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The Fortress Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 23 November 2008

My husband and I (Kiri and Matt) stayed at the fortress in september and had our wedding during a 11 day stay. It was the perfect setting for a perfect wedding. We arrived after a long transfer (which neither of us minded as it gave us a chance to view everything we would have missed if we didn't leave the hotel) to the warmest welcome and champagne! Forget what everyone has said before, THE FORTRESS IS FANTASTIC, it is simply bliss, the perfect place to unwind, relax, you know it's good when you spend the next 2 months wishing you were back there. The best parts:

1. The FOOD is some of the best we have ever eaten there is so much choice and in our opinion it is all beautifully presented and tasty. We went full-board so had no worries regarding cost of dishes (recommend doing this)
2. The STAFF are just amazing. Susantah "the bar manager" made our stay even more special - organising unique cocktails for us, especially kiri's kiss for our wedding day!! Guyani the wedding co-ordinator could not have been more accomodating to our wishes for the big day, the flowers, wedding cake, hair dressers were just brilliant and v.well organised as you would expect.
3. The ROOM. We booked a beach room and were upgraded to ocean loft suite on arrival - perfect for our wedding stay. We were honestly speechless whilst being shown around, it was quite amazing.
4. The LOCATION. The beach is just beside the hotal and even though the sea is dangerous to swim we went for a quick dip to the left of the hotel, behind a coral reef with the locals which made our holiday, they are very friendly people if a little cheeky!!
5. The POOL. One word, awesome. It's massive, clean and looked after by the brilliant staff.
6. The WEATHER. It was hot but not oppressive, even when it rains your glad for the air to clear.

OVERALL

DO NOT listen to the moaners, they are either very very very fussy or live in the height of luxury every day of their lives. This place is stunning. We spoke with many, many people and The Fortress is considered the best in Sri Lanka. If you want to escape and relax go here. The hotel only caters for about 80 people so it never gets too busy and you don't get swamped by kids. Anyone looking at a foreign wedding then The Fortress is perfect, quiet but exquisite.

xxx

P.S Hi Phil, Hi Hannah !! Hi Stan !!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cheeky0872
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2008

Very chic hotel with above average accommodation and service.

I stayed at the hotel for two nights attending a wedding of a friend. The rooms are very pleasantly furnished with many gadgets to play with.

The only complaint about the room is that it is totally open plan, with little privacy when one is using the bathroom (need I say more).

The venue is only 10 minutes from the centre of Galle by car, although I noted that the three wheelers have set up their own consortium to provide transport (These will charge above the local rate, so be warned).

The south coast of Sri Lanka, is my favoured beach sites on the island, and The Fortress certainly enhances the coastline, as it exploits an historical building rather than being a purpose built modern construction.

I have driven past the hotel on a number of occasions paying little attention to it, but it is a positive haven of tranquility and relaxation, so worthy of a visit.

As with all Sri Lankan hotels, the local rate is considerably lower than the international rate, and given the lack of tourists, the hotel could afford to be more generous to those guests decide to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Uduwerage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2008

We've just returned from an 8 night stay at the Fortress and loved it!
Whilst it's true that the 4 hour transfer from the airport is a nightmare after a long flight - it's well worth it once you arrive there (NB we have been told that all air taxi transfers from Colombo have been suspended so you will have to endure the 4 hour drive for the time being!)
The hotel is, like a lot of the previous reports have said, amazing. It's relatively small, so never crowded, and has such a peacful feel that it's impossible not to come away feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Rooms
We had an Ocean room and the view out to the Indian Ocean frrom our bed was fantastic - the beach rooms also face the sea but as they are on the ground floor I think that the views may have been obstructed a little bit by trees/sunbeds etc.
The rooms are elegantly designed, spacious and spotlessly clean. The beds are absolutely huge and super comfy! There are some nice touches in the in-room facilities such as the ipod.

Pool
The pool itself is lovely with a jacuzzi section and has a beaultiful view out across the ocean.
It was never crowded and there were never any issues getting sunbeds!
You can't really sunbathe on the beach as the tide comes practically up to the wall that surrounds the hotel and the sea is quite rough for swimming. However, there is a section of the sea that is protected by a reef where you can swim.

Bar and Restaurant
The bar and resturant areas are beautiful and chilled out. There are two menus to choose from (Pepper - the a la carte menu and Heat - grills/pastas and pizzas)
The food really was excellent and the cost was reasonable compared to the UK - 900 -1,500 ruppess for a main (but not compared to what you pay in the local village!). Every price on the menu is subject to 10% service charge and 15% tax which is not included in the price printed on the menu.
The thing that really bumps up the bill is wine which is extortionate compared to what you pay in the UK. The average price of a bottle of wine was around 5,000 rupees (ex tax and service charge)
The only negative that we have was the buffet evening (once a week) which was expensive and not worth it in our opinion.

We also ate in a local village called Unawatuna which is about 20mins away in a tuk tuk (600 rupees). Here you can eat fresh seafood for next to nothing. We paid approx £15 for a slap up and delicious meal for 2 people including cocktails and beers..
The best restaurants that we went to were Hot Rock and Coral Lite.

Service
The hotel staff were excellent and the service that we had far exceeded service that we are used to in the UK, without being overbearing.

Overall a fantastic holiday and we would love to return.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank SheeshUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2008

After a long flight (from the UK) and a 4 hour transfer from Columbo by car we were hugely impressed by the Fortress. It is a stunning, private, luxurious and stylish hotel. The staff do their utmost to help (although saying "yes" when you don't understand what the guest is asking for isn't that helpful - make sure they understand). The food was amazing, we stuck to seafood and currys which they do really really well. We tried yoga and the cooking class, both of which are worthwhile. The spa is also great. The pool in the Ocean-View Loft rooms was fantastic. You feel like you are in a Conde Nast shoot the entire length of your stay.

Worth noting that apparently there are sea-plane transfers to Koggala which would have cut down the journey time significantly.

Watch out for Mossies...

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ppp54321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2008

This is a great hotel, fantastic value for money. Set about 15km outside Galle in a town called Koggala, this is a new hotel which has been designed to look old. Dont let this put you off as it is actually not a bad thing. The hotel is really open and has a wonderful sense of space. There are lots of beautiful swimming pools all set right on the beach front so you also have great views of the Indian Ocean. Service is excellent and staff are very friendly. Food is great and the rooms are brilliant. Very contemporary styling, lots of space, a massive king size bed in the room, with great fresh tea and coffee making facilities.

The spa is also really good and affordable.

We went into Galle for the day and you should expect to pay about Rs 1000 to a local tuk tuk (use the guys outside the front of the hotel) for a return trip. Dont fall for the scam of the beach touts offering to provide transport for Rs500 as they will basically try to drag you to lots of shops where they make a commission on any sales.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Radha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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