Gopalpur-on-Sea is a quaint little hamlet in Orissa where the four landmarks are a lighthouse, a pock-marked building ravaged by time, a temple, and the sandbar where the lagoon merges with the sea. With so little to see, you will obviously end up watching the sea. Swosti Palm Resort is one place where you can park your bags, and take in the sea as well as the nearby places that time and worry have not touched.

Built as a guest house for Tata employees when it was setting up a steel plant, it has now been developed as a resort by the Swosti group. The rooms are built around an atrium, with a pool table. You can get a hint of the sea from a few rooms and the terrace. The resort has two luxury suites and 24 AC standard rooms. Winter is the best time to hit the place as the shallow sea recedes up to a km in the afternoon, leaving a broad band of sand where you can even drive a car or play a round of beach volleyball or frisbee. Gopalpur is fringed by an estuary on one side that attracts migratory birds by the droves.

The best thing about a beach resort is the seafood. In the morning, catch the sunrise and watch the fishermen haul their catch and people haggle over prices on the beach. Luckily, you don't have to haggle; you can sit down at the sparkling clean restaurant and order the freshest fish.

If you do one of the to-do things and head to Chilika lake, don't forget to get a few crabs that you can get cooked using your persuasive skills at the restaurant.