We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Lovely to look at, but remarkably impractical & expensive”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of The Fortress

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Shropshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely to look at, but remarkably impractical & expensive”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2010

Over elaborate insincere welcome, Fortress Room was like a large cell. One looks out onto a wall with a tiny courtyard of shingle. Huge bathroom, but nowhere to hang towels within easy reach, or put one's soaps/shampoos. Loo is behind as frosted glass screen, readily visible from the bed! Huge bed, but only one chair & no table! Hi-tech TV and sound system, but the lightsa kept going out and the air-conditionig system was by units in the room, so very noisy. Live Bands resulted in sound echoing all round the building. Fortunately it stopped at 11.00pm! Food & drink are very expensive and only of average quality. We were told that the Lighthouse, same chain, nearer to Galle, offers better value. Tried the Spa, but the Jaccuzi was not working properly - not much pressure!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank John14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,378 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,001
    279
    71
    19
    8
See reviews for
268
863
19
22
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)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
England
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2010

This was the best but most expensive hotel on our trip. That said the food, pool and spa made it unforgettable with some great staff. The "boys" that stand underneath the wall in the front are OK - and helpful. The a la carte food was very good - buffets less so - breakfast was great. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NigelEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2009

i had an amazing time at the fortress.......... the team members were veryfriendly and polite.They went beyond their duty call to make our stay a memorable one. The saddest part is that we just stayed there for a day....it was christmas time and all the rooms were booked, but somehow we managed to get hold of a few rooms.

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maya095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2009

we stayed at the fortress at the end of our holiday in Sri Lanka. Having known friends who had stayed there our expectations were high and the hotel did not disappoint. From the rooms to the spa, all aspects of the hotel were fantastic.

Of course you could stay in the hotel the whole time but we would definitely recommend leaving and explore the local area. If you want to do this, rather than pay the hotel's extortionate prices you are far better off using the beach boys who walk up and down by the pool. After reading another review, we used a local man call Chaminda. He was a lovely guy, knew where all the places were and was about 1/3rd of the price of the hotel. We used him several times to go to local restaurants or down to Galle. It was good to know that the money we paid him went to help support his wife and daughter rather than the hotel

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marcs1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2009

If you are looking for perfection in all ways then this is the hotel of choice. The staff are friendly, the location stunning, and the food excellent. Obviously a very well managed hotel. Don't go here if you are looking for the party scene. Do take a trip to Unawatuna and Marissa Beaches.

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Helliecoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2009

The Fortress really is something else; an extremely beautiful building which is kept immaculate both inside and out. Each and every member of staff are so friendly and welcoming, we made many friends there; Saman in particular (please say hi from Lynn and Dave) and Zugath, and Sam from the bar too!! The rooms are of a very high standard - HUGE beds which are very comfortable, great air con, superb views (ocean room) and the housekeeping and turndown service is of a high standard too.

It IS a very long drive from the airport after 2 long flights - that is the only drawback, and outside the hotel is a total contrast to inside, its like from shanty-town to 5 star. Initially we felt intimidated by the way people stared at us - all the way from the airport to the hotel- the buses full of people and everyone balanced on motorbikes - all staring in! This wasn't helped by an experience with a porter demanding money from us - for taking our trolley without asking and pushing it 10 footsteps to our car!! You live and learn! But our preconceptions were soon changed when we realised how friendly the Sri Lankans' are and how eager they are to learn about you and to share their culture with you!

Some people used the beach boys for trips and had no problems, but we spoke to one about a trip to Yalla and they wanted a deposit upfront which we werent happy to do. They will walk with you and try to sell you trips but just say no thankyou please leave or ask for a price and they will leave and get back to you later.

We found a wonderful Tuk Tuk Driver named Aja (Aj-aah) who spoke very good and clear english (compared to others) and who insisted that he took no money until the end of each trip. We would fully recommend him and are happy for you to contact us to get his details - he stays minutes from the hotel and truly made our trip personal - we even met his family for dinner and were really touched by his kindness! His email address is ajanthask@yahoo.com or drop him a text on +94 777 284178. He is so easy going and will be happy to meet your requirements! Other guests shared a trip to Kogalla Lake with us (which also makes it cheaper) and they remarked how great Aja was compared to their driver's - due to his excellent communication skills! It really makes a difference as you travel along as he pulls over to explain sites and sri lankan history and culture, other drivers with limited english may not be able to do so, and nothing is too much trouble!

The Spa was also wonderful although a little pricey by the time you add vat on - unsure if service charge is added to this too, but we felt that at the end of the treatment when you are relaxing is not the best time to produce the treatment list and push for another booking.. it would be better if they just said thankyou and your welcome to come back to the spa anytime!

