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“A taste of paradise on a jewel of an island”
Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
yorkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A taste of paradise on a jewel of an island”
Reviewed November 12, 2009

The hotel was sheer luxury and probably the most exclusive in the area.
Staff were wonderful and food great .
The Spa and pool staff were especially very attentive
Is well worth venturing out and about you must visit Galle and Marissa.
I would strongly recommend using the Tuk tuk guiding services of a young man we met on the beach outside the hotel for your visits to surrounding areas.
His name is Chaminda and he lives in Koggala.
He is a wonderful guide and he speaks quite good English and has a wealth of knowledge of the area. He took us where ever we wanted and the cost was very reasonable.He is a very careful driver and his Tuk tuk is the cleanest I have driven in.We felt very safe on trips with him and he would wait for us where ever we went especially out for dinner in the evening ,so no need to look for transport back to the hotel.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank melissaYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manningtree
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2009

Very nice Hotel only 3 years old. The rooms are 5*plus and so is the service. It takes up to 4 hours by road from Columbo airport depending on the time of travel. We went on half board...the breakfast was ok for a small hotel (only 49 rooms) with ample choice.
The evening meal was ok with a few exceptions.
They have a modern pizza oven but carn't make a proper pizza...they roll out the dough and cut it into a circle there is no crust on the edges so it always burns...I pointed this out to the chef but the practice continued. Also on the continental menue they do Fish & Chips...this british dish comes with french fries...this should never happen... Maybe it is because the manager of the hotel is French and has adjusted the dish to suit his Frenchness. The consistancy of other dishes changed from day to day...example, a Tutti Frutti on consecutive night came in different glasses and contained different fruits and ice cream.
Other than that the hotel is fabulous...the pool is great and the staff are the best I have encountered.
If you want to save money on trips and beer...chat to the boys on the beach...I would give them some cash and they would bring me beer, tonic water or anything else I wanted.
Behind the hotel (inland) in Koggalla Lake... the boys arranged a trip on a boat £10 for four of us...took us to where they lived and gave us coconut milk fresh from their garden.
They also arranged a trip to Galle cheaper and better than the offical hotel trip. We booked to go to Yala National park via Virgin...the boys would have done it for half price in a cleaner mini bus.
We stayed for 15 nights and had a great time.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank toc1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2009

Wow factor with the rooms, the views and the area. Yet the staff and a few other items let this hotel down.

We arrived and felt this was the best hotel in Sri Lanka if not the best we have ever stayed in. Certainly the bedrooms were the best. nothing I have stayed in before comes close. But when showing us the room, the member of front office staff was blatant in trying to force a tip from my Fiancee and I. After showing us how to open the fridge door and turn on a tap I had to say thats fine, we're both really tired please leave us alone.

You have only a narrow bit of sea you can swim in, though the pool is fabulous so its only the likes of myself who enjoy jumping into a natural bit of water who will be disappointed.

The final point I have tried hard to not influence my opinion on this hotel. I got food poisoning at dinner. On checkout I said i had been ill but the staff showed little interest or concern, a simple extra bottle of water for our continuing journey would of been appreciated, not a stunned silence! I did not expect money off or an appology for it was a good meal but the reception staff just wanted me away.

I recommend this hotel, for the experience of staying in a lavish, beautiful place and the rooms are the best I've ever stayed in. Don't expect to much from the staff though.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ali208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2009

Amazing hotel, amazing room, amazing staff, amazing food, amazing pool, amazing spa. The hotel was all we could ask for and more.

Literally, we cannot put into words how good this hotel is.

Only things to criticise is that it is a bit out of the way, the journey to and from the hotel from the airport is awful. Also, being from a big city like London, it was disconcerting when we booked excursions that all the hotel staff seemed to know about it by the next day and kept asking us how they were - like everyone knew your business! That said, all but the spice gardens (don't bother - very creepy!), the excursions were great and the safari was just beyond description. Seeing Leopards, elephants, crocodiles etc in their natural habitat - it was awe-inspiring and bought a tear to our eyes on more than one occasion.

The staff at the hotel cannot do enough for you and are incredibly friendly (if not a little friendly at times - the 3 minute conversation with the restaurant manager whilst we were trying to eat for example!). But overall, everyone down to the cleaners and towel guy were exceptional. They are really proud of their hotel.

Food and drink was amazing and reasonably priced and the themed nights and seafood bar-b-q night was truly fantastic.

We went to relax and that is exactly what we did. The area is still picking itself up from the effects of the Tsunami and the drop in tourism following the civil war, but you can see they had the infrastructure there before and that it is beginning to come back. We weren't very adventurous as had been to Thailand earlier in the year and done that kind of holiday, but you could easily come out of the hotel and grab a tuk tuk to take you pretty much anywhere.

Go to Sri Lanka and definitely to the Fortress, you won't be disappointed. Oh and if Meril is still working there in the restaurant - say hi, he was a great waiter.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank RobC78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 19, 2009

I recently got married at The Fortress was stayed there for a little over 2 weeks. My now husband and I had about 46 guests attending our wedding most of which stayed at the hotel. I honestly can not say enough about the hotel, location and mostly THE STAFF!! They were amazing and we did nothing on the day, there was no stress and the team were fab... Aesla and Gayanti in particular who are located at the hotel and Shalini who is one of the business development manager was are contact up until we arrived - she was also amazing.
We had a marquee, fireworks, sri lankan curry buffet, great wine and dancing! It was the kind of day a couple dreams off.
Staying in the hotel itself was amazing too - I honestly think that anyone who complains about the staff has something wrong with them - I have stayed in some nice places that this is BY FAR the best for a number of reasons but mostly the staff who look after you so well. They are very attentive but not overly so (as mentioned in a few comments). The rooms are amazing and the ipod dock is really great - saves having to pack one.

We were lucky to be upgraded twice, once to The Ocean Loft and then to The Residence - both were amazing rooms with lots of space.

If your looking for a place to relax and be pampered then book book book The Fortress - we will certainly be back - hopefully every year for our wedding anniversary for a long time to come.

Go The Fortress!

PS - the spa is amazing to - a must if you stay there!

  • Stayed September 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Weddings_09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2009

We stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks for my daughter's wedding and I can honestly say we had a truly wonderful experience. The hotel setting and facilities were superb. We stayed in an Ocean Room overlooking the pool. The hotel staff were excellent, friendly and welcoming. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. There was no sign of what other reviews have referred to of staff trying to sell trips etc. Staff were friendly but not intrusive. There were about 50 guests at the wedding many of whom were staying at the hotel and all the arrangements for the wedding were expertly handled by hotel staff. Everything was perfect. I would certainly recommend this hotel without any hesitation. 5 star in every way!!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DonGiovanni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2009

After our wonderful stay in another boutique resort in the area, we then transferred to our last two nights stay in The Fortress.

Our room was very modern, chic and can be described as understated luxury. We spent majority of the day enjoying the beautiful sun in our sunbeds, watching the gorgeous waves lapping in and out of the shore. We thoroughly enjoyed our food here too including their cocktails. I'm sure we've gained a number of lbs in this place!

They have entertainment in the evening and eating under the stars in a candle-lit dinner really made it extra special. I also read one or two books from their "library" and found their staff very helpful. Great spa too!

It is a lovely place to stay and I would recommend going here too.

Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Babydoll_Nexa
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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