In the 17th century, the Persian king Shah Abbas built tactical caravan inns to shelter and provide food and safety to merchants, traders, travelers and pilgrims on the Silk Road.
This idea proved to be so successful and amazing that these caravan inns/tavernas endured until today, becoming delightful time-travel hotels.
After days of traveling on the road, we were in need of a good night sleep and pampering. Little we knew what our friend Abdullah had planned for us: a night at the Zein-o-din Caravanserai, a true Silk Road style caravan experience!
The Zein-o-din Caravan
Zein-o-din is a rounded inn built during Sassanian time and takes its name from a local ruler, who built it following the Shah Abbas orders. Charmingly renovated, tastefully decorated , this caravenserai is a truly spectacular and off the beaten track accommodation. From the outside, Zein-o-din looks like a five-towers fortress lost in the desert. Once you are inside the caravanserai you feel like being transported in the 16th century Persia. Warm, charmingly renovated, tastefully decorated, Zein-o-din is a true jewel of the desert.
A huge wooden door was our entrance.
Following the round shaped interior walls of Zein-o-din caravanserai, narrow rooms are built on wooden platforms. Some rooms have with wooden doors while others come with just a thick curtain separating them from the corridor. Thick Persian carpets cover the floors and decorate the walls. Wherever you are, at restaurant, courtyard, bedrooms, everything is delightfully made to evoke the feeling of a Silk Road travel .
Notice the square-themed tapestry that looks like a mandala. This symbol reminds us of Persia’s long lasting and previous religion, Zorastrianism.
There are different kinds of room. We obviously chose the original caravan-style room for the three of us.
Before you go
1 You need to be aware that this place is not a luxurious hotel, but a rather authentic opportunity to feel like a true Silk Road merchant. Meaning: starry night sky, delightful service and food!
2 Bathrooms are shared. They are warm, modern, very clean and have hot water.
3 Women are free to show their hair. They don’t need to wear a hijab here. That goes for restaurant, courtyard areas and even the outside.
There are several ways you can contact this property. Check this website for further information.