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Small, intimate, peaceful, and close to the beach, Z Hotel -- the former seaside residence of the Raja of Serampore -- is the best budget lodging in the state, offering huge, simply furnished guest rooms with sea views. Reserve room no. 25, 26, or 27 (tel. 06752/22-2554; www.zhotelindia.com; doubles from Rs 700; no credit cards) well in advance to secure an upstairs unit with attached bathroom (drench shower only). Don't miss the beach view from the rooftop which, unfortunately, also reveals Puri's unchecked development. Alternatively, try Toshali Sands, en route to Konark (tel. 06752/25-0571 through -0574; www.toshalisands.com; doubles from Rs 4,500). Though it's never going to win any design awards, this is the closest acceptable accommodations to the Sun Temple. A beach lies nearby, and the restaurant's not bad. "Villa" units are the best choices; they feature small sitting rooms, porches, shared kitchenettes, and big bathrooms with tubs. In Puri itself, the one reviewed below is the only one actually located on the beach itself while all the others are either away or across the road. Of these, The Hans Coco Palms (tel. 06752/230-038; www.hanshotels.com) is the best pick with the usual facilities at hand, making it convenient, functional but entirely devoid of the "ah" factor.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.