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“maybe I expected too much?!”
Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“maybe I expected too much?!”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

The Fortress in Koggala was our last stop and we stayed here 4 nights. It was overall a good experience but not exceptionally good. Everything is neatly and there are lots of people around but the "wow" feeling never appeared. I always wanted to come to this resort as I found it on Small Luxury Hotels and as I loved this country through its diversity and its charming people it was on my wish list.
Yes, the room is really big but as we had a last minute deal through agoda we got room 124 which is at the side of the building. No sea view but not a problem. The room has lot's of storage space for empty luggage and items, which is a big plus, but no chair at all in the room. There was no possibility to sit in the room only on the bed. Being in holidays this is luckily not a big problem. Bathroom was huge with all amenities and really luxurious. Room-service always very clean and attentive.
What was lacking was the food, overpriced and average. We had two times dinner in the hotel and it was ok. The breakfast buffet was nothing overwhelming. We compared to other hotels we stayed throughout Asia in the same price group like Banyan Tree in Puket, Tugu in Bali. We had always to ask to get a re-fill of coffee or tea in the morning.
Wednesday evening there is a local dancing show which was ok but for the 5 star hotel we expected something more professional.
The next time we will come to Galle area we definitely will stay in a hotel within the old town in Galle as the sea at this side of the island is very rough and in any case you can not swim in.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BeijingLuxtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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scotland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here after 5 nights in busy Colombo and it was just what the doctor ordered! Peaceful, pretty, fantastic rooms and very helpful staff!

We had an ocean view room, it really was faultless. It had a jacuzzi bath, large shower, huge bed with crisp white linen, a seating area, all the gadgets you need and also a large balcony. It was spotless! Wireless only worked on the balcony but we weren't there on business so it didnt bother us too much.

Breakfast was also great, a variety of fruit, juice, Sri Lankan and western food. Excellent quality too.

Dinner menus were good although quite pricey, wine was also expensive...blossom hill white Zinfandel was £20 (it's 6 quid in the supermarket here) anyway we didnt let it put us off too much. A meal with wine cost about £55 which is quite dear for Sri Lanka prices. The srilankan buffet night was delicious! I recommend you try it.

Pool staff were lovely and very efficient! And the pool was kept immaculate! Wish I was still sitting there with a cocktail watching the waves.

Tuk Tuks are the way to get to local towns unawatuna and galle. The drivers take you and then wait to take you back. Prices varied dramatically lol some obviously trying to take advantage of tourists. Anyway we found a driver who we could call at any time and his prices were 600 to unawatuna and back and 1000 to galle and back so couldn't complain.

Overall, this hotel was fantastic! We loved it and would definitely stay there again! We would also recommend it to anyone wanting a nice, relaxing holiday in Sri Lanka!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KELLYANN85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

I personally didn't like Sri Lanka that much, however this hotel was a little oasis. The beach wasn't top notch and the hotel itself looked nothing special to me on first glance but I really was overwhelmed by the quality of the rooms- really spectacular, gotta see it to believe it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Jason H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

It's really simple with the fortress. The pool is unexciting, the beaches are awful, there isn't much to do in the hotel and the food is very good but not amazing.

However the rooms are phenomenal. You walk in and you are taken aback by how well designed they are, the attention to detail, the various amenities. They are beautiful. The hotel is expensive but if you like to stay in rooms which are out of this world but you can compromise on all other aspects of the hotel then stay here.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank SevLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Sri Lanka is a wonderful country, as of yet unspoilt. The Fortress Hotel is a luxurious oasis. Everything was 5 star+, including the staff, the food and the service.
We were visiting Koggala because my father had been based there in the RAF during his National Sevice, and the hotel was a fantastic base from which to explore the local area.

Room Tip: If you can opt for a room with a plunge pool, this is a fantastic way to cool off form the outside h...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrKaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 8, 2013

This was my 2nd stay at The Fortress and first time with children. We were 2 mothers with 3 young children between us aged 4+, 5+ and 8.
After 2 nights of camping in Yala, we wanted a comfortable place to relax and this was it.
As a Sri Lankan living in Colombo, we are often privy to all the pros, cons and shared experiences of friends. The Fortress has had mixed reviews of food and service in the past. However, every meal we enjoyed on this stay was of a very high standard, especially breakfast and the service was exemplary.
The Fortress has the most comfortable bed I have slept on in Sri Lanka and possibly one of the most comfortable I have ever slept on. The pillows and Frette sheeting do not go un-missed and the spaciousness of the rooms and comfort level is unquestionable. The shower is fabulous and a bubble bath is a must, for adult and child alike! Last time I visited the amenities were Ferragamo and this time, Crabtree and Evelyn.
Even the sun loungers by the pool are noticeably comfortable with a small pillow located perfectly.
Although it is probably best suited for couples or solo travellers, the children enjoyed the vast garden, the large pools, playing on the sand at the beach, the food and even the impressive DVD library.
I don't personally like the entrance of the hotel and the lobby area, but for a beachside holiday in comfort, this is one of the good ones!

Room Tip: Both times I've stayed in Ocean Front rooms, I preferred the Ground Floor room because it opened...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank AFS79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
Reviewed August 8, 2013

In simple words, we enjoyed every minute of our stay in this hotel. The staff was amazing and always ready to help you, smiling faces all over.
We were told to go and stay in this hotel by a friend of ours and I went and check the rates, pictures and of course trip advisor comments. Everything was perfect and we made our mind to stay here although it was above budget.
I was dealing with Nadeesha reservation; she was very helpful and offered a reasonable deal “thank you Nadeesha”.
As soon as we approached the entrance of the hotel, the front staff rings the bell which is a kind of a message to the Front Desk Staff that the guests have arrived. We were served welcome drinks and cold towels then escorted to the room to perform the check-in procedure; it was personalized. As soon as we entered to the room, we were amazed and could not scream until the staff leaves the room. My wife enjoyed the bathroom most because it was big as a normal hotel room. The bedroom was awesome, and very spacious for a standard room. The food and beverages and the other facilities was great. The only disappointment was that we could not see blue whale, which was our primary reason to travel to Galle. The Room Division Manager Peshan and all other staff took care of us and made us feel great.
I have already planned our next vacation in March 2014 and for sure we will stay in this hotel again. If you are travelling to Galle to see Blue Whale please check the season before making your plans, HOWEVER, you will not be disappointed staying in this hotel, still there is a reason to go to Galle.

Room Tip: Book for Delux rooms so that you can have a sea facing rooms and I found out there are rooms with Ja...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Romir0310
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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