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“Beautiful hotel, excellent service, total luxury!”
Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel, excellent service, total luxury!”
Reviewed February 28, 2011

The Fortress is simply an incredible place to stay and I couldn’t recommend it enough having stayed there for 9 nights in Feb 2011. The rooms are enormous and immaculately kept with a twice daily service. The hotel building and grounds are stunning and the 50m infinity pool with sun beds overlooking the beach is fantastic. The restaurant offers a large range of different cuisines, the food is delicious and the staff are all extremely polite and well trained. The hotel never looked busy even though I am fairly sure all rooms were occupied and we were always able to use the facilities (spa etc) whenever we wanted.

Yes, some things can be (very) expensive (for Sri Lanka) but this is a 5 star hotel and you pay for the luxurious surroundings and service. Having said that, it’s still cheaper than other 5 star hotels that we’ve stayed at (bottle of beer was about £2.50, cocktail £4-£5, lunch £15 each). We went for half board as the hotel is not really in a location where you can just walk to local restaurants but the food there is divine; I thoroughly recommend the Peppered crab, the Devilled chicken and the Lagoon prawns which are each about as big as a large banana!

The only minor snags I can think of is that 1) the free WiFi was slow and unreliable, not really a problem when you only need to check the odd email but if you needed to do any work or download anything substantial you may want to bring a 3G enabled device. 2) the hotel is about a 4-5 hour drive from the airport, a long old haul especially after a lengthy flight, and 6-7 hours from the main sights around Kandy. I thoroughly recommend trying to arrange your flights so that they arrive/depart in the small hours as the local traffic is horrendous during the day. Neither of these should discourage you from staying at this wonderful hotel, though!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MrR0bin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights during our honeymoon and we really enjoyed our stay. The staff were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed.

the food was delicious and a lot of variety including western food and curries.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rajivkj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new delhi
Level Contributor
46 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2011

Had the opportunity to stay in Fortress Galle for the weekend while traveing to Lanka for business. The moment the huge doors of the fortress are opened i felt sucked into a completely different environment. The rooms were fantastic. Although I didnt have asea view the sixe of the room, the bathrooms and the outstanding Bose music system in the room made up for it. the food was fantastic , and i tried out all the local flavours. The best part was whiling your time away ib front of the pool and watch the sea splashing around right in front of us. Overall the minimal approach tot he decor & furnishing added to the ambience of a really memorable stay here.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank indshal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
7 reviews
Reviewed February 23, 2011

After staying at the fortress for a week I can only say this is the most amazing place me and my family have ever stayed and probably will not find better. The negative reviews are pathetic, need to be completely disregarded and some people need to open their eyes and stop looking for petty faults!! The tuk tuk drivers are fine, you don't like their price you simply walk away, it's called bartering!!! And if you still don't get the price you want jump on the local bus for 8 rupees=4p!!!!
I had my wedding at the fortress and we had a life changing day and was more than we ever could dream, the rooms, venue and location are faultless. If you don't like the prices in the hotel (which are the same as been at home) then get a tuk tuk to Unatuayna there is the culture side of Sri Lanka, a bottle of tiger beer is about £1.50 and you can eat for £4pp. Also check and pudh with your travel agent, the flights normally are to columbo and the transfers vary between 3-6 hrs dependant on traffic and your driver, there is an airport at Koggola which is a small miltary one which does allow small air taxis, we found this out after but the flight from columbo to koggala would only take a max of 1 hr!!The wedding co ordinator Gayani I cannot thank enough, if you have any questions let me know, but The Fortress is a must!!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Leaboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2011

It may be becausr the cricket world cup is on it's to Sri Lanka but the sight of football strips around an hotel pool always makes me wonder if I wouldn't rather be elsewhere. We went to the fortress in January 2010 and it exceeded all our expectations, this February it was stiil good but, less staff have meant slightly less crisp service, supply problems do mean that the lower priced white wines were largely unavailable so you will be paying something around £28 for a splash of with dinner, the place is getting more crowded due fo the ebb and flow of groups of a dozen or so for weddings. If you want boutique intimacy, this may no longer be for you, if you want probably the best hotel directly on a quiet beach in the area it should do the trick but.....

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jondi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona
Level Contributor
160 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2011

Amazing hotel, beautiful large pool on the beach, huge rooms with king bed, enormous bathroom with bathtub and shower. Perfect service, very helpfull and professional. free internet wi-fi in the room. The Fortress is a beautiful building, the big wall protects from the noise of the road. It's 20min from Galle in tuktuk. The only thing to improve is the buffet dinner. While the breakfast buffet is great. Cuidado con los chicos en la playa que intentan venderos tours u otros servicios.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Xuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2011

We stayed in three similarly priced hotels in Sri Lanka and for us The Fortress was the clear winner. What for us madeThe Fortress stand out from the others?

Firstly, the staff are exceptionally well trained and polite. The hotel is incredibly beautiful and has excellent facilities namely spa treatments, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, enormous infinity pool, gym, shop, free WI-FI, and all in a calm and peaceful setting.

Our Ocean Room (US$450 per night including taxes) was large and spacious with balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. The sound of the waves rolling in and out really added to the pleasure of staying such a room and waking up to a view of the ocean is something I think most can get used to quite quickly.

The restaurant had a large selection of different types of food including some really great Sri Lankan dishes. My girlfriend and I are vegetarian and had no issues in choosing some great options from their well thought out menu.

The spa centre has some superb therapists. We decided to have hour long aromatherapy massages every day...why not when you're on holiday! The costs of the treatment were probably similar to what you'd pay in London.

My only two gripes are as follows:

The WI-FI in my room often didn't work although it was always available closer to reception. For some reason our room network just didn't work and as a result we were relying on connecting to the more distant reception network.

The Tuk Tuk business outside is sadly on massive con. They claim their prices are unionised and fixed. This is utter rubbish and nothing more than a scam in attempting to charge tourists 3 to 4 times what they should pay on the back of the fact that they are staying or coming out of The Fortress Hotel.

They attempt to charge more than a London taxi travelling the same distance. If you simply stand firm and refuse to pay what's written on what they claim is non negotiable....surprise surprise the price becomes negotiable. You should be able to get into Galle for around 600-700RS although to save arguing longer than a minute or so you could agree 1,000RS. Feel free to take their laminated sheet with the 'non negotiable' prices and tell them what it's worth. We did and never paid any of their 'non negotiable' prices. Your ability to be negotiate will get better each time you get in one. I honestly don't mind paying anyone a fair price for fair journey but this is something that The Fortress should really change as they put this laminated price list in each room.

Okay, so leaving aside the Tuk Tuk racket and the room WIFI, this hotel is absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to anyone that's looking for luxury on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonDavid123
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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