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“Probably the best hotel in Sri Lanka”

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The Fortress Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Koggala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 February 2011

We stayed in three similarly priced hotels in Sri Lanka and for us The Fortress was the clear winner. What for us madeThe Fortress stand out from the others?

Firstly, the staff are exceptionally well trained and polite. The hotel is incredibly beautiful and has excellent facilities namely spa treatments, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, enormous infinity pool, gym, shop, free WI-FI, and all in a calm and peaceful setting.

Our Ocean Room (US$450 per night including taxes) was large and spacious with balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. The sound of the waves rolling in and out really added to the pleasure of staying such a room and waking up to a view of the ocean is something I think most can get used to quite quickly.

The restaurant had a large selection of different types of food including some really great Sri Lankan dishes. My girlfriend and I are vegetarian and had no issues in choosing some great options from their well thought out menu.

The spa centre has some superb therapists. We decided to have hour long aromatherapy massages every day...why not when you're on holiday! The costs of the treatment were probably similar to what you'd pay in London.

My only two gripes are as follows:

The WI-FI in my room often didn't work although it was always available closer to reception. For some reason our room network just didn't work and as a result we were relying on connecting to the more distant reception network.

The Tuk Tuk business outside is sadly on massive con. They claim their prices are unionised and fixed. This is utter rubbish and nothing more than a scam in attempting to charge tourists 3 to 4 times what they should pay on the back of the fact that they are staying or coming out of The Fortress Hotel.

They attempt to charge more than a London taxi travelling the same distance. If you simply stand firm and refuse to pay what's written on what they claim is non negotiable....surprise surprise the price becomes negotiable. You should be able to get into Galle for around 600-700RS although to save arguing longer than a minute or so you could agree 1,000RS. Feel free to take their laminated sheet with the 'non negotiable' prices and tell them what it's worth. We did and never paid any of their 'non negotiable' prices. Your ability to be negotiate will get better each time you get in one. I honestly don't mind paying anyone a fair price for fair journey but this is something that The Fortress should really change as they put this laminated price list in each room.

Okay, so leaving aside the Tuk Tuk racket and the room WIFI, this hotel is absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to anyone that's looking for luxury on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonDavid123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 February 2011

Excellent hotel situated on the Indian Ocean. Our ocean view room had gorgeous, breathtaking views of the Ocean and the Infinity Pool. Room was clean, a;though we had to request x2 to have the room made up after being away from it for 6 hours.( and we did see one cockroach), bathroom was luxurious with rainshower and regular shower...meals were just superb, specially the Sri Lankan night and culture show.All in all a 4 star hotel with a 5 star price, but worth it!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank steamboatl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2011

The Fortress is a beautiful hotel, in a lovely postion over looking the indian ocean, we had an ocean view room which was lovely a modern spacious room with mood lighting and an ipod to provide music. The food was a bit disappointing for a 5 star hotel the restaurant run the same menu lunch and evening, with themed nights 3 times weekly. All prices quoted have 25% tax and service added, not sure why as places outside the hotel only seemed to add 10%. The spa was beautiful too, but again for us was expensive and we thought this was reflected in the fact no hardly seemed to use it. But then the pool is the biggest I have ever seen so would you want to pull yourself away?

All the staff were so helpful with nothing being too much trouble, we were on bed and breakfast and the breakfast buffet had plenty of choice and again very attentive staff. The rooms were kept very clean with a nightly turn dowm service.

We did not use the hotels transfer service from the hotel to the airport as it was more than double other providers, as were excursions, the local tuc tuc drivers are great at providing a good service with good local knowledge and are very keen to please, Ours Chandula we found via a previous trip advisor recommendation for The Fortress, he took us to Yala and met us from the airport as well as being our taxi for the week, between him and the hotel we got the best of the everything, a beautiful hotel in a stunning setting, with beautiful rooms and very attentive staff, and a local guide who gave us a real feel for the area and life in the area. Would I recommend this hotel, yes I would, would I recommend local tuc tuc drivers yes I would! Mail Chandula on [--]. If you want a relaxing away from it all type if trip this is for you. Hope to go back soon If you want more info on this amazing place feel free to mail me.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ladydog1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2011

The hotel it self looks like a fortress and we felt very welcome. The staff are genuinely caring and the rooms we were very satisfied with the rooms. We have a room over looking the ocean and it was fantastic. We felt the hotel was well managed and well looked after. Everything was up to standard for the price paid. A big thank you to all the staff at the Fortress in making our stay special.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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Thank toshikosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

After two weeks of site visits and culture, this was our R&R on the beach. The food and service was exactly what you would expect from a top class hotel. We would have liked to swim in the sea but it was too rough to be safe so we used the 60, yes sixty metre pool the only problem was that after ten lengths, we were getting tired.
The only quibble; the staff like the rooms to be cold and are apt to change the A/C settings; leave them a notice 'do not touch'

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Oldfeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

Amazing property with a lot of style right on the beach but get ready to pay for it

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank busytraveler-lah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2011

When I booked this for our honeymoon, I was nervous as it looked a bit big. I can tell you now, all of my fears and concerns were wrong! The drive from Colombo is a long one, but arriving at The Fortress gates and entering their private world, makes you forget you've been in a car for 4 hours. Seeing the gardens, stunning pool and secluded beach gives instant relaxation.

We were greeted with a large complimentary glass of champagne as the room wasn't quite ready yet but they had upgraded us to a beach suite at the end of the hotel as we were a Honeymoon couple (very thoughtful) so we had no complaints. The rooms are huge, with sofas you can use to escape the sun, big beds and great showers. All beautifully designed and considered.

The beach is truly spectacular! It goes on forever. We walked the beach for about a mile and passed 2 or 3 others - the seclusion was perfect. The sea can be rough and was red flagged for our whole trip but that didnt stop us going for a paddle. Apparently its not like that all year round. The Tsunami is very visible here as the remnants of the old hotels still remain. The only downside to the whole hotel is the touts at the beach gate - they are relentless and you do feel a loss of privacy as they spend their day watching your every move. They are harmless though and just trying to make a living. After a while you forget they're there.

The staff are first class and willing to help at every turn, smiles are always on their faces. The food is great. As soon as we told them how much we enjoy our food and cooking, they organised for us to have a private cooking demonstration with one of their chefs, showing us how to make local Sri Lankan dishes, which was one of the highlights of our stay. At their Pepper restaurant we highly recommend the devilled beef. It takes a little while for them to prepare but if you like spicy food it is definitely worth the wait.

We took a Tuk Tuk into Galle - I recommend getting one out on the street as you will get a better price. You can get them down to around 700 rupees for a one way trip. Galle is a great half or whole day trip out. Venture into the fort and have a cocktail at the Ammangalla Hotel for a trip back to colonial times, then venture into the town to buy spices and snacks. The street food is delicious! Be careful with prices though - they will take advantage of tourists if they can.

We would definitely come back.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DHCtravels
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

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: £177 - £1,054 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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