This hotel is widely
known in Sri Lanka as among the best when it comes to luxury, service and
style. Located in Galle in the little town of Koggala, the Fortress is so named
after the 17th Century Dutch fort located in its hometown (also among the 9
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka) after which it is modeled.The
Fortress can be reached via road or air. Drive times from Colombo can vary with
accordance to traffic but on a clear day three hours can be expected. Air taxi
will take approximately 45 minutes.
The Fortress stands,
imposing and majestic by the seaside, truly evocative of history. As it is
modeled on the Galle fort, the architectural design follows classic Dutch and
Portuguese lines and from the outside one could hardly guess the indulgent
pleasures encapsulated within these daunting walls. The amenities are first
class and the interiors- equally so, with Sri Lankan motifs pervading. Inside
you will find an oasis- leafy green gardens, water features and tranquil
daybeds and hammocks. The surrounding beach is one of the most expansive to be
found anywhere in the south coast of the island and as the fortress is managed
by the renown Per Aquum, whose resorts in both the Maldives and the Seychelles
have garnered much acclaim, you can rest assured that the same standards are
adhered too here as well.
There are 49 rooms
and residencies on offer all of which are ‘naturally modern’. These are
catagorised into five styles. All rooms feature large king size beds, private
balconies or courtyards, open concept bathrooms and plasma screen TVs with Bose
surround sound systems.
Open out on to private courtyards or garden
Located on the upper most floor, which overlook the gardens as well as the
Indian Ocean. Ocean Rooms also feature high vaulted ceilings.
Fairly similar, though located on the ground floor and have the added
indulgence of a Jacuzzi.
Ocean Lofts are split
level and feature two floors. The private living space is located on the ground
floor, alongside the plunge pool and plasma screen TV. The upper floor houses
the bedroom and its accompanying designer bed adorned in Egyptian cotton sheets
as well as a daybed. The en suite bathroom features both rainwater and wall
At the zenith of all these offerings are the
Fortress Residencies, which come with up to three bedrooms and a outdoor dining
deck. The private pool here is cantilevered and an infinity one. Guests who
choose this option will also have access to a 24 hour personal butler service.
There are three
restaurants which serve a wide array of both Sri Lankan and international
cuisine. Pepper looks out over the swimming pool and serves a combination of
local fare as well as Asian. Pepper prides itself on incorporating traditional
flavours with a modern twist and also features a show kitchen enabling guests
to witness the loving and careful process that goes into preparing that perfect
meal, firsthand. Heat serves al fresco cuisine with pizzas from the wood fired
oven, homemade ice cream and fusion dishes while Wine3 aims to remind us of the
longstanding romance between good food and good wine. Dining here takes place
in a glass cave where even the cutlery and crockery are made of glass. With
over 2000 different wines to be sampled and the finest of food, it truly is an
experience unto its own. The poolside bar and T lounge also provide for
interesting ways to spend an afternoon and a per aquum spa occupies an entire
wing. Here, guests can experience a wide variety of healing treatments,
massages and beauty regiments as well as water therapies such as sauna and
hydro baths. The fully equipped gym gives you an ipod shuffle as you enter so
that your workout has its own personalized soundtrack.
The beautiful beaches of Unawatuna, Mirissa and Tangalle are
well worth a visit as well as the historic city of Galle and its 17th century
Dutch fort. The Fortress also offers diving excursions in collaboration with a
nearby PADI certified dive operator. For a full list of activities in the south
coast visit our South Coast Destination Profile.