Fit for the King in You!
Continuing with more about Orange County Resort in Hampi! Apart from the rooms, there are 2 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, a bar, a spa, a meditation room and a game room.
Candle light dinners can be arranged upon request at your own balcony (or pool in case of Jal Mahal) or beside the common infinity pool! Just beside the Infinity pool is the Tuluva restaurant. The complementary breakfast buffet here is beyond expectation with a range for everyone incl vegan/vegetarian, south & north Indian, cereals & fruits, egg section, freshly baked section, and even a section for weight watchers!!!
For lunch/dinner the local Vijayanagara Cuisine is a must try!!! Enagayi was divine with brinjal stuffed with spices, coconut, tamarind & jaggery. The mix of jaggery, tamarind & spices gave the perfect blend of sweet, tangy & spicy taste! Shenga Obbattu - a sweet pancake in dessert is a must! In the Lunch/Dinner section, the Cottage Cheese Steak, Subz Biriyani (I found this better here than the Bahmani restaurant!), were perfect! Attached to this is the bar!
Opposite to the Jal Mahal rooms, is the Lotus Mahal which houses the Bahmani Restaurant, Vaidyasala (spa), Souvenir shop and a Library (reading area)! The library has its own open space that faces the setting sun! The Bahmani restaurant specializes in Mughal cuisine. Kham Khatai & Dastan e Paneer with the 3 yummy pickles & chutneys is the perfect starter to the dinner. Dare not miss the Shahi Tukda on dessert!
The Vaidyasala (spa) is too good and deserves a post on itself. Read more about it here! In the first floor of the main building, just behind the facade's balcony is the meditation room called Deep Mahal which is filled with tea candles late in the evenings which gives a fuzzy, warm feel to the room.
Atleast once wake up early and watch the sunrise from the terrace or the balcony of the main facade, its gorgeous! And then on the way back to your room see how the sunlight forms stunning shadows with this architecture! Also, atleast once be beside the pool and watch the sunset from here, and take a stroll at night and check out the interesting lighting that they've put up! All that said, yes, the cellphone network as well as wifi are a bit patchy here and the landscaping around the hotel is yet to be completed!!!
The architecture astounded me in certain functional areas! Behind the common bathroom in main building and the spa in Lotus Mahal are small waterbodies with lillies, that are open to sky; also the showers, private infinity pools & lounges of Jal Mahal rooms are also open to sky - utmost care has been taken in designing to make sure that none of these are visible from anywhere else even if you're standing on the terrace!!! That's expected when the owners are a bunch of architects!!!
Over to the actual Hampi ruins, which is a UNESCO site (as well as other sites), guided tours are arranged by the hotel. There are standard tours (where all the interested guests are taken together) that happens twice a day and dedicated tours (especially you and your guide) as well. There are 5 in-house guides headed by a historian who are pretty much knowledgeable in the Hampi history, culture and all the locales around as well! These guides are trained & certified by Karnataka Tourism Dept and are given further training by the historian of the hotel! More about it coming up soon in the next few posts! Cycles are also available to hire to explore the nearby sanctuary with a guide to explore the flora and fauna of the region, if that's you interest area!!! Stay tuned to know where I explored in Hampi.
In simple words, stay here for a long weekend and experience how the Vijayanagara or Bahmani royalty would have felt like!!!!! If you know Tamil, this is exactly ராஜ வாழ்க்கை!
To get there:
P.S: I was invited by Orange County, Hampi to stay and experience the hotel for review purpose, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.