Photo of Karnataka

About Karnataka

Karnataka is a large state. Its borders enclose some of India's most beautiful natural landscapes from its beaches to several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries; impressive waterfalls to picturesque hill stations. It is also home to the cosmopolitan and frenetic city of Bangalore (now called Bengaluru), the regal city of Mysore and some of India's most fascinating historical monuments (namely the ruins of Vijayanagara). So you can see that one of the main challenges for travellers to the region is planning the itinerary and choosing the best places to stay in Karntaka.

Karnataka is where to come if you want to see elephants and tigers. And if you want to lose yourself amongst coffee and spice hills, or explore some of India's most splendid monuments and ruins, from the wonderful palaces of Mysore to the Islamic ruins you'll find in the north of the state.

Karnataka has several main regions:

  • Central Karnataka is great for people who want to see some of India's most beautiful temples, and the ruins around Hampi.
  • Southern Karnataka has the big centres of Bengaluru and Mysore, with both their ancient palaces, temples and treasures, and their modern appeals, so it's a popular entry point. It also encompasses some of the Bandipur National Park, and has some great trekking countryside.
  • The Karnataka Coast has the beaches,
  • and Northern Karnataka has some extremely beautiful monuments and some incredible cave temples.

What Not to Miss

  • Belur's Chennakesava Temple is a truly stunning spot - be sure to remember your camera!
  • Take a tour round the Badami Cave Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Nature-lovers should head for the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp or the beautiful Nagarhole National Park.
  • Spend some time discovering the state's capital, Bangalore. A techie-hub, it is also home to some lovely parks and beautiful temples.
  • Explore the extraordinary landscapes of Hampi. A mecca for bouldering enthusiasts, hippies and culture buffs.
  • Enjoy lazy days spent under the sun on the quiet beaches of Goa's less well-known neighbour, Gokarna.
  • The hills and coffee plantations of Coorg are as relaxing as they are picturesque and well worth a visit.

The best places to stay in Karnataka range from modern beach hotels to remote safari camps to traditional home stays. Our picks include an affordable Safari Camp and a boutique escape near Hampi.

The best places to stay in Karnataka

For Bengaluru

  • Providing a contemporary stay in the heart of town, Escape Hotel and Spa provides a fun and chic base. Rooms are themed on global cities and there is an impressive rooftop restaurant and pool.
  • Doing the family name justice, Leela Palace Bangalore exudes opulence. Championing Indian hospitality with an indulgent spa and Mughal architecture. The levels of lavishness will be appealing to some, ostentatious to others.
  • With its wisteria clad balconies and award-winning gardens the Oberoi Bangalore provides a tranquil stay. The building's high ceilings and hardwood floors lend a real old-world charm.
  • Housed in a colonial style white bungalow amidst manicured grounds the Taj West End is a trip to perfection. Rooms are decorated in pastel silks and there is smart dining in the form of Blue Ginger.
  • If you've come to India to find inner peace then you'll need to book into the Shreyas Retreat just outside the city. Here they're dedicated to promoting yoga, meditation and the Ayurvedic way of life. Accommodation is chic and modern, so you'll definitely find "enlightenment" in style!
  • Shangri-La Hotel is the tallest hotel in Bangalore. Swish and modern, the hotel offers luxurious rooms, stunnings views and a lively rooftop cocktail bar. A contemporary chic option.

For Mysore

  • The Lalitha Mahal Palace is a stunning stay, boasting smart rooms in an impressive heritage property. There's also a pool, spa and tennis courts on site. Great value.
  • The colonial Fortune JP Palace offers classic accommodation and a range of lovely dining options. There's also a very appealing pool to lounge beside.
  • Royal Orchid Metropole, set in a former Maharaja's Palace, features simple but charming accommodation in a tranquil setting of tropical gardens.
  • The Green Hotel is an excellent low-cost option in Mysore. Set in a beautiful palace built in 1912, the charming rooms are decorated with traditional furnishings and Indian textiles. A good base from which to explore the city.

For Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks

  • The Serai Bandipur is a stylish lodge with chic interiors featuring plenty of white linen. The National Park's just a short distance away, and there's also a spa, a pool and a gym.
  • The Serai Kabini is a boutique stay offering smart accommodation with large bathrooms and balconies. You'll love the gourmet food served up in their Wild Grass Restaurant.
  • Orange County Kabini is a stunning eco-lodge overlooking the Kabini River. Their cosy thatched cottages feature four-posters and you can spend your days unwinding in their Ayurvedic spa.
  • The Bison Resort is an affordable safari camp in the tranquil Kabini backwaters on the edge of two national parks. Accommodation is in elegant tents - with private verandas, four poster beds and antique furniture. There are raised thatched huts too. Relaxing and low key, you can see some amazing wildlife here just by sipping cocktails on the observation deck.
  • Kaav Safari Lodge is an intimate getaway boasting cosy rooms and stunning views. You can even hire the lodge in its entirety! A magical spot.

For Hampi

  • Slightly off-the-beaten-track, yet not far from Hampi, the Kamalapura Palace is a sublime modern hotel. Its design harks back to the 14th-century Vijayanagara Empire and is immediately striking. Everything from the luxurious suites to its superb restaurant personify luxury.
  • Hampi’s Boulders Resort is just a short drive from the spectacular ruins of Vijayanagara, and surrounded by the amazing frantic boulders this region is known for. Accommodation is in 16 secluded cottages and there's a lovely open-sided dining room and a natural pool carved out of the rock.
  • Urama Heritage Homes offer four chic homes of varying sizes and prices, but all oozing Southern Indian charm - think colourful fabrics and tapestries. A lovely stay.

For Chikmagalur

  • Gateway Hotel, located just outside Chikmagalur, offers large rooms with terracotta flooring and high ceilings. With great food and a children's playground, it's an ideal spot for families.
  • Located in the midst of lush hills, The Serai, Chikmagalur boasts 29 modern villas that are bound to impress. A dreamy stay!

Further afield

  • Made up of twenty-four traditional Konkan style villas, SwaSwara is a heavenly spot on the Karnatakan coast just outside Gokarna. A zen atmosphere permeates throughout the hotel from the deluxe spa to the excellent restaurant with a focus on healthy eating.
  • Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri is unbeatable. It offers stunning views, an award winning spa complete with an array of Ayurvedic treatments, sumptuous accommodation and more facilities than you can imagine!
  • Nestled into India's chief coffee growing region, Orange County Coorg is a tranquil oasis in the jungle. Featuring lovely cottages, a superb selection of restaurants and a stunning spa. A great spot for an indulgent break.

For a private apartment or house

  • For those in search of a more private option we recommend you explore the self catering range at our online partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The best airport to fly to for Karnataka is Bengaluru.
  • To hire a car, we recommend visiting our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to visit Karnataka is from October to March, when the temperature ranges from 21-30 degrees Celcius. The monsoon season is from July to September. During May and June the temparatures soar, so these months are best avoided.

Still not sure which to book?


Monthly Weather in Karnataka

Best Hotels in Karnataka

  • Fortune JP Palace Mysore (Karnataka) 108 rooms from £33

    Great walks  -  Up to Chamundi Hill for views across the city. Visit Sri Chamundeswari Temple whilst here.
    Local markets  -  Government Silk Weaving Factory has rolls and rolls of Mysore's famous silk.
    Sights nearby  -  Mysore Palace is one of the grandest in India.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    All the trimmings of a well rehearsed hotel chain at enticing prices. With its white colonial facade inside rooms are classic yet modern and of a good size. Oriental Pavilion provides formal dishes and Eastern cuisine whilst Orchid Restaurant is 24 hour dining. There is a pool and well equipped gym. See More

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  • Uramma Heritage Homes Hampi (Karnataka) 5 rooms from £35

    Sights nearby  -  Sadly Hampi's only remaining working temple, Virupaksha Temple is an absolute must.
    Local markets  -  Sule Bazaar is a hub for shopping for locals and tourists.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    Four heritage homes ranging from private villas to guesthouses, of varying prices yet all as chic as the last. Large rooms feature handwoven carpets, teak furniture and colourful fabrics and tapestries. Meals can be taken in room or communally; served with South Indian flair. A great hideaway. See More

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  • The Green Hotel Mysore (Jayalakshmipuram) 31 rooms from £38

    Sights nearby  -  Built in 1912, Mysore Palace is an imposing structure.
    Local markets  -  Devaraja Market is a colourful and vibrant visit.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    The best boutique stay in Mysore. Individually decorated rooms feature antique four posters with Indian textiles and stained glass windows and ornate doors, plus white ensuite bathrooms. Relax in the airy courtyard or verdant gardens. Dine on Asian dishes in the hotel's restaurant. See More

