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Hotels in Iran

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Hello, couple of my friends from India are planning on traveling to Iran and spending sometime in Tehran, Shiraz, Esphahan, Yazd, Abyanch, Kashan in May 2009.

When I try expedia or trip advisor for hotels, the searches are not coming up with any results.

Can anyone please suggest 3-star hotels in those places.

Is it better to go through a travel agency?

Looking at the map, looks like they have to fly some and drive some. If they have to fly, does Iran have a choice of airlines and is one better than the other.

Thank you.

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    I had trouble finding any real info on hotels there too – I was there in November (and another poster on this board was there last fall too so perhaps she will chime in) but here’s where we stayed -

    Tehran -- http://www.ferdossigrandhotel.com/
    This hotel is good IF, and only if, they can get the hotel to guarantee that they’ll get one of the recently renovated rooms. The old rooms are extremely uncomfortable would be a horrible way to start off their trip to Iran. The rennovated rooms are great though.

    Shiraz - http://www.pars-international-hotel.com/
    This was of the 3 star level – perfectly comfortable and I’d stay there again.

    Yadz – there are lots of “traditional” hotels here –http://www.silkroadhotel.ir/ is where we stayed – there are more upscale traditional hotels but this place is very popular. Was clean, had atmosphere (which was lacking at the business-type hotels we stayed at in Tehran and Shiraz) and has great food. I think the new lonely planet lists some of the newer (and more expensive) traditional hotels.

    In Esphahan you can’t beat the atmosphere of the abbasi hotel
    http://www.abbasihotel.com

    I can’t help you with the other places…sorry!

    We used Iran Air for all our domestic flights – not sure what the other domestic carriers are.
    I’m sure Gashttours http://www.gashttour.com/ (travel agent in Iran we used) could book the flights and hotels for you (however you can just reserve directly with each of the hotels I listed. I’m not sure about Iran Air – we couldn’t travel independently so had to use an agent for everything)

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    I was in Iran with my daughter for almost 3 weeks in October. Here's what I wrote about the hotels we used: In Tehran we stayed at Laleh Hotel, which used to be part of the Inter-Continental chain in a previous life. Great location just north of Laleh Park, great views of the mountains from our room, comfortable rooms, clean and well-maintained, well supplied with amenities, good and inexpensive internet access. Here's a photo of the Alborz mountains from our room: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54726033.html We came through Tehran several times and had three separate stays here.

    In Isfahan, Abbasi Hotel, built in a 17th-century caravanserai. Beautiful! The central courtyard which contains gardens, pools, fountains and canals, with water continuously bubbling and sprinkling and spraying, is lovely and an enjoyable place to relax and socialize in the evenings. The rooms were clean, quiet and comfortable, well supplied with all the amenities, but the decor was ordinary, nothing like the beautiful public areas of the hotel There is a madrasa/mosque adjacent to the hotel. Here are a couple of photos of the hotel at night: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54725983.html & http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54725982.html Good internet access here also. And good location for walking to Royal Square and other sights.

    In Shiraz, the Homa Hotel - tall, 70s-style hotel, not in a bad sense but just the gleaming marble floors, chandeliers, grand piano in the reception and lounge areas give that 70s impression. Nice rooms, clean and comfortable. Good views from our room and spectacular views from the roof-top terrace. Several restaurants/places to eat, including one on the roof with a nice buffet service, where President Ahmadinejad was also dining one night while we were there. Other restaurants within easy walking distance, including one where we had very good pizza. Good and inexpensive internet access.

    In Yazd, Mehr Traditional Hotel - beautifully restored 250-year-old private home converted to a lovely hotel set around a courtyard. Walking into our room the first night, we gasped in delight because the lighting was so beautiful: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54727240.html Just stunning. Large, comfortable rooms with somewhat soft beds. Beautiful courtyard where food available, and good food, great breakfasts. Here's a photo of the pool in the center of the courtyard after dark: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54727241.html One computer available for connecting to the internet. There was supposed to be a charge, but they never did charge us. Staff very helpful and accommodating. Good location, easy walking distance to the center and sights.

    In Abyaneh, Abyaneh Hotel - Very comfortable, large room, clean, good beds, beautiful panoramic views. Because of the location, surrounded by mountains, and the comfy-but-rustic nature of the hotel, it had the feel of a small lodge. This is the only hotel in this small, beautiful, mountain village. Here's a photo of the village: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54727192.html and another one: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p54727198.html And here is a photo of the public lounge area of the hotel: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p55238138.html Good food in the dining room, the only restaurant in town. No internet access.

    In Qazvin, Marmar Hotel - Quazvin is north of Tehran, at the beginning of the road into the Alborz Mountains, on the way to the Valleys of the Assassins. Comfortable but small rooms with very soft, some might say sagging, beds. On a busy road through town, a little way outside of the center. I wouldn't recommend it highly, without a doubt the least impressive hotel of the entire trip, but certainly satisfactory for one night stop on the way north. No internet access while we were there, but available at times we were told.

    In Zanjan, Bozorg-e Hotel - New-ish, international-style hotel on the outskirts of town. Beautiful large, clean rooms, with the best bathroom of the entire trip, all impeccably clean. Good internet access.

    Kandovan, Kandovan Sakhrehyee Laleh Hotel - Kandovan is north of Tehran, near Tabriz. Ten rooms carved out of 'fairy chimney' rocks and caves meander up a steep hillside. They are warm (with heating in the floors), stylish, luxurious, comfortable and the bathrooms are beautiful. We had a sitting room with built-in settee, television, etc. and window looking out to the mountains. Here's a photo: http://jmstudio.fotopic.net/p55238303.html The restaurant/dining room was very pleasant and the food was very good. Breakfast was wonderful.

    I have to go off to work now but will look for contact information for the hotels when I return home this evening. You can click on my name at the top of this post to find my full thread about our trip if you're interested.

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