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“Fabulous” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fabulous”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2013

We spent a week here having completed a tour of Sri Lanka. It is a small, luxury hotel and simply fabulous...esspecially after a week or more of travelling around by car. Our room was very large and the space well-planned. The restaurant and food were great and it was a pleasure to have a break from the buffet-style meals that were so much a part of hotel eating in Sri Lanka. The pool area was fabulous too, very picturesque and with ample choice of sun and shade. All of the staff were efficient and friendly. Often there are things that disappoint in even the best hotels, but we have nothing but praise for The Fortress.
While we were there, turtles hatched in purpose-built turtle hatchery and we were lucky enough to release some of the young into the sea.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PhilT50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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lancashire
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2013

After a huge amount of research,we opted for the fortress for our wedding(03/03/13) and we are so glad we did,it was an even better experience than we could of ever imagined.Firstly the hotel,it is without a doubt the best hotel i have ever stayed in,for a number of reasons.The fortress is a small personal hotel and has a great ambiance about it,far from pretentious,it has character and the staff are what makes your stay an unforgettable experience.The staff will always greet you with a smile,they make you feel so special,sometimes like you are the only people there,they are polite,warm,friendly and very professional.The food at the fortress is exceptional,the curry plates are amazing the beef curry is the best i have ever tasted anywhere in the world.breakfast was fantastic,so much choice,fresh food a plenty again the best breakfast i have ever sampled.The homemade yogurts are truly to die for,you may even have curry for breakfast!We had a meal on the edge of the pool on our wedding night,the waiter was fantastic,he made our night!(apologies for no name)The pool guys were lovely they really looked after you above and beyond,an amazing infinity pool,quite big fantastic views from the pool,the beach was lovely,we ran out of time to walk along it.We stayed in an ocean room on the first floor of which i would highly recommend,everything in the room is perfect,the bed was huge and so comfy,you can even choose pillows from a pillow menu,the bathroom was stunning,rain shower,open plan and with a jacuzzi bath.outside on the terrace compliments wonderful sea views,they brought us our wedding breakfast,so beautifully enjoyed looking over the Indian ocean.We ate a few times in the restaurant,yes quite expensive but only what you would pay for a good meal in the uk,we ate out in Unawatuna a couple of times,can recommend hot rock and kingfisher.The beach at unawatuna was busy and i wouldn't put it in the top ten,however we visited a quieter small beach which was spectacular called wijaya,eat a fantastic prawn and mango curry at the little bar/restaurant on the beach,amazing to watch the sun go down with a chilled beer.we went with the Tuk tuk chaps opposite the hotel,seemed reasonably priced,not sure if we would get it any cheaper?They will wait for you as well,or take their number and let them know when you are ready,they were safe and friendly. Our Wedding day was just a dream,more than we could of ever imagined,a very simple beautiful service,which was perfect and flawless,so many thanks to Gayani the wedding coordinator,she was so professional,exceedingly friendly and calming the day went so smoothly,every respect to her for making our special day a truly amazing experience.If you are pondering over this venue for a wedding,ponder no more,this is the place to go,dreams really are made of this.We now have truly spoilt ourselves and cannot imagine going anywhere else now,hopefully many an anniversary spent here,Sri lanka is a great place to visit,very cultural,the people are so friendly,cannot recommend the fortress and Sri lanka enough.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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?
5 Thank nicky d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
293 reviews
206 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2013

We've traveled the world (105 countries), and stayed at some of the top hotels. This is one of the best anywhere.

Built like a huge Dutch villa, with the most amazing huge infinity pool and wonderful beach. They seem to have their own baby turtle hatchery, since one afternoon they brought a whole bunch of baby turtles to the beach and our daughter was able to pick them up and bring them to the ocean. She absolutely loved it. Staff is amazing. You can plant a flag next to your swimming pool chair to get bar service and we got great sandwiches and cocktails next to the pool. Free wifi which works best in the reception/pool/restaurants area.

The huge family room (I believe #22) was amazing. Wonderful and very comfortable master bed and extra bed for our daughter. Expensive modern amenities, such as flat screen TV, DVD, iPod and Bose sound system, remote controlled lights. Big mini bar, safe, good airco. Huge bathroom (as big as the living room) with two sinks, huge walk-in shower, separate grand bath tub, nice top of the line French and Italian shampoos etc.

Also, the room was right next to the air-conditioned kids play room, where our daughter enjoyed playing with the toys there with some other kids.

Amazing food all around. Wow what an attention to detail when it came to the breakfast buffet, a very large selection of cold and hot foods, breads, fruit, yoghurts, desserts. Dinner was amazing, both the a la carte one night and the buffet the other nights. The barbecue buffet was one of the best ever, I was unable to tell this was buffet food. They cooked fresh barbecue meat, pasta and had plenty of other choices, including the best desserts ever. There are masterchefs at work here. They even had the famous "croquembouche" which we remembered from the actual Masterchef show on TV...

We didn't want to leave.

Room Tip: If you travel with kids, get the family room in the back close to the play room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 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 Eric1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2013

We have recently returned from a two week holiday in Sri Lanka. Our second week was spent at the Fortress Hotel in Kagalla. It was built in a Dutch colonial style fort. We were treated exceptionally well by all staff and had a wonderfully relaxing week. All guests are given a personal tour of the hotel on arrival. You are then shown to your room. There are several options for rooms but we had chosen the Ocean room on the upper floor. We were not disappointed. It was a really cool chic room. The bathroom was vitually all open plan with glass walls. you could then walk through to the bedroom and lounge area which was on a lower level from either side of bathroom. The views and sound of the Indian Ocean were absolutely amazing. The rooms had every extra you could want and if it didn't have it you only had to ask. The food was mostly very good. There was a pizza oven on one of the patio areas which was good for a poolside lunch. Their main forte was in their Indian/Sri Lankan specilaities and the desserts were excellent. We would highly recommend this hotel particularly the room we had.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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 Lynne Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 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?
1 Thank Ally H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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 Contributor
71 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 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 Joanne B
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:
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle > 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 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 Sri Lanka/Koggala

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