One of the best jungle lodges in India

Samode Safari Lodge

Samode Safari Lodge

Bandhavgarh National Park
, Madhya Pradesh
, India

Samode Safari Lodge comprises twelve outrageously comfortable, state of the art, stylish villas – no other lodge offers such huge amounts of personal and very private space! Each villa has both open-air and closed bathrooms as well as a private terrace looking over the fields, a large bedroom with four-poster beds, a sitting room, and a sundeck. Every ‘mod con’ is there for those who want them but they are discreetly hidden away for those who don’t. There is a wonderful spa to ease muscles strained from trundling around in the jungle and the staff here places a strong emphasis on sustainability and the environment. The lodge is very close to one entrance to the park and the resident naturalists are amongst the best to be found, all highly knowledgeable and loving topography and nature as much as wildlife. Then there are the incredible, specially designed jeeps that leave you wanting for nothing – not many lodges have jeeps that convert into tables to enjoy a perfect picnic mid game drive! Everything here is comfortable and inviting and immaculate. A truly sublime jungle lodge where one should spend weeks rather than days.

Our Rating: Luxury
Property Type: Wildlife/Nature Lodge


This exceptional lodge, with its gloriously pretty and secluded location, is the perfect base for visiting Bandhavgarh National Park and has been developed with the impeccably good taste and expertise of the Samode Family. The lodge sits in incredibly pretty grasslands, close to the jungle and a delightful village. It is a joy to walk or bicycle around, seeing the myriad bird species and a way of local life in an unhassled, friendly way.


Accommodation comprises 12 fabulously luxurious, sophisticated cottages scattered around the grassy premises. The cottages have a traditional, rustic exterior, made of mud and local materials and they are painted white and designed in a traditional style. There are 11 double rooms and 1 twin room. The cottages are all the same and are spacious and comfortable and beautifully furnished. Each has a small entrance courtyard, again painted in a local style. This leads into a large, spacious inner sitting room which leads into a gorgeously light, luxurious, large bedroom and then out onto a wooden, covered verandah and into a sumptuous, spacious bedroom. There is then a dressing room, an incredibly sophisticated bathroom with a tub and shower and an outdoor courtyard bathroom with a further tub and shower. The verandah is totally private and has ample comfortable seating. The cottage interiors are enormous and exceedingly luxurious and chic. They are state of the art – hidden plasma screens, ipod docks and dvd player; air-conditioning; overhead fans; bathrobes; hot water bottles on request; tea and coffee making machines (with real coffee!); hair dryers, central heating, a safe, Espresso machines, electric blankets. All rooms face onto the forest and decorated in soft, earthy colours with fabulous photography and graphics on the walls.

The ground floor of the main lodge is home to a unique art gallery replete with fabulous artwork, a shop, the library and internet room. Upstairs, raised up on stilts is a stunning indoor and outdoor seating area which is cosy, chic and where one may spend hours enjoying a drink, playing cards, chatting, reading or gazing out at the countryside.

There is easy access for wheelchairs to the bedrooms but access to the dining area and sitting area is more difficult. There are ‘no smoking’ rooms but no inter-connecting rooms as each cottage is free-standing.


The Dining Room is in a separate building and is also raised high on stilts and connected to the main lodge by a wooden walkway. It offers delicious Continental, Oriental and Indian cuisine. Meals are served in the dining room, in your cottage or at various places around the premises ie, poolside, or bush dining can be arranged. There is a system of ‘different menu, different venue’ is often practiced and guests may choose to dine where they wish for dinner. Packed lunches and picnics are also complimentary. Alcohol is served in the lodge. There is dining by the poolside, birding picnics, fort lunches, bush dining and private dining is available.


The views from the treetop terrace of the main lodge are magnificent and the small watering hole attracts myriad species of birds and animals in the evenings and early mornings.

Why we love this place

The main lodge looks out over the large swimming pool and gorgeous, surrounding countryside and it oozes warmth and sophistication. With the timber-clad main sitting room, bar and dining room raised high on stilts, and linked by wooden walkways, it is a feat of engineering. These rooms are wonderfully spacious, predominantly made of wood and furnished with rich, earthy colours that fit perfectly with the environment. There’s a blazing log fire to curl up by on chilly days and a lovely al fresco dining terrace leading off the dining room – ideal for a long, fun lunch in the sun. Being a deserved member of Relais & Chateaux, dining here is an indulgent treat and a daily surprise – different menu, different venue – either indoors or alfresco. A private bush dinner here is an experience like no other!

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Samode Safari Lodge is committed to eco-tourism. It has been designed and built with the lightest possible environmental footprint. The aim was to create luxury in the most sustainable manner. Not only have no trees been cut to make way for it, but new planting has also been done.

The adjoining villages of Mardari and Gohori are the inspiration for the architectural language of the Lodge. The walls are constructed with the traditional hand moulded bricks and all building material has been locally procured. The Lodge also uses solar energy and does extensive rain-water harvesting to recharge ground water levels.

Samode Hotels has its own charitable trust which helps the village panchayat to improve sanitation, education, medical and infrastructure. From every room sold 2% goes to the charitable trust. Some of the work done by the trust includes: providing invertors for electricity back up for the school at Samode; providing doctor’s kit and medical equipment to the Government Hospital; offering and providing financial help for medical treatment to villagers; the restoration and repair of the ancient village temple; providing milk and fruit distribution to students in the village schools as refreshments; providing water supplies to the village during the summer months when water becomes scarce; cleaning and maintaining the village roads.

Our Recommendation

Leave enough time between your safaris to cycle or walk around the local villages, and walk up to the mighty Bandhavgarh Fort for some heavenly views.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)