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“Possibly the most relaxing place on earth...” 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, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Possibly the most relaxing place on earth...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2010

Normally I'm not the type to write reviews on these sites but I thought it was only fair in this occasion. I'm in the midst of booking another holiday for the missus & I - the one problem we have is that it'd hard to find a hotel that matches The Fortress. From the moment you walk through those huge wooden gates to your reluctant exit you will experience Utopian bliss; great staff, fantastic food & drinks - amazing rooms with ridiculously big beds, ipod sound systems etc etc

What can I say this place rocks, get involved.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,360 reviews from our community

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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
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Wokingham
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2010

First impressions were very high, despite the lengthy journey from Colombo... a very warm welcome, we were greeted with champagne and a very helpful tour. The front desk staff were superb.

Our room was impeccable, stunning. We had sea views and spent many an hour listening to our bose system while taking in the waves. Everything about the room was perfect. Nice size - incredibly high ceilings - and with everything you need, and more. The bathroom was ace, the jacuzzi bath a nice touch and the living area very cool. One of the best rooms we've ever stayed in, and they were building a suite next door which we had the fortune of seeing, complete with its own plunge pool, flatscreen in the bathroom - wow!

The pool is ok, perhaps a bit too big? Can't quite put our finger on why we didn;t use it more? And then there's the sea, which they suggest you don't go in during the summer months. Certainly, when we were there, the waves were huge! The locals seemed to be enjoying it, though.

The food was superb. Some say it's expensive... it is, but then it is the most exclusive hotel in sri lanka. We ate their three of our four nights (once in the room, much better vakue), but the food was of an excellent standard. We had a la carte one night, seaford buffet the next. The breakfast was also incredible. That said, our service wasn;t always that great, particularly disappointing on the buffet evening. We had been treated to excellent service in the maldives days earlier and this was poor in comparison.

What else... don;t use the tuk tuk drivers outside the hotel, there's a dude who hangs around the wall by the pool called Dillon. His English is excellent and he gave us a very helpful and entertaining tour of galle. He's cheaper than the hotel tuk tuks, and he has better english.

Lots to do. We only went to galle and utawatana beach for dinner one night (would defo recommned, cheaper than the hotel by far, good food), but there seems to be a lot going on.

Oh yeah, the spa is very good. We had two treatments, both were superb, and reasonable (england prices).

My only real criticism is that it's just it's in a random location. It's a nightmare to get to from colombo, and sits on its own in the middle of nowhere. Still, if you're after relaxation, you don;t need to leave the building.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Judlar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

We stayed at the Fortress for one week of our honeymoon and loved it.

From the greeting of a cheery smile at the front desk with offers of iced tea and cold towels, until we regretfully had to say goodbye, our stay was really enjoyable.

The rooms are spacious and well decorated in a contemporary style. The bathrooms are fantastic - huge shower, jacuzzi bath, double sink - and the bedrooms are all about comfort - huge bed, large comfy sofas etc.

Staff are very friendly and helpful whether they're on the front desk, working in the restaurant, maintaining the pool area or cleaning the bedrooms. They also add to the relaxing feel of the place, where you can do pretty much whatever you please in order to relax - lie by the pool, walk along the beach, sip cocktails in the bar, borrow a book from the library, rent a DVD or take an organised excursion.

One word of warning - with an expensive hotel come expensive extras. Food is excellent but you can get better for a fraction of the price in Galle, laundry is very overpriced too, and the hotel's excursions can easily be bettered on price with a bit of web research in advance. And if you need a Tuk Tuk, don't use one of the drivers affiliated to the hotel, walk about 100 yards down the road and you'll find plenty of drivers willing to do the same trip for half the price.

But that's the only thing that can be improved at The Fortress - the staff, ambience, and general hotel quality are all so good that you can't help but enjoy your stay here. And if you feel like splashing out, go for a private dining experience in the Wine3 restaurant - magical.

