Iran's Abbasi: The Middle East's most beautiful hotel
Photos: Iran's Abbasi: The Middle East's most beautiful hotel
The hotel has around 225 rooms, including 23 suites, and is divided between the hotel’s old wing and new wing.
Built in the 1970s, the rooms in the new wing are rather characterless — it seems that the re-creation of the hotel’s original look and feel was not a priority at the time of construction and the rooms are bland in color and nondescript.
Guests who get to stay in the old wing, especially the Qajar and Safavid suites, are in for a treat. These rooms have been superbly restored and are decorated in an elegant traditional style without being overloaded.
At about $350 a night, they’re relatively pricey.
An oasis in the city
What really makes the Abbasi particularly special is its open-air courtyard.
It’s a large, beautiful, well-maintained Persian garden, complete with little fountains, brook-lined avenues, bright flower beds and quince-laden trees.
People spend their time drinking tea, reading a book or just hiding away from the hustle and bustle of the city in this oasis.
The courtyard restaurant is famous for an Iranian dish called Ash-e Reshteh, a thick type of noodle soup filled with all types of beans and herbs.
“Many Iranians think a visit to the Abbasi for its soup is an essential part of coming to Esfahan,” says Arian Aghamardi, a frequent guest at the hotel. “Nothing better to warm you up on a cold day.”
It was winter when CNN visited, yet the garden was still green and beautiful. It can only be more spectacular in the spring.
Times are clearly changing in Iran and new hotels are appearing on the scene.
While the US still has its sanctions in place,a situation unlikely to change under new President Donald Trump, hotel groups headquartered outside America have already started to move in.
The French Accor group became the first in 2016. Others are following, including the UAE’s Rotana and Spain’s Melia. It’s expected that by 2018 Iran will have six different international brands.
But anyone visiting Esfahan and staying elsewhere would be missing out if they didn’t at least stop by the Abbasi and take a look around.
It’s guaranteed to be one of the best memories of any stay in Iran.
Date of Publish: 6 March 2017