Haldwani was an obscure place till about 10 years ago. We passed by it while driving down to Kumaon hills and never felt its presence. It was like one of those small suburban areas on both sides of highway that irritated you as a traveller and never expected you to stop here. But no more now. Haldwani has grown into one of the bigger urban agglomeration of Uttarakhand state now. You can’t blink and miss it. It now forces you to look at it with some respect and offers you reasons to stay back and explore. So during my last visit to Nainital, I decided to stay at Haldwani and explore this place.
So the first challenge was to figure out a decent hotel to stay here. The town has a couple of main roads, Bareilly road and Rampur road. Civil Lines is one of the main areas of the town other than railway and Bus stand. There are multiple hotels in and around Civil Lines area, but most of these are small and dingy places. However, to my pleasant surprise, there are a few nice hotels around Civil Lines too. I checked out some of these hotels and liked Clarks Inn Blue Saphire the most. The reason being its clean rooms, rooftop swimming pool, a well-stocked bar and room amenities. I am quite used to these facilities in a Hotel as most of the times I am travelling to destinations across the world and I believe these are the basics which a Hotel ought to have.
I used this hotel as a base to move to various places in Kumaon hills. I also explored areas in and around Hotels in Haldwani. With the hotel being close to Civil Lines and also in the vicinity of Bus and railway station, I found it very comfortable to move around any time of the day. The place is safe and one can travel freely. While travelling around the town the fact that this town has grown so big also dawned on me. I also understood the reasons behind it. In fact life in the hills of Uttarakhand has not been easy and there is mass migration from hill towns and villages to plain areas. In fact, there is very high number of villages which are now completely deserted. This has resulted in quick increase in the population of Haldwani. As the population increased, the consumption and therefore the business opportunities increased. Also there were a few industrial promotion hubs set up next to this town. All of this has given rise to an urban population that is upwardly mobile.
I understand the biggest change this has brought in has been the lifestyle of people. It has resulted in a number of new eateries, bars and hotels. But once again, I will say, the Hotel Clarks Inn blue Saphire is the jewel of Haldwani town.
So here I was again back to Kumaon hills. This time I decided to stay in Haldwani town visiting multiple places while making Haldwani as my base. Why did I choose Haldwani as the place to stay and not any other town has several reasons:
Haldwani has good hotels that offer all the amenities provided by star hotels in any large town. I am used to these luxuries and for me, these are basic necessities. I can’t live without these.
Haldwani is the only place in this area that has some nightlife. The rest of the towns go absolutely dead after 10 PM and I don’t like that.
Haldwani has good call and internet connectivity. Though I am on my leisure trip, there are few works which are important and I need to attend to those regularly even while on travel. Staying back in one of these hill towns means losing out on connectivity at times and I don’t want to get trapped in that.
With Haldwani as the base, I could explore multiple hill towns as all these towns are connected to Haldwani. The roads between these hill districts are really poor and would have posed challenges in traveling.
Once, I was sure to stay back in Haldwani, I started looking out for hotels. I checked several hotel booking portals and read reviews left by fellow travelers. I found Hotel Blue sapphire as the most highly recommended hotel on various portals like make my trip, trip advisor etc and decided to check out the place along with a few others which were rated well. I visited 5 star hotels in haldwani along with Hotel Blue Sapphire Haldwani and checked various amenities offered by these. I was pleasantly surprised to see the hotel quality in Haldwani. The hotels were clean and the rooms were well stuffed. Most had nice rooms with restaurants etc.
I , post my visit to all these hotels, decided to stay at Hotel Blue sapphire Haldwani. The reason was simple – it was the cleanest, has sufficient and safe place to park my car and my room had a view of Nainital hills, which was awesome in the nights. The hotel has a beautiful and well-stocked bar, which makes it easy to spend some time in the evening and get to speak to people from all over. I was surprised by the good quality of people I could interact with at the bar on most days. The whole atmosphere is quite relaxed. The food is delicious and has a wide variety to offer.
As civilisations started to grow, people started visiting more and more new places. Serais or taverns were the first places which were developed for such visitors to stay for the night. These were basic structures, sometimes with individual rooms with community places. One could cook food alone or can mingle with others around and many travellers cooked food together. These were a great help for people travelling outside their home towns. As time passed, hotels emerged with excellent facilities. Hotels in a city like Haldwani have grown in grandeur and scale over the years and Hotel Blue Saphire in Haldwani is one such hotel which competes with the best hotels in India.
Till about 2 decades back, while Haldwani was still a little sleepy town, it was dominated by Dharmshalas hotels in Haldwani near railway station. These places were very rudimentary and did not afford any luxuries of modern life. As time passed, some government departments and private organisations started setting up their own guest houses for their employees. Most of the visitors to the town would just pass this town by to reach Nainital, an attractive hill station with lakes. Even institutions like Pantnagar University had their own guest house a little before Haldwani. One could also see the place where Corbett used to stay in Choti Haldwani village towards Ramnagar.
However, things started changing very quickly for this town as Uttarakhand separated from UP and this was created as a new state. Haldwani became a major commercial hub. Due to taxation and other issues, all the brands who wanted to sell their wares in Uttarakhand had to set up base here. This resulted in people travelling to Haldwani in large numbers. Therefore, the necessity of hotels was felt and a good number of hotels started getting setup. The first few hotels were small with little facilities. They would be located in congested areas of the old city or near the railway/ bus station. Visitors would find it tough to even park their cars in these hotels. With time, the travellers have also become more demanding and expect these places of stay to offer comforts as offered by hotels in large towns.
With this perspective, one needs to evaluate the hotels in Haldwani and decide which one is the right choice for an individual. There are now hotels from various service providers like OYO, however, they have poor hygiene and amenities standards. It is better to choose a hotel which is located I an open area and has good facilities. Hotel Blue Saphire in Haldwani can be a great choice for you if you are visiting this town for leisure or for business.