One country that has a fabulous variety of boutique hotels is Iran. During both of my trips to Iran I stayed in several very nice boutique hotels. They were all Traditional Iranian Houses that had been recently converted into boutique hotels. If you plan to come to Iran, I definitely recommend to stay in one! Before I show you my favourite ones, let me explain more about Iranian Traditional Houses.
Where do you find these traditional houses in Iran?
Iranian traditional houses are so beautiful, but from the outside you would have no idea these places even exist! They are very typical in Iranian desert cities such as Yazd. You see, Iran’s old desert cities are full of narrow winding streets with high walls made of clay, which is the optimum form of architecture in the desert to keep the buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and also to minimise the effect of dust storms. These alleyways are so cool to go round, explore and get lost in!
Amid these narrow streets in the residential neighbourhoods, the houses were built off these alleyways in an inward design, with the courtyard in the middle of the house. This was in an effort to defend these cities from foreign invasion and also to provide maximum protection. The gardens are enclosed also so nobody can view them from the outside. This provided privacy, and during times of danger, it protected them. The gardens are always beautiful, with a water feature in the centre, and they provide a sense of tranquility and really feel like a little paradise!
Iranian traditional houses being used as hotels
Iran has many beautiful traditional houses still in use today. Due to the increase in tourism and Iran quickly becoming a popular place to travel, many historical and traditional luxurious houses have recently been converted into cute boutique hotels. The houses still keep their traditional features and style, thus giving visitors a truly local and unique experience. When stepping into the boutique hotels tourists are often amazed as it is often only a simple door on a street, and then it opens into a beautiful spacious hotel and courtyard!
Of course Iran still has regular hotels, however I definitely recommend to stay in boutique hotels (the Traditional Houses) when in Iran. It is a unique opportunity and you get to experience the local life of the people of Iran. Staying in a boutique hotel as opposed to regular hotels also gives visitors a chance to really appreciate Iranian architecture and design hand in hand with Iranian culture and customs.
Let’s take a look at some of my favourite boutique hotels in Iran:
Shiraz: Lotus Guesthouse (Traditional House)
Lotus Guesthouse is the cutest boutique hotel in Shiraz, and one of my favourite boutique hotels ever! I have stayed in hundreds of hotels during my time travelling, but Lotus Guesthouse will honestly remain in my head as one of the best!
From the minute you walk into the courtyard you can feel a special atmosphere here. The large bedroom windows look out onto the courtyard – each with different brightly coloured curtains. In the middle of the courtyard there is a cute water feature and a lovely large divan to socialise and relax on. The building is over 200 years old and has recently been renovated to a very high standard whilst still keeping it’s traditional features and charm. The rooftop area and all the rooms are decorated differently and with great attention to detail! The staff are so welcoming and helpful always up for a tea and a chat too, you really feel at home here!
Location of Shiraz Guesthouse:
Lotus Guesthouse is centrally located in a great location. It is in a residential neighbourhood right in the middle of Shiraz City, and you can walk to many of the local attractions, for example Nasr Ol Molk Mosque (Pink Mosque) and Vakil Bazaar are less than a 10 minute walk away.
Rooms & rates at Lotus Guesthouse:
The hotel charges very reasonable rates and can hold a maximum of 40 guests between its 9 rooms. The hotel was very clean and the rooms are really nice and cosy! I stayed in The Painter’s room which was so beautiful (see picture below). I definitely recommend to ask to stay in this room – it is so unique with the hand painted wall murals! There is also a dormitory, so perfect for budget-friendly travellers to save some money and to meet other travellers too!
The food served here is great, with lots of organic produce and vegan and vegetarian food available. They even make some really yummy local dishes that you can’t find in many places! Also they very kindly serve complimentary tea and cake in the afternoon to the guests!
Internet in Iran can be quite temperamental but the internet at Lotus Guesthouse is really fast as they have installed the latest satellite dish available, so you will really feel the difference here! I honestly did not want to leave this place and will definitely stay here again when I return to Shiraz. Click here to visit Lotus Guesthouse website!
Kashan: Adib House (Traditional house)
Adib House is over 200 years old and was recently restored to open it’s doors to guests. It is also known as Morshedi 2 as it is the second boutique hotel opened by the the owner of Morshedi House – voted Iran’s best hotel. Adib House is very intimate with 10 rooms and is located in the most stunning building! The large open courtyard really gives the impression of space and there are several booths to sit in, and socialise, drink tea and relax. The hotel is modern whilst still keeping the traditional architecture and style.
The hotel is clean, the internet is good and the staff at Adib House are very friendly! They welcomed me with traditional Iranian tea and dates on my balcony when I arrived:
Rooms at Adib House:
Adib House is decorated to a very high standard and the rooms are all unique. They range from single rooms to suites, like in the picture below. The suites also have stained glass windows above the doors, which bring in beautiful light during the day!
The hotel is located in a central location in a quiet residential street. It is within walking distance to many things in Kashan such as the historical houses and bazaar.
The restaurant upstairs has a lovely menu with some really delicious local dishes served until late. This traditional soup was so yummy!
They also serve a really lovely traditional Iranian breakfast (mainly cheese, bread, fruit and dates). Here I am enjoying the breakfast in one of the booths downstairs. There is a lovely calming atmosphere at Adib House and I definitely recommend staying here if you will visit Kashan! Click here to visit Adib House website.
Traditional Houses tour in Iran
If you are looking for an alternative to staying in a regular hotel on your trip to Iran I highly recommend you stay in traditional house boutique hotels. Thanks to Inbound Persia Travel Company who invited me to come back to Iran and experience their brand new ‘Traditional Houses‘ tour, from which the Lotus Guesthouse in Shiraz and Adib House in Kashan were a couple of the places we stayed.
Qeshm Island: Khaneh Doost guesthouse
Staying in Iranian Traditional Houses you gain a deeper understanding of the local people and culture, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in Qeshm, an island off the coast of Iran. I stayed with a lovely family at their home called Khaneh Doost (meaning “friends home”). The traditions in Qeshm are quite different to the rest of Iran so it was so interesting and insightful to stay here and live like the locals!
They spoke no English but were so kind and welcoming and their 4 year old daughter was an absolute sweetheart. They have a lovely courtyard where you can socialise with other guests, and the rooms are so cool – you sleep on the floor! I love how authentic that is. I really loved this place and I highly recommend staying there though if you visit Qeshm! Click here to book.
Book on Inbound Persia’s ‘Traditional Houses‘ tour to enjoy staying in boutique hotels like this every night during your time in Iran. Inbound Persia Travel Company specialise in customised tours in Iran according to your budget, length of stay and requirements. They are passionate about making your trip as comfortable and memorable as possible, so they only provide you with the best boutique hotels, hand-picked by them to ensure your comfort, safety and happiness. All the traditional houses they selected were so stunning and unique, with only the highest level of Iranian hospitality. Click here to access Inbound Persia’s 10 or 12 day ‘Traditional Houses’ tour.
Looking for more information on Iran?
If you would like to know more about travelling to Iran, read my article ‘10 things you need to know before you visit Iran‘. It covers important information such as visas, travel insurance, accomodation, what to wear, money and transport. CLICK HERE to read.
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