Whether you are a first-time traveller or an experienced backpacker, your travel to-do list will include researching and booking your accommodation. However, unlike most travel destinations, for Iran, you have limited options for booking online, thanks to trade sanctions.
Airbnb, for example, is blocked by the US government and not available in Iran. Other websites, like booking.com, was forced to remove its Iran properties just a few months after starting its work in Iran, when the US restored its sanctions in May 2018.
So shall you just appear at the hotel lobby and ask for a room? What if its high season and everywhere is booked? Don’t worry, although you cannot book your accommodation in Iran through the usual booking websites, there are options.
You can book a room online through1stQuest’s Iran hotels page.
Here is a complete guide through which you can book Iran hotels, online or in person.
Hotel Reservation Websites
Most travelers first and the only option is to book their room in advance through online platforms to be sure about the places they can stay at when they arrive at their destination after a long flight. If you are also a risk-averse traveler, our recommendation is to book your hotels in advance through reservation websites. However, as we mentioned before, most well-known travel websites do not include Iran hotels on their travel destinations and even when they included Iran, like the time booking.com did so, they offer limited options of luxury and business hotels and there are no other choices for budget travelers or backpackers. to learn more about budget hotels in Iran check out this article: Iran Budget Hotels
Though these platforms cannot help for Iran, you still have the chance to book your hotel rooms through reservation websites like 1stQuest. 1stQuest’s online platform with more than 350 accommodations all around Iran lets you book hotel rooms and pay online through secure gateways. 1stQuest also guarantee the best price for accommodations listed on the website. Reserving your hotel room using our services, you can instantly get your voucher while most travel websites in Iran ask for at least 24 hours to sort everything out, send a request to the hotel and then confirm your booking. to learn more about the best hotels in Tehran check out this article: Luxury hotels in Tehran
The process is also easy to manage. You need to insert the name of the city in “Hotel Tab” and after choosing your check-in and check-out date, click the “Search” button. It will show you a list of all available options with a brief overview of what the accommodations offer, their rate and type, and also their location on the map. The good point is that you can also see their TripAdvisor rate and read each hotel’s reviews through a link provided to its respective page under the accommodation’s image. Select the hotel you are interested in and after clicking the “Book Now” button, fill all required information. In this phase, you can also ask for a transfer or local guides by filling the predefined fields. Then confirm the website’s terms and conditions and pay online using your MasterCard or Visa. Avoiding all the hassle for contacting each hotel separately, now you have enough time to plan the rest of your trip. to learn more about the best hotels in Shiraz check out this article: The Best Shiraz Hotels
Apart from travel websites, you can contact travel agencies located in Iran through email or phone, ask them to book the hotels for you and send you the voucher. If they have an account outside Iran, you can pay online, otherwise, you can pay in cash when you arrive at the country. This is also a good option to book your room in advance; however, it may take more time sending an email back and forth. They would also charge you more as they would add a commission to hotels’ net price. Also, there is always a chance of not booking your room when you want to pay in cash as the agencies may assume you do not show up at the time. In fact, reading online reviews, you can find local agencies with a bad reputation of canceling previously confirmed reservations at the last minute. Find a trustworthy agency to manage everything for you if you want to use this option. to learn more about the best hotels in Isfahan check out this article: The best Isfahan Hotels
Offline Reservation Through Email
The other way to book the hotel room in advance is to send an email to the hotel itself and ask for a room. Find their email address in their website or travel forums, write them with detailed information about the number of people, check-in and check-out, room type and anything other which matters to you. You can also negotiate discount contacting the hotels directly if you are traveling with a group. It usually takes a few days for hotels to reply. Don’t forget to email them a few days before your arrival especially when you have gotten your booking confirmation a long time ago.
Unfortunately, except some hostels and most 4 and 5-star hotels, the majority of Iranian hotels, especially in smaller cities have no website or email address or would not reply to any email. If you could not find their email address on travel forums, search for their location on google map. If you could not find the information on google map, it is almost impossible to find it anywhere else.
Once again, ask them to reconfirm your booking a few days before your arrival.
Contact Hotels Directly via Phone
You can also contact the hotel directly using their phone number, ask them to book a room for your desired time and pay in cash when you arrive at the hotel. However, like the option above, finding a phone number with someone on the other side to pick up the phone and answer your questions is very hard for many hotels and even when they answer, most of the staffs cannot speak English fluently.
By the way, don’t give up! The reason for not answering your call may be the time zone difference and this fact that most Iranian hotels don’t have a 24/7 reservation office. Having a Persian friend who can talk on your behalf can also help a lot.
Reserve Hotel Rooms at Airport Desks
If you are a person not bothering yourself with planning everything in advance or you are forced to have a last minute work trip, you can book your hotel rooms at the airports when you arrive in Iran. Some luxury, as well as business hotels, have active counters in Iran’s international airports and you can reserve your room before arriving at the hotel. The staffs are really helpful and the process is easy but most of these airport counters are not active at night. Consider your arrival time at the airport.
The other problem is that many budget hotels, as well as eco-lodges and hostels, cannot be booked in this way as they have no counter at the airports. Also, it is not a good option for high season (including April, May, September, and October) when it is too late to book the room when you are in the country.
Book Hotels On Arrival in Person
The last option which seems very out of question for many travelers is to show up at the hotel and ask for a room. This is good for travelers which prefer low season for their trip. However, finding a proper accommodation to stay at during peak time is hard especially in big cities like Isfahan and Shiraz which are travel destinations, not only for most foreign travelers but also for many Iranians as well. Pay attention to Iranian holidays when most people would travel around the country which may make it hard for you to find vacant rooms.
If it is the only option you have, remember that your international cards are useless in Iran; so have enough money in cash to pay for your accommodation. to learn more about the best hotels in Iran check out this article: Top 5-Star Hotels In Iran
Though Iran has a variety of accommodations from luxury 5-star hotels to budget eco-lodges and hostels, the online choices are very limited. Many good properties have no pages on TripAdvisor or international booking websites. On the whole, considering the fact that many Iranian hotels have no strict confirmation system, the best way to be sure about your stay is booking hotels in advance using trustworthy travel websites like 1stQuest.