Esteghlal Grand Hotel
My mixed thoughts on this hotel
I stayed in this hotel from 15-18 July, 2012
First of all, it was not at all my decision to stay in this hotel. Our "hosts" booked our rooms. From outside, the hotel looked fairly grand and that includes the lobby area.
The Front Desk took my passport and kept it till the end.
I got a single room in the West Tower, being the older accommodation. Single room was priced at 2,120,000 Riyals. According to the hotel exchange rate, it was calculated as US$ 175. My advice, dont pay them in dollars. Go to a money changer where you can get better exchange rate. In this case, the hotel exchange rate was 12100 Riyals to 1 dollar. I changed my money and got the rate of 18800 Riyals to a dollar. So you can see the benefit of paying in Iranian currency.
My room was on the 8th floor. I got a view of an under construction building, but I am sure other rooms must have a different view.
The carpet appeared very old and it showed decades of neglect. A mid-sized refrigerator (not mini bar) was there with three 500 ml bottles of water. Every day they add three bottles regardless of whether you finished the previous ones or not.
The hotel claims free wifi, however, in actual terms, it turned out to be 100 mb/day download traffic. You go any longer and it costs US $ 2 per hour. For getting the wifi password and login, you need to physically go down to the basement where a rude network administrator awaits you. He gives you a printed slip of paper with information on how to login. I am an advanced computer user and I could not use the internet on my Samsung Galaxy S-III. Even the network administrator could not configure my phone for internet use. My advice is not to use internet in Iran at all. Next day, I went to office of my hosts, and I could not login in to any of my gmail, hotmail and yahoo email accounts. I asked and I was told that these foreign sites were forbidden!!!
When I first entered my room, the bathroom had two large and two small towels. Over the three days, three of the four towels disappeared. On my last day in the hotel, I called the housekeeping and asked about the disappearance of three towels. one of the towels reappeared and I had the full apprehension that the hotel would charge me for that. I insisted to housekeeping for replacing all the towels and I got the reply in broken English that I did not NEED more than one towel!!!
The hotel staff do not have any respect for privacy. I was in the shower, when I heard persistent knocking on the door. When the knocking did not stop, I wrapped a towel around my body and opened the door. A female staff member came in without asking for permission. I asked her what she was doing and she said that it was routine checking ....
Another time, I put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle and went for early breakfast. I returned and found the DND sign hanging inside the door and everything in my room had been touched including my two expensive phones.
I had no idea how many millions I would have to pay for the three water bottles in my room, so on the second day, I checked with the front desk staff for my final liability on check out. I had checked in at the hotel on 15th July 2012 at around 11.45 pm and I was supposed to check out at 4 am on 18th July, 2012. I was horrified to see that they counted it as a four nights stay. I protested but re-calculation by three other staff members kept the day count at 4 nights!!! I went to see the Manager on duty, and he insisted that it was hotel policy!!!
I found a television lookalike decoration piece in my room. There was only one channel in English and that was Iranian PressTV.
The “5-Star” hotel does not provide newspaper.
Horrified at the rates of hotel dining, I did not dare to order anything in my room.
Breakfast in the dining hall starts at 6 am. Variety of food items was fairly limited. If you want eggs, then you need to go to chef’s place and keep your fingers crossed and wait for the chef to appear. On two days, I had to wait not less than ten minutes before the chef appeared and reluctantly prepared eggs .. of course, the end result was not what I asked him to prepare.
Not related to the hotel, but my “hosts” declined to pay for my stay. This situation led to almost embarrassment. Credit cards are not accepted anywhere in Iran (except some carpet dealers who process the credit card payment in Dubai)
My final advice, try to look elsewhere for better value for your money
Unique Quality: I dont find any unique qualities in this hotel from the paleolithic period.
It was once the Tehran Hilton
Located on the upper side of Tehran, where the mountains are nearer and the pollution is noticeably less, the Esteghlal offers just what you would expect of a standard 4-5 star hotels. There are two wings, the West is the older section and rooms are a little cheaper. The rooms are big and comfortable, if a little gloomy though they are currently being redecorated. The East Wing, being newer, is fresher but the rooms are smaller. The staff are efficient and helpful, the lobby coffeeshop has been considerably enlarged recently as has the shopping arcade. There are several restaurants, serving both Iranian and European food, and there is an indoor pool and a tennis court.
Unique Quality: The view of the city and the mountains is very fine, and there is a pleasant garden surrounding the hotel. There is good shopping nearby on Valiasr. There's a very nice curio and antique shop in the hotel if you are looking for something special. If you need a small gift for someone local, there's a good florist in the hotel and or you can easily walk to Tavazo, the best nut shop in Tehran.
east tower is new.(=bath)
west tower is old.(=shower)
rooms are both okay.
Unique Quality: pool
internet (Brand new! Before it was a smal room with 2 terminals, now it 's a real business centre. )
Directions: North - tehran
Esteghlal Grand Hotel
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Esteghlal Grand Tehran
Address: Crossroads of Valie-Asr Ave. and Chamran Expressway, Tehran, Iran
Amenities at Esteghlal Grand Hotel
- Room Service
- Business Services
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