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A country with as colourful a history as India is always going to be awash with the jewels of the past, but it’s not often you find one that can accommodate you in such grandeur at such affordable prices. Shivavilas Palace, a hotel close to Hampi, in the state of Karnataka, is a great example of this.

The Raj-esque grandeur and antiquarian beauty make this a great option for those looking to visit Hampi but not rough it.


The Location

Hampi – an amazing UNESCO heritage site – is a great place to visit but not a great place to stay, with boutique hotels, in fact any nice hotels at all, sadly absent. Instead of staying in Hampi itself, it’s a better idea to get a room in Sandur, 40km and an hour’s drive away, where you’ll find Shivavilas Palace and the lush, low hills of Bellary district. For an offbeat adventure, or simply a quick visit, this is definitely the best place to stay in the area: access to Hampi’s amazing ruins is straightforward, and the hotel is a welcome refuge from the hippie hustle-and-bustle.



The Hotel

The former seat of the Sandur Royal family is, as you’d expect, a pretty spectacular building.

In the billiard room you’ll find a full-size billiards table whilst outside you’ll struggle to resist the lovely swimming pool on a sweltering hot day. Those looking for an extra dose of luxury and relaxation will be pleased to know there’s a twin-room spa that opens out into a garden. Whilst Wi-Fi across the property means you can Instagram and tweet your way through the stay, or check up on the cricket scores with ease.



The Rooms

The hotel boasts 12 air-conditioned rooms, of which the Maharani Suite is perhaps the pick of the bunch, closely followed by the Maharaja Suite, though the other 10 deluxe rooms are all comfortable and boast huge bathrooms and dressing rooms.

You’ll find wonderfully comfortable chairs in the various lounge areas dotted across the palace, so there’s no shortage of comfortable spots to put your feet up day or night.

The Food

Despite the grandeur of the rest of the hotel, including the dining room, the food is altogether more low key, but that’s no bad thing and adds a certain authenticity to the ‘family home’ feel of the place. The modern kitchen focuses on simple, quality cooking. Breakfast is continental fare, whilst lunch and dinner options range from solid local specialities to a handful of Western dishes – pastas and salads, for example – included to cover all tastes. Room service is available but head to the dining room to socialise a little and further enjoy the ambience of the place.


The Rates

Deluxe rooms start at 9,087 INR (about 90 Pounds) per night inc. breakfast. Deluxe rooms also include a vegetarian meal for two. The Maharaja and Maharani suites are a little more expensive but totally worth the extra cost if you want something special, and more space.

For more info, and to book, check out the full info on Shivavilas Palace hotel. Also, read this if you’re heading from Goa to Hampi.