It’s a question anyone making a visit needs to find an answer to: would it be better to stay in Hospet or stay in Hampi?
My solution was simple: do both.
We were arriving on Independence Day and I didn’t fancy trying to find a hotel in Hampi just in case it was really busy in the Bazaar area, where the hotels are. So I reluctantly booked a night in the Hotel Malligi after a friend had said good things about it. It’s a good job I did as Hampi Bazaar was closed to traffic as so many people were in the Bazaar area, which meant we’d have had a long walk with all our luggage after arriving after tired from the overnight train journey.
I wasn’t even sure whether I’d want to stay in Hampi Bazaar as I’d heard it could be quite horrid if it was raining a lot, so my option would work well even if we decided to stay in Hospet for the full five nights. We could make our choice on the stop. As it turned out the whole Bazaar suited us well, I especially loved it as it reminded me of our homestay experience in Ganj, Orchha.
Doing it our way we transferred straight to the Malligi, had some breakfast, a rest and after lunch we went to Hampi Bazaar. We then spent an hour looking for the guesthouse we’d choose to spend the next three nights in. We then went sightseeing around Hampi before returning to the Malligi for a good meal and a good sleep.
We’d already decided to stay at the Malligi once more, just before the train to Goa as it left at 6:30am. Also the kids could swim in their pool and get their fix, just in case we didn’t stay in a hotel with a pool in Goa. (Swimming in the sea in Goa isn’t really advised during the monsoon time.)
Staying at the Malligi on the night before our train meant we didn’t need to make the 30 to 40 minute autorickshaw ride in the morning at stupid o’clock.
This idea of Hospet-Hampi-Hospet working really well for us, given the train journey timings, the luggage we had and the wish for a swim in a nice pool. It meant that we still got four full days in Hampi.