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Rishikesh is spread out over a number of areas, which is important when deciding where to stay. The most happening areas, Swarg Ashram (the main center for spiritual seekers, where Parmarth Niketan is located) and around the Laxman Jhula (a lively traveler's area with lots of cafes), on the eastern bank are not readily accessible by vehicle although hotels will arrange transport. If carrying your luggage around is an issue, the western bank is preferable. Tapovan is a little further up from Laxman Jhula, and is quieter. The High Bank traveler's enclave is on a hill between Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, and attracts long-term stayers.
These Rishikesh hotels and guesthouses offer excellent accommodations for all budgets. Do ask for a discount during non-peak times! For other smaller guesthouses which are many, it's best to just turn up.
Best Riverside Hotel: Ganga Kinare
This beautiful boutique hotel is sits down river from the busy part of Rishikesh. What makes it special is that it's right on the riverbank, and has its own garden, ghat, and esplanade for strolling along. A Ganga aarti is performed morning and evening at the hotel's private ghat. In addition, guests can take part in complimentary yoga, pranayama, and meditation sessions. Plus, there are plenty of games to keep the kids occupied! Other facilities include Ayurvedic spa and open-air Jacuzzi. The hotel hosts International Yoga Week during the first week of March each year. Most rooms have a view of the river.
- Rates: Expect to pay 5,500 rupees per night upwards for a double room. Tax is extra.
Best for Luxury Wellness Retreats: Dewa Retreat
Dewa Retreat is a new luxury boutique hotel that's situated away from the main road in the Tapovan area. It offers yoga and Ayurveda retreats ranging from seven to 21 nights in duration, as well as community-based tourism initiatives that enable guests to immerse themselves in local culture. The hotel has an organic cafe, Ayurvedic spa, swimming pool, yoga and meditation studio, and library. Satsang and kirtan also take place. There are 30 rooms with partial or full mountain views.
- Rates: From around 6,000 rupees per night for a double, per night. Tax is extra.
Best for Spa Treatments: Sanskriti Vedic Retreat
Sanskriti Vedic Retreat is part of the Kairali Ayurvedic Group, which is best known for its Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village in Kerala. The hotel is located in the market area of Ram Jhula overlooking the river, near Sivanand Ashram. It has a wholesome organic cafe, and offers a wide range of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and spa treatments. Accommodations are provided in modern rooms with river views.
- Rates: From about 3,000 rupees per night, plus tax.
Best Boutique Hotel: Seventh Heaven Inn
Seventh Heaven Inn is a new and hugely popular boutique hotel in the Tapovan area of Rishikesh. It's run by an Indian and his English partner, so service standards are high. The rooms are light and spacious, and carefully furnished in a way that blends Indian and European styles. Each room has a balcony with a forest and mountain view. There's a fabulous rooftop restaurant as well. You won't want to leave!
- Rates: Expect to pay 2,000-2,500 rupees for a double, per night. Tax is extra.
Best View: Divine Ganga Cottage
Divine Ganga Cottage is a good choice for those who want to stay in the Laxman Jhula area, but on the western side where the main road is. The hotel is a short walk to the bridge. Its rooms are spread over four floors and four categories, with the best ones having private balconies and river views. There's a large family room on the top floor, plus a rooftop restaurant that serves diverse cuisine.
- Rates: From 2,250-4,320 rupees per night, depending on the room type. Tax is extra.
Best Budget Garden Setting: Green Hills Cottage
Looking for somewhere you can relax in a serene garden setting without blowing your budget? Green Hills Cottage has 26 spacious guest rooms with balconies overlooking the greenery in the Tapovan area. The hotel is owned by the 60s Hospitality Group, which also operates the renowned retro-themed 60s cafe (also known as Cafe Delmar or the Beatles Cafe) near Laxman Jhula. It has a lovely little restaurant on the property called The Eat Story and it serves delicious food. The only drawback is that the hotel is near the main road, so there's some traffic noise at times.
- Rates: From 1,600 rupees per night, plus tax.
Best for Backpackers: Shiv Shakti
Shiv Shakti is situated in the vibrant Laxman Jhula backpacker's area, conveniently close to restaurants and shops. This really groovy hostel has beds in dorms, as well as private rooms, available. It's a social, clean and friendly place, run by a very helpful team who provide outstanding service. There's free wireless Internet, yoga on the rooftop, and plenty of organized activities too. You'll feel part of a really welcoming backpacker community. In case Shiv Shakti is fully occupied, many new backpacker hostels have recently opened up in Rishikesh. Bunk Stay is one of them that's similarly located.
- Rates: 350 rupees for a dorm bed. 800 rupees for a double room with fan. 999 rupees for a double room with air-conditioning. Taxes are additional.
Best Guesthouse at Laxman Jula: Sonu Guest House
Also across the bridge in the Laxman Jhula area, characterful Sonu Guesthouse is sought-after by budget travelers. It's located slightly away from the main market area, so it remains calm and free from disturbances. There are a couple of small supermarkets close by, so guests can buy groceries and cook meals in the communal kitchen. Other facilities include a yoga studio, great free wireless Internet, and book swap library. The owner and staff are genuine and honest, making it a safe place for solo female travelers.
- Rates: From 500 rupees per night, plus tax, for a private room. Cheaper dorm beds are available.
Best Guesthouse at Swarg Ashram: Vashishth Guest House
If you want to stay in the Swarg Ashram area and are looking for an economical guesthouse, Vashishth Guest House is the top pick. It's an intimate family-run place with only nine rooms, located just past Parmarth Niketan ashram. It's a few minutes walk to the river and 10 minutes walk to the Beatles Ashram. The rooms are spread over three categories, and are really bright and attractive. Some have air conditioning. The hotel also has a small library and offers room service. It's fabulous value for money!
- Rates: 990 rupees for a standard room. 1,490 rupees for a semi deluxe room. 1,990 rupees for a studio room with a balcony and kitchen. Tax is extra.
Best Budget Hotel at Swarg Ashram: Hotel Yog Vashishth
The owners of Vashishth Guest House opened Hotel Yog Vashishth in 2013, in the building adjoining the guesthouse. It provides a step up in terms of accommodations and facilities, and has become deservedly popular. There are 15 standard and deluxe rooms, as well as a restaurant, daily yoga and meditation classes, Ayurvedic massage and panchkarma treatments. If the hotel is full, nearby Hotel Nirvana Palace is similar and recommended.
- Rates: From 2,400 rupees per night, plus tax.
Best Farm Stay: Nature Care Village
The delightful Nature Care Village is situated amid fields bordering Rajaji National Park, about 45 minutes before Rishikesh. It's ideal for those who really want to get away from it all and have a unique experience. The rustic red-brick guest accommodations have been especially constructed on the property, and are simple but comfortable. Guests can learn about farming and medicinal plants, go bird watching, swim in the river, drink from the mineral springs, befriend the animals, and practice yoga and meditation. The family who owns the property is super welcoming, and the mother cooks nourishing food for guests using freshly grown vegetables. So revitalizing! A bonus: it's pet-friendly.
- Rates: 1,500 rupees per night, including breakfast.