Travelling in Uttarakhand
Because of the terrain, autos don't ply beyond Rishikesh. So if you plan to go beyond Rishikesh, you will need your own transport to travel around the towns and villages.
Hotel La Casa, Haridwar: This is probably the best one around close enough to the city centre. Everything else around this looks very run down. If you want better hotels, you will have to stay along the Haridwar Rishikesh road which means you will not be able to walk to the main temple. The hotel cleanliness is a bit wanting. We did spot a few cockroaches. The food is pretty decent and bathrooms are clean, spacious and are fitted with modern amenities.
Himalayan Abode Homestay, Joshimath: This is an excellent property right on the edge of a cliff with pretty dramatic views. This is probably the last good hotel before Badrinath. The food and service are excellent. Downside is that it is still couple of hours drive to Badrinath. It is also 5 kms out of Joshimath centre. You will need your own transport to stay here.
Haridwar to Joshimath (275 kms, 8 to 9 hrs): The road is pretty bad. It has enough and more potholes and it is one lane in parts. You can have unexpected traffic jams popping up anywhere due to both city traffic and landslides. Better have an early start to account for surprises.
Joshimath to Badrinath (44 kms, 2 hrs): If the road between Haridwar and Joshimath is bad, the one between Joshimath and Badrinath is positively depressing. It is nearly non-existent in parts. Also cars can traverse in fair weather, it is better not to attempt this without a 4WD.