Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace
Embodying the grandeur of the 14th Century Vijayanagara Empire, Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace is a charming boutique hotel and tranquil retreat on the outskirts of Hampi, in Southern India.
With historic architecture and luxurious interior furnishings, Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace combines traditional elegance with modern comfort. There are just 46 rooms and suites at the hotel, each uniquely designed to offer a different and equally indulgent experience for guests. The Jal Mahal suites are inspired by a traditional Water Palace and feature a large private pool; the Zenna suites use rich reds to reflect their royal influences; the Nilaya suites boast beautiful in-room Jacuzzis; and the Nivasa suites enjoy spectacular views from their private balconies.
With two restaurants to choose from guests can also indulge their culinary cravings, with a varied selection of local and internationally inspired cuisine. The main restaurant, Tuluva, overlooks the pool and courtyards and serves a selection of dishes from around the world, creatively fusing flavours to do so. The more traditional Bahmani is influenced by India's Hyderabadi cuisine, and serves fresh and flavourful local dishes. Both restaurants are housed in beautiful buildings which feature ornate architecture and stunning views across the surrounding landscape.
The UNESCO World Heritage protected ancient ruins of Hampi are just over two miles away and are the prime attraction in this region. Over the course of a visit or two, explore the many temples and earthy ruins which contrast with the jade green landscape and nearby waters of Tungabhadra River. As you explore and learn about the heritage of the area from an expert guide, the Vijayanagara Empire will really come alive - so rendering the architecture and elegant atmosphere at Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace even more impressive on your return. Take a dip in the pool, have a massage in the spa or curl up in the reading lounge as you let the history sink in.
Why We Love It
This is without doubt the best place in which to stay while visiting Hampi, but it can get very busy, so make sure to book early!
Opening its doors in 2019, the newest addition to the Ultimate Travelling Camp collection is the beautiful and luxurious Kishkinda Camp, in Hampi.
The camp is made up of just ten luxury tented suites, including one presidential tent. Designed in a colonial safari style, the peaked roofs of the tents give way to luxurious rooms with four poster beds, leather trunks and comfortable seating areas. Inside the décor is neutral, elegant and cosy, while the private deck of each tent is lit with hanging oil lamps to create a lovely spot to watch the sunset or the stars from.
Meals are served in the central area and are expertly prepared from home grown herbs and vegetables by the resident chefs. Expect fresh and flavourful local dishes, with creative international twists.
With the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Hampi on your doorstep, there is much to keep you busy during a stay at Kishkinda Camp. Alongside the guides from camp, explore the huge array of temple ruins, whose crumbling stone walls contrast with the lush green landscapes and huge rocky boulders surrounding the area. You will also want to let the guides take you off the beaten track to explore the district of Sandur, where you'll meet the nomadic Banjaras people, to the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, where you'll meet these unusual creatures, to the Badami Caves temple complex, and to watch the sunset over the Tungabhadra River.
Why We Love It
All of the guided excursions offered in and around Hampi are complimentary with your stay.
Hampi's Boulders Resort is just five miles from the impressive UNSECO World Heritage Site of Hampi, set in the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara.
The resort sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the Yamini Hills and surrounded by the extraordinary boulders that give the hotel its name. In total there are 20 cosy cottages scattered around the property, all with en suite bathrooms and outdoor terraces.
The restaurant serves authentic South Indian dishes wherever possible using ingredients from the on-site organic farm, and there's also a barbecue area and bonfire where guests can relax in the evenings. For a drink, head to the stylish and well-stocked bar for a beer or cocktail.
The Clubhouse has a pool table and table tennis and other activities nearby include nature walks, bird watching, rafting or bouldering - basically rock climbing but only a few feet off the ground, and obviously perfect in this landscape. After a day exploring Hampi, guests can also cool off in a natural rock pool on the river.
Why We Love It
Every other evening local musicians play beside the bonfire as the cook rustles up kebabs on the barbecue and guests relax and gaze at the stars.