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  • Lalitha Mahal Palace Mysore (Karnataka) 54 rooms from £39

    Tennis  -  There are tennis courts on site for guests to use.
    Sights nearby  -  Mysore Palace is one of India's most resplendent.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Full of character
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A heritage hotel for incredible value. Large rooms are decorated in an Indian meets colonial style. Large, ornately tapestried four posters fill even larger rooms that feature dark wood antique furnishings. There's a pool, spa and plenty of on site activities including billiards and tennis. See More

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  • Escape Hotel and Spa Bengaluru (Indiranagar) 30 rooms from £44

    Designer  -  Design conscious rooms are themed around the cities of London, New York and Tokyo.
    Spa  -  Including a steam room and three treatment rooms (one for couples).
    Sights nearby  -  Surayanarayana Temple, Bengalaru
    Local markets  -  Many local markets in Bengalaru
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolParking

    Bright, airy and spacious rooms, featuring beautiful hardwood floors & crisp white linens. Large windows and neutral soft furnishings ensure a relaxing environment. Sample contemporary Indian cuisine at fine dining resto-bar Bricklane Grill or unwind on the terrace. A great base to explore from. See More

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  • Royal Orchid Metropole Mysore (Karnataka) 30 rooms from £49

    Sights nearby  -  The ancient town of Srirangapattana and its temples are an excellent day trip.
    Great walks  -  Up Chamundi Hill for a fantastic view point across Mysore city.
    Birdwatching  -  Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary just a short drive from Mysore.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    This former Maharaja’s palace provides guests with a truly regal stay. There are several dining options including the al-fresco Shikari restaurant, a well stocked bar, plus a tranquil pool & tropical gardens. Some of the rooms look out onto this - all are traditional in style but with all mod cons. See More

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  • The Bison Resort H.D.Kote, Kabini River from £59

    Swimming Pool  -  Aquamarine bush pool
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Back to Nature
    Outstanding location
    RestaurantSwimming PoolViews

    A serene safari camp beside the Kabini backwaters and on the confluence of both Nagarhole and Bandipur National Park. A superb location. See More

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  • Hampi’s Boulders Resort Hampi (Bandiharlapur post) 16 rooms from £75

    Outstanding location  -  Located on the Tungabhadra River, 7km from World Heritage site Hampi's Vijayanagar era Temple ruins
    Restaurant  -  South-Indian cuisine, with all vegetables sourced from the property's organic farm
    Swimming Pool  -  The natural pool hewn from the rocks is a good spot for monkey and bird watching
    Great walks  -  Walk to waterfalls and island
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    A tranquil escape from the bustling travellers’ hub of Hampi’s Bazaar, but still a stone’s throw from the spectacular ruins of Vijayanagara. Gorgeous. See More

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  • Shangri-La Hotel, Bangalore Bengaluru (Karnataka) 397 rooms from £78

    City Style  -  One of Bangalore's top hotels with some of its most popular restaurants
    Local exploring  -  Right in the thick of it and within easy reach of the airport
    Swimming Pool  -  Rooftop pool
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Bangalore's tallest hotel providing its best views. The rooftop bar is a popular for after work drinks whilst Italian, Indian, Japanese and Chinese dining can be sampled within. Rooms are decorated in a classically luxurious style and feature modern bathrooms. Make sure to try the spa and gym. See More

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  • Oberoi Bengaluru Bengaluru (Bengalaru) 160 rooms from £83

    Garden  -  Beautiful award winning gardens including a 120 year old Rain Tree
    Sights nearby  -  Bengalaru centre, Vidhana Soudha (seat of state legislature)
    Cooking classes  -  Junior Chef cooking classes on request
    Local markets  -  1.2 miles from Commericial Street
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParking

    This luxurious hotel comprises elegant air conditioned rooms, decorated in a classic style. With hardwood floors, kingsize beds, elegant gold decor and opulent marble bathrooms you are truly pampered. Enjoy the stunning award-winning gardens, relax by the pool or explore the sights of Bangalore. See More

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  • Red Earth Mysuru, Kabini River 18 rooms from £90

    Back to Nature  -  Located on the peaceful backwaters of the Kabini Dam birdcall is the only sound to disturb you here.
    Birdwatching  -  Nagarhole National Park has over 200 species of birds - too many to name!
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    If tranquility is what you're after then look no further. On the calm waters of the Kabini surrounded by grassy plains and forest, stay in huts decorated in local art, earthy colours and featuring large bathrooms and a private terrace. Multi cuisine is served at Poshini plus there is a pool and spa. See More

