Natural attractions: Boulders Resort
This close-to-nature property (no TV, some air-conditioning) offers 13 cottages, some are mini-fortresses, others brick-and-mortar with thatched roofs. Its location, on the banks of the Tungabhadra, 7km from the Hampi ruins (20 minutes by road, free drop-offs and pick-ups at the Virupaksha crossing), is also good for bird-watching. A waterfall and a rock pool are other attractions.
LOCATION Gangavati TARIFF Rs 7,000–11,000 CONTACT 9448034202, nivalink.com/hotel/bouldersresort
Value for money: Hotel Malligi
This is what we might call a ‘standard’ hotel, the service eager, the rooms comfortable, if unmemorable, and the food quite alright. The non-AC rooms are in an old block; the AC rooms (starting Rs 2,250) are in a new one. A generous breakfast comes with the room. Hampi is 12km and 30 minutes away, on frequent buses from the main bus stand, which is a walk from the hotel.
LOCATION Hospet TARIFF Rs 988–3,350 CONTACT 08394-228101, malligihotels.com
Great location: Mayura Bhuvaneshwari
The Virupaksha Temple is 4km away and the rest of Hampi’s spread lies beyond. Nobody gets location as brilliantly right as government-run places, though service here is indifferent. But staff oblige on requests for better cleaning and it’s the only place in Hampi where you’ll find a bar and, by some accounts, non-veg food. Ask for rooms in the new block and you may be pleasantly surprised.
LOCATION Kamalapur TARIFF Rs 1,650–2,500 CONTACT 08394-241574, karnatakaholidays.net
Budget: Mowgli Guesthouse
Reachable from the Talwarkatta jetty, where motorboats ferry people across the Tungabhadra (Rs 20), Mowgli’s rooms and cottages are dodgy, far less impressive than the website promises, though they are en suite. A restaurant offers everything from crepes to pizza (meal for two: Rs 150). The views across the fields are pleasant (that’s Rs 300 extra over the base rate; check high season rates).
LOCATION Virupapura Gadde TARIFF Rs 500–800 CONTACT 08533-287033, mowglihampi.com
Luxury: Shivavilas Palace
It takes two hours to get here from Hampi, but it’s the combination of expansive luxury with local aesthetic that draws us to this WelcomHeritage property of nine rooms and two suites. The interiors represent the living traditions of the Sandur maharajas. Activities include billiards, swimming and horse riding. Toranagallu (21 km) is the nearest station for the Hampi Express.
LOCATION Sandur TARIFF Rs 10,500–18,500 CONTACT 08395-260223, shivavilaspalacehotel.com
Sustainable tourism: Uramma Heritage Homes
The Kishkinda Trust’s guesthouses and cottages are by the river, at Anegundi, where the trust is engaged in sustainable development. Anegundi, once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, is now a remote village. Peshegaar House is Uramma’s budget stay, with shared bathrooms. The ‘house’ and ‘cottages’ are more upmarket. Staff can tell you about the lesser-known wonders of Hampi.
LOCATION Anegundi TARIFF Rs 450–6,000 CONTACT 9449734708, urammaheritagehomes.com