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All reviewsnature walkmorning walkmangotribal villagewonderful hostspeaceful placehome cooked foodearly morningbarking deerunique experiencedown to earthhome away from homethree nightshome stayrural indiawild elephantswe loved our stay
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Reviewed 18 March 2018

My husband and I had 2 very relaxing nights at the Gajlaxmi Palace in January. The hosts were lovely and we were taken on a wonderful 3 hr walk through the property and forest down to the local village. We also did a half day car tour out from the Palace to local villages and temples which was extremely interesting. The Palace only has a few rooms available and there were no other guests when we were there so we felt like we were part of the family. The view from the roof is extensive and you can see right down the valley. The food is very good especially the delicious sweets. Although the rooms aren't luxurious they are clean, large and comfortable. We loved our stay there.

Room Tip: The room upstairs is probably the best to ask for.
  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Michele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 March 2018

We stayed three nights and enjoyed it immensely. The large rooms and large area of countryside were appreciated. We loved the morning walk, visiting the orchards, villages, brick making area and view of what I call Gajlaxmi's Mt Fuji! In the evening we went down to the small lake near to the residence, but were not lucky to see any animals come down to drink, but no doubt many other guests have had that wonderful experience. The next afternoon JP and our driver took us to tribal village Kolha within Kapilash Wildlife Sanctuary on the way visiting a nomadic tribe's small village, who make a living selling honey. Ending up at Haripur Dam for sunset. We had our own driver who took us to a brass village and on the way from Puri to Gajlaxmi, a textile village, dhokra village and Mahima Dharma at Juranda. I'm sure that if you go alone, JP will be able to organise such trips for you.
Yes, our beds had Indian mattresses which were too hard for me, but hostess Navneeta has ordered European type soft mattresses for all beds. At the moment, the room downstairs with the marble bed has such a soft mattress, with two large rooms so extra beds could be added in there for a family. There are four rooms at the moment, two on ground level, two upstairs on the same level as the kitchen and sitting area, one with twin beds and one double. The double room upstairs would be lovely first thing in the morning with the doors open, gazing at a huge tree filled with birds. The twin room upstairs is not recommended for late risers as you can hear the goings on in the kitchen as staff ready for breakfast, didn't bother us as we are early risers in any case. So - a double and twin on ground level and a double and twin upstairs. Best to ask for Indian or European mattresses when making a reservation.
As mentioned in other posts, Navneeta's food is just the best! At lunch and dinner four dishes were served, with a rice dish, and no repeats for those three days! I would have enjoyed a cooking class and urge Navneeta to put out a cookbook. The best dhals ever and great to be there during fresh methi season.

Odisha is a very interesting State, with few tourists. Also check out Chandoori Sai further south, a guesthouse near to many tribal villages.

  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank FennKualaLumpur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 February 2018

We visited this place in January, 2018. I fell in love with the place when got up in morning and came out of our room to the open tarace. The quietness of nature, lash green surrounding, golden rays, cool breeze soaked me. Then someone politely ashed me for tea, and I loved to have that. Then I was noticed, I was enjoying this nature from a gorgeous palace which was well decorated and maintained. I was awestruck seeing the architecture and splendid location of the palace. It is located just outskirt of Dhenkanal city, at the foothill of Megha parvat, surrounded by fields and jungal. And no words matches with their hospitality. It was like home away from home. Mr. & Mrs SingDeo attended their guests like their family. It was a complete relaxing trip for us watching birds, hiking through forest, exploring village, reading books in open varanda, gazing stars for hours at night.... and so on... Wish I can stay their for my all vacations!!!

Room Tip: Any room..
  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank roumiG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 24 February 2018

India, as we know, is booming with small art deco style establishments and I personally, is in absolute love with this. The custom of modifying old homes/palaces into hotels/home style stays was quite popular in Rajasthan, but was not that much in other states. N now, when other states in India, like this one in Orissa, is creating that old world magic and bringing it’s very own local flavor, is something worth appreciating.

Let me start, like many others have already stated, plz donot expect a Rajasthani/Disney style palace. It’s more of a Zamindar house, in a fascinating area and demands to be evaluated on its own credit.


Location: A narrow red mud road leads to “Gajlaxmi”, secluded, from all the hustle and bustle of city life. Once you land there, lies the big Phantom of a House (copied from the website and I cant agree more). You can hear the birds, the wind, the murmuring of the leaves, but nothing else. Once, up the terrace or in the 1st floor balcony, you just can’t stop appreciating the beauty of the “Megha” hill, standing just in front of you, with the undulating green valley.
5/5 for Location.

Rooms: We were given 2 Rooms on Ground Floor. One, a 3 bedded one and the second being a double bedded suite. Huge ceiling, ample area, aesthetic heritage furnishing adds to the beauty of the room. Hey by the way, one of the room had a Marble bed, which I have never seen anywhere else. One of the bathroom (the one with 3 bed) has some issues with plumbing though, since water was not passing smoothly, but I can easily ignore this. Many have mentioned about hard mattress, but we had no issue with those and had some real good sleep.
5/5 for Room.

Food: I am delighted with the variety of food served. Be it be lunch, dinner or breakfast, each of the dishes were cooked with utmost care and perfection.
5/5 for Food

Service: Both JP sir and Navneeta maam are excellent hosts. We also had the privilege to meet JP sir’s father, who was a real hunter and loved his stories. They are always ready to take care of your needs and will not miss a single opportunity to keep you in comfort. We loved the Morning Walk in the village with JP sir. And my suggestion to every future guests is, if you are in “Gajlaxmi”, do take this Morning Nature Walk. Lot of things to learn about Rural India. If you have chance, do taste the Date juice (Khejur raas). It’s Delicious.
5/5 for Service

Cleanliness: No Complain here. A 5/5

Value: Absolutely worth every penny. 5/5

Room Tip: Both the rooms, at Ground floor, we were provided were great
  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Adhiraj_19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 February 2018 via mobile

The white palace stands above its orchard of mango and cashew trees on the side of the mountain and is an oasis of calm.

The present owners who inherited the house built by the grandfather offer an exceptionally warm welcome and very comfortable rooms.

The highlights are Navneeta’s exceptional culinary skills - she is planning to run cookery courses for delicious and simple Indian food which I am sure will be knockout - and the early morning walk around the estate with the knowledgeable JP showing us evidence of the elephants who pass through, the destructive forces of the termites which have started attacking live trees rather than just the decaying ones and meeting the tribal villagers and seeing their way of life.

We also saw a local collecting toddy from the date palms and tasted it - not that delicious to me but nutritious and when fermented it is a welcome source and probably scourge of alcohol.

And finally it was fascinating to see the brick making process - what incredibly hard work.

We wished we had booked in for more nights ...

Stayed: February 2018, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Gina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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