Hotels (mehmankhane or hotel) in Iran are classified in categories from one to five stars, and guesthouses (mosaferkhane) in surperior, first and second class. The mosaferkhane offer rudimentary services, particulary second class ones, but are very cheap and can often be paid in rial, whereas most hotels now ask foreigners to pay in US dollars. The star system for the hotels bears little relation to the system in use in the West, and the quality of hotel within any one class can vary quite considerably. In general, a five- star room is a deluxe one with private bathroom. Do not expect the words ex- Hilton or ex- international to indicate the equivalent of those hotels in Europe. Most hotels were built in the 1970s and are now somewhat run down, although generally perfectly acceptable. In many hotels, even in the four- star category, the bedroom toilets may be of the squat variety rather than a Western- style one.
The names of hotels are liable to change when the owner changes. It is worth enquiring about previous names of a hotels if you can, and making sure that you have as exact an address as possible (street names frequently change too).
Theoretically, only married couples may share a hotel room. This rule is strictly applied in the case of Iranians but hotel staff may be more lenient towards foreigners, especially those in a group However, be aware that the rule exists and do not assume that it will be waived just for you.
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