A Fusion Of Modern Comfort And Odia Heritage: 2 Days At Lyfe Bhubaneswar

The recently opened Lyfe Bhubaneswar offers a blend of modern amenities, Odia culture, and delicious cuisine, making it the perfect base to explore the city's top destinations
Lyfe is a mere 15-minute drive from Biju Patnaik International Airport
Lyfe is a mere 15-minute drive from Biju Patnaik International Airport

Odisha's tourism scene has boomed in recent years, attracting both domestic and international visitors. The state boasts destinations like the Konark Sun Temple, Lingraja Temple, Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, and Similipal National Park, which keep tourists flocking to its shores.

Data paints a clear picture: a 2023 report reveals a surge in domestic tourist arrivals, jumping from 37.4 million in 2021 to 78.7 million in 2022. Foreign tourist arrivals mirrored this growth, with a tenfold increase from 2,269 in 2021 to 22,121 in 2022. To accommodate this influx, the hospitality sector is thriving, with the recent addition of Lyfe Bhubaneswar as a prime example of the many new hotels popping up across the state.

Lyfe has a unique cylindrical structure
Lyfe has a unique cylindrical structuremihir b.

A newcomer to Bhubaneswar's hotel scene, Lyfe is a mere 15-minute drive from Biju Patnaik International Airport. Its striking cylindrical tower on Janpath Road, beside the Bhubhaneshwar Corporation Building, will grab your attention even from afar. Opened in early 2024, Lyfe blends modern design with a touch of history and local culture. 

"The story of Lyfe Hotels & Resorts began with a vision to create a unique hospitality experience that seamlessly blends comfort with sustainability. Our journey started with a commitment to providing exceptional service and innovating and leading in eco-friendly practices. The idea was to build a place where guests could enjoy modern luxuries while ensuring their stay contributes positively to the environment. This ethos has been the cornerstone of our brand, guiding our expansion," said Sonal Sahoo, the co-founder and director at Lyfe Hotels & Resorts. 

"Our architectural and interior designs are a testament to the rich Odia culture and heritage. Inspired by the majestic temples of Bhubaneswar, our building intricately reflects the city's ancient artistry through detailed carvings and stonework. Furthermore, our carpets, adorned with patterns reminiscent of the state's traditional Pattachitra and Ikat art forms, serve as canvases weaving tales of local folklore and craftsmanship," she added. 

The Rooms

Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a traditional uttoriyo (a loose piece of upper body clothing) and refreshing coconut water, which gave us a delightful first impression of Lyfe's hospitality. Stepping into our spacious 450-square-foot Studio Suite, we were greeted by a panoramic view of the city through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The suite was decorated in a palette of grey, brown, and pops of teal. A king-sized bed ensured a restful sleep, while a dedicated lounging area provided the perfect spot for relaxation. Additional amenities included a study table, a well-stocked mini bar, and a smart TV for entertainment. For those seeking a luxurious escape, the Studio Suite offered a welcome basket with fresh fruits and a delicious assortment of Odia sweets, including the popular chhena poda (a cheese dessert) and sandesh (a dessert created with milk and sugar). 

The Studio Suite
The Studio Suite

Beyond the suite, Lyfe also caters to business travellers. They offer a fully equipped boardroom for meetings and conferences, alongside three grand banquet halls—Amber, Jade, and Iris—for larger gatherings. Additionally, the Opal venue provides a more intimate setting for up to 75 guests. 

The Food

Lyfe's Kitchen, the hotel's 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurant, caters to all tastes with a breakfast buffet featuring Indian and Western favourites. Whether you crave fluffy puris or crispy bacon, there's something for everyone. Explore the pastry section brimming with cakes and muffins for a delightful indulgence.

Lyfe's Kitchen
Lyfe's Kitchen

We recommend venturing beyond the buffet and trying the Odia specialities. The signature lamb seekh kebabs and the 14-item Odia thali are a must-try. Highlights include the badi chura, a savoury lentil dumpling starter, and the manso jhola, a flavorful mutton curry reminiscent of Bengali dishes. Vegetarians will delight in the tangy dahi baigan and the chattu bara, a dish featuring local mushrooms. The quintessential Odia dalma and decadent desserts like chhena poda and kheer with rosogolla complete the authentic experience.

The 14-item Odia thali
The 14-item Odia thali

For an evening coffee break, head to Cafe Deli, which serves hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, and muffins and even offers the delectable blueberry cheesecake from the main kitchen menu. 

Dinner offers a global adventure with Indian, Thai, continental, and Indo-Chinese cuisine. Don't miss the elaborate dessert spread featuring international classics alongside local favourites like the blueberry cheesecake and chhena poda. 

For an evening of drinks and finger food, unwind at the in-house bar, Mojo. The bartenders, including mixologist Subhasish Saha, whip up creative cocktails and can recommend the perfect drink for you. Pair your concoction with Avocado mini toasts, grilled shrimp, or chicken kebabs. 

Finally, if you crave Thai food, Sweet Basil, helmed by Chef Sara Panisara from Phuket, offers authentic Thai dishes like Tom Yum Goong and stir-fries. 

One of the dishes served at Sweet Basil
One of the dishes served at Sweet Basil

"Our exclusive selection of local Odia dishes celebrates the region's rich culinary heritage, while Café Deli tantalises taste buds with freshly baked goods. Meanwhile, Lyfe's Kitchen boasts diverse buffet spreads of 45-50 items, ensuring each visit is a memorable gastronomic journey. With every dish, we strive to create moments of culinary delight that linger in the memory," said Sahoo. 

The Information

Address: C-5, Road No-8, Janpath Rd, opposite Kali Temple, Bhoinagar, Bhubaneswar

Website: lyfehotels.com

Your 2-Day Bhubaneshwar Itinerary

Day 1

Start your day by visiting the Lingaraja Temple, one of the oldest Shiva temples in India. The temple is known for its intricate carvings and architecture.

Next, visit the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, a group of Jain caves dating back to the 2nd century BC. The caves are adorned with sculptures and inscriptions depicting the life of the Jain Tirthankaras. Outside the caves, numerous street food vendors sell dahibara aludum. These delectable treats are created by soaking vadas in a dahi blend, delicately spiced with mustard seeds and curry leaves, before being enhanced with aludum (a potato-based curry) and ghugni (a dish made of peas or chickpeas).

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri CavesShutterstock

You can also visit the Odisha State Museum, which houses a collection of artefacts that trace the history of Odisha from the prehistoric period to the present day. 

In the evening, enjoy a traditional Odia meal at one of the many restaurants in Bhubaneswar.

Day 2

On your second day, you can visit the Mukteswara Temple, a beautiful 10th-century temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple is known for its exquisite carvings and pyramidal tower.

Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun TempleShutterstock

Next, visit the Konark Sun Temple, a 13th-century temple dedicated to the Sun god Surya. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its chariot-shaped design and intricate carvings. The Konark Sun Temple is about 60 kilometres from Bhubaneswar, so consider travel time when planning your trip.

After that, you can go souvenir shopping at the local markets in Bhubaneswar. In the evening, enjoy a performance of Odissi, a classical Indian dance form that originated in Odisha.

Getting There

By air, you can fly into Biju Patnaik International Airport, located around 3 kilometres from the city centre. Alternatively, you can take a train to Bhubaneswar Railway Station, which is well-connected with major cities across India. If you prefer the road to travel, there are highways linking Bhubaneswar to neighbouring cities and states, making it accessible by bus or private vehicle.

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