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“Best hotel in the world”
Review of The Fortress

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The Fortress
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best hotel in the world”
Reviewed 15 October 2013

Stayed here in October 2012 for one week having spent a week travelling around the country.
Positives - incredible bedroom, oil burner filled with gorgeous clove oil every night, supremely comfy bed, best shower I have ever used, fabulous facilities and decor. Restaurant staff were unsurpassed in their attention. Pool outstanding in its user friendliness and view over the sea. A calm oasis.
Negatives our room looked onto a wall. Wrong season so we could not swim in the sea. Rip off tuk tuks outside the hotel and they could turn nasty. Hotel staff porters should have monitored them better.
Overall a fabulous experience in a beautiful country.

Room Tip: Ocean facing
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank paulahal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

My-self and my partner took my parents to Sri Lanka as a gift,and we spent the last week at the The Fortress,the staff were very polite and couldnt do enough for you ,food was good. The view from your room was amazing we had he beach front room ,which i would recommend its worth the money ,we will certainly be coming back.

Room Tip: Beach front room ,amazing views,
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank tjmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

My husband and i recently stayed at The Fortress for a week with our 7 month old baby. Our room was an ocean view room. It was gorgeous. Large, spacious, modern with all the amenities. It was super comfortable. The one thing i didnt appreciate was the open plan bathroom, not great for privacy.

The infinity pool was absolutely amazing. I also loved the tea lounge which had a pool table and was a lovely chill out area.

The food was really hit and miss. The breakfast was good, especially the hoppers. The Sri Lankan buffet night (which is held once a week) was brilliant. Unfortunately, I thought the menu was not great and the western dishes appalling like the risotto or the Mediterranean mezze which is the smallest portion i have ever seen. The sri lankan curry plate was good. What saved the day were the pizzas which were delicious and I must have had 1 for lunch everyday.

The staff were really friendly (a bit too friendly sometimes as a couple of them could tell you their life stories when serving you tea at breakfast). Some of the staff were excellent (Malinga, Samantha the restaurant manager and the lifeguards). However, others really didn't understand very simple requests I.e. what a hard boiled egg was. I must have asked 3 waiters for a hard boiled egg for my baby and instead got 2 very runny boiled eggs. I also asked for an ice coffee with no sugar. It came back sickly sweet and then when I asked the waiter whether there was sugar in it he shook his head and said "no, only ice cream". I really think the staff could do with a bit more training. Especially to think outside the box a little.

The spa was lovely. I had a facial. The therapist, Jeevanthi, was great. I recommended it to my husband who booked a massage. He too enjoyed it but didn't appreciate the masseuse standing over him while he was filling out the survey on how good the massage was.

The cost of laundry is so ridiculous. Don't bother having it done.

Overall I would definitely go back to the fortress. After the fortress, my husband and I moved on to VIlla Bentota, Mount Lavinia Hotel and Cinnamon Grand but they all pale in comparison to the fortress. We had a fabulous time and would highly recommend to our friends and family.

Room Tip: Ocean view room was amazing
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MrsG_2012_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Faversham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed for 2 weeks in September 2013, and were really pleased with the hotel and service received.
The staff are brilliant - happy, smiling and ever so friendly.
We were in a Fortress room - great room, but absolutely no view - we'd definitely upgrade to a sea view next time. Massive bathroom, huge bed, great facilities, and kept very clean, with fresh flowers, toiletries and oil burners daily.
The pool was great, and had an amazing view out over the (small) beachfront, where you could go for a swim only if you were a strong swimmer feeling brave! We were treated to a daily viewing of turtles bobbing up to see us - wonderful!
The hotel is a bit out on a limb in terms of location though - no local bars or restaurants... But you can easily get around with the hire of an inexpensive tuk-tuk! We were bombarded with beach boys trying to take us off for tuk tuk rides at first, and eventually ended up going out for the day, but coming back via a strange route to avoid police... Mmmm, enough said! We then found a great guy at the front of the hotel who was licenced (really worth checking!!) he took us all over the place and really made our holiday special - take the plunge and get to know a good tuk tuk driver from the outset - it'll give you the best of luxury at the hotel coupled with the real Sri Lanka to explore at leisure!
Would We go back? - given the option, I'd be on the plane tonight!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Favers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
67 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

After trundling all around the country for 2 weeks, we were grateful to spend a few days relaxing here. Rooms were beautiful, modern and spacious. We had a nice view of the ocean. The restaurant, pool, and common areas were gorgeous. I especially loved the twinkling lights in the pool in the evening - looked like stars! We were considering staying at the Amangalla, but glad we stayed here as the property was more relaxing - overlooking the ocean and not in the middle of the town and much cheaper.

We only found a couple issues with the resort. First the food was not so great; however, the drinks and ambiance at the restaurant were quite good. Second, the beach was not usable - there were "danger: no swimming" signs posted. The water is very rough and it appears that the 2004 tsunami eroded a large part of the beach - waves come right up to the wall fronting the resort on a normal day. Also, all the beaches in Sri Lanka must be public as there were groups of people standing by the gate from the resort to the beach ALL DAY trying to sell all manner of things to guests. It was impossible to even take a walk on the beach without them following and harassing you the entire time. In fact, it became a bit of a joke because they were there staring up at our room as soon as we got up in the morning to after dark. They would look for people to appear in the window or outside near the beach and then start frantically motioning and yelling at you in Sinhalese.

Would recommend to stay here vs. Galle to decompress. Galle is only a 10min drive away for a day trip. Modern highway (best road in the country!) ensures Colombo is less than 2 hours away.

Room Tip: Avoid getting a room at the far north end of the beach - this is in front of the gate where the beac...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chillertracks
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
Reviewed 2 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Fortress for a week as part of our Honeymoon, what an incredible place, there is nothing to fault at all. Our room was upgraded as we were on Honeymoon, we had a balcony overlooking the ocean so we had stunning views. The staff are extremely attentive to your every need and nothing is too much bother for them. Even the laundry service should get a mention as it was first class !! All shirts were beautifully folded, wrapped in soft paper and placed in a wicker box !
We weren't too sure how the weather would be in September but it was in the 30's all week.
We booked one trip to a safari park with the Travel Bag rep and avoided the Elephant orphanage due to the horrible reviews. Please read these reviews, all is not what the reps would have you believe. The safari was great, loads to see including Elephants in their natural habitat.
The rep did try and put us off using the local guides and to be fair you have got to be careful but shouldn't be avoided, it's part of enjoying a different culture. We got a tuk tuk one evening outside the hotel and we agreed a price for the return trip before we left. There is always room for haggling though ! We paid 1800 Rupee (around £8.40) for a return to Galle. It soon became apparent that we had picked a decent driver, excellent English and was more than happy to hang around while we went wondering ! We also went with him the next day to the Fortress in Galle and the White tea plantation. He was an excellent guide and showed us many more sights than we could have imagined. We negotiated 3500 Rupee (£16.40) but if we had booked through the rep we would halve paid around 5 times as much. His local knowledge is amazing - senatourskoggala@gmail.com
In short, our stay at the Fortress has been amazing, it really is an incredible place to stay.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Theroyalpad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 September 2013

Just stayed at the fortress for I think my 10th time. Probably my favourite place on the planet.
Great staff, great food and the ocean is incredible. Not to forget the pool!

Asela and team are just brilliant and more hotels should aspire to be like this.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Stefan A
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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