- Off the beaten track
Hospet is the kind of place I came to refer to during my 11-month trip around the world as a "pass-through town". What I mean by that is an ugly place, with nothing of interest to offer and absolutely nothing to do but at which I had no other choice than to stop.
This is what happened to me on the way to Hampi during my trip to India. But what a surprise! The hotels I found in Hospet where not at all expensive, offered good levels of comfort, and the restaurants at them served delicious dishes.
It is little noisy though: Hospet is just one big intersection visited by lots of buses. So in the end, and when considered just as somewhere to stop when you have no other choice, the city is not as unpleasant as it may lead you to believe when you first arrive there. And don't worry, because paradise is only 15 km away, in the form of Hampi. Perhaps Hospet is just the gateway.
You should plan to spend at least 3 days visiting the royal city of Hampi (by bicycle, for example). Take a walk along the river towards Vittala Temple or ride a motorcycle to Hanuman Temple on the opposite bank. Set amidst luxuriant vegetation, mountains and the river, the 400 or so temples in Hampi are probably the most beautiful ones I saw during my stay in India.
If you're looking for a high-class hotel, Hospet is the place for you. Otherwise, you should stay in Hampi bazaar, a little village at the foot of the temples or in Virupapur Gaddi, on the other side of the river. Hospet is approximately 7 miles from there. The site is so stunning, it would be a pity to spend the night anywhere else.
In a nutshell, 5 stars for Hampi and 2 for Hospet. But only because transport is so well organised, and the setting is magnificent!