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  • Gateway Hotel Chikmagalur (Karnataka) 29 rooms from £107

    Sights nearby  -  The Hoysala Temple trail is a historic route across Chikmagalur.
    Hideaway  -  Nestled in the verdant hills of Karnataka's coffee country.
    Great walks  -  Scale Kemmanagundi and experience its views.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Large rooms with terracotta tiled floors and high beamed ceilings plus private balconies and day beds for lounging. Set amid lush grounds with a pool, children's playground and BBQ facilities. There is also a gym, spa, Indian and Continental dishes at Peaberry restaurant and drinks at Mukwada Bar. See More

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  • Taj West End Bengaluru (Karnataka) 117 rooms from £116

    Great walks  -  Lal Bagh, Bangalore's botanical gardens are pleasent space to spend an afternoon.
    Tennis  -  There are tennis courts on sight for guests to use.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Housed in a colonial style bungalow with timeless interiors, amidst 20 acres of manicured grounds. Rooms are decorated in cooling palettes with beautiful silks, antique four poster beds, marble bathrooms and private balconies. Enjoy modern Asian cuisine and fabulous cocktails at Blue Ginger. See More

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  • Leela Palace Bangalore Bengaluru (Karnataka) 357 rooms from £130

    Local markets  -  'Food Street' is the place to go for lovers of Indian cuisine.
    Great walks  -  Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park are relaxing places to perambulate.
    Sights nearby  -  Bangalore Palace is impressive to behold.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Worthy of the Leela name this property exemplifies Indian five star hospitality. Rooms are opulent including huge beds and silk upholstery and featuring marble clad bathrooms, deep baths and power showers. Some include private balconies. There are several fine restaurants and a most indulgent spa. See More

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  • Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri Galibeedu, Coorg 63 rooms from £140

    Views  -  Stunning panoramic views over the forest and hills from every room.
    Great walks  -  With 180 acres, there is plenty of land to explore. Longer treks can be arranged with the hotel.
    Local markets  -  Head to the local Coorg market for the honey, coffee and oranges that it is famous for.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor infinity pool
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Tucked away in the Madikeri hills, set amid 180 acres of rainforest this property enjoys stunning views. Huge rooms are modern in style with dark woods, clean lines and floor to ceiling windows making the most of the amazing scenery. There are three restaurants, two pools and an award winning spa. See More

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  • Kaav Safari Lodge Mysore, Kabini River 4 rooms from £165

    Hideaway  -  Chic, modern interiors bordering the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary - you will not want to leave.
    Birdwatching  -  Hundreds of indigenous and migratory birds can be spotted around the Kabini River.
    Great walks  -  Head out with one of the lodge's naturalists for a walk along the river banks.
    Sights nearby  -  Bylakuppe Tibetan Monastery is one of the largest in India.
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Chic, modern interiors hidden away in a secluded spot on the edge of Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. Rooms feature design pieces and contemporary palettes. All have state of the art bathrooms and stunning views. A stay at KAAV is an intimate affair and guests can dine together. Enjoy the serene pool. See More

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  • The Serai Bandipur Kaniyanapura, Karnataka 24 rooms from £170

    Back to Nature  -  Just 3km from Bandipur National Park you could hardly be closer to nature.
    Great walks  -  The Nilgiris Mountains have trails and treks for all abilities.
    Sights nearby  -  The Bokkapuram Murugan Temple is a historic and cultural visit.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Another fantastic offering from The Serai this stylish lodge, just 3km from Bandipur National Park is a chic stay in the midst of Karnataka's famed beauty. Traditional four posters, draped in white linens compliment contemporary interiors and state of the art bathrooms. There is a spa, pool and gym. See More

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  • Shreyas Retreat Bengaluru (Karnataka) from £182

    Great walks  -  There are some lovely walks leading directly from the property, through the verdant countryside.
    Sights nearby  -  Before or after your stay the sights of Bangalore must be visited.
    Cooking classes  -  Learn the art of Ayurvedic cooking.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking

    Dedicated to promoting authentic yoga, meditation and the Ayurvedic life. So much more than a hotel, but a philosophy. Accommodation is chic modern and comprised of private cottages. Achieve 'enlightenment' in style. There are several pools, a comprehensive spa and yoga studio and organic dining. See More

