A Journey Through Time: Stay in Iran's Renovated Caravanserais

Caravanserais in Iran, dating back to the Safavid era under Shah Abbas, were built along busy city routes due to the country's position on the Silk Road. These landmarks, meant for traveler comfort, have some transformed into hotels, blending traditional architecture with modern amenities. Discover seven of these historic sites now serving as serene hotels.
What exactly is a caravanserai?

A caravanserai was a roadside inn where travelers (caravaners) could rest and recover from the day’s journey. In Iran, caravanserais were crucial due to the Silk Road, facilitating trade across Asia. These structures were well-equipped for both the merchants and their animals, providing safety, comfort, and various amenities.

The Abbasi Caravanserai in Kuhpayeh, now known as the Abbasi Hotel, is highly recommended. It is known for its stunning architecture, central courtyard, and beautifully decorated rooms that offer a glimpse into Iran’s rich history, all while providing upscale accommodations.

Staying in a caravanserai hotel is like stepping back in time. Guests can enjoy traditional Persian architecture, evening gatherings in central courtyards, local cuisine, and sometimes cultural performances or craft demonstrations that reflect the historical uses of these caravanserais.

The Zein-o-Din Caravanserai Hotel in Yazd is very family-friendly, offering spacious accommodations and activities that are suitable for children, such as exploring the surrounding desert landscape.

Consider the location and its accessibility, the type of experiences you want (such as desert views or proximity to city landmarks), and what modern amenities are important to you. Also, review traveler feedback to ensure the authenticity and quality of the stay match your expectations.

Due to their unique nature and limited rooms, it’s advisable to book several months in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons (spring and autumn) to secure a reservation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Staying in Iran's Renovated Caravanserais

What you will read in this article:

Moshir Caravanserai Hotel in Yazd

The Moshir Caravanserai dates back to 150 years ago. Built-in the city of Yazd during the reign of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar, the Moshir Caravanserai, once a resting place for weary travelers, is now recognized as a beautiful hotel with a traditional structure and modern facilities. This caravanserai changed its purpose to a hotel in 1996 and was renovated. The distance from the Moshir Caravanserai Hotel to Amir Chakhmaq Square is less than one kilometer, and you can walk to the Jameh Mosque, Dowlat Abad Garden, and Khan Market in less than five minutes. The traditional layout combined with rooms surrounding the courtyard, windows with old designs, and colorful glasses evoke the past for visitors. Ponds and fountains in the yard are other attractions of this hotel, providing a calm and serene environment for guests to relax. Moshir’s restaurant features traditional seven-colored tiles and authentic Iranian architecture, serving various dishes.

Abbasi Caravanserai in Kuhpayeh

Undoubtedly, the Abbasi Hotel is one of the best options for staying in Isfahan, especially for those who love the architecture and authenticity of historic buildings. This historic caravanserai is 60 kilometers along the Isfahan-Nain road and is a short distance from the old market of Kuhpayeh, the Khuni Wetland, and other attractions. The construction of the Abbasi Caravanserai dates back to the Safavid era. In 1993, after its restoration, it started hosting travelers interested in history who prefer to stay in historical buildings rather than modern hotels. The hotel’s atmosphere and room architecture are unique and captivating, immersing you in the building’s authenticity and history as soon as you enter. This hotel meets the needs of today’s travelers, offering a traditional dining room, multi-purpose halls for various conferences, a handicraft store, a recreational hall, and more, among its amenities.

