Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel

Top choice boutique hotel in Kashan

This is the jewel in the crown of Kashan's accommodation. Set within the most impressive of Kashan's restored mansions, guests dine under a twinkling dome of mirrors, sip tea to the sound of splashing fountains, soak in a tub the size of a fish pond and wake up to coloured light dancing on luxury linen. A range of rooms are available.

Recently restored to its former glory, this 18th-century complex was originally built by Ebrahim Khalil Ameri, Kashan’s governor and one of the country's wealthiest men. His story is an interesting one. Ameri made his money supplying the shah with arms and providing security along the trade route between Tehran and Kerman. When completed, his was the largest home in Persia, encompassing four mansions for different family members linked by seven courtyards over 9000 sq metres. All of the buildings were fast returning to dust by the time restoration work began in 1999 and it has taken millions of euros to restore it to the buildings to their extravagant best.

Highlights of the complex include the exquisite mirrored reception room (now the hotel restaurant), two hammams (one of which was built specifically for local pregnant women) and the naghb (mask room), which leads to a secret escape tunnel. On-site shops sell hand-loomed items, crafted clothing and carpets and there's a modern coffee shop with a separate entrance onto the street. Admission to only one of the courtyards costs IR50,000 per person for non-residents but a better option is to book for dinner.