The hotel food is really good, as is the presentation. The wine wasn't that much more expensive than it is for a bottle in a UK restaurant, but much cheaper if you ate outwith the hotel. The sri lankan buffet night with dancers is a must! You must also venture to Unawatuna and dine out as its supporting the local community who are so evidently reconvering after the tsunami still, and it is so cheap! You can sit over the ocean in a one of the small restaurants, watching surfers while the sunsets and eat fresh seafood and delicious curries with a bottle of wine and really feel like you are experiencing the culture! We would recommend One Love (although the bathroom arrangements in here are not ideal just take some anti bac gel and maybe your own tissues ladies) Theunique setting, food and service more than makes up for this though!

We only chose a few trips as this was more about relaxation and recharging our batteries! But you cant go all this way without getting out there and experiencing the culture and seeing the country!! We travelled to Yalla and Unewalla Elephant Orphanage (combined trip) and also to Galle and to Kogalla Lake, and we brought back some gorgeous pink sapphire jewellery, and a fair sized carved elephant in a spare holdall as Emirates allow 30kg per person! We also went to a turtle hatchery (which is in someone's back garden - but you find that many places are - wood carving factory, retaurants.. all seem to be extensions of the sri lankan home)!

All in all a fabulous hotel, the mocktails, the attention to detail, the warm hospitality from the staff and the ambience created in each area of the hotel really makes it special! If it wasn't for the 4 and half hour car journey from the airport we would definately be back!

Lastly it rained a couple of times (maybe 3-4 nights out of the 11 we were there) late afternoon and evening but this didnt affect our enjoyment - you can book a spa treatment or just move to the bar where you can still enjoy the view and relaxed pace! You can also dine undercover but still have the outdoor feel, so the showers won't impact at all!

Go to the Fortress, book a few spa treatments, enjoy the good food and wine and get out and see some of the country, it was a truly grounding and humbling experience for us and we have many happy memories and great photographs to remember it all!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank GreenteaScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
durham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2009

This hotel is excellent and is five star, from the room to the food and service. This hotel is outstanding. The travel from the airport is around four hours which makes it difficult after a long flight however when you arrive it makes up for the inconvienent trek. We initially stayed in a Fortress room but later in the stay we were upgraded to an ocean room which was fabulous. The food is very good and is a little expensive by Sri Lankan standards but it is worth it. If you want cheaper food you need to take a tuk tuk ride to Unawatuna beach were there is a number of beach front cafes. Sam is the bar manager at the hotel and is very good ensuring that we had canopes each evening with our drinks. Around the pool you are served drinks and each morning they come around with fruit kebabs. Sugarth works in the restaurant and is brilliant. Before each meal we were given cold face cloths. There is only a small beach and the pool is the main area of sunbathing. If you are requiring the use of a tuk tuk then please do not use the beach boys. They are extremely forward and they will hassle you to use them.

Outside of the hotel is an association of tuk tuk drivers. We used baba who was excellent and took us on a number of tours. If anyone is wanting relaxation and good food and excellent accomodation then this is the hotel for you. If you are wanting entertainment each evening then choose another hotel as the theme of this hotel is relaxation. If you wish to remain in your room there is ample to do eg bose surround sound with an IPOD dock and DVD player. There is a good book and DVD library at reception and the IPOD is full of great tunes. Outside the resort they are clearly recovering from the Tsunami which is sad to see but they rely heavily on tourism. The only thing that you must bear in mind when traveling to Sri Lanka that if you want a good hotel you must look at five star. Other hotels do not have the high standards that this hotel has. Truly a wonderful holiday met lots of great people

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gg90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Koggala
6.1 mi away
Cape Weligama
Cape Weligama
#1 of 12 in Weligama
5.0 of 5 bubbles 357 reviews
0.4 mi away
Koggala Beach Hotel
Koggala Beach Hotel
#2 of 5 in Koggala
4.0 of 5 bubbles 389 reviews
9.9 mi away
Jetwing Lighthouse
Jetwing Lighthouse
#12 of 60 in Galle
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,667 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.4 mi away
CoCo Bay Unawatuna
CoCo Bay Unawatuna
#2 of 29 in Unawatuna
4.5 of 5 bubbles 661 reviews
9.8 mi away
Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure
6.3 mi away
Cantaloupe Levels
Cantaloupe Levels
#3 of 29 in Unawatuna
4.5 of 5 bubbles 383 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Fortress? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Fortress

Property: The Fortress
Address: Route A2, Matara Road, Koggala, Galle 82104, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle > 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Fortress reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Fortress Hotel Koggala
Fortress Hotel Galle
Fortress Galle
Fortress Sri Lanka

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing