I stay in a lot of different hotels in the course of my business travels, most of them too mundane to merit a even a mention, but I have to make an exception for the Boulders Resort in Hampi, which is quite simply the most remarkable place I’ve stayed at so far.
OK, with its remote location (at least eight hours’ drive from Bengaluru) and lack of a TV, phone, and Internet connection in each room, it’s not exactly an ideal hotel for business people. But then again, that’s what you are paying for: it’s the perfect place to relax and free up your mind in an incredibly serene and beautiful location a world away from the hassles and noise of daily life.
There are few resorts in the world where can you stay in a small cottage surrounded by stunning countryside that has been set aside as a nature reserve that has sloth bears, leopards, and a huge variety of insects, lizards, and birds roaming around. There are also few resorts in the world where you have so few fellow guests to disturb your peace and quiet either; Boulders has only twenty cottages and accommodates a maximum of thirty people at a time.
From what I was told by the manager, the Boulders Resort is owned by a businessman in Hyderabad whose aim was to create an ecologically friendly that can co-exist with the local environment. In that, he has admirably succeeded, showing that with a clear vision and careful resource management sustainable ecotourism is possible.
The Hampi Boulders Resort lies nestled on the banks of Tungabhadra River in the Yamini Hills close to Narayanpet, a small village 7km away from Hampi. Accommodation fees vary; I paid roughly US$130 per night towards the end of the winter tourist season. Here is a brief photo tour of the resort.
The Hampi Boulders Resort has a lovely little reception and dining area that allows guests to enjoy their meals in the fresh open air looking out onto the wonderful views of the Yamini Hills.
The food served at the hotel is very simple but absolutely delicious.
The views from the reception and dining area are simply tremendous as you look out at the strange eroded granite boulders and thickets of green vegetation. According to the hotel manager, leopards are lurking out there somewhere – though unfortunately we didn’t see any.
Close to the reception and dining area is a small castle, which apparently is where the owner stays when he comes here.
This is the Deluxe Cottage that I stayed in on my first night at the hotel. As you can see, it is made of local materials and has been designed to blend into the local environment.
On the second evening at the hotel, I was moved to a standard cottage; the only major difference was that it didn’t have a river view.
It also had a verandah for taking in the scenery around you.
The interior of the cottage had a pleasant minimalist design – with no TV, Internet connection, or phone. It also had this exquisitely carved mask on the wall.
Although it’s located a few miles from the main tourist sites, Hampi Boulders Resort is by far the best place to stay at in the area if your budget allows it. The perfect place to relax and get away from it all, it is in my opinion one of the best hotels in the world.