“ Address: Azadegan (Airport) Blvd. / Yazd / Iran / Telephone: 98 351 7210511-3 „
On a group tour of Iran, we spent two nights at the Caravan, a large hotel located a few miles outside the ancient desert city of Yazd. The Caravan is close to a large but surprisingly quiet road and takes the form of lots of small white single-storey apartment-style chalets set back from the road and surrounded by gardens. There was nothing else anywhere near the hotel so be aware that once you are there, unless you have transport, there's nothing to see or do nearby. Pulling off the highway from the airport, the driveway brought us past a large building that housed the reception, the restaurant and other shared facilities and then to the accommodation area. Our tour leader hopped off the bus to go and get the keys whilst we unloaded the bags from the bus. Earlier that day, we had left a rather stuffy and formal hotel in Tehran and so we found the Caravan very different. Each couple were allocated a really large chalet. These were gathered in rows of 4 or 5, each with its own front and rear terrace with small flower beds. Opening the door to ours we found a really large room with high sloping ceilings and plain tiled floors. The décor was very basic but the room was clean and bright. The room was so large that our tour leader had told us that he considered the rooms to be 'Three Cartwheel' rooms - i.e. big enough to do three cartwheels between the door and the French windows. He was a practitioner of that odd Brazilian dance/martial art whose name I can never remember - it's something like Caiprinha or Capibara but since one is a cocktail and the other a giant guinea-pig, I know it's not either - so he always appreciated having plenty of space to fling his legs around. For furniture we had twin beds with a table between holding a telephone and bedside lights. There was a large built-in wardrobe and dressing table with a stool and a table with a TV on top. We also had a lounge area with a small sofa and armchair and a coffee table. Tucked just inside the door was a small kitchenette area with a sink and fridge which we didn't need and so didn't use. When I say fridge, I don't mean mini-bar; this is Iran and you won't find beers or spirits in your fridge! There was air conditioning but it wasn't hot enough for us to test it out. At the back of the room the French windows opened onto a small tiled terrace but there were no deck chairs to sit out on and whenever we had any spare time, the sun was in the wrong position and the terrace was in shade. The bathroom was a bit shabby with several broken tiles and a broken toilet cistern that meant it didn't flush very well. The shower had good water pressure but some bright spark had reversed the hot and cold taps just to confuse everyone. You can imagine the swearing when I found that out. The toiletries on offer were basic with just soap and shampoo. We didn't eat in the hotel restaurant in the evenings but did have breakfast there each morning. By Iranian standards there was a good spread with enough choice but don't expect anything too exciting. Getting into Yazd from the Caravan took about 10 to 15 minutes in our tour bus. We took hotel cards with us with the address in Farsi in case we needed a taxi and couldn't find a driver who could read Roman script and this worked just fine and a taxi only cost a couple of dollars. I can't say anything about the cost of the hotel as it was included in our tour price but it was unlikely to be more than £10-15 per room per night. Yazd is a very busy 'full-on' sort of town and it would have perhaps been fun to have stayed somewhere more central. However, after a couple of days of very intense sight-seeing, we all rather enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the Caravan and I slept like a dead-person both nights.