Usually, when we visit Rishikesh, we stay at the Ganga Resort run by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). But it hasn’t yet resumed operations after the Covid lockdown. So this time, we tried a new resort, Aloha on the Ganges.
Aloha on the Ganges is a beautiful, 3-star resort in Tapovan, Rishikesh, a little ahead of the Laxman Jhulla. It offers a mix of rooms, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, some of which have an exquisite view of the Ganges.
While making your booking, you may notice that there is a substantial difference in price for the same category of rooms across booking sites (and sometimes even within the same site). This is because some of the apartments in Aloha are privately owned while others are run by the Leisure Hotels group.
If you want to enjoy the full range of services of the resort, be sure to look for the Aloha on the Ganges by Leisure Hotels label before confirming your booking. Better yet, book directly from the Aloha on the Ganges web site. The privately owned apartments will not have room service. Cleanliness, level of maintenance, and furnishings may also vary. However, even if you are staying in a privately owned apartment, you will have full access to the garden, restaurants, swimming pool and other common areas of the property.
As it was the Republic day weekend, the hotel was fully occupied and rooms, even the privately owned ones, were available at a premium. I don’t think we could have afforded the hotel room rates this weekend. Luckily for us, the private apartment we booked was decently maintained. It had a small kitchenette with an electric plate and kettle and basic crockery.
Aloha is located almost on the banks of the Ganga. The path to the river is a short 700-800m walk. Rafting season had started, and a lot of rafters finish at this point. So there was a lot of activity on this road, with jeeps carrying rafts up from the river.
The river itself is beautiful as ever. As the day was bright and sunny, we spent several hours on the riverside dipping our feet in the icy cold waters and watching the rafts go by. This time, we decided against taking a full-body, ritualistic dip in the holy river. We’ll do that when we next visit in the summer months.
I never get tired of visiting Rishikesh. We usually visit at least twice a year. This is one of the few places that grows more beautiful each time we visit. Although I enjoyed the Aloha stay, I really prefer staying near the Ram jhoola. That side of Rishikesh has a better vibe. The government has been developing bathing ghats and broad steps along the riverside there to facilitate easy dipping for believers. You can also enjoy the evening arti (prayer) there more easily.
My parting thoughts – the Ganges is beautiful and free; you can enjoy it equally, whether you stay in a lavish hotel or room worth just a few hundred rupees. If you have never been to Rishikesh, do visit it at least once in your lifetime.
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