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“location! location! location!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“location! location! location!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2013

We went for our 2nd Anniversary in Feb'13 and though it was the high season, we had a fabulous stay at the Fortress! The tariff was high but it was so worth it… The hotel is wonderfully located, just by the edge of the Indian Ocean and it boasts of a huge pool which is just awesome. Though the hotel was packed, the pool was big enough to not feel crowded. And the best part was the access to the ocean, it was superb. Just half a minute walk by a side door and one is there! and because of the rock formation few meters in the water, it is like a naturally formed seawater pool… we had so much fun there.
The food was good but as in all 5 star places, not the ideal place to try local cuisine as the food is made neutral to suit all tastes.
Our ocean suite on the 1st floor, overlooking the pool, was fabulous.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Manjula D
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (424)
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English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

I had booked the Fortress in Koggala on booking.com, at that time the rate was shown as $ 250 per night BB or thereabouts without taxes. When I checked in, they had added taxes and charges for extra bed for my 2 kids and the end result was $ 365 which is pretty steep. For this price I would have expected all 3 meals included but sadly it was not.

Now coming to the resort itself : the location is excellent, the swimming pools are super and the rooms are very comfortable with the luxurious showers, jacuzzi bathtub, Bose sound system and all sorts of other gadgetry. Since my kids kept messing up the room we asked for room tidy service 2-3 times a day which was always done quickly and efficiently. The Spa facilities (jacuzzi, steam, sauna) were also good and we used these a couple of times. Access to the beach is easy and convenient though the sea was rough and no sea swimming was, sadly, possible at this time of the year (May 21-27)

So, while the accomodation was excellent, the hotel staff were friendly and efficient, the main grouses I had on this property were the steep prices which were definetly not value for money AND the overpriced food if one had to make the mistake of going a-la-carte or the buffet.

Now, let me elaborate on the food.

> The breakfast buffet (thankfully incl in the price) was nice BUT lacked in variety. there was absolutely the same stuff on offer every day with no variation. If I compare this with the Hilton colombo (a business hotel) it is probably 40% of what the Hilton would offer for $ 200 B&B incl taxes. The service too was slow sometimes, though the staff did seem to genuinely want to please, so I would not blame the staff. I might also add here that I have stayed at other beach properties and 5* properties in Sri Lanka several times, and I would rate the buffet at the Fortress "not as good".

> The a-la-carte menu prices were exorbidant to say the least. Again, if i compared the prices to the best 5 * hotels in Colombo (Cinnamon Grand, Taj, Hilton, Ceylon Continental) they are probably 40-50% more for similar dishes at those hotels.

> The Lunch/Dinner buffet was similarly overpriced....LKR 4500 or 5000 nett per person which is about 45$. The food supplement if you chose HB (half board - Breakfast + one meal) is around the same, which is probably double or 3 times that of a similar hotel charge elsewhere.

So where did we eat? We had a car with us, Galle and Unawatuna was not far, so we ate out at various restaurants incl the UBR (Unawatuna Beach Resort) which was excellent value for money : a full dinner buffet on the beach for LKR 1500 all included which is 1/3 of what the Fortress would charge.

The bottomline is - a lovely hotel with an excellent location and great accomodation BUT highly overpriced and very low value on the F&B section.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the ground floor (the ones with jacuzzi are more expensive) but if you're not...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SanjeevM777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

Only spent the day at the spa and dinner in Duo restaurant. We took a tour of the rooms which looked great, especially the plunge pool rooms or the very large suites. However the spa has great massages and facials but does need a few touches to make it equal to spa's where we live in Abu Dhabi. Showers were great except the water poured all over the bathroom, lovely toiletries were provided but were half empty and were they really Bulgari or refilled with something else? Jacuzzi is good, but just painted cement not tiled, a few light switches were dirty but again the treatments were excellent. I do not recommend the pedicure as it was a 15 minute rub, file and polish. No water, scrub or filing of heals was even offered. So, a fab place for dinner, beautiful grounds and pool but not sure it worth 5 times the cost for a room compared to the local B &B's.

Room Tip: Did stay, but do think the plunge poo rooms facing the gulf would be fab.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2013

I stayed here mid May for my birthday, it was low season so the resort was not full. This meant that we got extra special service (I am not sure if it would be this attentive if the hotel was booked out!). The staff were so helpful and very friendly. I said hello about 20 times to people after leaving my room and going to the pool. The food was great, cocktails were spot on and the services and amenities were second to none. I used the spa facilities and they were also great. Very clean and professional, pricing was very reasonable. There is a gorgeous lady in the spa called Indika who was marvellous. She decorated the spa room with flower petals saying happy birthday to my as it was my birthday. The hotel did such a great job of spoiling me and making my birthday and the trip to Sri Lanka special. I would go back here again.

Room Tip: The bathrooms in the rooms are very 'open plan' so its good to make sure you are comfortable...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sassymissc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2013

Stayed at The Fortress on half board basis for a week earlier this month, and can't fault it in any way.

From the moment you arrive the staff do all they can to make your stay as memorable and stress free as possible.

The food was lovely every night, with plenty of options. Breakfast was also good.
We also used the spa twice, and on both occasions were very pleased with the service.

It's not cheap to stay here, but you really do get what you pay for in every sense.

Can't fault The Fortress at all, and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of heading to Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank dav_ss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2013

We had a beautiful holiday in Sri Lanka in April. We stayed at Fortress and it was a nice experience.Price was not that cheap but we enjoyed.Swimming pool was great but black birds are real trouble but pool boys tried their best to keep us comfortable chasing them all the time.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank michael j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
94 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2013

WOnderful Hotel, Beautiful BEach and and the Pool is awesome, Fodd is great too, the staff are very very helpful and Kind, with a warm smile always on their faces, the Food and Beverage Manager MR Asela, was very Kind to us, and provided us with his BEST service, we enjoyed our short stay, the rooms are royal, and the beds are like heaven. thank you Asela for giveing us your 100% service that night.keep up the great work

Room Tip: Ask for a Pool View Room
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank larinetoussaint
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:
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 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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