When booking a hotel, price matters, and while hotel rates in Iran are relatively low compared to the rest of the world, whether hotels are pricey depends on how you define it. If your criterion is value for money, then yes; Iranian hotels are overpriced.
It is said that hotels in Iran are about a star-rating below their European counterparts. In other words, a four-star establishment in Tehran might be considered a three-star property by European standards. Of course, this is a general statement to give you an idea about the quality of hotels in Iran.
In fact, this discrepancy can also be seen inside the country: For instance, a three-star hotel in Isfahan might offer a far better service than a four-star hotel in a smaller town.
The purpose of this article is to explain hotel prices in Iran and how they reflect the quality of service.
Iran Hotels Association Sets Rates!
Hotel prices in Iran aren’t liberalized, so the Iran Hotels Association sets rates and price ceilings at the beginning of every Iranian year (generally falls on March 21) after thorough evaluations. Rates, which usually go up by 10% to 25% every year, are affected by a variety of factors, including the country’s inflation rate.
Prices Change Based on Season & Special Occasions
Travel seasons (as opposed to conventional seasons such as spring and summer) as well as special occasions may affect room rates. Hotels in major cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz are normally fully booked and prices are at a peak during the high travel seasons throughout the year, which include the months of March, April, May, September, and October. If you’re traveling in any of these months, you’re advised to make your booking months in advance, and don’t expect high discounts. Moreover, hoteliers charge relatively high cancellation fees during these periods.
During the two-week Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays – typically from March 21 to April 2 – hotels in popular destinations have no vacancy, usually offer no discounts, and give no refunds in case of cancellation. Hotels in Tehran are the exception as the city receives a small number of tourists during the Norouz holiday.
The holy month of Ramadan, which falls on different days on the Gregorian calendar, is a quiet time for hotels since fewer people travel. That is why hotels offer some of their highest discounts in this period.
In summer (July to September), there is significant rise in domestic travel to regions with a cool climate (particularly northern and northwestern provinces).
Classifications Based on Prices
Hotels in Iran are split into four groups based on the average price of a double room:
1. Cheap Hotels
2. Budget Hotels
3. Mid-range Hotels
4. Luxury Hotels
Please note that prices mentioned below fluctuate throughout the year.
Hotels classified as “cheap” charge under €40 per night for a double room. These usually include decent apartment hotels all the way up to three-star properties. However, if you’re incredibly lucky, you may find a “low-tier” four-star hotel with similar rates.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here, so don’t expect extraordinary service. The price usually includes an average breakfast and the hotel is more often than not located downtown or close to intercity bus terminals. Also, you’d be hard-pressed to find English-speaking staff at these hotels.
A double room in hotels listed as “budget” goes for anywhere between €40 and €70 per night. Low-end three-star establishments and fancy apartment hotels usually fall in this classification. These hotels offer basic amenities and services, including decent housekeeping.
Top four-star and second-tier five-star hotels that ask for €70 to €140 per night for a double room are considered “mid-range”.
Depending on the hotel, you may be able to take advantage of the property’s amenities for free, such as gym and swimming pool. In general, you’re more likely to receive better value for money at a quality four-star hotel than a mediocre five-star property.
One reason for this is the size of the hotels; four-star establishments are smaller and cater to fewer guests, which means they’re able to offer better quality services as they’re not spread too thin.
Luxury hotels charge upward of €140 per night for a standard double room. However, the price includes free breakfast and access to the hotel’s recreational facilities, such as the fitness center and sauna. High-end five-star hotels, which are generally classified as “Luxury”, are rare in Iran.
Due to a lack of data on Iranian hotels, particularly compared with lodging facilities in other countries, it is understandably difficult for foreign tourists to find an appropriate hotel in Iran. This article aims to facilitate the decision-making process by providing an accessible guide to the quality of hotels in Iran based on the rates they charge.
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Translated by: Kian Sharifi