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  • The Serai Kabini Karapura Village, Kabini River 20 rooms from £200

    Back to Nature  -  On the banks of the Kabini River with plenty of wildlife excursions nearby. Get lost in nature.
    Great walks  -  Head off on a nature trail with one of the property's informed naturalists.
    Kayaking  -  Kayaking on the Kabini River is a great family activity.
    Sights nearby  -  Mysore and its temples is a day trip away.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A boutique resort boasting modern interiors in muted colours. Chic bedrooms with kingsize beds are decorated in polished dark woods and exposed stonework. They also feature large bathrooms and private balconies. Wild Grass restaurant serves gourmet food and there are sumptuous treatments at Omã spa. See More

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  • The Serai, Chikmagalur Chikmagalur (Karnataka) 29 rooms from £205

    Tennis  -  There are tennis courts on site for guests to use.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A collection of 29 modern and beautifully decorated villas set in the lush hills of Karnataka's prime coffee country. With two restaurants, tennis courts, bikes and private pools it is ideal for holidaying families. Allows the privacy of your own villa with the facilities of a resort. Win - win! See More

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  • Orange County Kabini Kote, Kabini River 28 rooms from £245

    Birdwatching  -  Kabini's knowledgable naturalist will walk and talk you through the regions bird and wildlife.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Full of character
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A shining example of eco luxury, Orange County is an award winning lodge overlooking the Kabini River. Thatched cottages feature dreamy four posters, private terraces and stunning bathrooms. There's a sumptuous Ayurvedic spa and romantic dining at Honey Comb - or opt for a private candlelit cruise. See More

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  • Kamalapura Palace Hampi (Karnataka) 46 rooms from £280

    Total relaxation  -  With its luxury accommodation and spoiling spa, Kamalapura Palace is perfect for a relaxing break.
    Romantic Break  -  A totally spoiling way to experience magical Hampi
    Restaurant  -  There are two restaurants - one does international food the other specialises in traditional Hyderabadi cuisine
    Private Hot Tub  -  All suites feature a private in-room hot tub and the villas have private pools
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    The newest hotel in the Evolve Back chain, Kamalapura Palace provides a luxurious stay in off-the-beaten-track, Hampi. This 46-room newly built palace channels the days of the 14th-century Vijayanagara Empire. Luxurious suites include private hot tub baths. The perfect base to explore Hampi's ruins. See More

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  • SwaSwara Gokarna, Karnataka 24 rooms from £292

    Total relaxation  -  Leading the way along the path to enlightenment - you will leave feeling utterly rejuvenated
    Eco break  -  CGH Earth is known for its pioneering green principles
    Great walks  -  Along your own private stretch of beach
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolParking

    Twenty-four traditional Konkan style villas dotted around acres of verdant grounds. Featuring coconut thatched roofs, terracotta tiles and your own private yoga deck. There is a focus on healthy eating and fresh fish on the menu - wine is available but no beer or liquor. The spa is an experience! See More

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  • Orange County Coorg Siddapur, Coorg 69 rooms from £305

    Back to Nature  -  Located amidst Coorg's rolling hills this property lies amongst the surrounding nature.
    Sights nearby  -  The Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement, the second largest in India, is well worth a visit.
    Local markets  -  Visit Coorg market and pick up its local delicacies to take home: honey and coffee.
    Great walks  -  The hotel guides can take you on nature and plantation walks.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Located in India's 'coffee cup' this property provides true escapism. Individual cottages, some with private pools, have terracotta floors, ornate embroidered fabrics, local artwork and gorgeous bathrooms with in and outdoor showers. There are four restaurants and an excellent Ayurvedic spa. See More

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  • Kahani Paradise Karnataka 6 rooms from £361

    Families  -  A great option for families travelling together - take over the entire place for the perfect family get together
    Romantic Break  -  Book the 'sun downer' package, for a very special evening - couples will love The Queen Suite
    Total relaxation  -  A world away from neighbouring Goa's party scene, Gokarna is a place to get away from it all
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll down to Paradise beach, or the nearby lighthouse
    Air conditioningSpaSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Just six suites, which can be booked individually or for private use. Something special, it is a world away from touristy Goa, and within walking distance from some of India's most deserted beaches and holiest spots. Intimate, delicious dining, and a pool perfect for wallowing. See More

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