Overall, we had a great week at The Fortress and will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelsFromBattersea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2010

Upon arrival after an exhaustive amount of travel; plane from London and the long transfer by bus from the airport, we arrived at the gates of The Fortress. Thinking that we were in Galle, we still were another 10 mins drive from there. After we were brought champagne on arrival, we were brought around on a quick look of the facilities which included a spa, gym, bar, restaurants, outdoor pizza oven, gift shop, computer room, dvd and book library and finally to our room where our bags were already brought. We were in heaven, a beautiful room with a huge bed, a spacious balcony overlooking the ocean and an open plan bathroom. I loved the shower which could easily fit 6 people, and my wife fell in love with the jacuzzi bathtub. I loved the nicely stocked fridge in the room, while my remote control hoarding wife loved the tv, dvd, ipod and lights at the push of a button.
The staff were all terribly polite and could not be faulted in any way, they all have basic english at least and they try their hardest to look after you.
We both ate breakfast and dinner there every day and lunch most days if we were not on an excursion. The food was very varied and absolutely gorgeous, we wanted to try everything we could from Sri Lanka and during our 9 day stay we managed most things on the menu; all exquisite and tantalizing including curry for breakfast if you like.
We sat by the pool for the beginning days to recover from our journey. It is windy for most of the time and the sea is too rough to swim in but the hotel pool is absolutely huge and be wary that the sun is still strong, about 27 -31 degrees in August.
We went by tuk-tuk into Galle and our driver ended up being our well informed guide for our stay. We used him for everywhere we went including an elephant safari. The tuk-tuk drivers will be down on the beach looking for customers. They are stationed outside the front doors of The Fortress and pay a commission for the privilege.
Our driver was called Kushan and he was kind enough to bring us to his home for lunch on our 1 week anniversary of our marriage.
The only fault with the hotel is the price of the spa treatments, if they were cheaper we would have used it much more and sometimes the piped music during meals was terrible, otherwise it was a fantastic place to unwind and it was the saddest we both ever were when we had to leave.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank markbaynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2010

After a long flight and seemingly endless drive we arrived at The Fortress, given lovely refrehing towels and iced tea and informed our room wasn't ready. It was raining and we were seriously thinking we had made a big mistake, was the journey really worth it?
The answer has to be "yes". We were expecting a fortress room but were given one with a sea view and what a view! We could have spent all day laying in that most wonderful of beds just gazing out to sea but then we would have missed out on the fabulous pool and all the other things the hotel had to offer. The room was excellent although we agree the lights can be very frustrating at times and I really enjoyed the breakfast, egg hoppers-yum!
However, like many previous reviewers we did feel the price of food and drink was taking the mickey somewhat. Also we felt that although the food appeared to be very nice we wanted to experience life outside the hotel.
We got in touch with a wonderful tuk tuk driver called Dillion (mobile no 094778227597)
and he picked us up every night, took us to a shop to buy very cheap supplies of lion beer, then into Unawatuna to a variety of resturants. He waited for us to finish then drove us back to the hotel.
He also took us to Galle and showed us the sights and arranged an amazing trip to Kandy taking in the Elephant Orphanage, a spice garden, the Botanic gardens, the Temple at Kandy. He arranged the over night stop in a hotel and then back via a tea plantation, 'Small England' and various waterfalls and fantastic views.
We had an air conditioned minibus, a driver and Dillion as a guide. To be reccomended. We felt completely at ease with him and knew we were being looked after at all times.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tass0249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2010

A new build hotel in 2006, about 10min by tuk-tuk from Thalpe away from Galle, this visually striking and physically large hotel was styled in the old fashion but built to house innumerable couples in up-to-the-minute luxurious fashion.

We had supper here and this definitely was the 20 yr old’s pick of the hotels from a food, sophistication and ambiance perspective. A little more pricey than the Amangalle (the tuk-tuk drivers commented on how expensive it was….) and had a designer wanabee clientele to match. Fabulous pool layout, this is a couple’s hotel: there were a few families with young children but I couldn’t see what the attraction was given the overall lack of intimacy exuded by the construction. I felt it was a little more welcoming than Terminal 5 at Heathrow (T5 is a fantastic, sophisticated building, but by definition, remote). Acres of wood and polished stone in the Fortress: could be anywhere. It happens to be in Sri Lanka.

Worth a visit if only to understand why, as a family, you would want to stay in a villa (if you can).

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TFJ_301J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2010

We stayed in a beach rooms- amazing rooms! The hotel is nicely located with a huge swiming pool.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ACandEdM
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, 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 
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Also Known As:
The Fortress Hotel Koggala
Fortress Hotel Galle
Fortress Galle
Fortress Sri Lanka

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