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“Sad to be home.”

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The Fortress Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Sad to be home.”
Reviewed 29 March 2013

Just back from 10nights at The Fortress. Ok, so lots to say about this hotel...
We were collected from our previous hotel in a very comfortable 4X4 with a pleasant driver.

On arrival we were greeted by about 8 staff. It was possibly a little overwhelming. My partner went to carry his holdall but was stopped and told it would be brought in for us. As it is a luxury hotel he did not think about the fact we had a purse with £1110 inside... This was a mistake! We were taken into the lobby and given a "Fortress Tea" they are deliciuous. After a few minutes our bags were brought through. We were then taken on an informative tour of the hotel then to our room and shown how to operate all the gadgets. Unfortunately whilst unpacking we noticed that £240 had gone missing. We informed the hotel who produced a print out to show nobody had been in our room (using the swipe system) but they did not understand that we suspected it had been taken before reaching the room. Unfortunately we had not counted the money since the evening before in our previous hotel so could not rule out the money being taken from the safe that morning there, so we did not peruse the complaint or contact the police.

On a more positive note;
The room
We stayed in a ground floor beach room. The bed was humongous, bathroom more than adequate and the view was just amazing. We had room no 6 with a view of the garden, pool and ocean - just lovely. The gadgets and iPod docking station were a bonus too. There was a little damp in the room but was not an issue for us - Sri Lanka is very humid. The bed linen was good quality, my partner says he's never slept as well as he did at the fortress. We drank soft drinks from the mini bar which was reasonably priced.

Hotel facilities
The location is good, lots of things to do locally and in close proximity to Unawatuna where there are lots of cheap restaurants on the beach. Although we only went once as the food in the hotel was so good. The pool is fabulous and very warm. Pleanty of sun beds with a flag for when you need anything. The pool man (I can't remember his name) is really sweet and would stop to chat most days. He also took us snorkelling on the beach where we were lucky enough to swim beside a Turtle! The beach to the right of the hotel goes on for miles. Although you can't swim as it is too rough it was really fun to play in the waves. The beach to the left of the hotel is good for swimming and snorkelling. Lots of locals swim here and there are ice cream & juice huts (two mr wippies cost us a total of 25p). There are people trying to sell ornaments and tuk tuk drivers wanting your custom but once we politely declined they would leave us alone.
We also borrowed DVDs from reception, they have a good range. There is also a pool table and library upstairs.
The spa- we had two massages which were great and the facilities are good (jacuzzi, steam, sauna)
The gym - well equipped although equipment a bit old. The trainer Gayan was great, my partner worked out with him for 2hrs everyday and he expected no money!

Trips & excursions - plenty of tuk tuk drivers on the beach and out the front of the hotel. We used a young man named Gemunu. He was incredible, we would call him and he would arrive within 30mins to take us wherever we wanted. He would then wait for us until we wanted to be taken back. He came to the beach everyday to see if we needed to be taken anywhere that day.
We went to galle, unawatuna, turtle hatchery and whale watching all with Gemunu.

The food - breakfast was amazing, egg hoppers, curries, fresh fruit, cereals etc etc. The hotel allowed us to eat early one morning when we were going on a trip and also did us a little packed box on our early departure. The food in the evening was amazing! It cost about £60 - £70 for 2/3 courses and drinks - sometimes wine. The food is incredible, we only ate out once. They have entertainment every night which we actually enjoyed. Maybe the singer wasn't the best but we enjoyed it and his take on the songs made it entertaining. The staff were great and would automatically reserve our table for us every night. Seafood night is good, lobster, prawns, tuna as much as you can eat. Sri Lankan night also very good with an extensive range of curries. BBQ night was our favourite though. The chefs do a great job the food is really good quality.

Could write an essay on this hotel, it was lovely. We were actutually very sad to leave, I wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ally H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 March 2013 via mobile

We arrived at the fortress after spending seven days travelling around Sri Lanka and were looking forward to be able to settle for a week..... And what a place to settle!!

We had a very warm welcome everyone stops to greet you with a smile and the tour of the Hotel on arrival was a great touch some say it was what you would expect from a 5 star but its certainly not what u always get. The rooms themselves were very modern, contemporary and spacious with extra little touches such a choice of showers and an IPod docking station. We had a first floor Ocean View which was perfect apparently the ground floor rooms are more expensive and more sought after but you can have people sunbathing right outside so I'd save your pennies and go for 1st floor.

