The iconic Jagannath temple, a breezy city, a gorgeous long beach and lots of unique food and culture around, Puri is a gem of a destination that is located on India’s East Coast. After a gap of 25 years, I managed to find my way to this spiritual destination. I was initially planning to stay near the temple area, but upon heavy recommendation from local friends, I ended up staying on the beach side to enjoy the lovely sea breeze. The place that I ended up staying at was the Park Beach Resort and it is located right on the main Golden beach road. This below hotel review is based on this recent experience of mine.
1) Park Beach Resort enjoys prime real estate space. It stares into the Golden beach and the Bay of Bengal. Both of them are like 50 feet away. The Jagannath temple is a easy 10 minute walk away and the bus and train stations are a short auto rickshaw ride away. Puri is a small town so pretty much everything is located close by.
2) Park Beach resort has comfortable rooms with private balconies and most of them face the beach. This means that you can enjoy the strong and cool breeze every evening of your stay.
3) I opted for a standard deluxe room with air-conditioning in it. This cost me INR 2200 inclusive of taxes. They do have non-air-conditioned rooms that are cheaper and larger rooms that are priced higher. All their rooms have hot shower facility and satellite television.
4) The property does not have free wi-fi or any sort of internet connectivity.
5) The hotel has an in-house restaurant that dishes out great Oriya and Bengali food. Personally, I loved their Odiya Thali, Aloo Posto, Parwal Kassa and Puri Bhajji. You should definitely eat one meal here if you wish to taste some delicious local food.
6) The hotel staff are incredibly helpful and always carry a big smile on their faces. Right from the room boys to the restaurant and the front desk, everyone seemed to be service-oriented and that is one thing I dig in any kind of a hotel.
7) As the beach is just a stone’s throw away, you can easily plan for those gorgeous sunrise sessions or an evening swim.
8) The hotel does not have a locker facility, but they are happy to safeguard your valuables (like empty leather wallet, mobile phone, camera, etc.) that are not allowed into the Puri Jagannath temple. I left my camera gear, mobile and wallet with the reception and they happily took good care of it for me while I visited the Jagannath temple.
9) Check out time at the hotel is 8 AM. More or less the entire town has a similar check out policy. This is because most of the visitors arrive on the early morning trains.
If you are looking for a comfortable budget accommodation in the prime sea-facing location of Puri and one that is easily accessible from everywhere in the town, then I would recommend the Park Beach Resort.