Royal Orchid in Hospet is just 12 kilometres from Hampi, making it a great place to get pampered before heading out for the day’s sightseeing

The magnificence of Hampi, even in ruins, often makes you wonder about the opulent lives the kings and queens lived! You could get a fair glimpse of it in the cool comforts of Royal Orchid in Hospet, 12 kilometres away from Hampi.

The luxury hotel is just about five minutes away from the Hospet railway station and hospitality begins from the word ‘go’. There’s a whole group that’s waiting to take you into the restaurant in ceremonial style, and of course completed with a welcome drink.

Royal Orchid, which is a huge sprawling space, has about 134 cottages, of which 11 are Executive suites and one Presidential suite. Most cottages, tastefully done up and comfortable, overlook the Sunken Bar, adjoining the pool.

With a retinue of extremely courteous and polite staff, the stay at Royal Orchid is most homey. For different palates there are different restaurants with a huge variety of food and beverage options. There is the Echo, which is a 24-hour coffee shop, serving assorted cuisine: from omelettes to cereal to idli-dosas for breakfast, and from roti-sabji, to fried rice to rice and rasam! If you have a weakness for Japanese, and food of other south-Asian countries then Ginseng dishes out some of the most amazing stuff. Are you a sports buff – then The Regal Garden, an open-air garden restaurant with a huge television screen is probably where you want to hang out.

But if you are a poet at heart, head straight to the rooftop specialty restaurant, Twilight, which puts together some of the most imaginative kababs. While they do have a whole cuisine for vegetarians, non-vegetarians go berserk choosing what they need to eat! There’s a fully equipped fitness centre and a spa with a huge list of massages and treatments for the weary body.

Too much indulgence? Head straight to Hampi and sweat it out. Also the Tungabhadra Dam, which is about 30 minutes drive from the hotel. The staff is ever-willing to pack food for you to carry on your trip. By the way, they have their own in-house baking unit, and their cookies and chocolates are a must try. If there’s one grouse you’ll have at the end of the trip, it’s that you have to go back to the drudgery of the everyday after being pampered a great deal.

For details, call 8394 300100.