we witnessed 3 weddings not including ours. The wedding coordinator Gayani did a fabuous job, she took care of everything, to the point where I was sitting sunning myself on the morning of my wedding without a single thing to stress about. We opted for the Saphire wedding package and it was well worth it. The dancers and drummers provided were amazing for the wedding and the hair and make up lady did a fabulous job!

Overall a brilliant destination for couples looking for a quiet chilled out break. It is expensive but having stayed in over 6 top hotels in sri lanka, it became clear you really do get what you pay for at the fortress. The staff are simply wonderfull! I will be saving up to return again!

Room Tip: Ocean view room. Room 34
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Itsyrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

Beautiful locale, lovely property, very friendly, courteous and nice staff. Food is good. There is a play room for kids as well as spa facilities. The pool is very well maintained. They also assist in getting access to sea activities like sea diving, whale watching etc.

Room Tip: Ground Floor, Beach facing
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank may9wg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

On first arrival we thought the hotel looked like a prison! On closer inspection it was beautiful if a little utilitarian. We booked The Fortress for our last 3 days wanting pure luxury and laziness before heading home. And that's exactly what we got, a beautiful pool, amazing views right over the beach, great service and decent food. Although the menu was lacking in the Sri Lankan cuisine offerings. The rice and curry was amazing, but their signature Sri Lankan dish was a little unpleasant - perhaps that was our taste buds though.

Still, it did feel like there was something missing. Perhaps a bit of soul? Having come here from Coco Tangalla we missed the more personal touches. Also, everything was so expensive, wine and food not far off London prices... As for the live music in the restaurant, it bordered on intrusive and we weren't fans. Other couples seemed to enjoy it, but I'd much rather listen to the ocean than crappy love songs being wailed out of a saxophone accompanied by a keyboard...

One highlight (for me) was the lovely kitten running around outside the restaurant. He looked healthy and well fed although he was begging at a few tables. I know it's wrong but I couldn't resist sharing my tuna. Not all the guests were so enamoured and the hotel staff did remove the cat on our last night to 'lock it in a cage'. I can only hope he is well treated (sorry, I am an undeniable cat lover)...

The spa looked lovely but sadly they were fully booked when I tried to get a mani / pedi. The prices seemed very reasonable though.

As for the plunge pool in our room. Far from being pointless (as suggested by other Trip Advisor reviews) we loved it. The perfect place to cool down when the sun was too hot. We could cool down in our own pool and watch everyone else roasting...

All in all it was a lovely place to end our holiday. But we were gulping a little at the thought of our final bill!

On a side note, as the hotel wanted to charge us $170 for a car to Negombo (we had one night in another hotel close to the airport booked for our last night) we used our brilliant tour guide from Tangalle - Sriyanga Sanjeewa, tel +94 (0) 77 850 5336 / email sawsiritango@yahoo.com. He arranged a car from Galle to Negombo for a very reasonable and fair price.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hum01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fortress

Property: The Fortress
Address: Route A2, Matara Road, Koggala 82104, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Koggala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Fortress 5*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxury 53 room boutique resort located on the Southern shores of Sri Lanka. The Fortress has been styled after Galle’s powerful ancient Dutch Fort, blending the country’s Dutch and Portuguese influences with Sri Lankan motifs and indigenous furnishings to echo the historic days of Old Ceylon. This has been artfully and sensitively fused with innovative architecture, high design features, state-of-the-art technology, sensual living spaces with naturally modern design, and incredible gastronomic experiences, to stunning effect. The Fortress will offer unprecedented levels of service, extraordinary innovation, attention to detail and a unique blend of Old Ceylon with Modern Asia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fortress Hotel Koggala
Fortress Hotel Galle
Fortress Galle
Fortress Sri Lanka

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