I stayed at Tehran's Simorgh Hotel on Valiasr Avenue in June 2005 and can recommend it. It's one of the top end hotels in Tehran, but don't expect a Shangri-La or Sheraton. It's professionally run, business-oriented, clean, well located. The staff speak English and are helpful.
Rooms are good - the one I had was oddly-shaped and looked on to a side alley so you got an insight into the backyards of Tehran resodents. I didn't use the pool (internal, in basement) but it looks good. There are separate bathing times for men and women. TV includes lots of local stuff plus BBC World and they just added CNN for the first time when I was there. The business centre has internet access which works but is mindbogglingly slow (not surprisingly).
The hotel used to be called the Miami Hotel until after 1979, but it still has a Miami Restaurant on the top floor. This is also the breakfast area (breakfast OK, a bit scanty, but great omelettes cooked to order). I also had dinner there one night which was very good - go for the sturgeon fish kebabs and a huge pitcher of icy cold Bavaria non alcoholic beer. Decent views of the city from here too. Room service meals were fast and very good too; chicken cordon bleu had about half a chicken plus loads of cheese, sour cream, and vegies.
The Simorgh Hotel is in a great location on a very "Parisian" section of Valiasr Ave, with lots of interesting local and Euro-style shops nearby, and a beautiful park (Saei Park) 2 mins walk uphill. As with almost everything in Tehran I had to pay with post-96 US dollars - no credit cards or travellers cheques are accepted. You might have luck with credit cards as they keep saying they'll be accepted "soon" but whatever you do, have a wad of USD as backup. Get USD to cover the cost of your stay (around $100/night for me) before arriving in Tehran. Change a small amount of USD to Iranian rials (IRR) at the hotel front desk for local purchases - don't get IRR before entering Iran unless you want to have a bulky bale of paper to cart around. You also should leave your passport with management at the front counter for safety before you go out.
The new airport (Imam Khomeini, or IKA) is 60km out of town, huge and impressive, but bereft of shops so far except for some guy selling instant coffee and potato chips - mind you, this was at 2am so maybe there are other things open at normal times. Airport-city transfer options are unknown as I had organised my office to pick me up and return me. Taxis seemed to be around. In June 05 only Emirates, Gulf and another Middle Eastern airline were using IKA (the rest were still using the much closer Mehrabad airport). Roads are chaotic and be very careful crossing city streets!
The Simorgh Hotel website is http://www.simorghhotel.com but it seems a bit broken. Call them on Tehran 8719911 for reservations. Address is 1069 Valiasr (or Vali Assr) Avenue, corner of Delbasteh Alley.
- Also Known As:
- Simorgh Hotel Tehran