I like the sun but it doesn't like me so I always need a good level of shade and it was never hard to find. The pool attendants were great they were always there to help you out as quick as you stepped out eyeing up the best spot for you once they knew what you were after.

We like luxury hideaways but we also get a bit restless and need to explore sometimes and before we went were a bit concerned we'd feel a bit secluded (even at times other guests said to us as being a Lil younger was it boring for us?) but we really didn't feel that way. It was so easy to get a good Tuk Tuk driver (but not the ones opposite the hotel they are too expensive, trust the ones on the beach the ones that come across friendly....really are we met some great ones that did us some great value trips at all times of day and night) and its easy to get to many other great little places Unawatuna is not far at all and got some nice little restaurants if you wanna get out for a night we even found the happy banana beach bar with a disco... Great people watching!!

Having said that we ate most nights at the hotel and despite other reviews saying food was ok we found it fantastic, from a great choice of breakfast great stone baked pizzas for lunch and a wide variety of dinners we never had a bad one and great value for money (admittedly we much preferred the a la carte options to buffet nights it was the best food we had in Sri Lanka. If I had to be picky from a cpl where i have a sweet tooth and my husband likes a good lager the only thing I would say is the deserts and alcohol are overpriced in relation to the rest of the country and that itself maybe forced us to eat out a couple of times.


Yes the Spa is similarly priced to uk prices but its worth the money normally when they say a treatment is 90 mins it never quite is by the time they've got u in and changed etc if anything here you got a Lil bit long plus there is a ice jacuzzi/steam room/sauna area to chill in too.

All in all a beautiful country and a stunning hotel well worth it's price. I would definitely go back.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsBulmania3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2013

Just back from 12 nights in Sri Lanka stayed at Fortress for the duration. The hotel is isolated however do get out and about and visit the island it's easy to do. First impressions were very positive, the spacious lobby looks onto the infinity pool and overlooks the ocean, quite stunning. Staff were friendly and professional and the service levels were (in the main) what you would from a 5 star resort. We stayed on bed and breakfast basis and dined mostly in the resort at night. The food was superb and we tried to sample as much of the seafood and Sri Lankan dishes as we could. Other options are of course available. Dining for two at night with bottle of wine was a very reasonable £60-70 (basically same as you would pay in UK). Breakfast food options included fantastically fresh fruit, hold and cold dishes and Sri Lankan options we there too (try the hoppers!).

We often had cocktails in the T Lounge in the evenings and are very well presented and mostly very good value with exception of champagne cocktails which worked out approx double what you would pay in UK. Bottle of wine starts at approx £25 which I think is good and the selection would suit most tastes. We also usually finished dinner with an Irish coffee which they made perfectly.

Room was extremely spacious and had all the usual amenities although WIFI connectivity was better outside the room than it but no big deal. Room housekeeping was faultless and linen and towels regularly changed. High quality toiletry products were supplied which was good as I ran out of mine mid holiday.

No problems securing a sun bed and well attended with a flag system when you needed anything.

Resident palm squirrels were quite entertaining and very tame but they won't bother you for anyone afraid of small animals!

There was a pianist playing most evenings and other than that it is a quiet resort which was perfect for us. One small criticism was a couple of occasions there was a singer who, well, really couldn't sing, churning out an endless string of old 70s and 80s songs most of which seemed to be selected to purposely depress, sorry Fortress but silence and sound of the waves at night better than being deafened by the woeful 'wedding singer''. The Sri Lankan show was excellent and local music was fab too which is of course what customers value, the Sri Lankan experience!

Suggestions for improvement, offer an all inclusive option, or dining packages, to attract more customers.


We will be back to the Fortress, we do like luxury on holiday and Fortress delivers.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2013

This is one of the examples where expensive so called luxurious hotel makes you feel trapped.
Rooms ok, spacious and nice bath that could do with tiny bit of more attention to detail.
Jacuzzi plugged in a not quite health and safety way (it's so easy to get the socket wet! It's like playing Russian roulette, every bath can be your last, I did not try my luck after noticing it.

Hotel is not cosy at all, it's very, also literally, cold and makes you feel separated from the place.

if you think you're going to be in Gaulle as tourist agents like to describe its location: you're looong dangerous (and if booked from the hotel also relatively expansive) tuk tuk drive away from.

The staff makes impression of interested in gossip more than the service, and if you're being helped, you have this suspicion that its tip related kindness (that includes taking a bottle from hands of my partner who was about to top his glass off to help him out: outrageous).

