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With multiple-domed roofs, this remarkably swish hotel is designed to faintly resemble a caravanserai while offering full midrange facilities. It’s beside Park-e Shahrdari, five minutes’ walk north from Chaharshir Sq.
Vali’S Non Smoking Homestay
Vali is an eccentric and ever-enthusiastic carpet merchant-cum-multilingual guide who offers a twin-bedded guest room in his charming home along with communal carpeted sleeping spaces, some on the open-air terrace...
Abnoos Apartment Hotel
Hidden in a peaceful mini-garden off a tiny alley, the high-class Abnoos offers unusually spacious apartments sleeping four or five people. There are fine Haram views from the roof and from rooms 301 and 302...
Al Naby Hotel
This six-storey tower has fewer frills than many apartment hotels, lacking the obligatory waterfalls and columns (do you care?)...
Above a popular restaurant, the good-value Amir has small, comfortable rooms with bathrooms and a friendly reception in the cosy lobby. Varzesh Sq is identifiable by its ‘sport monument’ displaying huge footballs in a giant cup. It’s 1...
Amir Kabir Apartment Hotel
Despite the chandeliers and bulging Corinthian columns this high-service option has great-value if sickly-green suites and fifth-floor views of the shrine complex (for now).
The relatively high-class new Bahman Hotel tries a little too hard to be colourfully grand but is comfortable despite the road noise.
Some rear rooms have cracked windows and worn furniture. Front rooms are better with TV and fridge but suffer more from road noise. Overpriced.
Outside the Guri restaurant-teahouse, a row of seasonal tents are filled on a first-come, first-served basis: there are no reservations. Bring mat and sleeping bag.
Homa Hotel Mashhad
Mashhad’s inconveniently located top hotel has a shopping-mall-sized lobby with a blue-glass pyramid roof that mimics the Louvre’s. Rooms are very large, clean and well kept but lack any real style...
Hosseini Fard Inn
The en-suite rooms are very tatty. Bed-only rooms aren’t much better. However, there’s a remarkable Haram view and manager Abulfaz can manage a little English. Add 50% in peak season.
Hotel Apartment Toranj
The lobby has a big modern chandelier and waterfall feature. Rooms are slightly less grandiose but fine value with fully equipped kitchen, choice of toilet-types in some bathrooms and elegant sash curtains.
Behind a mirrored-glass façade, this professionally managed hotel has good, motel-style rooms with lift, three restaurants and a sauna under construction. Some English is spoken.
Hotel Azadi Sharif
Rooms are a very mixed bag: some ageing with tight-packed beds and shared toilets; others neat and relatively spacious with newer tiled floors. There’s a shared kitchen, family feel and an effusive welcome in approximate-English.
Sari’s best hotel (for now) sits in a lush garden amid ivy-draped palm trees, 10km east towards Gorgan. The varnished-wood lobby looks slightly dated but a new glass elevator takes you to fully refurbished rooms...
The nine-room Hotel Bajgiran , which has survivable but rather bare rooms with shared toilets.
The Danesh’s unfussy, well-maintained rooms are quite acceptable, with fridge, central air-conditioning and new (if slightly uncomfortable) beds. Little balconies offer nice views from east-facing rooms but road noise is a slight problem.
A useful landmark west of the town centre is the new, dolphin-fronted Hotel Doosty whose best rooms are a decent midrange deal and whose restaurant is excellent value (meals IR18,000).
Hotel Dustan Javad
Sweet little suites in a small, family pension-style hotel off a lively but mostly pedestrianised shopping street.
The ageing Hotel Esteghlal is hopelessly overpriced and feels spookily like a set from The Shining .
Rooms in this family-oriented hotel aren’t quite as smart as the very professional lobby might suggest, but they’re new, spacious and fully equipped. No English sign.
Just 30m north of Khayyam Sq, this hotel has five reasonably tasteful, en suite rooms, the quieter back ones looking out across the brilliant little garden-cafe that is the place’s trump card...
Hotel Kaniyar , 2km west, has a stylish open-plan lobby-restaurant and Jacuzzis in some rooms. Standards are high but some décor is overly colourful.
A cosy mosaferkhaneh whose small but relatively pleasant rooms have attached showers but ageing shared squat toilets. Comparatively overpriced.