Caravanserai Laleh Hotel in Kermanshah

The Laleh Caravanserai Hotel is situated about 30 kilometers east of Kermanshah, on the old road from Kermanshah to Hamedan, at the foot of the Bisotun mountain. The hotel showcases the mountainous nature and the eighth World Heritage site of Iran, Mount Bisotun. This hotel, which was once a caravanserai, gives us a glimpse into the life of the elite during the Safavid era. Glimpses of that life can also be seen in the decor and layout of the hotel rooms. Covering an area of six thousand meters, the Laleh Bisotun Hotel can accommodate 100 guests. It also offers 20 units, including royal and imperial suites, with traditional decorations. By opening the windows of these rooms, guests can enjoy the view of Mount Bisotun. If you get hungry after sightseeing, you can dine at the hotel’s traditional or open-air summer restaurant, offering both Iranian and Western cuisines. Other attractions of the Caravanserai Laleh Bisotun Hotel include a unique conference hall for parties and ceremonies, live music performances, a permanent exhibition and store selling local handicrafts, and a shop with rock climbing equipment. Attractions like the unfinished Sasanian palace, the old bridge, the Safavid caravanserai bridge, the Bisotun inscription, the Khosrow Bridge, the Parthian temple, the Hercules statue, and the Hunters’ Cave complete the beauty of the Laleh Bisotun Hotel.

Gogad Historical Arg Hotel in Golpayegan

The Gogad Historical Arg dates back four centuries. This place, now transformed into a tranquil inn, has seen many ups and downs. In times of peace, it served as a caravanserai; in times of war or enemy invasions, it was used as a military fortress. However, once on the Silk Road and the scene of many battles, this citadel has now been transformed into a serene accommodation. The three-star Gogad Historical Arg Hotel is five kilometers off the Golpayegan-Tehran road in Gogad. The Arg offers large, clean, and comfortable rooms, and their decorations with jars and jugs evoke the past for travelers. Staying at this hotel is ideal for those who want to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of modern life in a calm and historical setting.

Zein-o-Din Caravanserai Hotel in Yazd

 This caravanserai, situated 60 kilometers off the Yazd-Kerman road, is an architectural masterpiece from the Safavid era, built by the order of Zein al-Din, the ruler of Kerman, four centuries ago. In the past, the place was a resting spot for riflemen. Still, today, while preserving its original essence, it has been transformed into an attractive hotel with traditional restaurants, amenities, rooms, and suitable services. The Zein-o-Din caravanserai hotel began its operations in 2003. It is the only Iranian recipient of a UNESCO honor diploma for its restoration and organization using traditional materials. This caravanserai is also considered one of the most unique accommodations in Iran.

Yam Caravanserai Hotel in Marand

The Yam Caravanserai Hotel is a mid-range hotel in Marand in East Azerbaijan province. This caravanserai is situated 45 kilometers from the city of Tabriz and 12 kilometers from Marand. The historical Yam Caravanserai of Marand, which dates back to the Ilkhanid era, is over 500 years old. An interesting fact about the Yam Hotel is that its location in a cold region lacks cooling systems in its rooms. The hotel has 21 rooms, and some of its main features include a coffee shop, room service, internet, tennis court, 24-hour reception, and parking. In the hotel’s restaurants, various Iranian dishes are served. You can visit attractions such as the ruined mill waterfall, Dogijan and Agh Soo caves, Daran Dash waterfall, Jami Mosque, Saint Stepanos Church, and Babak Castle by staying at the Yam Caravanserai Hotel. Another unique feature of this caravanserai is its proximity to the Yam ski slope, providing an excellent opportunity for tourists, especially in the summer.

Safavid Caravanserai Hotel in Saryazd

Saryazd village is part of the Mehriz district in Yazd province and has historical significance. The Safavid Caravanserai of Saryazd, dating back to the Safavid era, was renovated in 2011. Upon entering the outer courtyard, you’ll notice beds scattered around the hotel’s courtyard. With one floor and 14 rooms, this caravanserai is an ideal place to host travelers. These rooms, designed with different capacities and traditional decorations, aim to comfort guests. Among the tourist and recreational attractions of the Safavid Caravanserai of Saryazd, both inside and surrounding the complex, are motorcycling, camel riding, and stargazing. The hotel is also close to tourist attractions such as the historical castle and village of Saryazd.


Final Note:

Most historical caravanserais are remnants from the Safavid rule and later. Today, some of these caravanserais have been converted into hotels, and after all these years, you can experience a unique stay in these ancient inns. In this article, we mentioned seven such old caravanserais that have been transformed into hotels.