Lobster from the restaurant was horrible, nothing worth recommending to eat, you're better off getting some real Sri Lanka outside.
That's all.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank litka68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2013

We had a wonderful stay at the Fortress, with the peace and quiet being the key point of enjoyment amidst the luxurious facilities that were on offer. With lots of Sri Lankan hotels now becoming family getaways due to discounted offers, I was pleased to see that Fortress had retained its exclusivity. We stayed in a Beach Room which was perfectly equipped, the staff were courteous and very obliging. As its been about 6 years since the hotel was built, we could see that some features would require refurbishing but all in all, it was great. The food was also excellent! I will definitely make this my hotel of choice for future down-south getaways.

Room Tip: Ask for an Ocean room to the middle of the hotel, so you won't be near a wall and nor would you...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rane84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

This hotel deserves every accolade. It is impressive, the rooms are huge with glass walk in showers jacuzzi baths and Wi- Fi and Bose sound systems. Tea and coffee making facilities, comfortable seating arrangements and views to die for. The staff are friendly and do not press you for tips even when they deserve them. Nothing is too much trouble. You are made to feel important and valued.
Only disappointment was THE WALL!!
We had to book a fortress room as there were no sea view rooms left. How bad could it be. This was one of the great hotels of the world. Overlooking a courtyard they said. Well it was I suppose if you count a 10 foot strip with a fifty foot wall a courtyard. My back yard was bigger. They had prettied it up with a few plants and gravel but it was such a disappointment especially as the other rooms gave the promise of fabulous views over the Ocean. My daughter and I were in bits. I'll give them their due. The manager promised to upgrade us as soon as he could. But we had to stay there for four days before that happened. The room was huge with a massive shower and bath. But the dark furniture and the wall made it feel gloomy. Added to that the bedding seemed damp and their was a dank musty smell in the room. The manager sent the cleaners back in and with the help of scented candles it seemed a little better but the dank smell came back,
The point to all this is avoid the Fortress rooms. Pay extra if you have to. Get a sea veiw. The room they moved us too was perfect and our overall stay was enjoyable. The hotel has a lovely pool which has a myriad of twinkling lights built in that look so romantic at night. You are almost at the ocean edge and can walk for quite a way along the beach. There are no attractive beach bars so, unless you want to take a taxi you will have to eat in the hotel which could prove expensive. The hotel will arrange any trips and give you a private driver . It may be slightly more expensive but it;s safer. If you are missing breakfast they will pack a picnic breakfast for you to take. Watch out for the touts who will try to sell you trips. They are not always cheaper or better than you can get at the hotel.Galle is worth a visit. It's a long and tiring trip to Yala national park. You really need an overnight stay for that.

Room Tip: Book a sea view room
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank timetraveller8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

This is quiet possibly one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. My husband and I stayed here for 6 nights at the end of October, When we arrived we were greeted with cocktails, followed by a tour of the hotel. we were introduced to the staff and were shown all the facilities and amenities.once our tour was complete we were shown to our room, which ha been upgraded. The room was amazing! It was modern, clean and authentic, the room smelt of burning cinnamon and they had a food platter awaiting our arrival. So all in all a very good first impression! The hotel itself was clean, quiet and tranquil the location was directly over looking the beach of which at night you could see the sea turtles. The pool was epic, it was huge and there were plenty of sun loungers. the staff are on hand to help with towels and umbrellas.
The food in the hotel is reasonably priced and exquisitely prepared. There was lots of variety and choice and if you get the opportunity my husband and I had dinner for 2 in the pool which was lovely.
Due to the fact the weather was a bit hit and miss we were fortunate enough to spend a few days in the spa, again the facilities were fantastic and very reasonably priced.
The thing that stood out the most was the customer service which really was 5star the staff couldn't do enough to help you and every morning they would come and ask you if you needed anything or how your day was. I also had an unfortunate incident where by a doctor was required, in which the staff arranged a call out and the doctor came straight to the hotel within 30mins and was able to provide me with medication all from my hotel room at 12.40 at night!!! For the rest of the stay the staff constantly check that I was ok which was very thoughtful..
All in all this hotel is fantastic, I would 100% recommend this hotel and would love to stay again in the future.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DMA_86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Fortress Resort & Spa

Property: The Fortress Resort & Spa
Address: Route A2, Matara Road, Koggala 82104, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Koggala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Resort & Spa 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
The Fortress Resort & Spa Sri Lanka/Koggala

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